Stefan Jenss, world traveler and former blogger for the Global Bros, was one of 250 kids, ages 10 and 11, selected to participate in the World Children’s Baseball Fair (WCBF) in Tokyo, Japan. The event celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Stefan Jenss reports.
The World Children’s Baseball Fair was started in 1989 by the home-run kings Sadaharu Oh of Japan and Hank Aaron of the USA. Its goal is to bring kids from around the world together through their common love of baseball. Because the sport promotes teamwork, good health, discipline, and friendship, Mr. Oh and Mr. Aaron believed the event would create goodwill and global understanding and appreciation among the children of the world. Twenty-three countries were represented at the WCBF this year.
This year’s WCBF included six baseball clinics, a meet-and-greet with
Japanese students, and cultural exchange events, which included a visit
to see Kabuki theatre–a traditional Japanese play.
Here’s a picture of me at one of the cultural exchange events:
week-long fair, we had the opportunity to improve our baseball skills with the help of legends like Sadaharu Oh and Hall of Famer, Lou Brock, who played
for the St. Louis Cardinals. Together with kids from Pakistan, we
learned about stealing bases from Lou Brock. The clinics were run by
coaches from different countries, who are selected by the International
Baseball Federation, so they really know their stuff!
While I was
there, I got to make some new friends from countries like Malta,
Micronesia, and the Netherlands. Even though baseball is not very well
known in these countries, they are really good at playing. All of the
participants stayed at the National Olympic Memorial Youth Center, which
is where the athletes stayed during the 1964 Olympic Games held in
Tokyo. The weather was very hot and humid, but everyone got through it
by having fun, playing baseball, and making new friends.
Stay tuned for my interview with Sadahara Oh and Lou Brock, two baseball legends who played in Japan and the USA.