A Baseball Renaissance May Usher in Strong Multi-ethnic Support for a “Biden Doctrine”

by Bobby Reyes

Panoramic view of the Olympic Park of Montreal, Canada. At the center, the Olympic Stadium. The tower is the tallest inclined structure in the world (175 m – 574 ft high). | Photo by Paolo Costa Baldi. License: GFDL/CC-BY-SA 3.0 via Creative Commons

(Part 2 of “How Mexico and the Pueblo Filipino Can Resurrect Filipino Baseball and the Filipino Image”

I learned the art of lobbying in the late 1970s when I chaired (in 1978) the Asian Sub-panel of the Membership Committee of the Household Goods Forwarders Association of America, based in Washington, D.C. The committee chair invited me for two reasons. First, I represented three American moving companies (one after another) in the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ACCP). And second, I was also the Asian transport executive who wrote a book, How To Move Successfully Without Really Trying. (No other moving-industry executive did, to my limited knowledge.)

Even in the 1970s, American politicians courted ethnic groups that could deliver not only campaign contributions but also the so-called “block votes.” An influential lobby is one that offers not only financial but also human resources.

As Googled, Mexicans are the largest Hispanic origin population living in the United States, accounting for 62% of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2017. Since 2000, the Mexican-origin population has increased by 76%, growing from 20.9 million to 36.6 million over the period.

By most studies and unofficial Philippine-government estimates, Americans of Filipino descent, Filipino immigrants, and Overseas Filipino workers (OFW) working in the U.S. number some 4.1 million this year. They also earned the amount of between $80 billion to $92 billion per annum (pre-COVID-19 pandemic figures).

Therefore, a potent Minority-American alliance of Mexican and Filipino descent citizens can depend on a combined population of 40 million-plus a mass base or building block. And if one includes the other Americans of Hispanic and Latino (including Italians and Portuguese plus Spanish-speaking different nationalities), they wILL nearly double their mass base. They earn a lot, but many are just content with the fat salaries and perks they currently receive from their respective employers. Very few dare to become entrepreneurs or join visionary or entrepreneurial ideas.

” … unofficial Philippine-government estimates, Americans of Filipino descent, Filipino immigrants, and Overseas Filipino workers (OFW) working in the U.S. number some 4.1 million this year. They also earned the amount of between $80 billion to $92 billion per annum (pre-COVID-19 pandemic figures).”

Rediscovering the “Missing Latinos in America” — The HispanoAsians and the ñ-Filipinos

In 1989, the Pan-American Van Lines (formerly Dean Van Lines), my employer, assigned me to develop the Asian market. I suggested that we should also look at the emerging Hispanic-American market, the HispanoAsians (without a hyphen) and the n Filipinos,” both terms I coined. I said that the Hispanic population would soon become the dominant minority group in the U.S., which the moving firm needed to compete against the emerging transportations firms like UPS or FedEx. They need minority-operators of a truck, dependable workers, including eventual franchise holders of agencies.

Why? Because many of the children of the Caucasian owners did not want to step into their parents’ shoes. Transportation jobs are not as attractive, and well-paying as the looming electronic and information technology (I.T.) careers that were the “opportunities of the future.”

I started writing for the Filipino Journal magazine and the Manila Standard-Los Angeles newspaper editions in the late 1980s about the emerging Filipino American and Hispanic-and-Latino communities. On March 21, 2008, I reprinted (as updated) my reports on the “Missing Latinos in America” at this link.

I also knew even in the 1970s that Mexicans and Filipinos (at least the elderly ones) shared a common passion. And that is baseball.

Funding a “Baseball Renaissance” in Mexico, Central-and-South America, the Philippines, and the ASEAN

In 2008, fans realized that the Los Angeles Dodgers owner was selling the team to the highest bidder. For indeed, major-league baseball was (and is) a business (probably without a “conscience”). The bottom line of a financial report was the only consideration – to hell with the fans. The baseball fans did not matter in any negotiation. I suggested that the baseball team be offered first to the fans and a consortium of wealthy Dodgers fans with fans as minority shareholders (via the stock option). But the then-owner, Frank McCourt and Company, refused to hear us. It was why I joined a boycott group that a then-sportswriter of the Los Angeles Times started. And even after the sportswriter retired and his boycott movement fizzled out, I maintained the Facebook Group that I launched, https://www.facebook.com/FilAmBaseball.

This writer suggested that if then-presidential candidate Joe Biden wanted to make meaningful changes in the country, he — as THE President — must move to change “crony capitalism” to “cooperative (co-op) capitalism.” It would mean, for instance, converting labor unions into “cooperatives and credit unions or patients-owned (together with the medical staff and employees) health-maintenance organizations (HMO).” And other steps such as transforming the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) into a one-giant cooperative would also change the closed (or closing) malls into distribution centers and affordable multi-story housing units. (More on the “co-op capitalism” proposal for the USPS, HMOs, and other big ventures in the coming columns). The poor need most are not food stamps but decent-paying jobs or economic opportunities — provided the playing field is level enough. And the most-logical synonym metaphorically for a “playing field” is the “field of dreams” (or the “diamond”) of baseball.

