Specialized baseball schools compete in expanded tourney
By John McPhaul
Eleven specialized baseball schools are competing in the second edition of the DRD Baseball Academies Tournament (DRDBAT), which began Tuesday and will run through May 5 at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in Hato Rey, Recreation and Sports (DRD) Secretary Ray Quiñones Vázquez announced earlier this week.
“It fills us with emotion to announce that for the second time we will hold the DRDBAT tournament. Previously this event had been held over a weekend and we turned it into a tournament lasting just over three months,” Quiñones Vázquez said. “The previous year the results were extraordinary. We managed to get 20 MLB scouts to come to the Bithorn to evaluate the young people, getting six of the participants signed by the minor leagues, and more than 30 young people obtained academic scholarships at universities in the United States and Puerto Rico.”
This year participation, including staff, has increased to more than 600 with the entry of the Germán Rieckehoff Olympic Hostel baseball school. As in the last edition, two days of “Showcase” will be included – March 8-9 – in which athletes previously selected for their talent will have the opportunity to exhibit their skills in front of scouts and athletic directors.
In accordance with COVID-19 protocols, athletes have to be fully vaccinated. The games are being broadcast on WIPR Channel 6 and through the Facebook page of the Department of Recreation and Sports.
“The venue for the event is again Hiram Bithorn Stadium,” Quiñones Vázquez said. “Gratitude to the mayor of the city of San Juan, Miguel Romero, and to all the stadium staff who have given us all their support so that this tournament can take place.”
The tournament consists of 55 regular season games and 21 postseason games. The participating schools are: Leadership Christian Academy (LCA), Carlos Beltrán Baseball Academy (CBBA), Christian Military Academy (CMA), Puerto Rico Baseball Academy & High School (PRBAHS), International Baseball Academy High School (IBAHS), B-You Academy, Manuel Cruz Maceira Specialized School, Presby National Baseball Academy (PNBA), Pro-Baseball Academy, El Shaddai Christian Academy and, for the first time, the Olympic Baseball Academy (AOBA).