Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Iraqi Co-ed Team Gets Their First Taste of the American Pastime

Recently an Iraqi co-ed baseball team (from the article I'm guessing they were all teenagers) got to visit the US and their first actual ball club. They took spots on the field and got to see things from the player's perspective at a Washington National's game. This story really struck me... Usually I just post links to thinks like this on my twitter or facebook and call it a day but I felt compelled to actually write about this one.

The link to the full story can be found here and is well written by Nancy Youssef. These Iraqi children, don't even want their name mentioned for fear of backlash when they get home for talking so nicely about American baseball or even BEING in America.

The Iraq baseball federation doesn't give the team any money and hoardes balls and bats so the kids that want to play ball in Iraq can't do so very easily. The coach of the team talks about how they have enough money in the country but none of it is used for baseball, so instead they have to play on rocky, rough ground which causes a lot of injuries. He says in the article "we are rich enough to have something better but because of officials and corruption, we will never have it"

It literally pains me that there are children in the world who can't even play ball in their country because the country doesn't support it. I couldn't imagine growing up with baseball not being a huge part of my life.

We honestly live in a great, amazing country that makes it possible for us to sit at home on our couches and watch 5 games at once... Could you imagine living somewhere where the sport wasn't even supported? That's just awfull... We get jersey's and signed pictures and hot dogs at the game and fantasy baseball teams to participate in in America. In Iraq, the baseball life the way American's live it is just a fantasy.

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