THE SHANKEES BASEBALL ORGANIZATION
SHANKEES HISTORY IN A NUTSHELL
Founded in 2008, the Shankees Baseball Organization (SBO) aims to bring the great game of baseball to the Local and Expat communities residing in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Team President and Founder, Paul Perry, has succeeded in raising baseball awareness through The Buenos Aires Shankees, a baseball team consisting of Expats from the USA. The first Shankee uniforms and gear came by way of donations by Jason Hermes and The Fidential Firm. Modestly, Perry hand painted the Shankees logo on each team cap until the 2011 season. A pioneer in every sense, he also created the first team flag; something other teams in the league would later take on as tradition. More than two hundred players have passed through the Shankee ranks since taking the field on April 4th, 2009. Through the support of sponsors, former players, family and friends, the SBO has been able to grow and has even been able contribute to baseball by donating equipment to startup clubs within Argentina, i.e. Rawson Club in Chubut.
In 2011, The Liga Metropolitana de Beisbol, in association with the Federacion Argentina de Beisbol, offers Paul Perry an abandoned softball field and an adjacent clubhouse set within Parque Julio Roca located on the city limits. Through some financial support from sponsors like: Larry Rogers (owner of El Tejanos´), Scott Weaver (AA pilot), Yanqui Mike (Cattle Herder), and Fred Badagnani (Owner SilverStar Transfers) and Frank Almei da (owner Sugar & Spice), Perry successfully turns the abandoned field and clubhouse into a truly unique baseball training facility which gathers players from all walks of life for weekend baseball activities. In fact, the Shankees are the first team in Argentine history to implement a portable mound. Unfortunately, less than a year later, Perry is forced to pull-out of the shantytown-lined park after having fallen victim to repeated robberies and vandalism to which Perry cannot respond economically.
In late 2012, Perry forms the Shankee Juniors, a youth team comprised of US and Argentine children aged 5-12 from neighboring schools. The Shankee Juniors hold practice at the Parque Municipal Sarmiento in the Villa Urquiza neighborhood, thanks to an agreement between Perry and the President of the Argentine Softball Association, which has a field there. Unfortunately, due to internal conflicts between municipal union reps and park administrators, the field was ruled-off limits and thus abandoned. As a consequence, Perry decides to put the Shankee Juniors baseball program on hold until new training facilities can be acquired. The Sarmiento field remains, unfortunately, so do unions and the administration. Despite receiving constant requests and inquiries about baseball for kids, the SBO currently has no active youth program. However, an agreement has been reached with a local club to welcome Shankee Junior prospects.
In early 2013, just before the start of the new season, Perry has to face the challenge of replacing half the Shankee roster, as eight players leave the Shankees to start their own team; The Criollos, an all Venezuelan ball club. Perry, the pioneer of Expat baseball in Argentina, had no trouble rebuilding his team, and brought on high caliber players to regain the essence of Shankees Baseball.
At present, the Buenos Aires Shankees hold team practices at beautiful Daom Field in Flores and play at the Estadio Nacional de Beibol in Ezeiza, located some 40 kms (60mi) from the Shankee Bus meeting point in Palermo Soho, where they also have a team clubhouse which is used to house players from abroad. The Shankees have relied on a team bus to take players and fans to the games since 2009. Thanks to donations by the Fastlane Foundation the Shankee bus keeps rumbling to the games.
Always looking to grow and keeping the mission of turning baseball into one of the most popular sports in Argentina, the Shankees Baseball Organization is looking to once again set-up a training facility and player housing. Manager, Jay Bartelli, who has a lifetime of baseball experience under his belt, looks to lead the Shankees to their first ever league title this Buenos Aires Autumn.