Saipan Little League Baseball Association president Mike Borja will be stepping down from his post due to health issues and to have more time with his family.
The 54-year-old Division of Roads and Grounds director has served the Little League board for over 30 years and has been president for around 20 years.
“I will call a meeting to formally tell the board I’m stepping down. I’m planning to retire from the Little League board after the Pacific Mini Games,” he told Saipan Tribune.
The lifelong San Francisco Giants fan said recent health problems is forcing him to step down from the presidency of the local Little League program.
“I want to avoid being stressed because of my high blood pressure and in 2019 I had an internal bleeding. I also have eight grandkids and I want to spend more time with them.”
Borja said his proudest accomplishment as Little League president is that the program excelled in regional tournaments and even advanced to many World Series during his tenure.
“There’s a lot of them from Majors division, to Junior and Senior leagues, and even Big League.”
His only regret is not having the opportunity to usher in the return of Little League after the COVID-19 pandemic mothballed the past couple of seasons.
“Not really leaving on a high note because Little League has been dormant the past couple of years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Borja said at least he’s leaving with a competent Little League board intact.
“I have confidence in whoever is coming in. We cannot hold people down. We have to help each other. There’s only one Marianas and if we try to negatively label somebody it’s not appropriate. One thing that also makes me proud of this Little League program is that it’s a diverse group as we not only have men on the board but also a lot of women. Annie Flores is still there and Peding Tenorio is still there.”
He’s also glad that things are about to look up for Little League with the Francisco “Tan’ Ko” M. Palacios Baseball Field as good as new following a makeover for the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022.
Borja also noticed that despite having no Little League program the past couple of years, interest on local baseball talent hasn’t waned as evidenced by the two-day baseball clinic the University of Guam will be hosting at the Capitol Hill Softball Field this week.
“Good that UOG will be here for a sports clinic and also tell the kids what are the benefits and the opportunities of playing college baseball at UOG. It’s good that here in our region we’re working collaboratively instead of going against each other. We’re all Marianas and just because we’re separated by water doesn’t mean we can’t work together,” he said.
Borja’s biggest supporter, his wife Geraldine, couldn’t hide her relief that she’ll finally have his husband home for the weekends.
“Of course I’m happy but I think my grandkids are happier because he’ll finally be with them every weekend,” she said.
And Borja couldn’t agree more. “The past 30 or so years every Little League season Saturday and Sunday I’ll be on the field…but I’ll still be around Little League to help if the board needs me,” he said.