For the past few years Paul Perry and the Buenos Aires Shankees, an expat baseball team playing the Argentina capital, have been friends of Baseball de World. And now the American expat is doing something great for the kids in Buenos Aires that we felt needed to be shared.
At a small bilingual school called Sir Thomas Malory Perry is teaching young kids the great game of baseball. The school has become the first one to adopt baseball as an official sport in a soccer crazed country.
During morning breaks, Perry teaches 6th and 7th grade students the game. But only those students who complete their homework and don’t misbehave in the classroom. The grades are broken down with the 6th graders practicing on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the 7th graders on Mondays and Wednesdays. On Fridays both grades get together to practice.
However, this is not an easy task for Perry. Baseball is not a popular sport in Argentina. Soccer rules the sports world there and most, if not all, of the students he teaches have never played the game before. Overall there are 30 players who are participating with only one, Perry’s 11-year old son Henry, that has any experience.
But experience isn’t the only issues he has run into so far. With 30 players, Perry only has 20 gloves and six practice balls. The league the Shankees play in has helped out with a few old gloves and balls, and the school has helped out by providing an equipment bag. But the kids are still in need.
They practice on a rugby field with old white sofa cushions as bases. In fact there are only two baseball fields in the city, and Perry is hoping to get approval to move the practices to one of them in the future.
The program will go year-round and hopefully the sport will catch on with some of the students. There is a Little League in the city, La Liga Metropolitana de Beisbol, and Perry hopes to be competing in that in the future.
It’s a long road ahead for the program, but it is off to a good start thanks to the hard work and dedication of Paul Perry. If you would like the help out the program in some way, contact Paul through the Shankees Website. They are in need of pretty much everything baseball related.
And if you want to learn more about the program and how the kids are doing, check them out on the Baseball Buenos Aires Facebook Page.
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.