Baseball for the Blind celebrates historic season

Baseball for the Blind celebrates historic season
The international Mole's Cup grew to six participating nations and aims to expand in 2020. The discipline was for the first time on the agenda of the WBSC Congress last month.

Baseball for the Blind was on the agenda of WBSC Congress for the first time in Osaka. The presentation by Alberto Mazzanti, the President of the Italian Association Baseball for the Blind (AIBxC) and Eva Trevisan, Executive Assistant, draw a lot of attention from the Member Federations.

The 2019 season proved historical for the discipline. Rome hosted the ninth edition of the Mole's Cup, the only Baseball for the Blind international tournament.

The Mole's Cup was originally played by Italy, France and Germany. The 2019 edition saw the participation of Great Britain, Cuba and the New York Rockers, a team recently born in the USA.

Italy defeated Cuba, 1-0, in the final. The placement games had the same scoreline with France beating Germany to finish third and Great Britain defeating the New York Rockers to finish fifth.

Cuba won two individual awards. Maikel Merino earned MVP honours, while Yubis Zapata Rodriguez was named the Best Hitter. Another award went to Gavin Freya, the youngest player of the tournament.

The Sport Commissioner of the City of Rome, Daniele Frongia, presented an award to the Italian National team for winning the Mole's Cup. During the ceremony Frongia showed full support to the project that aims to put Baseball for the Blind on the programme of the Paralympic Games.

Martin Mondino, the President of the Baseball Federation of Argentina, was at the Mole's Cup and expressed the intention of starting a Baseball for the Blind programme in his country.

The goal for the 2020 Mole's Cup is to have also Pakistan and Panama participate.

This version of Baseball for the Blind originated in Italy thanks to an idea by the late Alfredo Meli, a former star baseball player. The first game was played in October 1994. Eleven teams participate in the Italian League. Milano Thunder's Five won the 2019 title as they beat Leonessa Brescia in the final.