Baseball in Tanzania, in 1962!

5 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 5 Google+ 0 Email -- LinkedIn 0 Filament.io Made with Flare More Info'> 5 Flares ×

While researching the history of baseball in Nigeria, I came across a fascinating paragraph in the February 1962 edition of the US Peace Corps publication,”The Volunteer.” According to this account, the US Peace Corps introduced baseball to Tanzania – then called Tanganyika – in 1962 at Arusha Stadium.

Baseball in Tanganyika Tanzania in 1962

BUSH BASEBALL
Baseball–of a genuinely “bush” league variety-made
its debut on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro last month.
Eighteen stalwarts from the Tanganyika group battled
to a 17-17 tie in the intramural charity game at Arusha
stadium.
An account in the New York Times said the crowd
of 1,000 new fans enjoyed the “loosely played” contest.
“There was great hilarity,” reported Bob Hellawell,
the Peace Corps Representative in Tanganyika. ”The
crowd particularly liked it when the players slid into
bases.”
A running commentary on the game was given in
Swahili by Jim Brain. the Volunteers’ language instructor
at the National Resources School in nearby Tengeru.
Brain, an Englishman, had some difficulty emulating Mel
Allen because he had picked up the fine pints of baseball
only a few hours before game time.
Spectators paid from 3$ to 14$ apiece to see the
historic encounter. Gate receipts-the equivalent of
about $200-went to the Tanganyika National Fund,
which makes loans on liberal terms to farmers and
fishermen.

Source: The Volunteer, February 1962

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