Posted on 31 August 2011.
How did the Shankees get started?
I had been playing on local Argie teams for about five years when one day I was sitting in a gringo bar watching the Phillies.
Where did the name Shankees come from?
Ever since I arrived to this country, back in 1990, people have be calling me a yanqui (pronounced shanki) …so, being from Philly and raised carrying a shank, I thought it appropriate.
Can you tell us a little bit about the league you play in? How many teams? Season length?
You can get league info off the league site (www.beisbolmetro.com.ar) there are a bunch of teams and divisions…which date back to the ’80s…but it’s worth mentioning that baseball was much popular than soccer during the ’30s and ’40s, and during WWI WWII. There are three tournaments a year…Summer, Fall/Winter (optional), and Winter/Spring.
You also mentioned there are other teams fielding foreigners either from the US or from Asian countries. How much of the league is made up of imports from baseball playing countries?
We are the only USA team…but we have many Venezuelans on our team…as well as a Brit, and a German…last season we had two Taiwan dudes. There are two Japanese teams and one Korean team…as well as one Cuban team.
What is the level of play like in your division, and the division above it?
Our division is equivalent to high school….the one above college level.
Is the game of baseball catching on in Buenos Aires? What about outside the city?
Yes, thanks to the Shankees.
Are there ample fields around town for game play and practice?
Now there are…We have our own field now. We are taking over the baseball scene. I won’t be surprised if the Shankees rule the baseball scene in a couple years.
On your website you say anyone in the city for a short time can play, providing they pay the proper fees, how often do you get or lose players during a season?
I get new players and lose players every weekend…never know who will show…it’s cheap and stress free to be a Shankee.
When does the season run in Argentina?
All year round…by way of tournaments. I aim to propose one year long season with a winter break for the all star game…just like in the USA.
You mentioned in a previous email that there is little to no press coverage. Do you see this changing anytime soon or does soccer have such a strong foothold in the country that it is going to be difficult for anything else to gain ground?
Argies are afraid of any sport that interferes with soccer. Soccer represents everything that is screwed up in this country. That is why they embrace it. Suicidial tendencies that make up part of life here. They can’t handle the discilpline that comes from a great team sport such as baseball. Politicians need soccer. The poor need soccer, but baseball is growing eventhough it will never surpass soccer…it pisses me off!
How have the Shankees fared over the years?
Great…since it’s all about having fun and making new friends in a foriegn country…it’s been an awesome experience becuase everyone who has passed through the shankee ranks has taken a memorable experience home with them…not to mention, relived that unique baseball feeling that takes one back to childhood. to add, we got awesome pitching these season…all we lack is a title to make it perfect.
I’d like to thank Paul for taking the time to answer some questions about baseball in Argentina. We love to hear about the great game continuing to spread around the world. If you would like to learn more about the Shankees or baseball in Argentina, visit their website at Shankees Baseball Club.
So far this season the Shankees are
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