Samuel Burgos of Colombia delivers to the plate in a 5-4 win against Cuba at the 2023 Caribbean Series in Caracas, Venezuela. (Photo Courtesy of CBPC)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
Colombia will play in the 2024 Caribbean Series at loanDepot Park in Miami, Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reported on Friday.
“Colombia has met the requirements as the third special invitee added onto from Caribbean Baseball Professional Confederation as the seventh global participant to be playing in the 2024 Caribbean Series in Miami during the beginning of February,” Rojas wrote, translated from Spanish.
Panama is a candidate the Caribbean Baseball Professional Confederation is considering to be the eighth team and the fourth invitee in the tournament as soon as possible, because the schedule for the Caribbean Series is expected to be finalized soon.
Two out of the last five Caribbean Series have been won by Caribbean Series Invitees: Panama’s Toros de Herrera from the ProBeis winter league won in 2019, and in 2022, Colombia’s Caimanes de Barranquilla won.
Panama’s win in 2019 came in the first Caribbean Series Panama had played since the 1960 tournament, when the country hosted at Rod Carew Stadium in Panama City, Panama. The 2019 Venezuela political unrest forced the tournament out of Margarita Island and it was moved to Panama City.
Vegueros de Pinar del Rio of Cuba’s Serie Nacional winter league won the 2015 Caribbean Series at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and were the first invitee to ever win the tournament, beating Tomateros de Culiacán 3-2 of Liga ARCO Mexicana del Pacifico in the championship game. The Vegueros entered the playoff round as the fourth seed, beating Caribes de Anzoategui of Liga Venezolana de Beisbol Profesional 8-4 in the semifinal.
The 66th Caribbean Series will mark the first time that the event will be played at a Major League Baseball stadium. The event will run from February 1-9 if it is played with seven teams or February 2- 10 if it is played with eight teams.
The Caribbean Series has been held in Miami twice before. In 1990, the tournament was held at the Orange Bowl, which is now the current site of loanDepot Park, and in 1991, the event was held at Bobby Maduro Miami Stadium.
Colombia joins Curacao and Nicaragua as the third invitee. Champions from the CBPC member leagues, the Liga ARCO Mexicana del Pacifico, Liga Venezolana de Beisbol Profesional, Liga de Beisbol Profesional de la Republica Dominicana, and Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente in Puerto Rico, will appear in Miami for the 2024 Caribbean Series.
Colombia will be represented by the winner of the Liga Profesional de Beisbol Colombiano winter league for the fifth time. Their first appearance was in the 2020 Caribbean Series in San Juan, Puerto Rico at Hiram Bithorn Stadium.