What's going on with baseball in the Philippines?

I’ve been following the development of baseball in the Philippines for a long time… I was excited when they started Baseball Philippines and the MLB send people to help coach and manage the league. Lately, I can’t seem to find any info online, maybe people here chould shed light on the matter.


2007 Asian Baseball Championship

There are 8 teams playing in this year’s Asia Games baseball tournament. The Philippines isn’t one of them. Thailand, Hong Kong, Pakistan and frigging Mongolia all send a baseball team to Korea, but the Philippines is absent? The Philippines dominated Asian baseball from 1920s all the way to the late 50s. With the recent rise of China’s baseball team, the Philippines is still at least among Asia’s top 5. If we divide Asian baseball into 3 tiers.Japan, Korea and Taiwan would be the first tier, China and the Philippines would be the second tier, and the rest would form the third tier. The Philippines frequently kills third tier teams in SEA games and other international tournaments. If baseball could get a little bit more resources (especially ball parks) in the Philippines, there’s no reason why it can’t be a dominant player in Asian baseball again.

Looking at websites and facebook pages such as Baseball Philippines, it seems like time is frozen in 2012. Just last year, the Philippines defeated Thailand 8 to 2 in the World Baseball Classic preliminary games, and the Thai team had Johnny Damon. It also had a great showing against the Kiwis, losing 6 to 10 to a team with plenty of minor leaguers. Flash forward one year, they are not even sending a team to the Asia Games?

What happened to Jon Jon Robles and all those players? Is the semi-professional Baseball Philippines defunct? What’s going on with baseball in the Philippines?

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No kidding, I was following the Batangas Bulls there for a while, and then it was like the entire league disappeared off the face of the earth.WTF??

Maybe they’ve switched to swimming.

there’s not even some sort of announcement, and the league site is still up… it’s as if the league is still alive, it’s just suddenly a bit anti-social.

This is a visitor’s post to Baseball Philippine’s facebook page:

facebook.com/photo.php?fbid … =1&theater

Pretty amazing. I think the poster played in the Manila Bay Baseball League. There is almost no info (at least no info in English) on the Manila Bay Baseball league, except this post from one of those basketball forums:

interbasket.net/forums/archi … 3-p-2.html

It being, the PIs, of course, the whole deal could be in full swing, just nobody remembered to “tip” the web guy.

Big time ball there predates WWII, which makes it all the more interesting.

[quote=“Rocket”]It being, the PIs, of course, the whole deal could be in full swing, just nobody remembered to “tip” the web guy.

Big time ball there predates WWII, which makes it all the more interesting.[/quote]

More on the Manila Bay Baseball League, also from that thread,

[quote]Ramon Altoveros played only one season with Canlubang in 1978 because Canlubang disbanded after not being able to shatter the new dynasty of Alfa-Mohawk. He was only an emerging star back then. He was deferring back then to Boy Codinera, Romeo Galang, and Rod Valencia in the infield and to starting pitchers Jorge Barredo and Exequiel Gamilla. He drove in the first and only 2 runs that Canlubang scored in the first inning in the deciding 3rd game of the 1978 MBBL finals which Alfa Mohawk finally won 3-2 on a walk-off fashion in the bottom of the ninth inning with Baby Manzanares scoring the winning run.

He became a star the following year with the Los Banos Tigers of Hector Navasero, which supplanted Alfa Mohawk as the new baseball dynasty then. The Tigers featured this line-up:

P - Rolando Guevarra, Jaime Estipular, Rolando Valencia
C- Arlene Fabian, Jose Tagaro
1B - Ramon Altoveros (pitcher occasionally)
2B - Edwin Nuevo
3B - Rodrigo Valencia
SS - Salvador Salacup (The Agriculture undersecretary)
LF- Leandro Javier
CF - Pablo Lapiz
RF - Victor Managa
DH - Oscar Viray, Sofronio Managa

He was always the baseball representative in the all star games featuring superstars in all Philippine sports. He later emigrated or went back to Hawaii. [/quote]

