Editor’s note: second in a series of articles on revitalization of sport in the municipality of Ponce.
conquer – If it comes to Stately City’s new mayor, Ponce Lions will return tomorrow to Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League (Lbprc).
However, given the redesign on the agenda for the stadium and track of Francisco “Baqueto” Montanerre, this desire will likely not be fulfilled until next year.
“Unfortunately it won’t be possible (back this year). If they let me, I’ll get them to play tomorrow. But we are working,” said Irzari Papon. speaker During a private tour of the Bacqueto Montaner facility.
Yes really. There was no shortage of interest in the return of the legendary franchise.
The first mayor said three different entities are interested in returning the lions to Lbprc after a seven-year absence. They haven’t played since the 2013-14 season.
“One of their groups consists of Ponceños who are not currently residing in Ponce, but call me all week. This is the most aggressive group that shows interest,” the doctor also commented by profession.
“They are very aware of when the stadium will be and they are organizing themselves. They are already thinking of several players, including reinforcements in cooperation with other leagues inside and outside the United States. But there are three different people who have met this mayor to come up with proposals and they can attend.”
Nevertheless, Irezari Papon clarified that “the municipality will be the mediator”.
“And I can’t recall that we have the financial resources to support the baseball franchise. But these groups have already gathered and studied and worked with various dealers and companies outside of Ponce that want to bring the ball back,” he said.
The municipality of Ponce is struggling to revive the historic and emblematic Francisco “Paquito” Montaner stadium, which was severely damaged after Hurricane Maria passed in 2017 and earthquakes in the south in 2020.
Currently, the municipality is awaiting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to complete the certification process for the “Class B Emergency” funds transfer and begin rebuilding both the track and its perimeter, such as the field, which was affected by the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) camp installed in the stadium. After subsequent earthquakes and floods.
The plan is to be ready by April 2022, with the goal of the Jousts hosting the Interuniversity Athletic League (LAI) and, ultimately, the Lions returning to winter ball between October and November of that year.
He said, “We hope that the park will be available by the time of the next exhibition (of the Inter-University Sports League), which is supposed to be in April 2022, and then work to present the ball in October or November 2022.” , Who mentioned how many times he went to Bacqueto Montaner to see his lions.
In fact, some of his favorite players, like Chago Rosario, Santos Alomar Sr., Jackie Hernandez, Kiki Rivera, the Cruz brothers, Roger Fred, Autonel Velez, Jose “Pepe” Mangual, and others are remembered.
“I was always diligent. He came to ball matches. Through thick and thin followed the black ponce. Regardless of tradition, it was something very ingrained in me. Ball was number one. Everyone from Ponce liked to follow Lions and those who weren’t a fan of lions wanted to. Their vision of defeating them. This was the desire of our ball. We hope that it will be returned in the near future. “