March 10, 2011

Getting Closer on Alexandra Boys' Dream

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).

This pitcher is one of the provincial players we're trying to
get sponsored for a tournament in George

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.

Warming up - I was too busy taking pictures, but will join the fray for sure next time!
High Fives in the dugout
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.

Coach Tedius, the engine behind this club, with one of the players

You might also want to read: Baseball in the Heart of a Vibrant Township.


Anonymous said...

Brilliant stuff. You deserve a pat on the back for work so well done. i am extremely impressed and hope you will gabnner the funds u looking for. Keep up the high standard of work Teddy.

Sine said...

Thanks Teddy, though the people who really deserves the pat on the back are all the Singaporeans who have donated, when they don't even have baseball in their country. Putting my American friends to shame!

The Waddell's said...

I'm American and I've donated. :(

Sine said...

I've noted, thanks, will be sending you an email right now. The Americans are catching up!

Skhokho-city said...

Dear Sir/Madam

My twelve year old son residing in Westbury, Johannesburg is highly interested in joining a Baseball team and currently does not know of any team around.

May you kindly provide us with information as to where can he go to or which association to contact for more details.


Sine said...

From looking at the map, I think you're pretty far away from Alexandra, so not sure if that works. I think the closest club to you might be the Randburg Mets; at the very least someone there could probably tell you what other clubs might be closer, but I think either way you're going to have to take some driving time into account. That has been the problem with our family as well... Good luck!

Merle said...

Hi Sine,
Wonderful work. Well done.
Westbury is pretty close to Marks Park in Emmarentia where my son plays with the Mustangs - They have U13 and U16 team. If he is interested send him to this link to find out more.
the season has begun and they are looking for players

Sine said...

Thanks Merle, and thanks for the info about Marks Park. I think the one game I watched was against Marks Park.

W. A. Jeffrey said...

Good job helping these kids. A great example to others.