Thursday, August 27, 2015

PITCH IN FOR BASEBALL HITS HOME RUN FOR UGANDA AND LITTLE LEAGUE® PROGRAMS AROUND THE WORLD

Photo courtesy of Little League Baseball®
By Trevor Endler
Pitch In For Baseball (PIFB) has been crucial in the growth of baseball around the world but nowhere are its effects more evident than in Uganda. The African nation has received over $100,000 over the program’s ten year history and is the largest recipient of its aid.


Pitch In For Baseball was founded in 2005 in an effort to help establish baseball in under resourced communities around the world. The organization collects and then redistributes new and gently used youth equipment for both baseball and softball. In just ten years they have given both equipment and uniforms to more than 80 countries as well as over 450 communities within the United States. Altogether the organization has impacted over 500,000 children in need.

After Uganda’s appearance in the 2012 Little League Baseball® World Series the organization received a large number of donations designed to help under resourced nations develop their baseball programs. For a country without the resources to afford equipment for local leagues, such as Uganda, the program provides the legwork to start a program.

The team from Uganda this year is only the second ever to compete in the World Series but their success in the first round was a profound improvement on the effort three years ago. They started off the tournament with a win against the baseball powerhouse of the Dominican Republic. In the game pitcher, Francis Alemo, kept the Dominican Republic to just one hit before Jovan Edaku came in to close out the game for the last two innings.

Manager Bernard Adai spoke to the need of Pitch in for Baseball. For a country like Uganda “it is difficult to afford any equipment so having the program allows the team to get the necessary equipment to play the game.” When talking about the organization in a press release Richard Stanley, U.S. Coordinator of the Uganda Little League program, said “Without Pitch In For Baseball, the growth of youth baseball would have been very limited and probably as a result, it would have ended in frustration.”.”

Having this program in action has helped to build a team contending to win the Little League Baseball World Series and PIFB Executive Director, David Rhode, couldn’t be happier with the results. “To see how far the Uganda program has come is a source of tremendous pride for our organization. So many of our donors have been part of this special effort that we feel a special connection with the teams from Uganda.”

In addition to having a team in the Little League Baseball World Series, for the first time in its history there is also a team from Uganda in the Little League Softball World Series. While in Portland, Oregon the team had a 2-2 record before losing to the team from Oregon to be eliminated from the series.

Little League International works closely with Pitch In For Baseball to help provide new and gently used to local Little League programs around the world. To learn more about how to support youth baseball and softball through equipment donations go to www.pifb.org.This article posted with permission of Little League Baseball®.

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