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SOUTH AFRICAN BASEBALL CHATTERBOX

"SUCCESS IS NOT AN OPTION, ITS A REQUIREMENT" 


 
YANKEES STADIUM APRIL 15th 2014

 Yankee Stadium celebrated the unveiling of the plaque of iconic world leader and Yankee fan Nelson Mandela in Monument Park. Grandson Zondwa Mandela received a framed replica from the Yankees Steinbrenner family to mark the prestigious occassion in the presence of Jackie Robinsons wife and family.  


 


Jul 5, 2014 - Derth of Cape Town talent affecting national teams?

The demise of South African Sports generally has been consistent with the absence of local Cape Town talent from the national teams. Without playing the racist card it is evident that the so called “nonwhite “sportsman played a huge part in contributing to the success of SA sports.

Soccer legends from the last 10 years have disappeared and no successors in the making. The likes of Andre Arendse , Fortuin, McCarthy, Williams, Pienaar, Bartlett and other household names that made South Africa the African Soccer Champions and ranked 27 in the world.. The demise of Cape Town clubs, Spurs and recently Ajax and Santos are a classic example.

Rugby has seen a similar demise and the likes of Breyton Paulse and Chester Williams do not have successors.  Cricket seems to be the exception.

Baseballs strength in the 80s and 90s was clearly amongst the cape flats and “nonwhite” players that signed MLB minor league contracts were Paul Bell, Carl Micheals, Brett WIllenburg and the Weitz brothers from Mitchell’s Plain. If a National team were to be selected in 2 years’ time these players mentioned together with Faizel Moosa, Daryn Wedel and Gavin Jefferies would struggle to qualify and with the exception of Gift, and we could see an all “white” team.

The recent trend in Minor signings shows that a “nonwhite player” has not been signed since Gift   Ngoepe who remains the top ranked SA player.

Western Province Baseball clearly the home of baseball and powerhouse in all divisions have not had a “nonwhite” player sign a minor league deal in 10years, the last being Brett Willenburg. Is the demise of Cape Flats clubs consistent with the trend in other sports? The powerhouse Mitchells Plain Baseball union that boasted a membership of over 500 players and 8 clubs has been reduced to one club with a struggling membership. Mitchells Plain produced some of the best  pitchers to represent South Africa  like Fanny Van Niekerk, Ashley Dove, Robbie George, Russell Van Niekerk and national players  Neil Adonis, Deon Kerchhoff, Marvin and Jason Jonathan.

Only one of the “nonwhite “clubs has regularly featured in the top 4 of the major league division over the last 3 years. Powerhouse club Thistles has fallen by the wayside. Battswood, Silvertree, Crusaders, Lansdowne and Yankees a pale shadow of their former glory years.

There are numerous questions to be asked that transcends all sports.

  • “ What has happened”
  •  Has the pool dried up
  • Are the players getting equal opportunities afforded to others?
  •  Are quality players been overlooked and local scouts only focusing on others and not made aware of opportunities.
  •  Is there requirement to pay to represent your province and country draining the resources and the financial requirements driving players to play cricket as an alternative where funding is provided.
  •  Is the imbalance of providing facilities and upkeep still tilted in favor of the northern suburbs clubs similar to apartheid years?
  •  Has the demise of community sports in favor of existing competitions robbed the game of its  
     natural pool of talent?
  •  Are executive members to set on retaining their positions of power at the exclusion of initiative
       required to revitalize the game.
  • Is there any confidence in the SABU to correct the situation and provide opportunity to rejuvenate the base? Is there a visionary plan for baseball? Does SABU have the technical expertise to develop the game?
  • Is there exposure for the game on TV, news media
  • Has there been any attempts to secure international events/competitions
  • Is there a partnership with Government to assist in the rebirth of the baseball in schools and other institutions?
  • Has baseball been scratched off the list of options for school sportsman?
  • Does baseball have the community support base it enjoyed before unification?
  • Why is the biggest and most successful baseball tournament a tournament held for past players.
  • Is there still pride left in competing at national tournaments and why players are withdrawing from teams.

