It was diplomacy on the diamond!
A team of pint-sized Brooklynites faced off against their counterparts from China during a friendly baseball game in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Aug. 2 where the athletes from opposite ends of the world bonded over their love of the sport — even if they couldn’t talk about it.
“There definitely was a language barrier. It was interesting because we saw the resilience of kids trying to find a way to communicate,” said Keri Weaver, whose son Savion Weaver-Diaz played first base for the hometown team. “But at the end of the game we got some great pictures of one of the Chinese boys with his arm around one of our tallest players, looking up at him and marvelling about at how tall he is.”
The intercontinental battle between 9-to-12-year-olds on Kings County’s BedStuy Sluggers and the visiting Powerbaseball Angels from China unfolded over six innings on the home team’s turf at Herbert Von King Park.
And although the visitors handily defeated the local squad 17–6, the Kings County competitors left the field with the satisfaction of knowing they gave it their all, their coach said.
“It was a great experience for them to grow, learn, and see how the game is truly played,” said Yaseen Allah.
The Angels visited Brooklyn while in the United States to compete in the Pony youth-baseball league, which pits squads from around the world against teams from across the country.
The Bedford-Stuyvesant game was not part of league play, but rather a pickup match organized by each teams’ leaders with the help of officials from a local baseball camp where aspiring athletes from both squads honed their skills, according to Weaver, who oversees operations for the Sluggers.
And after the final inning wrapped, the home team celebrated the occasion by treating the out-of-towners to a local delicacy, she said.
“They ate pizza at picnic tables,” Weaver said.