Pirates' India Experiment 'Endearingly Ridiculous'

Signing pair of reality-show winners brings baseball to India, adds to mutual ties
By Rebecca Smith Hurd,  Newser User
Posted Dec 7, 2008 3:29 PM CST

(Newser) – The Pittsburgh Pirates, baseball’s perennial losers, scored a huge win for US-India relations last week when they signed as pitchers two young reality-show winners, Bruce Reed notes in Slate. “With one grand, unlikely gesture, Pennsylvania has introduced America’s national pastime to the second-most-populous nation on earth,” he writes. “For their sake, let’s hope it's possible to learn baseball by watching the Pittsburgh Pirates.”

The teens are the first Indians to play any pro sport in America, having won $1 million—and tryout slots—with their fastballs, honed in javelin-throwing practice. The players’ blog chronicles their experience, such as learning to use a mitt and hob-nobbing with Hollywood execs. “Their poignant, comic initiation to Southern California culture seems destined to generate screenplays.” Reed notes. “The whole episode is like the Pirates themselves—endearingly ridiculous.”