SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Baseball is making a rally in Puerto Rico.
On an island where the name of Roberto Clemente is virtually everywhere, the sport has fallen off in recent years. There are just 18 Puerto Rican-born players in the major leagues, down from a record 53 in 2001 and the lowest number since 1968. The Puerto Rico Baseball League even canceled play in 2007 for the first time, citing a drop in attendance and profits.
Since then, it has added two teams for a total of six. And in the past year, Major League Baseball reported the second-highest number of signings from Puerto Rico since the 2000. There are new baseball academies and expanded winter league teams, whose tournament this year was dedicated to Clemente on the 40th anniversary of his death.