Uganda Little League Baseball

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team Photo - Williamsport August 2012

Uganda Little League Baseball

Developing Little League Baseball throughout Uganda

Serving over 15,000 children sharing about 700 gloves, we could use your help, join us.

Supported by 303 Development Foundation Corp.

Allen and Richard at Trenton Thunder game June 2012"  - Rudy C. Jones

Little Leaguers Form Friendship

Entire First Class Students at work
First time Students use tablets First time Students use tablets

 

International School Started January 28, 2013 for 50 students at Little League Complex. 

This is the most unique school in the world with students from all over Uganda.

 Read about how it is being run by Clicking here     

 

 

Funds Are Needed For

Cost

Funded

Complex of 3 full size and 3 Little League/Softball fields

$   500,000.00

$  500,000.00

   

School for Academic & Sports - Emphasis on Baseball & Softball

$4,000,000.00

$1,000,000.00

- School will accommodate 1500 students located at Little League Complex

- Click here to read why Uganda needs this school

   

Finish fields 3, 4 & 5

$   150,000.00

$0.00

Fence, backstop and dugout fields 1-5

$   200,000.00

$0.00

* Click Here to make a Tax Deductible Donation to 303 Development Foundation Corp.

Read Jay Shapiro's Blog on filming baseball in Uganda at http://myquaintandquietlife.tumblr.com

 


July 2015 Headlines. Stories follow:

 

● Uganda sends three teams to Kutno, Poland to compete in the Europe/Africa Regional Tournament. The 13-14 year old boys lose in the final Championship game to Czech Republic, even though in everyone's mind, they are clearly the most talented team of the 10 competing.


● Uganda 11-12 year old boys will be returning to the Little League World Series with their first game scheduled for August 20 at noon. Strongest team Europe has ever sent to the World Series in most peoples opinion. May do some serious damage in Williamsport.


● Uganda 11-12 year old girls become the first girls team to ever make it to a Little League World Series as they beat Italy in the Championship game. Uganda coach suspended for two games when all our subs play three innings, but one does not bat because we are the home team and we do not get up in the 6th inning. Under little league rules, 5.5 innings is a complete 6 inning game. If she allowed the team to score another run, the losing team would not have gotten up in the 6th inning but been embarrassed by the score, three of our players would only play one and one half innings, but our coach would not have been suspended and possibly assaulted as happened to the boys coach in their championship game..


● Crazy things happen in all three tournaments and some of the things will lead to significant changes and one mostly certainly should.

The winning boys team romped through the 14 team tournament undefeated. Made many friends, but some unhappy losers. In Little League, they have a mercy rule which if a team is ahead by 10 or more runs, the game is over after the losing team bats four times at the 11-12 level, and 5 times at older levels. Uganda mercy ruled every team it played but one. It entered the tournament with a lot of very good pitching, speed, good hitting and excellent fielding and demonstrated that in every game but one, where the opponent had an excellent pitcher, that being Italy, which they faced in the game featuring the last two undefeated teams in the tournament with the loser having to come out of the loser bracket and beat the winner twice on the final day in order to win the tournament. Every other game ended via mercy rule after less than 4 innings. Italy removed it star pitcher with the score 0-0 after 3 innings after reaching 50 pitches to save him for the Championship game in three days. Uganda, in the fourth inning hit a two run home run and in the fifth a three run home run and won 4-0 on a no hitter. A walk being the only blemish. How does a three run home run and a two run home run total 4 you may ask, but it did because this is what happened in the 5th inning. Runners on second and third with no outs, and the batter hits it over the fence, which results in two runs and one out. It seems the runner on third base decided to wait to touch home so he could shake hands with the batter and had the runner on second touch home before him. One out for passing a runner and only two runs. The rest of the story continues as Spain beats Italy in the game to get the winner to play against Uganda. The best pitcher doesn't pitch and Uganda faces Spain for the championship. After Uganda is ahead 10 to nothing, the Spanish coach, instead of stopping at the third base coaching box heads for the Uganda dugout to assault the Uganda coach because our kids were still running and he did not like it, especially after we hit three consecutive home runs in the inning. Fortunately, the umpires stopped him and the game ended at 16-0.


The winning girls team has a related story to the winning boys. In girl's play, a pitcher can only pitch in one game per day and since there were only five countries represented, each team had to play four games in three days with the top two teams playing for the Championship on the fourth day. On the first day, Uganda played Poland and won by mercy rule where in the first inning, the umpires were using common sense umpiring to get the game over with That means the strike zone for Uganda greatly expands, and any opportunity to get an out is taken advantage of. In any event, the favorites were Czech to repeat as they were last year's winners, Italy who had won for several years before, and the Netherlands who probably have one of the best club programs in Europe. On day one, Czech had to play Italy in their morning game and the Netherlands in the afternoon game. What was probably the best pitcher in the tournament was used by them to beat Italy. Against the Netherlands, they lost by a score of 13-0 because of pitching weakness.