Also from that basketball thread:
interbasket.net/forums/showt … post602131

A picture of a jampacked Ultra for the Philippines kids winning the 1992 Little-league World Series. Subsequent posts mention that the team was over-aged and an all-star team, which was against league rules. They defeated the team from Taiwan to qualify and went on to win it all at Williamsport. Team Taiwan featured its very first female player Li Shiting. She delivered a homerun for Taiwan. Several kids from that Taiwan little league team became famous professional baseball players, including Zhang Zhijia (Seibu Lions -> La new Bears -> supposedly having his legs fractured by his dad after throwing games), Zeng Haoju (La new Bears-> Lamigo Monkeys), Ji Junlin (Chinatrust Whales -> assused of throwing games and fired -> not guilty).

Back during my research on the Far Eastern Games (predecessor of the Asia Games, played between Japan, China and the Philippines), I think these two Pinoy Baseball players deserve a lot of respect:

Adelano Rivera
baseballsgreatestsacrifice.c … elano.html
Hit so well against Japan, Tokyo Giants invited him to play with the Giants in 1939. Rivera hit hit the first ever grand slam in Giants’ history. When Rivera was with the Giants, there’s also a Taiwanese player, Go Shosei, (the little kid that runs around in the Taiwanese movie Kano) and a Russian player, Victor Starffin.

Rivera later joined the American guerrillas during WW2, and was captured at home and executed on the street near Rizal Stadium by the Japanese during the battle for Manila.

and
Dr. Regino Ylanan
news.google.com/newspapers?id=NK … 2C31792265

Dr. Ylanan was Team Philippines’ starting catcher during multiple Far Eastern Games, and a pillar of Philippines sports program.

By the way, if anyone has info on the Far Eastern Games, let me know in this old thread :stuck_out_tongue:
forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi … &p=1547594

found a news article on the matter:
manilatimes.net/politics-lea … all/49409/

Apparently, like Taiwan, baseball association in the Philippines is also run by a bunch of douche bags…

which is why POC and PSC refuse to recognize PABA as a legitimate organization…

That’s after Philippines won baseball gold in the SEA games too… douche bags robbing the players of their chances to play… the age old story.

Looks like the old line about there being “a special wing in hell for people who talk in movies and ball team owners” knows no boundaries.

always wanted to work firefly into a conversation…

anyway, this happened just last month

sports.inquirer.net/162678/boys- … 0-japan-44

Japan 44 to 0 Philippines… ouch

in the same event, Taiwan took gold, beating Japan 7:3
nownews.com/n/2014/08/31/1393590

always wanted to work firefly into a conversation…

anyway, this happened just last month

sports.inquirer.net/162678/boys- … 0-japan-44

Japan 44 to 0 Philippines… ouch

in the same event, Taiwan took gold, beating Japan 7:3
nownews.com/n/2014/08/31/1393590[/quote]

“What, is there…blubber???”

There is an awesomely written post by oca1 here:
pinoyexchange.com/forums/sho … st59589714

oca1 also offered great advice on how to revive baseball in the same thread.

I don’t know about Titan’s League, but Baseball Philippines is probably no longer in action. It seems like government ran annual tournaments is the only high level baseball going on.

For example Philippine Sports Commission Chairman’s Cup, where a team named Philab Ballbusters, aka the Philippines’ national team, won consecutive years.

I wrote to the Philippine Amateur Baseball Association (listed here ibaf.org/en/nation/bda52f85- … 0f10d5cafe) and here was the response of their president

[quote]Dear Mr Agapon,

I believe Baseball Philippines has not had any games for the last 2 years. I have not heard if it is currently active.

Maybe you should try contacting them for the actual status of their league?

