By JV Villar, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
August 5, 2013
BURLESON, TX – The “Razcals” won in the Pony Asia Pacific Mustang Championship and has represented the region to the youth Baseball World Series 3 years in a row in the United States. Everyone in the squad played a big role with the ultimate goal to win. They had their first win against the host team but lost twice against California. Many supporters believe they still got a lot of work to do.
“These children are really world class. They just need a little bit more support,” said Rodolfo Tingzon Jr, president of the Philippine Tot Baseball Foundation.
The athletes come from a small farming community in Tanauan City, Batangas, Philippines. Underprivileged, some are under-nourished with below average body frames for their age. They are small compared to their bulkier opponents of the same age level. But they are dedicated. Most of them walk a reasonable distance to get to practice.
Baseball is after all a means for free education.
“Kahit mainit, practice lang kami nang practice para po manalo (Even when the weather is hot we just go and practice in order to win),” 9-year old Lord Aragaon De Vera said.
What they lack in corporate sponsorships is more than made up by the pride they instill among ‘kababayans.’
“Masaya po kahit natalo kasi sinuportahan kami ng mga kababayan sa Amerika (We’re happy even if we didn’t become champions because Filipinos in America supported us),” 10-year old Jeff Vispo said.
The PONY baseball program was created for all players to be able to participate in baseball. Their goal is to protect our nation’s youth, as they grow to become leaders of tomorrow.