Figured I should fit in another blog post before the World Cup officially starts for Brazil tomorrow, and everyone’s main focus there for the next few weeks will be on futebol!
Our next profile (and last, until more teams send in their profiles!) is on the Black Dogs of Santos. Deep thanks to Rafael Esperati for the highly detailed reply to my request to do a profile!
Black Dogs started as a group of baseball fans, including Rafael (3B), Binho Bartolo (OF) and other friends. To pass the time, they started getting together to play, and soon became the first baseball team in the Baixada Santista (Santos/coastal region of São Paulo state). Black Dogs have participated in the Liga Paulista since the league’s first season in 2008.
Black Dogs first started playing in 2006, in Praia do Itararé, in the city of São Vicente (also on the São Paulo coast); a neighboring city to Santos. Today they play in Praia do José Menino, an area of the city of Santos – the same city where Pelé played most of his professional years and became the global soccer legend. Santos is the largest city along the coast of São Paulo state, and I believe the largest port city in Brazil. Black Dogs is the first and only baseball team in the Baixada Santista region (including the cities of Santos, São Vicente, Cubatão, Guarujá, Praia Grande, Mongaguá, Itanhaém, among others).
One of the goals of the team is to acquire a space to build their own baseball field, which would be the first in the region. Right now they are in talks with the city of Santos and other cities in the Baixada Santista to get an adequate space to build a field. Any help or ideas on how to go about that are welcome. Having a field would help them in their overall goal, of course, which is to continue to promote the development of Baseball as a new sport in the region, so they can continue to enlist more players and participate in the LPB.
Black Dogs is a young team, with the majority of players having only started playing the sport on the team with no previous experience. They won their very first game, and then didn’t win another until the 2009 tournament against a more experienced team: the Bats of São Paulo.
The coach of the Black Dogs is Wagner Sasaki, who is also the catcher of the team and an ex-player with the São Paulo Giants (Gigantes), and of Kodama in the city of Santo André, São Paulo, among other teams.
The best players on the team are:
- Wagner, as he was elected the best catcher in the conference in the first season of the Liga Paulista de Beisebol in 2008, and also participated in the first LPB All-Star Game in 2008.
- Fabio Kuroyanagi, one of the team’s pitchers who also plays shortstop. Along with the Black Dogs, Kuroyanagi plays with a team in Cuiabá, in the state of Mato Grosso. He also played in the 2nd LPB All-Star Game in 2009, which was played in the Estádio Municipal de São Paulo “Mie Nishi”. (By the way, in future posts I intend to cover some of the existing baseball stadiums and fields in Brazil.)
- Gerson, shortstop and pitcher, selected for the LPB All-Star Game in 2008. Gerson started playing baseball as a young kid in the city of Piedade, SP.
Interesting tidbit about the team name: “Black Dogs”. It comes from a stray black dog named Lara who lived around the beach kiosks in Praia do Itararé, in São Vicente when the team first started playing there in 2006. Lara became the official team “ball girl”; fetching all of the errant or foul balls while the team was playing catch and having batting practice.
Team Website: www.blackdogs.rg3.net
Orkut: they also have a profile on Orkut (which is more often used by Brazilians for social media). There are over a thousand pictures of the team since 2006 on their Orkut page: http://www.orkut.com.br/Main#Profile?uid=14621051540558462463
Youtube: check out Black Dog’s videos at: http://www.youtube.com/blackdogsbaseball (including two interviews for TV Tribuna, an affiliate of TV Globo – biggest TV channel in the region – and also for a local channel, NET Cidade) Some of the older videos can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/beisebolbs
Rafael’s contact information is:
Rafael Esperati Lelis
e-mail : email@example.com
Nickname “Darien” on forumstrikeout.net
Pra Frente, Brasil!