Puerto Rico’s 2017-2018 Winter Baseball League
Update Dec. 20th, 2017- Post Maria- They will be having a short “season” Starting Jan. 5th, 2018. Only 18 games per team, with 4 teams, in 3-4 stadiums. Free!
The 2017-2018 season starts 5 January, 2018! Games will be played Wednesdays- Sundays.
Though you may not be able to buy "peanuts and cracker jack", a baseball game in Puerto Rico is an economical and fun evening out. Every winter (from November through January), baseball heats up on the island. Not only do we have local players on the teams, but some of the US league players come down to keep in shape and play in their off-season.
So, if you are having baseball withdrawal, catch a game while you’re here — I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Local League & Teams
For over 70 years, Puerto Rico has had its own baseball league. A number of the local athletes that have played in our league have gone onto bigger things, like the Major and Minor leagues in the States, and other divisions and leagues around the world.
The main professional baseball league in Puerto Rico is the Liga Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente (Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League) — @LBPRC on Twitter and LBPRC on Facebook. Previously, the league was called Puerto Rico Baseball League. Before that, the league was called La Liga de Béisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico (Professional Baseball League of Puerto Rico). If you search the internet for info on this league, you’re likely to find it under any/all of those names.
The winners of this league go on to participate in the Caribbean World Series.
2017-2018 SpecialSchedule, Teams and Venues
The 2017-2018 baseball season starts on January 6th, 2018. This season, there will be 4 teams from around the island playing in the league.
The teams in the league this year are:
- Los Criollos de Caguas (on Twitter @CriollosCaguas, on Facebook)
- Los Gigantes de Carolina (on Twitter @GigantesPRBL, on Facebook)
- Cangrejeros de Santurce (on Twitter @CangrejerosPR, on Facebook)
- Indios de Mayaguez, (on Twitter @MayaguezIndios, on Facebook)
This year, the Tiburones de Aguadilla have a few players that merged with the Mayaguez Indios.
There will be 18 games played throughout the month. The last games should be 29 of January. Then the winning team will go on to Serie del Caribe (Caribbean Series), with their first game on Feb. 2nd, 2018.
The Roberto Clemente Baseball League game schedule and is available on the Major League Baseball web site. The scoreboards for the Roberto Clemente Baseball League games are also available on the MLB web site. Games will be played on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and two games on Sundays. A rare game on Monday or Tuesdays, usually for raindates.
This year, due to hurricane damage, they will only be using stadiums that are repaired.
The game start times:
- Games start at 1:30 pm during the weekday and on Saturdays. For Sundays- 1pm. The Series Final games will be in the evenings. Check schedule to exact times as they are variable.
Tickets are FREE this season! Food and drinks are available for purchase at each stadium.
Take Me Out to a Ball Game
I am not a huge baseball fan, but I can follow along. We went to a game at the Estadio Roberto Clemente Walker in Carolina a couple seasons ago.
My first observation is that not all that many people go to the games. I really don’t understand why not! Since there were so few spectators, we got a great parking spot and great seats. My second observation is that it is really a bargain! Parking was only $2.00. Back then, adult tickets range in prices from $4.00 to $10.00. Kids are half-price. And, honestly, I didn’t see anyone checking tickets once you got into the stadium. So I bet (especially on slow nights) you could buy the cheapest tickets and move to any seat in the stands. We paid for the "best" seats (a whole $6.00 each) and sat in the front row along the first base line.
If I had to guess, I’d say there was a maximum of 150 spectators in the whole stadium. I think the stadium can hold about 12,000 people. As you can see in the pictures, it was empty!
One odd thing that I noticed was that, with the exception of a few enthusiastic fans, the crowd was pretty quiet. But this game, which lasted about 3 hours, had its share of exciting moments. The pitchers did a great job. Two batters actually splintered their bats. A number of foul balls went up into the stands. The best moment was when a batter hit the ball out of the park with the bases loaded — a grand slam that cinched the game!
The game was a really family friendly experience. Besides the great ticket price, the players are really friendly.
Kids would hang out by the dugout and occasionally, as the catcher was walking back after an inning, he would throw a ball up to the kids.
As the players came off the field between innings, they would wave or smile to the kids, or even talk/gesture to the spectators cheering them on (or heckling them!).
We had guests staying in our rental home that went to the stadium hoping to catch a game in late October. Since it was before the season started, they ended up sitting in on a practice session. After practice, some of the players spent some time talking with the kids and gave them an autographed baseball. Really nice!
The Roberto Clemente Walker Stadium (will not be used this season)
The stadium is big, beautiful and well-maintained. It has the typical big-screen scoreboard, so you could see the score and who was pitching and batting.
The snack bar had reasonably priced food and beverages, with some typical Puerto Rican food (like plantain chips and pinchos), some regular ballpark fare (like popcorn, hamburgers and hot dogs). The local Medalla beer was $2/glass, and the beer guy came around every 15 minutes or so. There was even a bar for mixed drinks, with a waitress to bring them to you if you didn’t want to get up and risk missing the action. The bathrooms were plentiful and clean (well last time I went they were “sort-of” clean!).
There were security guards around, but there were no issues that needed them. There was plenty of parking (and close to the stadium entrance since there were so few spectators).
2017/2018 – Tickets are FREE this season!
Game times vary by day of week, so make sure to check the schedule for start times. And. they seem to start on time, so don’t be late! Should be: Games start at 1:30 pm during the weekday, and on Saturdays and Sundays- 1:00pm for 1st game, the second games starts 20 mins after the first one ends (assume 3 hrs per game), but check schedule to make sure.
Bring an umbrella with you. The season is during a wet time of year, so showers come and go. The game we went to continued through a light rain. Many people got up and moved to covered sections of the stands during the showers.
I don’t know if it is allowed or not, but no one checked our bag for food or beverages. I assume you could try to bring something in with you, though the prices were not outrageous at the park for the snacks and drinks they offered.
Use this map to locate places mentioned in this article. You can click on a placemark to view the GPS coordinates for that place.
- Hiram Bithorn Stadium: (18.416925, -66.073120)
- Isidoro 'El Cholo' Garcia Baseball Stadium: (18.193182, -67.155067)
- Luis A. Canena Marquez Stadium: (18.437211, -67.147171)
- Roberto Clemente Walker Stadium: (18.376356, -65.949295)
- Yldelfonso Sola Morales Stadium: (18.225876, -66.034142)
PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it!