DUBAI: Baseball United, the first professional baseball league in the Middle East, has announced that Felix Hernandez — who is in the Seattle Mariners’ Hall of Fame — will serve as the honorary general manager for its Dubai franchise, the Dubai Wolves.
The Dubai franchise, which was introduced at a press conference at Dubai International Stadium earlier this month, is the first professional baseball franchise in the history of the Arabian Peninsula.
Hernandez will partner Major League Baseball coaching veteran John McLaren. The two worked together in 2007 and 2008 when McLaren was the manager of the Seattle Mariners.
Kash Shaikh, president, CEO, and chairman of Baseball United, said: “I am so excited to see Felix and John together again.
“Both these gentlemen are exceptional baseball minds, each with a lifetime of experience on the field. Off the field, they are great leaders with high character, and a shared passion for growing the game. It’s an honor to have them guiding our flagship Dubai franchise.”
McLaren has spent nearly four decades as a coach at the Major League level, as well as several stints internationally, including in Belarus, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Colombia, and Mexico. He also served as a coach for the US national baseball team during the 2006 World Baseball Classic.
Hernandez said: “I am very excited to be named honorary GM of the Dubai Wolves.
“I love this city, and I love the opportunity to bring professional baseball to the Middle East. We have the chance to do something really special. The buzz around the Wolves’ launch has been incredible. I can’t wait for all our Dubai fans to come out to Dubai International Stadium in November for our showcase. It will be a great experience for the whole family.”
The Dubai franchise will play two games during Baseball United’s Dubai Showcase, which runs from Nov. 10-12. The other franchises included in the showcase are the Mumbai Cobras, Karachi Monarchs, and Abu Dhabi Falcons. Rosters for each team will be announced after the league’s inaugural draft on Sept. 19, which will be livestreamed on baseballunited.com.