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Tony Rogolofoi, left, conducts a training session for CNMI youth players at Francisco Palacios Ballfield. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The Saipan Baseball League will soon see a new set of leaders following the retirement of former director Tony Rogolofoi and former league president Rose Igitol.

In a brief telephone interview with Rogolofoi, he said that the board is working on nominating nine new individuals to serve as the league’s board members.

“We will nominate nine new board members and they will get together soon to elect their officers like president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. They will run the program from now on,” he said.

Rogolofoi said this nomination follows his and Igitol’s decision to step down from their roles to give way for a new generation of leaders.

“We’ve been there for the longest time as board members and we wanted to give the opportunity to young and interested individuals to take the lead,” he said.

Rogolofoi gave over 30 years of his life to making the Saipan Baseball League what it is today. Now, he feels it is time to give the seat up to someone else.

“We’ve done for the past 20 to 30 years and we think it’s time to give the younger generation a chance to run the program,” Rogolofoi said

Although Rogolofoi has stepped down, he said he will continue to advise the new members and coach the CNMI national baseball team every chance he gets.

Rogolofoi said he and his wife, Igitol, felt they wanted to retire in order to focus on their familial obligations.

“Rose and I have retired. We wanted to step back, relax, and take care of family matters. We have children off-island that we want to check up on.

Rogolofoi joined the Saipan Baseball League as a baseball player in the 1980s. After 10 years, Rogolofoi served as a coach for the league while simultaneously working at the Francisco C. Ada Gymnasium. Finally, in 1995, he served as board member and later, director.

As a board member and a national coach for the team, Rogolofoi’s leadership guided the team to two gold medals.

The team won their first gold medal in the 2006 Microgames.

“It was then that we won our first gold medal for the Micro Games,” he said

In 2011, the team won another gold medal during the Pacific Games held in New Caledonia.

“In the big games, the Pacific Games held in New Caledonia, we got our first gold for the event. Those are the biggest accomplishments I will always remember and I am very proud of them,” he said.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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