Regards,

Mr. Eizmendi [/quote]
I’ll try to contact the league itself. I should have done that the first time around. For some reason, I was under the impression that they are related some how

[quote=“goose egg”]I wrote to the Philippine Amateur Baseball Association (listed here ibaf.org/en/nation/bda52f85- … 0f10d5cafe) and here was the response of their president

[quote]Dear Mr Agapon,

I believe Baseball Philippines has not had any games for the last 2 years. I have not heard if it is currently active.

Maybe you should try contacting them for the actual status of their league?

Regards,

Mr. Eizmendi [/quote]
I’ll try to contact the league itself. I should have done that the first time around. For some reason, I was under the impression that they are related some how[/quote]

much appreciated!

Nicely done, Mr. Goose Egg, thanks.

I have this story in my head from years ago, but I’ll be danged if I can find anything about it online.

It was during the Battle for Manila, in Sept 1945, which as we know involved the most brutal and vicious urban combat anywhere in the entire Pacific Theatre.

Anyway, the story goes, at one point, a group of US Airborne fighters together with some Pinoy guerrillas were faced off against a group of Nipponese in a ballpark somewhere in Manila.
And they each hunkered down in the dugouts.
With literally gunfire and grenades flying back and forth between the two dugouts.
How many times d’you think that has happened in the history of warfare?

I’d kill to find out which guys were on the Home side and which were the Visitors.

PS This was a smaller park, we know that Rizal had already been commandeered by the Nipponese and turned into a big ammo dump

[quote=“Rocket”]Nicely done, Mr. Goose Egg, thanks.

I have this story in my head from years ago, but I’ll be danged if I can find anything about it online.

It was during the Battle for Manila, in Sept 1945, which as we know involved the most brutal and vicious urban combat anywhere in the entire Pacific Theatre.

Anyway, the story goes, at one point, a group of US Airborne fighters together with some Pinoy guerrillas were faced off against a group of Nipponese in a ballpark somewhere in Manila.[/quote]

I can do better than stories online

I managed to reach Leslie Suntay, who runs PurePlay (pureplaysports.net/about.html), an events company that seems to be the principal management organization behind Baseball Philippines. Here is what he wrote me:

[quote]Hi Gus,

Baseball Philippines has taken a break from organizing this event since 2011.

We feel the sponsors are not yet ready to come back unless we can develop a working relationship with a TV network.

Until then, we will have to rely on ad hoc efforts to have senior/adult baseball tournaments organized by different groups (PSC, Titans Baseball Club, etc).

Thanks,
Leslie[/quote]

Yesterday, I had breakfast with a friend who explained to me how deeply involved his family has been in Little League in Manila since they arrived here in the Philippines 4 years ago. He gave me a sense of the struggles and politics at at ILLAM (littleleague.org.ph/about-li … ation.html). He co-manages his 9yo son’s club. It was interesting, and I was surprised, to see how extensive baseball is at this level.

[quote=“goose egg”]

Yesterday, I had breakfast with a friend who explained to me how deeply involved his family has been in Little League in Manila since they arrived here in the Philippines 4 years ago. He gave me a sense of the struggles and politics at at ILLAM (littleleague.org.ph/about-li … ation.html). He co-manages his 9yo son’s club. It was interesting, and I was surprised, to see how extensive baseball is at this level.[/quote]

Thanks for sharing goose egg. I think having an active Little League is the silver lining in the whole story. Perhaps these are still room for Philippines’ baseball to bounce back when a new generation grows up with it.

I also read some politics involved in the Little League online, and how national team isn’t selected based on talent, but since English isn’t a problem in the Philippines, these kids can get training directly from US coaches with a lot less Asian baseball baggage. In a way, this could be a key for all U18 players to see rapid improvements compared to kids in Japan, Taiwan or Korea.

China is seeing a very similar process, where the lack of baseball experience and having the MLB baseball school there help the players to improve to their own tier within Asian baseball. I’d say with 1 or 2 3A level pitchers, within 8 years the Chinese team have a shot at defeating any Asian team they chooses to. That could be the same for baseball in the Philippines 16 years down the road, even if the general public remained uninterested in the sport.