Slowly but surely we are getting there, with the help of so many of you. Thanks to all of you who have already donated to support the baseball league in Alexandra! We now have close to ZAR 5,000 (about $700) and I only need ZAR 2,000 more to pay for the shipment of the bats, helmets, gloves, and catching gear donated to us by Pitch in for Baseball. If I can find just 20 more donors for $10-$20 each, it will be enough!
Last Sunday I went to a game played by the U16 team. As you can see above, they are a happy bunch. Even though they looked a bit ragtag with their mismatching socks and belts, they were the better team that day and won handily against the Marks Parks Mustangs, 12-7. I saw some excellent pitching, batting, catching, and base running (the latter a bit too aggressive for my heart rate but it worked very well most of the time).
You can’t imagine how wonderful it was to see a baseball game again! Yes, we’ve actually given cricket a chance and I’ve dropped my somewhat condescending attitude towards it, but do you know what’s really missing in a cricket game? The satisfying “plop” of a ball caught in a mitt, and the “dzingg” of a ball well hit. Those were the wonderful noises greeting me as I arrived at the game when the kids were warming up.
What probably thrilled these kids the most last Sunday was the small following they suddenly had: Myself, three of my four kids (whom I admit I’d bribed with a trip to McDonald’s on the way), and my friend Bing from Singapore with her husband, who also came to take pictures and wrote a story on her blog. You have to remember that they usually have NO ONE watching their games. Every Sunday, the coaches scratch together some money for a taxi, which most likely is crammed to the hilt way over the legal limit (I wouldn’t be surprised if both the U13 and U16 team that day had come in one taxi), and take the kids to game day, where they often will also have to come up with some food for the players if the different games stretch over the entire day. There is almost no parental support. However, as Coach Tedius Ncube assures me, if we can cause a bit of a stir and show that this team is good and has some legitimacy beyond Alexandra, more support in the local community will follow.
I hope I’ve inspired you to support our cause. A small donation will go a long way, but there are other ways to support the Alexandra boys. You might have equipment at home that you’re no longer using, or, if you live here in Johannesburg, you might be able to come cheer at a game. I’ll be posting a game schedule on my blog when I have it.