This press release came from the COO of the Na Koa Ikaika Maui (Maui Strong Warriors) who play in the Northern Division of the North American League:
Na Koa Ikaika Trip to Japan Deemed a Success: Split Series with Ishikawa Million Stars 1-1 & Tentative Agreement Reached for the 2013 Season
Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii, September 15, 2012 – The Valley Isle’s only professional sports team, Na Koa Ikaika Maui, have returned from a successful tour of Japan. The team played well during their historic exhibition series, splitting the games 1-1. The impetus for the trip was returning the favor of the Million Stars visit to Maui in early July of this season as well as meeting with the leaders of Japan’s BCL to discuss taking this relationship to the next level. Many “firsts” were achieved during the trip. KAOI AM 1110 created radio history by broadcasting the games locally (and streaming them online) on the same days that they were played, through the use of cutting edge technology. Archives of those broadcasts can be found at MauiProBaseball.com. The entire trip was documented on video by Dream Tyme Films.
The Ishikawa Million Stars is a Japanese semi-professional baseball team, established in 2007. They compete in the Baseball Challenge League (BCL), an independent professional league in Japan. The BCL is comprised of six (6) teams between two (2) divisions; the Hokuriku Division, which consists of teams from Ishikawa, Fukui and Toyama and the Shinetsu Division, consisting of teams from Niigata, Gunma and Nagano.
During the four (4) day trip, the Executive Team from Hawaii Baseball LLC (Owner Bob Young, CEO David Andrus and COO Chris Osgood) met with the owners of the six (6) teams in the BCL no less than five (5) times to discuss opportunities for the 2013 Season. An agreement was reached between Hawaii Baseball LLC and the Baseball Challenge League of Japan for inter-league play in 2013 while working towards the creation of a “World Independent Baseball League.” Teams from the BCL committed to come to Hawaii in 2013 to play against Na Koa Ikaika on Maui as well as the Hawaii Stars on the Big Island and Hawaii Baseball LLC committed to return to Japan to play against those same teams at their home stadiums. The official paperwork solidifying the deal is presently in the hands of the attorneys. Additionally, both groups agreed to a groundbreaking arrangement whereby both leagues may trade and/or exchange players between and in turn, provide players in both leagues the opportunity to play worldwide. This arrangement should allow both leagues the ability to attract the best talent. Other potential synergies are being discussed as well. All in all, the trip was a complete success and has laid the foundation for many other potential co-operative opportunities. Photos and videos of the trip will be available shortly on both MauiProBaseball.com and HawaiiStarsProBaseball.com.
ABOUT NA KOA IKAIKA MAUI
The team, one of Hawaii’s only two professional sports organizations (the other being sister team – Hawaii Stars on the Big Island of Hawaii), compete in the North American Baseball league (NAL) against teams from California, and Texas; Na Koa Ikaika Maui play all of their home games in Iron Maehara Stadium in Wailuku. 2012 was Na Koa Ikaika Maui’s 3rd season of play. For more information, contact David Andrus, CEO of Hawaii Baseball LLC (contact info above) or Chris Osgood, COO of Hawaii Baseball LLC.
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