By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
The 2021-22 Liga de Profesional de Béisbol Colombiano champions and the 2022 Caribbean Series champions, the Caimanes de Barranquilla, announced the active roster for the inaugural Baseball Champions League on Wednesday.
The Baseball Champions League, hosted by the World Baseball Softball Confederation Americas, will be held at Parque Kukulkan Alamo in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico from September 27 to October 1.
The Caimanes de Barranquilla won the 2021-22 Liga de Profesional de Beisbol Colombiano season, beating the Vaqueros de Monteria in five games in the best-of-seven-league championship series.
Barranquilla as well won the 2022 Caribbean Series at Estadio Quisqueya Juan Marichal in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, beating the Gigantes del Cibao of Liga de Béisbol Profesional de la República Dominicana 4-1 in the championship game, becoming Colombia’s first team to win the Caribbean Series in the league’s third year of being invited to the tournament.
Carlos Vidal will be the Caimanes manager at the Baseball Champions League. The Caimanes de Barranquilla roster will be filled with players that are professional free agents, MLB organization players at the lower affiliate level in the minor leagues, independent leagues in the United States, and listed players that were on the roster for last year’s season.
Dilson Herrera, Carlos Arroyo, Luis Moreno, Elkin Alcala, and Fernando Perez are the only players on the 2023 Baseball Champions League roster that are returning from the 2021-22 championship season.
The Baseball Champions League event will give the Caimanes de Barranquilla coaching staff and front office scouting opportunities to evaluate the roster for the upcoming 2023-24 Liga de Profesional de Beisbol Colombiano season.
The Baseball Champions League’s goal is to expand to include 140 leagues worldwide in the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, and Asia to build more international club competition events, which could lead to possibly having national teams compete against club teams as well.
The inaugural event will pit the 2022 champions of the Liga Mexicana de Beisbol, the American Association, the Serie Nacional de Cuba and the Liga Profesional de Beisbol Colombiano against each other in a round robin series, with the teams with the two best records playing a championship game on October 1.
In a historical first, the 2022 Cuban Serie Nacional champion Alazanes de Granma will play the American Association’s Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks to open the Champions League at 1 p.m. CT on September 28. The game will be the first time a team from the Serie Nacional has faced a U.S.-based professional team.
Later on September 28, a 7:30 p.m. opening ceremony will precede an 8:30 p.m. matchup between the Caimanes de Barranquilla from Colombia against the Leones de Yucatan, who are hosting the event.
On September 29, Granma will face Barranquilla at 1 p.m. CT and Yucatan will face Fargo-Moorhead at 8 p.m. CT. The next day, Barranquilla will face Fargo-Moorhead at 1 p.m. CT and Granma will play Yucatan in the nightcap at 8 p.m. CT.
The Championship Game will be at 6 p.m. CT on October 1, with a closing ceremony to follow.
The Government of the State of Yucatan will also help with organizing the event from Liga Mexicana de Beisbol’s Leones de Yucatán franchise, who play at Parque Kukulcan Alamo.
All listed information on the World Baseball Softball Americas sector social media pages will be provided to watch all the 2023 Baseball Champions League games.
2023 Baseball Champions League Schedule
Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023
2 p.m. EDT – Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks vs Alazanes de Granma
9:30 p.m. EDT – Caimanes de Barranquilla vs. Leones de Yucatan
Friday, Sept. 29, 2023
2 p.m. EDT – Alazanes de Granma vs. Caimanes de Barranquilla
9:30 p.m. EDT – Leones de Yucatan vs. Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks
Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023
2 p.m. EDT – Caimanes de Barranquilla vs. Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks
9:30 p.m. EDT – Alazanes de Granma vs. Leones de Yucatan
Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023
7 p.m. EDT – Championship Game: 2nd Place vs. 1st place 7 p.m. EDT
2023 Caimanes de Barranquilla Baseball Champions League Roster
Manager – Carlos Vidal
Pitching Coach – Ronald Ramirez
First Base Coach – Carlos Perez
Third Base Coach – Jair Morelos
Trainer – Jhadiel Ancona