The Youth Baseball Association of Belize is continuing its quest of reviving baseball in Belize. One way they are doing that is by assembling a national team. The association’s president, Anthony Smith told Love News today that they are also drumming up international support to acquire much-needed equipment.
Anthony Smith, President, Youth Baseball Assoc. Of Belize: Right now, manager/coach of this elite baseball team Pat Jaggers is actually in Texas right now on a big time baseball drive called “Dust to Diamonds” which stands for bringing baseball back to Belize. You know what I’m saying? And getting equipment donations which he has started already. 500 baseball bats, 500 baseball gloves and 1000 baseballs is the goal we are trying to do right now and he’s doing that right now. Hopefully for Labour Day in the states too there’ll be a big time tournament called “Perfect Game, PG.” There’ll be about 500 teams there which we will be getting donations from all of them too and they have started. A lot of people have been supporting what we’ve been doing, you know, so it’s just amazing. We have jerseys already for the home and away team, for the national team. With all those donations, the goal is, we’re going to be distributing it to all the schools in Corozal and all around the country so this is just the beginning and this end of the month right here, if you guys are around, if you guys want to be a part of it, in Corozal we’re having a baseball scrimmage of two games of the teams that we will be putting together for the national team so it’s about 30 of us that will be there and next month we’ll be going to Mexico to play baseball at the best baseball field in Mexico called Matchecan.”
Smith also provided an update on how the recruitment drive for the team is going.
Anthony Smith, President, Youth Baseball Assoc. Of Belize: We’re doing the scrimmage game and we’re practising a lot. A lot of them are practising right now playing softball because baseball hasn’t started as yet but when it does start we’ll be only practising baseball right? So we’re going to be practising, playing together. We have the scrimmage game to see how we play together as a team, as a melody. It has to all play together right? So we’re going to see how that plays out and then we’re going to go play against a team from Mexico and see how we do from there. We’ll know. Hopefully we take it to Guatemala after that then invite a team here. I’ve already been contacted by Honduras. They want to have a game against us too. They want us to go there and them to come here so it’s getting bigger PR. See what we’re doing here in Belize, we are supporting the vision and it’s all about growing the game all over. We had a baseball camp in San Ignacio for a whole week with Mr. Joe Awe from Twin Towns Baseball Association. It was very productive. Over 60 kids reached out, you know, from the age of 5. So we’re taking camps all over. The next camp’s actually going to be in Orange Walk. We just got done doing the Corozal camp. We’re all working together. The Corozal Baseball Association, Twin Towns Baseball Association, New Baseball Association of Belize which Belmopan will be having its association shortly called the Garden City Baseball Association.”
Through a connection with Belize-born journalist, Kendis Gibson, the association has also established a relationship with baseball legend, Gary Matthews, who visited Belize in 1985 when he played with the Chicago Cubs.