Looking for Contacts to Help Spread Baseball Here

January 9, 2009

Dear Nica Times:

I read your article about beisbol in Nicaragua: “Gov’t Aims to Revive Old Ball League” (NT, Nov. 7).

I have madethree trips to Nicaragua. The first time was to look at property in the resort area of Tola. I have some friends who own property there. I don’t surf or play golf, however I found a group of young men who worked at Rancho Santana playing baseball on an old unused field.

I immediately took up their cause for uniforms, cleats and other needs.

My second trip I brought 200 pounds of equipment. After spending 4 and a half hours in customs, and paying a “duty” of $47, I was allowed to continue on and travel down to Rivas-Tola.

I was appalled at the fact that I had to “pay” to help these people. Upon my return, I made an appointment with Elvira Hermosa, the Nicaraguan consul in Los Angeles.

I explained my plight, but to no avail. She stated there was “nothing she could do.”

I mailed letters to both the U.S. Embassy and Nicaraguan Customs office in Managua…with no reply.

My third trip I brought new cleats for the team along with 6 wooden bats, and baseball apparel andequipment for the kids.

I of course did not claim these items andwas “lucky” to make it past customs.

As you might know, the Dominican Republic has produced 472 players to the “Bigs,” while Nicaragua has produced only 9.

My involvement with the adult players has recently expanded.

I have both Rancho Santana and Iguanas Resort ready to build fields for the adult teams along with youth players.

My plan is to develop both a program not only to work with the kids there, but to possiblystart a “camp” for U.S. youth players who want to journey to Nicaragua.

In conclusion, my hope is to make contact with those who are truly interested in making baseball come of age in Nicaragua.

I have taught and coached three generations of youth baseball.

I played ball for about seven years, but never made it to the pro ranks. I just have a passion for baseball and great talent.

I really think baseball is a vehicle for improving relations between the United States and Nicaragua, and is a good way to build morale within the country.

If anyone is interested in getting involved of helping, please contact me at redsoxcp@cox.net

Steve Russell

Los Angeles, California, USA

 

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