Baseball in Santiago

Baseball in Santiago 044 On a sunny, warm Super Bowl Sunday, we had weather like Glendale’s but a completely different experience from our friends rooting for the Patriots in Arizona.  We played Sunday morning baseball in Santiago, Chile, with a great group of young boys and girls.  Their coach, Luis Hernandez Olmedo, was a terrific host, and brought lots of enthusiasm to his teams in Santiago. 

Baseball in Santiago 006 As best as I could gather (I speak some Spanish, and none of the coaches spoke any English, so I may be off on some of these points!), they have two younger teams (12 and under) in the Little League, one team for older kids (15 and under) and an emerging league for adults.  They seem to be picking up momentum, and there were players at our practice session showing up for the first time (besides us :-) ).   We caught them during their summer vacation, and they adjusted their practice time to better fit into our schedule, so we played from 10:30 a.m. to a bit after noon.

Baseball in Santiago 047 The gathering had the feel of a great family picnic.  Several parents were there, and there were sets of cousins on the team.  They came from all sorts of different backgrounds.  About 1/3 rd of the players all went to a nearby private school, and had parents who were in professional occupations (doctors, engineers, lawyers).  Another 1/3 rd all went to the same public school, and came from fairly poor backgrounds.  And the final third came from all over, and were friends of others on the team, or just had an interest in baseball.

Baseball in Santiago 027 We were dragging a bit this morning, and poor Gibson was running on empty.  Our flight from Easter Island was delayed by about four hours (no reason ever announced), and we got to our hotel in Santiago after midnight.  He got to bed around 1:00 a.m. (normal bedtime is 9:00 p.m.), and so the wake-up call this morning seemed especially early.  As I write this blog at 5:00 p.m. from our hotel room here, he’s asleep in the other room taking a catch-up nap.

Baseball in Santiago 002 The practice started with some stretching drills, a run around the field, and proceeded to shagging fly balls in the outfield.  After that, they focused on infield drills.  As far as I could tell, they didn’t have batting helmets, and only had a few old balls.  So, at least during our practice time with this group, it wasn’t possible to do real hitting practice.

Baseball in Santiago 054 There were a number of young girls at the practice, which was exciting to see.  The team only practices once a week, but it was clear that some of the players were practicing a lot at home.  The big sport in Chile is football (soccer, for those in the U.S.), and baseball is not on many kids’ radar screen.  However, these coaches were terrific, they were excited to be playing Little League baseball, and the players brought lots of enthusiasm to the practice, despite playing on a hot Sunday morning.

Baseball in Santiago 009 The one negative about this gathering was that several of the participants had New York Yankees hats :-) .  We quickly saw to it that they were Red Sox-ized, and we hope to make them long-term converts to Red Sox Nation!  Feel free to check out our pictures from this fun day in Santiago, Chile, with an up and coming baseball organization.






5 Responses to “Baseball in Santiago”

  1. Luis Hernández Says:

    Estimado Ted:

    Estamos muy contentos de haber recibido su visita a nuestra pràctica de bèisbol.

    Gracias por su simpatìa y energìa. Tambièn por su colaboraciòn en la sistencia del juego. Los niños están muy contentos con los jockies de Red Sox y seguramente, alguno se volverá fanático de su equipo. :) . Nos reimos bastante con la “conversiòn” de mi hermano Isaías, de Yankee a miembro de la Red Sox Nation, :) .

    Lamentablemente no pudimos realizar con ustedes la pràctica de bateo. Serà para la pròxima.

    Para asegurar que vuelvan a Chile, cuando vaya a Punta Arenas, no se olviden de comer “calafate”, un fruto silvestre de un arbusto autòctono, que florece en esta epòca del año. La leyenda dice que si se come calafate, se vuelve a Magallanes.

    Los mejores deseos para continuar su viaje por el mundo. Estaremos atentos a su progreso, a travès de su blog.

    Un abrazo afectuoso,


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  3. Says:

    Nice post. This is my first time I’m visiting your blog and I’ve seen some of your earlier posts too. Interesting!

  4. Youth Baseball Parents Says:

    Great example of what youth baseball should be.

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