BYU Baseball Team in Curaçao to play baseball and give service to local community
WILLEMSTAD – The Brigham Young University (BYU) Baseball Team is currently in Curaçao to play against the local team in the Curaçao Cup. According to the organisers of the games, there are not very many places in the world were American baseball teams can come and play the game at a high level.
Sam Lebeau is one of the organisers of the trip and told Curaçao Chronicle that this is the second time that they are bringing an American baseball team to the island to compete against local teams. Last year they brought the Dallas Baptist University (DBU) Baseball Team to play against Curacao. The Curacao team won the games last year.
Lebeau indicated that there are plans to expand the games by inviting more countries to participate. Countries like Aruba and maybe the Dominican Republic where baseball is a major sport. Curaçao and the Dominican Republic are two major exporters of baseball players to the United States.
The BYU team also gave service to the local community by cleaning the Boca Ascencion in Bandabou. The park is known as a turtle nesting area and is a popular attraction for locals and tourists. One of the problems the area has is that during storms the current brings trash from other islands and dump it right there. The park management told Curaçao Chronicle that they even found trash from Trinidad & Tobago, and Bonaire. “This is a constant problem for the park and that is why we are so grateful for the help we are receiving today,” said the Director of Uniek Curaçao which manages the park.
Mike Littlewood, who has been the Head Coach for five years now, said that this is a high-quality team. Last year the team ranked 16 in the national polls. They led the U.S. in four to five offensive categories. “We’ve got a really good offensive team. We’ve finished 37 and 17 last year and we are building on that,” said the Head Coach.
Littlewood also said that one of the reasons they are here on the island is to do Church Service. Brigham Young University is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is why the baseball players asked the members of the Church in Curaçao to give them a hand in the clean-up service at Boca Ascencion. Several local members and missionaries of the Church stationed in Curaçao answered to this call and were part of this unique service experience. Curaçao is part of the Church’s Trinidad & Tobago Mission in the Caribbean area. President of the Mission, Gregory Egbert was also present to assist in the Church service.
The BYU team will not only play against the local baseball team but will also give baseball clinics to young players on the island. This will take place this coming Saturday at 3 pm at the Montaña Baseball Park.