Chatterbox will endeavor to provide answers from people and players whose passion is the success of the beautiful game

The answers are available if

  • Costa Rica  population of 4.8million can reach the semifinals of the World cup
  • Dominican Republic population of 10.4 million mostly poor people provides 10.46% of MLB players.

May 28, 2014 - Boland Schools program reaps success

 
Pitcher Laydin Andrews became the first rural Mass participation; Opportunity and access; Development and growth (MOD) Centre baseball player to make a national team. He was selected for the 15-and-under South African team that will travel to the World Cup in Mexico in August 2014. His team came third in the National Provincial Championships (NPC) held in Durban from 29 April to 3 May 2014.

“I didn’t expect to make the team, so I was shocked when they called my name. I felt that I had pitched well in the tournament but it was still a big surprise,” he said. Laydin’s grandmother Beatrice, who is his primary caregiver, said that she felt something special was going to happen during the tournament. “We prayed for Laydin every day while he was away on tour. I just know he will make a success of anything he puts his mind to because he works so hard at achieving his goals,” she said.

What makes his success even more remarkable is the fact that the NPC was his very first exposure to tournament play. MOD programme curriculum advisor Easlen September says Laydin’s success is due to his exceptional work ethic. “He is the first person at training and the last to go. He is always asking the coaches if there is anything he can do before he leaves. He has a passion for the game and is a strong but quiet leader.”

Laydin was one of the first learners to attend a MOD Centre when one opened at De Tuinen Primary School in 2010. At that time, the school had been playing in the Boland Baseball Schools league. It became a baseball focus school in 2012. Laydin’s true ability came to the fore after September was placed in the Cape Winelands to develop the game. “Laydin started improving his game little by little. During Sharp centre focused training I saw when we moved him to pitcher that he started to come into his own,” said September. 

Laydin has made it his mission to make it to the Major Baseball League to play for his favourite team, the Boston Red Sox. He sees the World Cup in Mexico as one step in a long journey. “I want to learn as much about the game as possible in Mexico. I’m also working hard so that I can increase my strikeout rate.”

Paul Bell, MOD Programme curriculum developer and former professional baseball player for the Milwaukee Brewers, says Laydin’s work ethic could give him a chance of playing professional or college baseball. “He needs to improve his pitching velocity if he wants to increase his strike out rate and that means that the MOD programme coaches have to support him. A comprehensive programme needs to be set for him to help his physical and mental progression,” said Bell.

May 12, 2014 - A GIFT TO NELSON MANDELA TRUST

 

 See Pictures

SOUTH AFRICAN WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC TOP A GIFT TO NELSON MANDELA TRUST FUND

2013 World BASEBALL CLASSIC TOP “No. 2” worn by Rick Magnante was found left behind, at the hotel the SA team occupied during the playoff competition at Roger Dean Stadium Jupiter South Florida and found by Mike Ward of Chatterbox.

 Magnante the South Africa team manager in the 2006 and 2009 WBC's and 2013 playoffs, but did not qualify for the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He is the current 2014 Snappers new Manager and will be entering his eighth season as a member of the Athletics organization.

At the New York Yankee Stadium on April 15th the SA “#2” playing tops pride was restored and handed to the grandson of late President Mandela, Zondwa Mandela as momenta on the historic day in the presence of the South African Consul General George Monyemangene,  Sello Hatang, CEO of “The Nelson Mandela Foundation” and Harry Belafonte the world renowned singer and will be show cased at the Nelson Mandela Foundation Headquarters in New York.

 The SA top is significant as it represents the number worn during South Africa’s first and only World Baseball Classic victory in May 2013 during a playoff game against France which South Africa won 5-2 in 11 innings.

The gift represents a gesture to the family from the Baseball fraternity in South Africa who were honored in the plaque that symbolizes a goal for SA baseball players to aspire to and one day repeat those famous words as a future Yankee. “You know who I am, I am a Yankee”

Apr 24, 2014 - Yankee Stadium opens its arms to a World Icon late President Mandela

                 Click here for more pictures

 New York Yankees a household name in world baseball and the most successful franchise in MLB history, showed its strength by bridging the divide and associating itself with a world leader who famously declared, " You know who I am, I am a Yankee" These words were immortalized in Monument Park and stands as a reinforcement and reminder that greatness is a product of humility, commitment to justice and respect for all mankind.

