DUBAI: Baseball United, the first-ever professional league focused on the Middle East and Indian subcontinent, has announced that former Seattle Mariners legend, Felix Hernandez, has joined its investment and ownership group.
Spending his entire 15-year career in Seattle, Hernandez went to six All-Star games, won a Cy Young award, and is the Mariners’ career leader in wins, strikeouts, innings pitched, Earned Run Average and Wins Above Replacement for pitchers. His 2,524 career strikeouts rank 37th in Major League Baseball history.
Hernandez is also the last Major League Baseball pitcher to throw a perfect game — one of the sport’s rarest feats in which no batters reach base and a pitcher records 27 straight outs within nine innings.
Hernandez became just the 23rd pitcher in history to accomplish this feat on Aug. 15, 2012, against the Tampa Bay Rays. Widely regarded as one of the best pitchers in franchise history, “King Felix” will be inducted into the Seattle Mariners’ Hall of Fame on Aug. 12, 2023.
“It’s such an honor to add Felix to our ownership team,” said Kash Shaikh, president, CEO and co-owner of Baseball United. “Felix is one of the most dominant and successful pitchers of our generation, and an icon in Seattle as well as his home country of Venezuela.
“On the field, he has done everything from pitching a perfect game, to throwing an immaculate inning, to hitting a grand slam. Off the field, he’s an intelligent entrepreneur with a passion for growing the game. Our team and I look forward to partnering with Felix as we launch our league in Dubai later this year.”
Baseball United begins play with its Dubai Showcase this November, which will feature the league’s first four franchises and several baseball, brand and government partners. The Middle East and Indian subcontinent is the epicenter of bat and ball sports, with tens of millions of avid baseball fans in search of a professional league within their region. Baseball United is intent on creating that ecosystem with the support of the legendary baseball players in its ownership ranks.
“I am very excited and grateful to join the Baseball United family,” said Hernandez. “I believe that the opportunity to grow the game — especially in a part of the world that’s always interested me — represents the next chapter in my baseball journey. I’m inspired by the great work that Kash and the Baseball United team have done, and I’m ready to dive in to help wherever needed.”