Porter and Fraccari (ATR)
Ex-softball federation president Don Porter drops his bid to become leader of the new World Baseball Softball Confederation.
In an interview with Around the Rings
, Porter says it is time for new leadership as the former international federations for baseball and softball merge into one.
Both Porter and Ricardo Fraccari, who led the international baseball federation, had been nominated for the presidency of the new confederation. For the past year as part of a transition, they have each served as co-president.
But at the WBSC Congress that takes place May 10 in Hammamet, Tunisia, only one president will remain after delegates vote for a new leader.
Porter and Fraccari sat side by side for the interview in Tunisia.
“My time has come to step back,” said Porter on the eve of the WBSC vote. Porter, 83, has been involved with the sport of softball for the better part of 40 years. He led the campaign to bring softball to the Olympics, where it debuted in 1996 but came off the program after the 2008 Games. Both baseball and softball were cut from the Olympics by the IOC in 2005.
Fraccari, 60, who heads the Italian Federation for baseball and softball, says returning both sports to the Olympics is a major priority for the new confederation.
“Baseball and softball now represent a major sport inside the international movement, considering this union of the two federations,” said Fraccari. He says this congress in Tunisia will attract delegations from 141 countries. Previous meetings of the separate baseball and softball federations would only draw 80 to 90 delegations each.
Other elections set for the Congress include vice presidencies, a secretary general, treasurer, and other posts. Delegates will also be asked to approve the new constitution that will govern the WBSC on a permanent basis.
“I’ve done all I can to help our sport grow,” said Porter. “He’s the one now who’s going to take it to another level, and I support him totally.”
“I will continue with the same love of the sport as Don,” said Fraccari.
Written and reported in Hammamet, Tunisia by Ed Hula.
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