 

On day two, Uganda played the Netherlands in the morning and faced their best pitcher, and then played Czech in the afternoon. The score after three innings of the morning game is 9-0 in favor of Uganda. Since all our players play at least half of the game, the manager put in the three subs to play the last three innings. But now it is time to get the game over with before the score gets worse. With Uganda the home team, only 8 batters get up in the fourth and fifth innings and since we are the home team, the game ends after the top of the sixth inning. Because one of the subs would be the lead off batter in the bottom of the 6th inning that did not happen, the manager is pulled away 30 minutes before the start of the 1PM game against the Czech and never to return and Uganda is not notified that she is suspended until we ask the umpires not to start the game 10 minutes early until our coach comes back. We then find out that a guard is assigned to her to make sure she does not get within 600 feet of the playing fields for Uganda's next two games. The Czech is a well played game going into the 5th inning at 0-0. Uganda wins 2-1 in six innings, defeating the tourney's best pitcher, and goes on to win the Championship game against Italy to become the first African Girls Softball team to make it to the Softball World Series.


The faiths were against the Ugandan 13-14 year old team. Clearly the best team at the 10 team tournament, as they scored more runs than anyone, allowed fewer runs, stole many bases without anyone being thrown out and never allowing any one to steal a base and picking off two runners. Mercy ruled every team played, including the eventually winning Czech team. Why aren't they champions, because of spotty defensive play and a strange umpire call. Czech and Uganda were the last two undefeated teams in the 10 team tournament and met in an afternoon game scheduled for 1PM. The morning game went long and the ground crew was still fixing the field during what our manager thought was our infield time, as the visiting team, and thus thought he was not allowed after his normal time had expired during the field fixing. Winning 5-3 in the sixth inning, a couple of bad errors and other problems led to bases loaded and a 5-4 score with two out. A hard hit ground ball to our third baseman causes the ball to bounce off his throwing hand, which he then picks up, takes a long time to finally throw to first and by the time he does, the runner is safe and the score is tied. He now lies in pain on the grass and is medically attended to. After about 5 minutes, he sits up and tells the coach he is fine. The coach lets him stay in the game without a test throw. Needless to say, the next batter hits a routine grounder to the third baseman, who, with plenty of time makes a throw to first that should end the inning with the game tied. Unfortunately, the throw sails at least 15 feet over the first baseman's head that brings in two more runs and that is the last throw he makes the rest of tournament as he eventually winds up at the hospital and a heavily taped hand. He is our number three pitcher. We then go to the losers bracket to mercy rule Italy again and then mercy rule Czech the next morning by 10-0.

 

That forces the final game to be played for the championship that afternoon at 4PM. Once again, we are the visiting team in the afternoon. It rains from about 12;30 to about 3. All the fields are muddy and the grounds crew works to get the main field playable which is done about 3:40. As the visiting team again, we are supposed to be first for infield practice, but our other inexperience tournament coach is told by the umpire to hurry up as they want to start the game on time. He immediately pulls the team off after about 1 minute. The Czech team ignores the umpire's request and takes their normal infield practice time. Winning 2-0 in the third inning, bad plays by second base and shortstop bring the score to 2-2 with two outs and the bases loaded. This time a ground ball to the shortstops right gives him the opportunity to make a short flip to an unsuspecting third baseman who is not on the base and also drops the ball as the score goes to 3-2 against Uganda. In the top of the 6th, using our speed, we tie the score at 3-3. Then due to pitch counts Uganda is now forced to bring in our number 5 pitcher as 4 pitched the day before and 1 and 2 pitched today, and 3 is hurt. He gets the first two outs easily, but the next batter singles. He then hits the next batter and walks the following on 4 pitches. Now comes the strange umpire call. The next batter, who has already struck out twice in this game, with an 0-2 count then falls across home plate and gets hit in the upper back with a ball that was about knee high. He lies across home plate for several minutes with his head in the other batters box in obvious pain. Our pitcher wants to know how he can do that. The umpire then awards him first base to force in the go ahead run. A wild pitch follows and then a two run single and we lose 7-3.


The writer of this piece was supposed to be a coach for all three teams to assist our inexperienced coaches who had never been to this type of a tournament. Two weeks before the start of the first game, he is told he is not allowed to be the coach, cannot eat with the players or stay in the dorms. He must find and pay for his own hotel room and meals. Why. It seams the reason, according to the Little League Rule book is that if you run a tournament, which I have been doing every year since 2004, you cannot coach a tournament team. The same goes for league presidents, or country directors. I must now resign from all three of these positions. Since not a single Ugandan parent ever comes to see any of our tournament games, this may now result in some serious problems for Uganda Little League. My job as always has been to coach the kids and to coach the coaches and umpires so baseball and softball can flourish in Uganda for the benefit of the children. Time will tell. All our people interested in the sport want to be coaches, not administrators.

 


 

The Trenton Thunder supplied the hats and shirts that the team wore in Poland.  The Trenton team was rooting for them to win so that they could come to the U.S. and visit the Trenton stadium and be introduced to the media and the crowd at a Trenton Thunder ball game.   Uganda would have been the first African Little League team to make it to the Little League World Series in its almost 80 year history.
 

 


 

 

 

 

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There are 2 Million Orphaned Children in Uganda, 45% due to Aids.  Many work in the streets to survive.  Baseball has given these children hope, a chance to have a dream!!!

 

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