 Mandela's place in the hallowed baseball park is more than just an acknowledgement for his efforts to bring about change through peace. Its more than the reward of the Nobel Prize. His plaque is a huge challenge to baseball in South Africa and the rest of Africa to strive endlessly to produce a Yankee that will grace the field as an MLB player.

 The Yankee honoring "Madiba” is visionary but not without responsibility. As long as the plague shines on the stadium his voice rings out loud through the corridors and board rooms. His final peace and rest will only be attained when he hears the words "I am a Yankee" uttered from the mouth of one of his sons of Africa who one day wears the beloved Yankee uniform as a player.  His life sought not honor and accolades, rather the advancement of his nation’s people. This dream will haunt the stadium till the goal is realized. Every African baseball player is faced with responsibility to take up the challenge of the leader has thrown down. His dreams can only be fulfilled in us.

 It’s ironic that the initiator of the idea of the plaque was the labor union Hector Figueroa- President of the 32BJ Service Employees Union, an admirer and believer in the principles Mandela strongly represented. Figueroa approached the Steinbrenner family and the idea was borne to honor his icon.

 The emotional unveiling was witnessed by Chatterbox  as a guest and part of the delegation invited to the ceremony. The challenge is inspirational and will form the focus of Chatterbox's commitment to South African baseball and to be part of the collective effort through partnerships to achieve the end goal.  

  

Apr 19, 2014 - Yankee Stadium immortalizes Nelson Mandela in Monument Park. A reminder that we can fulfill our dreams of a MLB Player in the near future

"YOU KNOW WHO I AM! I AM A YANKEE"

click here for> The Pictures of the Monumental Occasion

 

Apr 11, 2014 - Pitch in for Baseball donation has huge impact on Grassy Park Baseball Projects

 

Click here for handing over pictures 

 

Crusaders Baseball Clubs Grant Robertson initiative led the way in securing a sponsoreship of used baseball equipment from Pitch in for Baseball USA. Chatterbox coordinated the shipping of the equipment and arranged a further sponsorship for the Devonshire Rovers Baseball Club.The partnership of Devonshire Rovers, Fairmount High and Department of Culture and Sport  introduced the "Mass Opportunity and Development" program in Parkwood and uses baseball and other sports to promote education and learning in Maths and Science. The schools greatest challenge is feeding there impoverished children who lack direction and initiative. Ivan Gabriels the pioneer of the concept says the project has brought hope and an opportunity for mass participation and a chance achieve.
The Department Art and Sports assists with Human Capital Development and not equipment to advance the game. The Devonshire partnership with Chatterbox has given 10 schools the opportunity to participate, thanks mainly to Pitch in for Basebals donationl. Crusaders initiative has successfully brought much needed equipment to this proud club with a long history of developing talent in the greater Grassy Park area.

Mar 28, 2014 - Bellville Champions for 2014 Season

BAWP Final League Results

MAJORS

Team Played Wins Lost % Game Back
1 Bellville 28 25 3 0.893  
2 Bothasig 28 24 4 0.857 1
3 Athlone 28 20 8 0.714 5
4 Durbanville 28 17 11 0.607 8
5 VOB 27 11 16 0.407 14
6 Westridge 28 6 22 0.214 19
7 Silvertree 27 5 22 0.185 20
8 Grassypark 28 3 25 0.107 20

 

PROMOTION LEAGUE

Team Played Wins No Decision Lost Win Percent Game Back
1 Goodwood 21 17 0 4 0.81  
2 Helderberg 21 16 0 5 0.76 1
3 Battswood 21 13 0 8 0.62 4
4 Kenfac 21 12 1 8 0.60 5
5 Lansdowne 21 11 0 10 0.52 6
6 Devonshire 21 10 0 11 0.48 7
7 Thistle 21 2 1 18 0.12 15
8 Milnerton 21 2 0 19 0.10 15