MANAGUA, Nicaragua – The president of the Nicaraguan Baseball Federation (Feniba), Nemesio Porras, is eyeing 2017 as potentially the biggest year on record for baseball in the nation and its National Baseball Teams.

Porras, a former Olympic and Baseball World Cup National Team player, told national media that he sees 2017 as a major opportunity to continue building Nicaraguan baseball, which is the national sport of the Central American country.

Over the last few years under Porras, Nicaragua has jumped from No. 28 in the WBSC Baseball World Rankings in 2014 to its current position at No. 16.

Qualified for the Central American Games 2017 in Managua, the U-18 Baseball World Cup 2017 in Thunder Bay (CAN) and the U-12 Baseball World Cup 2017 in Tainan (TPE), Nicaraguan baseball leaders have their sights on earning more medals and climbing even higher in the world rankings.  Currently, less than 100 ranking points separate No. 14 Czech Republic (1362 pts.), No. 15 Panama (1318 pts.) and Nicaragua (1267 pts.).

At the last U-12 Baseball World Cup in 2015, Nicaragua won its historic first-ever medal in a baseball world championship.  At the previous CAG in 2013, the Nicas won the gold medal in baseball. And last year, Nicaragua qualified* into the U-18 Baseball World Cup for the first time in recent history.

Nicaraguan National Teams in 2016

  • World Baseball Classic 2017 Mexicali Qualifier: Reached Final
  • U-23 Baseball World Cup: 6th Place
  • U-18 Pan-Am Championship: 4th Place*
  • U-12 Pan-Am Championship: 3rd Place
  • U-10 Pan-Am Championship: Champion

The success of Nicaraguan baseball, both nationally and internationally, earned Porros the honour of 2016 Director of the Year by the Association of Sport Writers of Nicaragua (ACDN).

Government backing

A key factor in Nicaragua’s baseball success and growth can be attributed to the strong governmental support given by the leader of the republic, President Daniel Ortega.

“President Ortega has trust in our baseball development projects and provides immense support [for Nicaragua to prepare for and compete in] international tournaments,” Porras said. “We are extremely grateful for the backing of the government, which has been a key pillar in the growth of baseball in Nicaragua,” said Porras, who is also president of the Pan-Am Baseball Confederation (COPABE) and a WBSC Baseball Executive Committee member.

In terms of developing the best young talent for the future, Nicaragua has expanded the national baseball championships to nine age-categories.

And to ensure quality grows in line with quantity, seminars and other development programmes for baseball coaches and umpires are being boosted across the nation.