I have never been able to fully comprehend the true joy a simple ball and a bat can bring someone. Although this is one of my favorite quotes, it is not all true. Baseball is not only part of “The American Spirit” but is the glue that binds brothers together in many countries.
I had the opportunity to make a dream come true and play baseball with guys my age in not only a foreign country, but in the middle of a batay. This was no ordinary field. This was an uneven stretch of ground, where the infield was a trash pile and the outfield was a sugar cane field.
Throughout the week, I was blessed to meet a young man named Leonardo. Leonardo is the youngest of three and has the dream that any young boy does, to play in the pros. Today was my third day working in Batay 106 and as soon as I stepped off of the bus I was welcomed with open arms by Leonardo. Within the first 20 minutes of arriving, guys of all ages gathered for a round of batting practice. Kids ages 12 to 20 lined up so I could pitch to them. They were all amazed by my curveball, a pitch they have never seen. I soon was surrounded by curious kids, teaching how to grip and throw a curveball.
Three hours later, it was finally time for a water break. For some of the kids, it was a time to relax. For me it was time to hang out with the younger kids. While those who needed water got it, I walked around with a kid on each hip and one on each foot. After the water break we played baseball for another 3 hours.
It is sad to think these kids may not have the opportunities we have in America. However, it brings me great joy to know the excitement shared between young men and our passion for baseball surpasses economic disparity.