Baseball United, the first-ever professional baseball league created to serve the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, has announced that former Major League Baseball third baseman Adrian Beltre has joined its investor group.
Beltre, a four-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove winner, spent 21 years with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, and the Texas Rangers. He is one of only 12 players in MLB history with 3,000 hits and 400 home runs.
Beltre joins MLB Hall of Famers Barry Larkin and Mariano Rivera as part of one of the most decorated ownership groups in professional sports. In addition to his investment, Beltre will join the organization’s board of directors.
“This is a big day for our Baseball United community across the world,” said Kash Shaikh, president and CEO of Baseball United. “We are honored to have Adrian join our passionate pursuit to grow the game of baseball the right way, in a part of the world that’s yet to experience it at a professional level.
“Adrian is not only one of the best baseball players who’s ever lived, but he’s also a great businessman, a high-character leader, and an amazing teammate. We are looking forward to partnering together as we work to inspire 2 billion new fans to fall in love with America’s Pastime.”
Baseball United, which begins play with its Dubai Showcase in November this year, will provide an opportunity for hundreds of players, coaches and staff to play the game professionally across the Middle East and South Asia. The league’s four founding franchises will be announced after the World Baseball Classic.
“I’m so impressed with what Kash, Barry, Mariano and the rest of the Baseball United team have already accomplished, and I’m so excited to be a part of our continued growth,” said Beltre. “I believe we can make a meaningful impact in all the communities we serve, while also building a significant business across the region. As with any winning team, it all starts with the right leadership, talent, and culture, and I believe Baseball United has all the right ingredients to do something special.”