SBL ushers return of America’s pastime


Tan Holdings and Northern Marianas Sports Association president Jerry Tan, left, and former sports broadcaster Bob Coldeen throw the first pitch during the opening ceremony of the Tan Holdings-Saipan Baseball League 2023 season last Saturday at the Francisco “Tan Ko” M. Palacios Baseball Field.(LEIGH GASES)

America’s pastime is back with the opening ceremony and doubleheader of the Tan Holdings-Saipan Baseball League 2023 season played last Saturday afternoon at the Francisco “Tan Ko” M. Palacios Baseball Field.

The ceremonial first pitch was made by Northern Marianas Sports Association president Jerry Tan and retired sports broadcaster Bob Coldeen prior to the games played between the CK Bears and the Brewers and the Cardinals versus the Junior Nationals. 

This season is scheduled to have 25 games in a single-round robin format, with the championship set for June between the 11 teams. 

Saipan Baseball League president Jay Santos, second from right, makes his remarks during the opening ceremony of the Tan Holdings-Saipan Baseball League 2023 season, and is joined by Tan Holdings president Jerry Tan, second left, and former sports broadcaster Bob Coldeen, right, last Saturday at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Baseball Field.(LEIGH GASES)

The teams are the CK Bears, the Cardinals, the Braves, the Falcons, the Brewers, the Bandits, the Blue Jays, the Junior Nationals (U18), the Comets, the Natives, and the D9ers.

During the opening ceremony, SBL president Jay Santos welcomed and thanked the board, Tan Holdings, NMSA, the teams, families, friends, supporters, the Umpires Association, and others who made their way to the field to witness the resumption of baseball in the CNMI. 

“It’s going to be a very exciting season this year and we’re happy to have 11 teams signed up.”

Tan, for his part as a sponsor of the league and president of NMSA, said “We’re really, really happy to be involved and to support baseball. And from NMSA’s side, we’re just glad to have baseball back. Finally baseball is back! This is something our community has been waiting for years.”

“It was great to see our national team come out as a gold medalist in the Pacific Mini Games last year—but that was only the kickoff. Today is really the beginning of our local league that involves 11 teams, so we cannot be happier than that,” he said. 

Tan then thanked Santos and the SBL board for working hard to put the league and season together.

He added that “hopefully, in the coming months—not coming years—we will begin to see international baseball” and that the CNMI national team will again see action in the Micronesian Games.

“At the same time, I’m also hoping to see more baseball teams—particularly from Japan and Korea—to come back here…We should work toward the international aspect as well and while we are very happy in kicking off our local league, I also hope to see little league come back as well. That will be our grassroots and development for the future. So in the meantime, I want to wish all 11 teams good luck and enjoy the season,” said Tan.

Coldeen, for his part, credited those who had a hand in bringing back CNMI baseball. He then congratulated the new board for reviving baseball again. “I pledge my support, Jerry’s pledged his support, and we ask the community to please support the Tan Holdings-Saipan Baseball League and bring it back the way it used to be.”

He then asked a favor from Tan to build a Little League ballpark and ended with “Baseball is back!”
Results of Game 1 and 2 will be posted in the next issues of Saipan Tribune.

Leigh Gases
Leigh Gases is the youngest reporter of Saipan Tribune and primarily covers community related news, but she also handles the utilities, education, municipal, and veterans beats. Contact Leigh at

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