Many of you may not know that the Little League team from Uganda that qualified for this past year’s Little League World Series, never made the trip to Williamsport due to trouble and challenges obtaining their visas. They would have been the first team from Africa to ever take the field in Williamsport. You certainly wouldn’t know that the team Uganda was scheduled to play (Canada) in the Little League World Series recently made a visit to Uganda to play this game. For what it’s worth, in a game that was delayed almost six months, Uganda beat Canada 2-1. The outcome itself is immaterial. What mattered most was that the experience for both the Canadian and Ugandan kids was one they will never forget and for that we should all smile and say “job well done”.
The success and passion for baseball in Uganda is truly special and inspiring. There are many people who deserve credit and there are many folks who get recognized for their role in that success. Jimmy Rollins and Derrek Lee made the recent trip to Uganda and helped bring much needed attention to the potential of the game in the region. Ruth Hoffman and her organization Right to Play helped raise the funds that made the trip and playing of the exhibition game possible. Jay Shapiro and his group are helping to tell the Uganda Baseball story in a beautiful documentary that will hopefully be released later this year. Richard Stanley is the engine behind much of the growth of Little League in Uganda. He has put up a tremendous amount of his own money and dedicated years of effort to see things reach this point. All this is good stuff.
Funny thing is, they wouldn’t be playing much baseball without equipment and most of the equipment they are receiving is from Pitch In For Baseball. We’ve helped the program in Uganda for the last 5 years. It is one of the true success on our organization’s resume. While privately we are genuinely thanked from all parties for role we play, when push comes to shove, the attention and the financial resources fall onto other groups for the role they play. This isn’t sour grapes, this is reality. Equipment isn’t sexy. Yet, in the thousands of projects we’ve completed in 7 years and the several hundred thousand kids we’ve impacted, the passion kids feel for baseball would be just a dream without the equipment to make that dream a reality.
Making dreams a reality is what Pitch In For Baseball specializes in. We invite you to get involved with our organization so you can be part of the joy we help spread both here in the US and around the world.