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Pag 35_optBaseball – a first since 1947

Legacy Series to honor Mariano Rivera

Baseball fans will be delighted to know that the Yankees of New York and the Marlins of Florida will play two exhibition games at the Rod Carew Stadium in Panama City, on Saturday, March 15 and Sunday, March 16 to honor recently retired Yankees closer, Mariano Rivera, and bring Major League Baseball to the country for the first time since 1947.

Rivera will serve as a promoter for the event. Major League Baseball together with the Players Association along with Magic Dream Productions will also host charitable events and a March 14 gala that will benefit the Mariano Rivera Foundation. Proceeds from the event will go to the Children’s Hospital in Panama City, the country’s largest pediatric hospital. Tickets can be bought online at www.ticketplus.com.pa and cost between $17 and $165.

The former Yankee player said in a recent interview: “As long as I can remember, it has been my dream to bring my team, the Yankees, to play baseball in Panama. I grew up playing in Puerto Caimito, where I developed my passion for baseball and began a journey that brought me to New York. It is my hope that this ‘Legacy Series’ will inspire other young players to pursue their dreams. I am very grateful to Major League Baseball, the Players Association, the Yankees and the Marlins in making this dream become a reality.”

The games, which will be a rematch of the 2003 World Series, will be part of the teams’ Spring Training schedule. It is expected that legendary former Yankee coach, Joe Torre, will come to the matches.

The event will also give the opportunity for scouts and coaches of both teams to look at the facilities, check the local talent and see the level of interest that baseball has in Panama.

Panama will become the seventh country (after Mexico, Japan, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and China) to host games between two Major League clubs. Under Hall of Fame manager, Joe McCarthy, members of the Yankees trained in Panama in February 1946 and played against a Panamanian professional league All-Star team on February 21 of that year.

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