PRESSING their bid to restore their respective sports back in the Olympics, the world bodies of baseball and softball have merged into one organization – the World Baseball Softball Confederation – during a meeting held last weekend in Tokyo, Japan.
“This is a significant development for both sports in their campaign to bring baseball and softball back into the Olympic Games,” said Philippine Amateur Baseball Association (Paba) secretary general Hector Thomas Navasero in yesterday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
A delegate in the landmark meeting, Navasero said the union of the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and International Softball Federation (ISF) would boost the clout of the two groups in their bid to bring back their sports to the Games after they were dropped from the sports calendar following the Athens Olympiad.
Navasero, son of longtime Paba president Hector Navasero, quoted IBAF and WBSC co-president Ricardo Fraccari as saying: “This is a historic day. We have brought a new level of worldwide unity and determination to our quest to return to the Games.”
Appearing in the session presented by Shakey’s and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp, the younger Navasero said the new body has taken up the slogan 'Swinging for the Fences' as its pitch for reinstating softball and baseball in the Olympics.
The elder Navasero, who was also at the session, said he would talk to Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines (ASA-Phil.) president Jean Henri Lhuillier on how they could coordinate their activities in light of the merger of their international federations.
On the hand, the younger Navasero announced the Philippines was chosen by the WSBC to be among the participants in the World Under-12 baseball championships set in August in Chinese-Taipei.