Pitch In For Baseball Marks First Delivery of Baseball Equipment to India
Since 2005, Pitch In For Baseball has donated more than 120,000 pieces of equipment or uniforms to children in need. Those donations have impacted more than 70 countries worldwide and more than 250 communities around the United States.
The biggest beneficiary of those donations over the last five years has been Little League affiliated programs.
“We are delighted to play a small part in the growth of youth baseball and softball in India,” David Rhode, Executive Director of Pitch In For Baseball, said.
One of Pitch In For Baseball's recent donations is targeted to help the growing demand for baseball in India.
“Anoop Kumar is our District Administrator in India and has worked very hard to introduce the game of baseball and softball to the children of India,” Dan Velte, Director League Development for Little League International, said. “With the help of PIFB’s equipment donation, as well as Anoop’s dedication to growing the sport, we hope to see significant growth in Little League participation throughout India.”
India is a country with a deep passion for sports. However, for most of its history, most of that passion has not been directed toward youth baseball and softball. Pitch In For Baseball (www.pitchinforbaseball.org), through its strategic alliance with Little League International, is hoping to make inroads.
There are several challenges facing the Little League Confederation of India are:
- There are no baseball manufacturers in India and importing equipment is very expensive.
- India does not receive any funding from the government because baseball competes with cricket and soccer
- Baseball and softball have limited field space due to popularity of Cricket and soccer, and poor funding.
The history of youth baseball in India is quite simple and relatively short.
The organization was founded in 1998, as a baseball and softball academy.
India first chartered with Little League International in 2007 (www.bsllcindia.com), fielding four teams with a total of 50 players.
In three years, the program has expanded to approximately 68 teams and nearly 1,000 players and is seeking to double that number of players in the next three years.
The goals are quite modest for a country of this size, but it is severely limited by access to safe and affordable equipment. That is where Pitch In For Baseball (PIFB) steps in. The not-for-profit organization has been collecting and re-distributing equipment to countries and communities in need since 2005.
In July 2010, Pitch In For Baseball shipped the first installment of equipment to India, providing for nearly 100 children.