MLBbro HOFer Barry Larkin Is Spearheading Baseball United | First League Focused on the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent
MLBbro legend Barry Larkin is helping to expand the game all over the world and create opportunities for Black players. Baseball United, an upstart pro baseball league, will be the first league focused on the Middle East and Indian subcontinent.
Larkin has wanted to create opportunities for players of color and have them showcase their abilities.
“One of the frustrating things has been the lack of opportunity because of the existing structure that exists in [Major League] Baseball,” Larkin said in an article from andscape.com. “My hope is that all people are encouraged to be involved [in Baseball United]. To be able to pursue a dream is the goal of anyone. And we at Baseball United will be able to provide that opportunity for people from all walks of life.”
Larkin had a memorable career with the Cincinnati Reds and now the Hall of Famer wants to help create memories for professional players.
There are other opportunities in this league as well, that are different from other leagues.
“There’s opportunities to buy into the league,” Larkin said. “There’s opportunities to play and opportunities to coach. There’s a lot of different opportunities for everyone throughout this league and that’s very exciting.”
For Larkin, this all started about 10 years ago when he visited India as a baseball ambassador.
“When I traveled to India for camps, I saw there was a lot of support for baseball in a cricket country,” he said. “There was great participation in some of those camps. There’s so many life skills developed by participating in baseball. This will give us a chance to pass that on.”
Larkin has a wealth of knowledge, and the fact that he continues to stay involved in the game and create meaningful opportunities for others, just speaks to who he is as a person.
— Baseball United (@BaseballUnited) September 19, 2023
There are four teams currently in the league (Mumbai Cobras, Karachi Monarchs, Abu Dhabi Falcons and Dubai Wolves).
The league will begin with a showcase from Nov. 10-12 at Dubai International Stadium.
One of the teams, the Karachi Monarchs, was named after the Kansas City Monarchs, a team from the Negro Leagues.
“One of the most inspiring parts about the name is that we get to honor one of baseball’s historic franchises,” said Kash Shaikh, lead investor and majority owner of Baseball United. “It gave us the opportunity to talk about the importance of the name and the history and lineage of baseball.”
The Bros Will Be Represented In Baseball United League
A draft will occur, and 64 players will be selected. There will be a good number of Black players on the teams once the draft is completed.
“We’ve got a good group of African American ballplayers that are going to be in our league and that’s exciting to us because the representation of Black players in Major League Baseball is at one of its lowest points in history,” Shaikh said. “And that’s concerning for anybody that loves the game.”
Barry Lakin and fellow Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera will serve on Baseball United’s board of directors and Larkin will also serve as the honorary general manager of the Mumbai team.
And fellow MLBbro legend Ryan Howard will also promote the league in an ambassador role.
This will be an exciting league to follow once they start up next year.
For more information, you can visit https://baseballunited.com/.