Baseball United announced that the league's co-owner and Seattle Mariners Hall of Famer Felix Hernandez will be the honorary general manager for its Dubai franchise, the Dubai Wolves.
The franchise, which was introduced at a press conference at Dubai International Stadium earlier this month, is the first professional baseball franchise in the history of the Arabian Peninsula.
Hernandez will team up with Major League Baseball veteran coach John McLaren.
The pair worked together in 2007 and 2008 when McLaren was the manager of the Seattle Mariners. Hernandez was a 21-year-old rising star at the time and began a stretch of six All-Star appearances in seven seasons the following year.
“I am so excited to see Felix and John together again,” said Kash Shaikh, CEO, chairman, and majority owner of Baseball United, the first-ever professional baseball league in the Middle East and Indian subcontinent.
“Both these gentlemen are exceptional baseball minds, each with a lifetime of experience on the field.
“Off the field, they are great leaders with high character, and a shared passion for growing the game. It’s an honour to have them guiding our flagship Dubai franchise.”
McLaren spent nearly four decades as a coach, with several stints internationally including in Belarus, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Colombia, and Mexico.
He also served as a coach for the United States national baseball team during the 2006 World Baseball Classic.
“I am very excited to be named honorary GM of the Dubai Wolves,” Hernandez said. “I love this city, and I love the opportunity to bring professional baseball to the Middle East.
“We have the chance to do something really special. The buzz around the Wolves’ launch has been incredible. I can’t wait for all our Dubai fans to come out to Dubai International Stadium in November for our Showcase. It will be a great experience for the whole family.”
The Dubai franchise will play two games during Baseball United’s Dubai Showcase, which runs from November 10-12.
The other franchises included in the Showcase are the Mumbai Cobras, Karachi Monarchs, and Abu Dhabi Falcons. Rosters for each team will be announced after the league’s inaugural draft on September 19, which will be livestreamed on baseballunited.com.