E-Pao! Top Stories - First Pitch And Major League Baseball International Envoy Program To Send Coaches To India

First Pitch And Major League Baseball International Envoy Program To Send Coaches To India

By:- First Pitch *

MLB International, First Pitch: The Us-Manipur Baseball Project, and the U.S. Embassy,
To Conduct Baseball Camp in Manipur and Clinics Throughout India

As part of its Envoy Program, and in conjunction with FIRST PITCH: THE US-MANIPUR BASEBALL PROJECT (FIRST PITCH) and the U.S. Embassy in India, Major League Baseball International (MLBI) will send Envoy Coaches to five cities in India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Calcutta and Imphal in Manipur.

Envoy Coaches will begin a series of clinics and camps for local baseball coaches and players from November 4 to December 8, 2006, it was announced today.

The intensive coaching camp for local Manipuri coaches from November 4-14, highlights a joint initiative between MLBI and FIRST PITCH, with the support by Spalding Baseball, that marks the first venture of FIRST PITCH to express its mission to promote and support baseball in Manipur. A series of clinics for local baseball coaches and players in four other cities in India will instruct them in the fundamentals of baseball.

Taking place from November 4-14, 2006, CAMP MANIPUR will be an 8-day intensive camp to educate and produce Manipuri coaches. Over 250 Manipuri baseball players have already signed up to take part in a preparatory 10-day Fall Training program in Imphal from September 17-27, organized by FIRST PITCH and the Manipur Amateur Baseball Association. The Fall Training will also be used to select participant coaches for the camp in November.

The Envoy Program, developed by MLBI in 1991, utilizes top high school, college, and professional baseball coaches. Envoy Coaches are selected based on their experience, expertise and passion for teaching the game of baseball to culturally diverse audiences in countries throughout the world.

The Program has sent baseball coaches on more than 700 assignments in 72 different countries and territories. MLBI and the U.S. Embassy will co-host this important first effort at upgrading the level of coaching in Manipur, as well as conducting introductory coaching programs in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Calcutta.

"With its enormous reach and ability to influence, the Envoy Program is vital to the long-term growth of the game and an integral part of our overall mission to internationalize baseball," said Paul Archey, Senior Vice President, Major League Baseball International. "We are very excited about the opportunity to work with FIRST PITCH and look forward to fostering the development of the game in India."

Lauding this initiative, the U.S. Ambassador in India, David Mulford, said: "Baseball is to America what cricket is to India. We are delighted that we can work with Major League Baseball International and FIRST PITCH to share this game with Indians. As sports enthusiasts, the Indian people may one day embrace baseball as they have cricket and other sports."

Established in 2005, FIRST PITCH: THE U.S – MANIPUR BASEBALL PROJECT, is a New York and Imphal-based organization created to develop to establish a much-needed center for baseball in India, and to assist in upgrading the level of play, the quality of equipment and playing fields. There are currently over 25 sports clubs with baseball players and teams in Imphal, the capital of Manipur.

Although Manipuris have been playing the game for decades, there is little infrastructure and no formal instruction, equipment or uniforms. "What these people do have," said FIRST PITCH Chairman Muriel Peters, "ís great joy in the game and tremendous athletic ability.

It is this enthusiasm in such a remote corner of India that gave us the impetus to create FIRST PITCH." The initiative aims to build model for similar baseball programs throughout the country.

"In the rich soil of Manipur's athletic culture, we will have a strategic haven to nurture and set down deep roots for professional baseball in India,"said L. Somi Roy, Executive Director of FIRST PITCH.

A documentary is also being filmed by the award-winning team of director Mirra Bank and cameraman Vic Losick. Shooting began in New York in June 2005 with a local crew in Imphal in August 2005.

L. Somi Roy, FIRST PITCH Baseball Camp & Clinic:
Muriel Peters, FIRST PITCH Documentary
Dominick Balsamo, Major League Baseball International

FIRST PITCH: THE U.S – MANIPUR BASEBALL PROJECT, is a New York and Imphal-based organization
You can contact them at
This article was webcasted on 13th July 2006.

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