Daddy Yankee has become co-owner of Puerto Rican baseball team Los Cangrejeros de Santurce baseball team, Billboard has learned.
The reggaeton superstar, born Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez, is also an investor and will be joining Chairman Thomas Axon and President Justo Moreno as owners of the San Juan-based team, which hosts its home games at the Hiram Bithorn Stadium.
For Yankee, who was raised in Santurce, this new career move hits home. “I know what it means to a kid, I’m a product of the little league and grew up going to the Cangrejeros games at the Hiram Bithorn,” he exclusively tells Billboard. “ I’m part of something that I’m really passionate about and that’s baseball.”
Prior to becoming a global Latin artist and topping the charts, Yankee aspired to become a professional baseball player, even trying out for Major League Baseball team Seattle Mariners. He was unable to pursue his sports career after being hit by a bullet while taking a break from a recording studio session. However, his dream did not stop there.
“Now is the right moment due to the inspiration and impact our Puerto Rican players are having on MLB,” he says, further emphasizing the importance of his role as co-owner. “I want to inspire the kids in Puerto Rico supporting our local team to keep developing talent in The Roberto Clemente League.”
The team is home to various Hall of Fame baseball players, including Roberto Clemente, after whom the entire baseball league is named. Additionally, the Cangrejeros of the Roberto Clemente League won the 2019-20 league championship.
“The team’s history and importance to Puerto Rico’s proud sports heritage convinced Daddy Yankee that the continued renaissance of Puerto Rico baseball was something he just felt like he needed to be involved with,” Axon said in an official statement. “The particular history of this team, and Daddy Yankee having grown up playing baseball essentially in the shadow of our stadium in Santurce, were also important in Daddy Yankee’s decision.”
Ready to “ fight to regain our crown against some fantastic competition,” Daddy Yankee will be present at the Hiram Bithorn Stadium on November 6 for the inaugural event and kick-off of the 2021-2022 baseball season.