Filipino baseball fans join celebration for World Series champions Boston Red Sox

October 29, 2018 - 4:50 PM
Oct 28, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale (41) celebrates with teammates including catcher Christian Vazquez after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in game five of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium. (Reuters via USA Today Sports/Jayne Kamin-Oncea)

Baseball fans in the Philippines are cheering the Boston Red Sox following their victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series of the USA’s Major League Baseball.

The Red Sox edged the Dodgers 5-1 in Game 5 of the series to bag its fourth title since 2004.

They held the Dodgers to just one run on three hits in seven innings following a 2-0 start care of solo runs from first baseman Steve Pearce, who was named Most Valuable Player of the series.

With the win, the Red Sox just gave the city of Boston its eleventh championship in the four major American professional sports since 2001, when the New England Patriots emerged victorious in the National Football League’s Superbowl XXXVI.

Filipinos are among those celebrating the historic win by one of professional sports’ most enduring franchises.

Baseball in the Philippines

While baseball has traditionally been considered as the USA’s top sport, it has gained traction in the country as a niche sport since it was introduced by the Americans during their colonization of the Philippines, a predominantly basketball-savvy country.

Baseball has been noted for drawing fans in areas away from the capitol, such as central Luzon and the Visayas region.

In 2007, Baseball Philippines, the country’s first major competitive baseball league was founded. It ceased operations after five years and nine series. The most successful franchise in its five-year run was the Manila Sharks.

The country’s baseball team found success in its early days. It won gold in the 1954 Asian Baseball Championships. It placed third in the 1969 and 1979 Asian championships.

Despite lack of funding and mismanagement causing the program’s deterioration in later years, the national team has maintained some success in the Southeast Asian Games. It won gold in the 2005 and 2011 SEA Games, and finished with the silver in 2007.

The team is currently ranked 33rd in the world.

The Philippines’ women’s team in its sister sport softball has also done well historically, having been considered a powerhouse team in Asia in the 1970s.