In June of 2013, Steve Philips took the initiative to introduce baseball to Samara. The group now includes about 20 children, but anyone is welcome to play, from small children to older adults. Participation is free and to play there’s only one rule— have fun.
Phillips says that he chose the sport because few people play it in Samara. He wanted a new sport for children to have fun without worrying about the rules too much.
The group is led by Luke Taylor, who has taken charge of recruiting and training the kids. Taylor thinks that Ticos are not exposed to baseball like people in the U.S., and that it is wonderful when people who have never tried the sport show up. Anyone who comes by is invited to pick up a bat and join the group.
Practice begins by dividing into two teams to warm up by fielding the ball. Then they ensure that everyone has a chance to bat. All the equipment necessary to play has been donated by members of the community, including gloves, bats and balls.
The children run around the field enjoying the sport, and if some are having difficulty, others help them. “It’s great to see that the group– all of them– play for the fun of it,” said David Monserratt, father of three of the boys on the team.
The group meets at the soccer field in Samara on Thursdays at 4:30 p.m., and sessions last between 60 and 90 minutes. For now they do not have any games scheduled; it is informal and recreational.