DUBAI: Baseball United, the first professional baseball league focused on the Middle East and Indian subcontinent, announced on Wednesday that Albert Pujols, one of the greatest players in baseball history, would serve as the organization’s official global ambassador.
Pujols played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball and won three MVP Awards, two World Series championships and a Batting Title.
Pujols was an 11-time All-Star, six-time Silver Slugger, and twice led the league in home runs. Last year, he joined Hall of Famer Hank Aaron as the only players in Major League Baseball history with more than 3,000 hits and 700 home runs. He is second place all-time for career RBIs and total bases, and fourth all-time in career home runs after starring for the St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers.
In this newly created role, Pujols will help to promote the new league, its franchises and events through Baseball United campaigns and via his personal social platforms. Pujols will also join Baseball United executives in government meetings and community activities within the Middle East.
“We are so grateful to partner with Albert to help bring the great game of baseball to a new generation of fans in a new part of the world,” said Kash Shaikh, president, CEO and co-owner of Baseball United.
“Albert is one of the best players in the history of the game, with legendary accomplishments that will never be forgotten. He’s also one of the game’s greatest ambassadors, playing the right way, leading with honor and integrity, and teaching with passion and humility. There’s no better person to team with our current group of baseball legends as we collectively work to grow the game. I’m looking forward to working with Albert as we write a new chapter in baseball history.”
In addition to Shaikh, Baseball United’s ownership group includes Hall of Famers Barry Larkin and Mariano Rivera, as well as Adrian Beltre, Felix Hernandez and Elvis Andrus.
The league begins play with its Dubai Showcase this November, which will feature its first two franchises — the Mumbai Cobras and Karachi Monarchs — as well as two additional franchises that will be announced in the coming weeks. The Dubai Showcase will be the first time professional baseball is played in the history of the region.
“I am truly honored to partner with Baseball United to help bring professional baseball to the Middle East and South Asia,” Pujols said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to grow the game we love in a way that no one has ever done before. I’m very grateful to Kash, John Miedreich (executive vice president, Baseball Operations), and the entire BU team for trusting me with this important work. And I can’t wait to get to Dubai.”
In addition to his global ambassador role, Pujols will serve as executive adviser to Shaikh, sharing his input and expertise on topics such as baseball operations, gameplay innovation and global development.