Barry Larkin and Mariano Rivera take on bigger roles with ‘Baseball United’
The league that was once known as the United International Baseball League (UIBL) has changed its name and will be more involved with Baseball Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera, who spent his entire 19-year career at the Hall of fame with the New York Yankees, and Barry Larkin, who spent his entire 19-year Hall of Fame career with the Cincinnati Reds.
The league, which was created to cater to the huge cricketing following in the Middle East, has now been renamed ‘Baseball United’.
This audience has an average age of fans that is almost half of the average age of MLB fans, which is 57.
Among the changes other than the new name is that Larkin and Rivera are now part of the league’s ownership group, which will launch four teams for their showcase next fall.
Yankees, Reds legends Mariano Rivera and Barry Larkin will play bigger roles with Baseball United
New York Yankees legend Mariano Rivera and Cincinnati Reds legend Barry Larkin are among two new owners of Baseball United, which is now the second-largest minority-owned sports league in US history, after the Actor Ice Cube helped create BIG3, a 3-on-3 basketball league that was established in 2017.
Along with Rivera and Larkin, Kash Shaikh (who was UIBL’s president and chief marketing officer) and John Miedreich, a former NYPD commander of international intelligence, will be part of the ownership group. Shaikh will now serve as President, CEO and Chairman of the Board, which was just created as part of the rebranding. Rivera, Larkin and Miedreich will also serve on the board.
Earlier this week, Larkin and Shaikh spoke with Call To The Pen about the changes to the league.
“One of the things I’m most proud of is that (now) we’re a minor minority league, with myself, Barry and Mariano Rivera,” Shaikh told Call To The Pen. “[A]Each of us on this journey has in some way grown up with diversity, inclusion, equity and opportunity at the core of who we are and what we do. It is part of all our trips.
“With the restructuring, it’s really allowed Barry and Mariano to become even stronger drivers of what we’re building. And I couldn’t think of two better people to do that, and to partner with, because not only are they great on the court, but they’re amazing, incredible business people off the court, and they have such a pure passion for developing the game and doing it the right way.
Larkin echoed a sentiment similar to Shaikh’s.
“[The rebranding into Baseball United is] learn more about stewardship,” Larkin told Call To The Pen.
“With the previous regime, Kash was very involved, but Mariano and I weren’t. With the change, we’re just much closer to the strategies coming up and helping to implement many things that come to us. naturally… We feel much more like a cohesive unit and a team.
Larkin, who still works with the Reds as one of TV’s two main color analysts and as a senior adviser to Reds chairman and COO Phil Castellini, still plans to be with the Reds in 2023.
“I plan to continue my duties with the Reds,” Larkin said. “The beauty of what we do is that we have many opportunities to make decisions remotely and to meet through technology, which makes it easier. I will definitely be out there shaking hands and building relationships in this part of the world. But our strategies can be implemented with me to continue my role with the Reds (for the 2023 season). »
The league will begin play with a showcase next fall with four teams (which will belong to the league, at least to begin with) before hoping to expand further across the Middle East in the coming years.