Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar to launch expansion club in Puerto Rican pro league LBPRC

Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar to launch expansion club in Puerto Rican pro league LBPRC
RA12, named after his initials and uniform number, will be the seventh club in the professional Roberto Clemente Winter League and will call historical 'Hiram Bithorn' home.

Roberto Alomar, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, is launching an expansion franchise in the professional Winter League of his native Puerto Rico. The team will be the seventh participant of the LBPRC (Liga de Béisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico Roberto Clemente), a WBSC Associate Member.

Alomar named the team RA12, his initials and his uniform number as a Major League Baseball (MLB) player.

The LBPRC will also celebrate the return of the Sharks of Aguadilla after three inactive seasons due to the consequences of Hurricane Maria. The other participants will be Cangrejeros de Santurce (the defending champions ), Indios de Mayagüez, Gigantes de Carolina, Atenienses de Manatí, Criollos de Caguas.

"It's going to be a team from Puerto Rico," said Alomar during a press conference. "We are going to compete and, what's more important, we are going to develop players."

The Hall of Famer added that his franchise is willing to give young players the same opportunities he was given.

"I'm serving the youth of Puerto Rico," Alomar said. "Most of the teams are not giving chances to young players, I'm trying to reverse this. The professional Winter League needs to be the foundation of player development in Puerto Rico."

Puerto Rico is currently 11th in the WBSC Baseball World Rankings.

Alomar appointed his father Santos as the general manager and his brother Sandy, currently a coach for the MLB Cleveland Indians, as a coach and his main advisor.

Alex Cintron, another former World Series winner (Arizona Diamondbacks 2001) and a coach for the MLB Houston Astros, will be the manager. Last winter he managed the LBPRC Gigantes de Carolina. Ricky Bones will be the pitching coach

The logo of RA12 is the image of Alomar himself celebrating a home run during the 1992 World Series. Alomar helped the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Oakland Athletics and earned the series MVP honours. Alomar is pictured above (Vanessa Serra-GFR Media) as he displays the logo during a press conference.

The President of LBPRC Juan Flores Galarza said that the league approved unanimously Alomar's project: "It is an honour for us. We are confident this team can make a great contribution to baseball in Puerto Rico".

Flores Galarza also announced that Alomar became a member of the LBPRC Board of Directors

The home of RA12 will be the Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, an 18,000 seat venue that was named after the first player from Puerto Rico to make the Major Leagues.

Related article: Puerto Rico cancels Double-A League season