Press release and graphic from the British Baseball Federation. It has been edited for style and clarity.
Great Britain Baseball is excited to announce the appointment of José López as the first head coach for the Women’s National Team.
Born and raised in Venezuela, from a young age his family’s passion for baseball was passed onto him. José began playing baseball when he was seven years old and represented his state in national competitions. At 17, José signed a professional contract as a catcher with the Houston Astros and continued to play for nine years with them. José went from playing in the rookie league to AAA, the highest level in the minor leagues, only one step away from playing in the MLB. Unfortunately, José had to undergo brain surgery and was therefore unable to continue.
In 2002, he then signed up a contract with the Leónes del Caracas, where he played until 2011 in the Liga Venezolana de Béisbol Profesional (LVBP) as a catcher. José also worked in the Elite training camp in Venezuela, where he helped develop the players to increase their chances of being signed with the minor leagues. During his time in the Elite training camp as a coach, he shared his experiences to give the players the “Game’s mentality”. He was invited to play and coach a Venezuelan ex-pat team, where players from all around Europe were selected to participate in the Alpine Cup tournament based in Switzerland and the team became runners up.
“It is a true honour to have José as Head Coach for this historic team. José’s experience as a professional player, coach, manager and mentor is a recipe for success. His energy is so infectious and inspiring that he leaves no room for self-doubt,” pronounced Amanda “Doris” Hocking, Women’s GB General Manager. “I am confident José is the best coach for this team, not only does his experience speak for itself but his positive attitude and winning mindset will also play a vital role in the upcoming European Championship in July. I look forward to working with him throughout this incredible journey with the rest of the team.”
In 2017, López founded the Bournemouth Bears, reaching the playoffs in their first year (2018). The following year, they were unbeaten throughout the season and won the Double-A championship.
“I am so excited about this amazing opportunity, this year the dream comes true for women’s baseball in the UK,” remarked López. “The time has come for all our female players that, for years, have been preparing themselves in mixed teams, learning and developing the skills to be part of a national team, representing our nation with honour and pride. It’s a privilege to be the first head coach for the GB women’s team, I know I won’t be alone; we have great players, coaches, staff and the whole baseball community supporting us, and all together we are going to write an amazing page in Great Britain baseball history.”
Of the appointment, GB Baseball Head Coach Drew Spencer added, “José is a fantastic selection. I’m [also] incredibly impressed with the hard work and due diligence that Doris has put in to find such a great baseball coach to lead the women’s team in their first year of competition. I think he will do a great job.”
This July, the Great Britain Women’s Baseball team heads to Montpellier, France to compete in the Women’s European Championships. Players who are interested in joining the GB Women’s programme should contact Amanda Hocking, General Manager at e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The European Women’s Baseball Championship has been postponed from a July 28, 2021 start date to 2022. Montpellier, France, will retain hosting responsibilities.
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