A Boarding School’s Growing Baseball Legacy
Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Lou Rabito’s piece tells the story of how Perkiomen School baseball connected with Puerto Rican players/families and, in the process grew into a boarding school baseball power.
Perkiomen players now hold spots on collegiate rosters of all levels and, one alumnus, Jose Morales plays catcher for the Colorado Rockies.
Current Perkiomen senior Jorge Montes explains the Perkiomen draw:
“It gets you better prepared for college if you want to study in the states…You’re speaking English all the time, and it helps you. I knew English since I was little, but I can definitely say that it’s improved a lot.”
The Perkiomen-San Juan-Guaynabo bridge was built in the mid-nineteen nineties:
“For 15 years, youngsters have left their island homes after getting accepted into Perkiomen, a day and boarding school for grades 6-12, all in hopes of increasing their chances of playing college baseball.
Thirty-two players have made that trek since 1995, coach/athletic director Ken Baker said, ever since Perkiomen administrators and the head of the Roberto Clemente All-Stars program worked out an arrangement.
By the mid-1990s, as part of the Clemente program, U.S. high school standouts had been traveling to Puerto Rico to play in all-star games. But the Clemente organization was looking to place Puerto Rican boys in U.S. schools to further their education, and an agreement in New York in which the students stayed with host families wasn’t working, Baker said.
The head of the Clemente program thought a boarding-school situation would succeed, and in the fall of 1995, the first two boys came from Puerto Rico to board at Perkiomen.”(philly.com)
Photo credit: Perkiomen School