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Friday, August 16, 2019

In Venezuela, young baseball players still have big dreams

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — More than 100 boys train daily on a baseball field next to the biggest slum in Caracas, using old bats, balls and gloves in hopes of achieving the ultimate goal: a professional baseball career in the United States and an escape from Venezuela’s hardship.

Chances are small, and getting remoter. Major League Baseball’s teams have shut down their academies in Venezuela and no longer send scouts. Sometimes, local trainers say, a player faints on the field because he hasn’t had enough to eat, a sign of how nationwide shortages of food, medicine and other necessities inflict a heavy toll.

A junior team from Maracaibo is participating this week in the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Two Venezuelan pro players, Rougned Odor of the Texas Rangers and Ender Inciarte of the Atlanta Braves, donated funds for the trip.

Still, there is a precedent for youthful ambitions. Venezuela was an incubator of major league stars like Miguel Cabrera and Felix Hernández, and the flair is still there. Another young Venezuelan team arrived two hours before their first game at a tournament in Mexico and ended up winning the whole contest.

QLE Posted: August 16, 2019 at 04:28 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: venezuela, youth baseball

 

 

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