Panama’s Ballparks preparing for World Cup & Winter league

Just finished up a tour of a few ballparks in Panama that are being considered for the 2011 Winter League Season as well as the 2011 Baseball World Cup.  This was my first trip back to Panama since the 2003 pre-Olympic Qualifier which did not end up the way team USA hoped but we did send a good country representing our region to Athens which was Canada.  I clearly recall these games and how much it rained in September and October.  Daily heavy rain that covered the field with 3 and 4inches of water…every day.  

Anyway on this trip we didn’t have rain.  It was beautiful weather and since several of the ballparks were rather far apart and our time was limited the President of Panama allowed us to use his  Helicopter and plane for our entourage.  Landing and taking off in the outfield of each park was quiet an experience.   I was hoping we didn’t cause any damage to the fields and if so it was a minimum.  First Stop was a stadium in the city of David located on the Pacific side of the country called Kenny Serracin.  It’s an hour chopper flight and about a 5 hr drive from Panama City.  An old park with a lot of charm that needs some TLC.  It has potential and the people are really behind making the improvements.  The second stadium was Omar Torrijos Stadium in Santiago.  A newer stadium with more amenities and overall nice site lines.  The 3rd stop was Rico Cedeno stadium in The City of Chitre.  Nice turf needed some lip maintenance and some upgrades.  Our 4th stadium was in Remon Cantera in the city  Aguadulce  and on our final stop in Panama we ended with the gem of Panama the Nacional Stadium called Rodney Carew Stadium. 

Our hosts were tremendous from the government officials to Ruben , Lauren, Guy, Ramon, Raul, and Tito the congressman.  This tournament is one the heels of the Pan American games that will be helped in Lagos de Moreno, Mexico.  Yes it’s going to be a very busy, busy fall.   Panama City…WOW . It has changed so much since 2003. Truly unbelievable.  Also thanks to our hosts for taking us to the Panama Canal. When I was their last time we were stuck at the park everyday for a month and couldn’t get over to see it. Another great landmark that hasn’t changed much since 1913. 

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