” … if then-presidential candidate Joe Biden wanted to make meaningful changes in the country, he — as THE President — must move to change “crony capitalism” to “cooperative (co-op) capitalism.” It would mean, for instance, converting labor unions into “cooperatives and credit unions or patients-owned (together with the medical staff and employees) health-maintenance organizations (HMO).”

There are many viable-and-proven ways of funding a Baseball Renaissance starting in the Colima-and/or-Jalisco Provinces of Mexico. All interested baseball fans and entrepreneurs with MBA degrees can quickly transform our collective “bright ideas” and the “fields of dreams” hopes and dreams into business plans and feasibility studies. And that is bankable at that.

But let us discuss first how we will finance the Mexican equivalent of the Dallas Cowboys Arena or the Houston Astros stadium. There are the existing loan-guaranty options from the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) for the transfer and purchase of American services, technology, and equipment — from baseball bats to giant computerized video screens, etcetera. The Eximbank-guaranteed loans can be made payable in 30-years.

Besides floating the Mexican and the Philippine equivalent of the U.S. “municipal bonds,” they invite groups of individuals and baseball fans to purchase a substantial number of shares of stocks (in the form of stock options that can be redeemed and paid in monthly or quarterly installments for 10- to 25 years).

Naming Rights Can Be a Good Source of Capital Input

Project proponents can opt to conduct bidding of naming right to build the Cathedral of Baseball and Other Sports stadium in Mexico and Central- and South America. They can also have affordable naming right for every stadium seat, corporate box, every level, and all tiles used in the stadium, including parking spaces for individual fans and stakeholders.

And talking of perks, they can always give a fan preference to the parking space named after him (or her). Nobody does that today in the parking spaces in any “baseball cathedral.”

To give readers a concrete example, here is an actual narrative. When they constructed Cathedral of the Lady of Angels on Temple Street in Downtown Los Angeles, they offered Catholic associations the chance of paying for the right to have their name inscribed on a marble slab used in the altar section for $5,000 per tile. We are also building a Cathedral, and we can copy the example of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and bring it to the stratosphere. What is suitable for a goose prelate is useful for a layperson of a gander, right? Our United Bicolandia-Los Angeles (UBLA) organization bought one right, and some of its affluent members also bought their naming right at $5,000 per pop.

And for instance, the Pueblo Filipino project proponents can persuade buyers of their retirement condos, condotel (hotel) suites. detached homes, townhouses, club membership, etc., to put in an additional five-or-10-percent of the purchase price as an investment in the Baseball Cathedral. The Pueblo Filipino business office can then remit to the Baseball Cathedral treasury the monthly amortization payment.

All the related projects in Mexico can negotiate with a large financial or banking institution for a consumer credit (or debit) card. They pay for the project through a percentage of the purchases made by the cardholders. Ideally, more fans and individual stakeholders can share (as an added incentive) half of the commissions received from the bank-card company as part-payment of their stock subscriptions in the Baseball Cathedral project. Then they would laugh at the slogan “What’s in your wallet” for they have their own (and much-better financially), “What’s your investment in our cathedral?”

The Sky’s the Limit If We Pool Our Resources Together

And finally, what if we can persuade half of the Americans of Mexican or Filipino descent to invest just one dollar per day? That will be 20-million X 365 days = US$7.3 billion per year. It means that the Baseball Renaissance consortium can build at least six Baseball (& Sporting/Entertainment) Cathedrals in good locations in North America (and even in the Philippines and ASEAN) every year. It is the so-called “Power of Ten” multiplied by tens of millions.

… what if we can persuade half of the Americans of Mexican or Filipino descent to invest just one dollar per day? That will be 20-million X 365 days = US$7.3 billion per year.”

In less than 10 years, the consortium can also build the “Cathedral of Learning and a Medical/R&D Cathedral, to accelerate the turning of Mexico into the world’s 5th-biggest economy and the Philippines as the Far East’s 8th-biggest economy (after China, Japan, South Korea, India, Taiwan, Singapore, and Indonesia).

The Philippines beats only Bangladesh in the Far East when it comes to economic output (GDP). A Baseball Renaissance can lead to a broader imagination.

To use baseball parlance, to “reinvent” the Mexican economy — as well as the economic development of the Philippines and other participating economically distressed countries — we don’t have to hit a home run every time we bat. We need only to get to first base even by bunting.

After all, an adage says, “a voyage of a thousand miles (or kilometers) begins with the first base, oops, step.”

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