The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has added Mexico’s top professional baseball leagues, the Mexican Baseball League (LMB) and the Mexican Pacific League (LMP) as Associate Members of the world governing body.
With the addition of LMB and LMP, WBSC’s global structure has expanded to 206 Members (195 National Federations and 11 Associate Members) across Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and Oceania, representing approximately 65 million athletes and 200 million fans and followers worldwide.
WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari, alongside Mexican Baseball Federation (FEMEBE) President Enrique Mayorga, formally handed over official WBSC Affiliation plaques/certificates to LMB President Javier Salinas and LMP President Omar Canizales.
“The WBSC is proud to welcome Mexico’s top baseball leagues, LMB and LMP to our global family,” said WBSC President Fraccari. “LMB and LMP represent the highest levels of baseball, showcasing top professional players and drawing a combined annual attendance of over 6 million fans, and we share a vision that we know is realisable: to grow our sport into one of premier global sports in the world. LMB and LMP’s participation in the international federation also represents a major boost to FEMEBE and Mexico’s National Teams in international competitions like the Premier12 and Baseball World Cups.”
LMB CEO Javier Salinas said: “There is a sense of pride and great responsibility for the Mexican Baseball League to work together with WBSC for the development and growth of baseball in Mexico and Latin America. Being appointed [a WBSC Associate Member] opens numerous windows of opportunity for LMB — the league with the longest history in Mexican professional sports — to show the talent of its players beyond its borders and to new audiences.”
LMP President Canizales said: “Winter baseball in Mexico has been a tireless promoter of the practice of baseball in Mexico for 74 years. It is an honour for LMP to join efforts with the WBSC, so that more people practice and enjoy this great sport in our country and in the world.”
FEMEBE President Mayoga said: “This is a historic day and boost for baseball in Mexico, where baseball is known as the ‘King of Sports’. I applaud WBSC and President Fraccari for his global vision of not only uniting but expanding the baseball world — Mexico is prepared and ready to play a deeper role in the globalisation and evolution of our sport.”
For the 2017 season, LMB and LMP registered attendances of 4,042,605 and 2,584,328, respectively.
In the most recent WBSC Baseball World Rankings, Mexico advanced to No. 5 in the world — a historic high for the nation.