International Baseball Partners, LLC, released preliminary plans to construct baseball training facilities on the Caribbean island of Curaçao. According to IBP Chief Executive Officer, Mike Powers, “Project 421” is an ongoing cooperation with the government of Curaçao to create an international baseball headquarters for player development. The project name comes from Phase One of IBP’s Curaçao endeavor which is 4 academies in 2 complexes within 1 campus, thus “421”.
According to Powers, phases two and three will be released at a later date in the spring.
“We’re excited to partner with the government to begin phase one of the project. It will allow a strategic headquarters for professional baseball’s continued involvement in Latin America.”
Because of Curaçao’s proximity to the baseball riches of central and south America, the island is a perfect location to assist in player development for the region as Major League Baseball continues to divest from the unrest found in Venezuela. Powers also pointed out the stability of the Dutch system of government found on Curaçao and the continued cultivation of baseball on the island.
“Curaçao produces more MLB players per capita than anywhere on the planet with one major leaguer per 21,000 residents. Even better than the Dominican Republic whose ratio is one major leaguer per 125,000 residents. The ratio is so high because the kids in Curacao are better educated, in fact, the kids are multilingual and come from a higher standard of living per capita than in the Dominican Republic. Plus, the island is next door to Venezuela and its baseball influence certainly adds to the love for the game.”
Powers also added the government of Curaçao is very cooperative in bringing about a new baseball paradigm in the region.
“The officials we have met are very receptive to Project 421 and have made a commitment to the island to bring a long lasting baseball investment that will positively impact the economy and community. We look forward to partnering with the good people of Curaçao to assist in international baseball development.”