When growing up, baseball was the national sport of the United States.

We had the New York Yankees, a multi World Series winning team with a barn full of horses like Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra, Coach Casey Stengel and many others.

One of the best players on the Pittsburg pirates was Roberto Clemente, an outfielder who was not only a great baseball player, but a great man.. When he was killed in a plane crash, taking food and supplies back to his ravaged Managua after an earthquake, it didn’t register because we didn’t  know much about Nicaragua. People traveled less then and we didn’t have internet to bring the world immediately to us.

Baseball doesn’t take a lot of equipment or a lot of space. Most kids can catch a ball and swing a bat, and parents support their kids. On Saturday, Nino leagues start at the Lion’s Park at one end of Calle Calzada, around eight thirty in the morning,

Today, I watch the Sharks play the Academy and the Clementes play the Dissur team.

The game moves in slow motion because it takes longer for kids to throw from first to third, chase down balls in the weeds at the outfield’s edge, try to move under a foul tipped ball in the batter’s cage.

Some of the kid’s scowl at their team mates at a bad play, others kick their helmet on the grass after a strikeout.

One of these players will make it to the major’s, just like Roberto.

In the Nino League, the team that makes the fewest fielding errors, usually wins.

 

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