Little League World Series: Africa Sends First Team

Uganda probably won't win, but the underdogs are crowd favorites
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2012 10:14 AM CDT
The Little League baseball team from Lugazi, Uganda, participates in the opening ceremony of the 2012 Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa., on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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(Newser) – The Little League World Series is under way in Pennsylvania, and al-Jazeera writer Cath Turner takes note of a milestone this year: Uganda is playing, the first time a team from Africa has made the tourney in its 66-year history. The boys from Lugazi lost their opener in the double-elimination tournament yesterday to Panama, 9-3, but they had plenty of American fans rooting for them as underdogs, notes AP.

"I didn't expect to find fans here," says the surprised team manager. "But I knew it was history and one thing I know about Americans, they want to see how Africans play ball." The al-Jazeera's Turner suggests another reason: "The players from Uganda are very sweet, very polite and very shy," she writes. "They're quick to give me a big, beautiful smile ... (and) their wide-eyed wonder at just about everything around them is infectious." The team plays Mexico today. More scores and schedules here.

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