Players supplied by the Venezuelan Baseball Federation will comprise the roster of the Yuma Scorpions.
The Golden Baseball League announced today that the Yuma Scorpions of the GBL have signed a three year affiliation agreement with the Venezuelan Baseball Federation and Golden Glove Professional Baseball, Inc. The VBF, headed by their President Edwin Zerpa, is the country's national baseball organization and will provide players, coaches, trainers, and on-field operations personnel to bring the best players from their country to compete in the Golden Baseball League and showcase their talent to major league organizations. They will play as the Yuma Scorpions as a regular member of the Golden Baseball League.
Besides the Dominican Republic, no other country outside of the U.S. produces more major league players than Venezuela. With over 200 from that country making the big leagues, including over 30 MLB all-stars, Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio, and major league Managers Ozzie Guillen and Al Pedrique the baseball talent pool and passion for the game should deliver an exceptional team to Yuma this summer.
To bridge the cultural gap, the team will be managed by American Darryl Brinkley, who also spent many years as a star outfielder in the Venezuelan Winter League playing for four of that country's top teams. Brinkley is a legendary minor league hitter, hitting over .400, winning multiple batting titles, and has coached in the independent minor leagues the last two seasons. The team will be comprised of the top Venezuelan players currently not under contract to major league organizations and will include major league, AAA, and AA experienced players along with some of the young up and coming stars from across Venezuela.
Administered by Venezuelan-based Golden Glove Professional Baseball, Inc. as a partner for player development for the VBF, the team will also include GGPB executive Peter Young as Baseball Operations Director who will oversee additional GGPB staff who will be based in Arizona and will handle support issues for the players and team while they are in the U.S.
In addition to this affiliation agreement, the VBF and GBL are also discussing other areas of partnering including joint marketing, games in Venezuela, player development, coaching and business personnel exchanges, and other areas of mutual benefit.
"This is an exciting opportunity for the Golden Baseball League," said GBL Commissioner Kevin Outcalt. "Venezuela is a baseball focused nation that produces incredible talent and we are proud to be able to add that to our league and it will be a treat for our fans. In addition, other business opportunities now under discussion with Golden Glove and the Venezuelan Baseball Federation have the potential to revolutionize Carribean and North American baseball in a number of intriguing ways."
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