Panama announces the construction of the Mariano Rivera High Performance Baseball Training Center in La Chorrera, Panama, hometown of the only unanimous member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Republic of Panama and Major League Baseball (MLB) agreed to join forces to develop and promote young talents in Panama and Latin America.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the nation of Central America and the MLB was signed on September 22, 2021 by Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. and Mr. Héctor Brands, Director of PanDeportes; National Sports Authority of Panama. His Excellency Laurentino Cortizo Cohen, President of the Republic of Panama and Mariano Rivera (member of the Baseball Hall of Fame) joined as honorary witnesses at the signing ceremony that took place in New York City.
Panama will establish a baseball development program aimed at developing the talent of young players from Panama and other Latin American countries.
Under the terms of the MOU, the MLB agreed to provide technical advice related to the development of baseball players, coaches and general infrastructure, implement the First Pitch program and strengthen the
MLB Training Partnership program in Panama.
In addition to the above, Panama will seek to host a large number of storefronts for Panamanian and Latin American players. Most significant about this agreement is the announcement of the construction of the Mariano Rivera High Performance Baseball Training Center in La Chorrera, hometown of the only unanimous member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.
The above through an established non-profit organization.
Panama, with its location and the Interoceanic Canal, is a unique place in the world and in Latin America.
Its historically stable and dollarized economy, banking center, expatriate and investment-friendly laws, safe cities, and world-class health and education facilities have attracted nearly one hundred seventy (170) multinational companies and organizations in the United States. last fifteen (15) years.
With the best air connectivity in the region, Panama offers daily nonstop flights to thirteen (13) cities with MLB teams.
Baseball has been a part of Panamanian culture since the establishment of US military bases in the early 1900s and the birthplace of a long line of MLB talents, of which Rod Carew and Mariano Rivera are just two.
All of these qualities have encouraged Panama to aspire to become a baseball development center for youth and youth athletes.
On June 3, 2021, President Cortizo sanctioned a new Law to strengthen local baseball development programs for young Panamanian players throughout the country.
The law also creates the legal and benefits framework for the establishment of Academies of Professional Sports Teams (of all disciplines) in Panama and with the aim of developing local and regional talent.
With this new framework, Panama seeks to position itself to become a complement to the baseball academies of Major League teams in the Dominican Republic and to become an instrument to expand the popularity of the sport in South America.
With this initiative, Panama plans to increase the number of Panamanians entering the Major League Baseball system, give young Panamanians and Latin Americans the opportunity to find a gateway to baseball, a better education and quality of life, position itself as a hub of world-class regional talent, strengthen its sports and tourism brand, attract foreign investment and guarantee job growth.