A few weeks ago I made more progress with the boys on the diamond in one day than I did in the last six months and I have one lady to thank for this. Thanks, Mai.
Mai is a friend of mine I met last year shortly after getting to my site. She grew up in my village and still has family there. She’s going to school in Bangkok and speaks English better than a lot of Americans. We met up in Bangkok last June and have kept in contact since.
She was recently back home with her family and came to my weekly baseball game to watch. Fortunately, she did a lot more than watch. She called herself a cheerleader, but she was more like a co-manager. She explained to the players everything I’ve been having trouble getting across to them with my broken Thai. She’d ask me questions about the rules, but rarely needed any assistance. She’d stop play and explain to the confused kids why there can’t be two runners on one base, why a runner on first has to run to second on a ground ball and why the runner was called out after not waiting for the fielder to catch the fly ball.
They really listened to her. It was amazing!
After the game she gave the kids a talking to and told them they should be helping me clean up the bases, balls, bat and hats after the game. I told her that wasn’t necessary, but she assured me it was.
The next time I played (sadly, without Mai), all of the kids cleaned up and gave me a wai (bow) and thanked me after the game.
Also, the kids like to play a game called suung suung before the games. This is where I throw the ball as high as I can and they rush to catch it. Check it out: