TFC News

Fil-Am baseball players step up to the plate for 1st Filipino World Series

Steve Angeles | TFC News Los Angeles

Posted at Aug 11 2023 05:22 PM

Watch more News on iWantTFC

Filipino-American baseball players are trotting out to the field for the first ever Filipino World Series, featuring over a hundred high school baseball players from throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Eight teams got together for the opening night ceremonies on Aug. 8 to share their love for the game, and their love of country no matter what city or country they were coming from.  

"It’s a great experience, coming out here in a different environment," said Matthew Clarke from Canada. "As a Filipino, it’s great to see it as a community."

Coach Bill Picketts has led the Philippines’ national baseball program since 2020.

With the help of his FilAm son Will, he’s been trying to develop the program by recruiting young players who are eager to represent their Filipino roots on the diamond.

He’s hoping to build a pool of players in the professional, collegiate, international, and minor league ranks to represent the Philippines in international tournaments and eventually to the World Baseball Classic.

"My main goal when i started this was just not to help kids here in the U.S.," Picketts said, "but more importantly, build baseball in the Philippines. Hopefully, it brings awareness and hopefully, through all this we can get some fundraising."

High school infielder Reggie Fong of San Francisco is already part of the Philippine National Team’s 15 and Under Program.

He will head to China this month for the Baseball Federation of Asia u15 tournament.

"I’m really excited," said Fong. "It’s going to be a great opportunity traveling the world, just playing the game I ove, and meet different people."

Picketts held the first international tryout in December 2021 in Los Angeles, bringing in some 30 players from the majors, minors, college, and high school ranks.

He said that since then, more players have reached out to him.

The Filipino World Series will take place in three sites in LA's San Fernando Valley region.