Fair Ball: From Canada to Uganda

03/04/2012

Team Canada’s first game at the 2011 Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA was scheduled to be against Team Uganda. But just before last summer’s tournament, the African nation’s teenaged players were denied entry-visas into the United States.

Team Canada’s first game at the 2011 Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA was scheduled to be against Team Uganda. But just before last summer’s tournament, the African nation’s teenaged players were denied entry-visas into the United States.

Authorities had discovered irregularities with their birth certificates. It was the Rev. John Foundation team from Kampala, Uganda. They wanted to become the first team from Africa to play in the Little League World Series. A team from Saudi Arabia eventually replaced them in Williamsport, PA and lost 5-6 to Canada.

However the situation didn’t sit well with Baseball Canada and in cooperation with “Right to Play” they organized a do-over. In January the Langley, British Columbia Little League team traveled to Uganda to face the squad from Kampala. Current and former Major Leaguers Jimmy Rollins (Philadelphia Phillies), Derrek Lee (Pittsburgh Pirates) and Gregg Zaun flew over as well and watched the game.

Uganda beat Canada 2-1 in the make-up contest, fulfilling at least parts of their big dream.