What an exciting time to be have gone to Kathmandu Nepal. I am just back from where I played 5 games and did two baseball clinics for kids. The games were with the Nepal Army team and the Army Special Police (ASP: they guard the embassies) team. The ASP team had no jerseys so I gave them the last set I had brought with me from Mill Valley Little League.
Baseball was introduced to Nepal only one year ago, and Baseball International (www.baseballinternational.com ), who I’d gone to Cuba with a few times and I was invited to play and teach baseball once more. The adult players were all terrific athletes so they learned quickly. The main challenge was their skills were based in cricket, so we had to explain and demonstrate the differences between the two sports.
One of the days we were scheduled to do a clinic for a few kids too. But when we showed up there were over 50, 8-14 year olds there. So we came back again the next day and did another clinic. They had about a dozen gloves that they all share, one set of catcher’s gear, and one set of flat rubber bases. Our team, seeing this, donated dozens of gloves and baseball bats, it was wonderful seeing their excitement at such a simple gift. Note that these kids play for the “Gurkha’s” and later in the week they came in 2nd place in the first ever Nepal baseball tournament.
There is not a single full-sized baseball field in all of Nepal. Games are played on soccer or cricket fields where they put down chalk lines by hand. There is one Little League diamond in the whole country, but it is inside the US Embassy and rarely available. Even with these obstacles the kids and adults clearly love the game and were like sponges in learning the wonderful game of baseball.