This Week (or so) in Baseball United

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As the founder of The Baseball United Foundation, I’m always looking for interesting baseball stories from around the world. Here are the best from the past couple of weeks:

Nicaragua

International Baseball Association president Bob Oettinger is building a baseball academy in Nicaragua.

“We’re focusing on kids 14 to 16 years old, many of whom have already dropped out of school,” Oettinger said. “In northern Nicaragua, where there are coffee plantations, kids often quit school at 8 or 9 years old because their families need them to work.”

Link: USC News

The Netherlands

They’re playing a modified form of baseball in Dutch nursing homes:

Korea

The future of Korean Baseball is looking bright, according to Korea Little League Baseball Federation chairman Han Young-kwan:

“It was a memorable moment in Korea’s baseball history, said Han, 65. “When the country won the world championship title two years in a row in 1984 and 1985, playing baseball was not that popular among young children.

“Now we are receiving greater attention than before, and the victory this year will make baseball even more popular.”

Link: The Korea Times

Great Britain
The British Baseball Federation is offering five scholarships of up to £100 for girls aged 9-15, to pay for the cost of playing baseball or fastpitch softball. The program is being offered in conjunction with Sport England’s “This Girl Can” campaign.

BBF Development Offficial Gerry Perez said: “There are already girls playing baseball through our British Baseball Federation clubs and on our GB Cadet National Team, and the aim of this scholarship campaign is to get girls who are new to baseball or fastpitch to play the sports. We salute Sport England for their “This Girl Can” campaign and the British Baseball Federation is lending its support through these scholarships, which are backed by a special donor.”

Link: BritishBaseball.org

Israel

Amateur baseball in Israel appears to be growing, despite the short-lived Israeli professional league that folded after one season in 2007.

“I go into schools all over the country to introduce kids to baseball, and they get really excited about it. They love it. They want to play, but finding fields is much slower and much harder. It’s just a slow process. We are always trying to raise money for new fields.” – Israel Association of Baseball Director Nate Fish

Link: Jerusalem Post

Australia

And finally, the Australian Baseball League gives us a sushi eating contest, complete with large doses of wasabi:

Questions? Comments? Send 'em to me on Twitter.