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Friday, March 16, 2007

Bangor Native Helps Young Dominican Baseball Players

"The poverty is beyond anything that exists in this country," said Mosseau. "One in every 50 kids can afford a glove. They make gloves out of cardboard and bats out of tree limbs."

  • He also said lawn mowers are scarce, so during the rainy season, farmers will take their livestock to the baseball field where they will "eat the grass down to a reasonable height."

"Then we’ll hire people with machetes who will crouch down in a catcher’s position and cut the grass," said Mosseau, who noted that some of the fields there are "hideous."

Somewhere in the Dominican Republic, you’ll find youngsters running around wearing Garland Street Middle School baseball uniforms.

When the Bangor middle school had its name changed to William S. Cohen Middle School in honor of the Bangor native and former Secretary of Defense, it didn’t need the Garland Street uniforms any more.

Enter Tom Mosseau.

Mosseau had played baseball in the Dominican Republic and it proved to be a life-changing experience for him.

"It’s amazing. People have so little, but they have great spirit and energy. They love the game of baseball," said Mosseau, who lives in Monroe. "And it is glaringly obvious that they have athletic talent over there.

"They are fabulously talented. There are over 100 Dominicans [in the majors] and that’s amazing considering the size of their country and the poverty. Every little town has a baseball diamond even though there might be a palm tree in the middle of center field."

They play year-round and have some topflight winter leagues.

"It’s the national focus, the national pastime," said Mosseau. "Pedro [New York Mets and former Boston Red Sox ace righthander Pedro Martinez] is more important than the president of the country and they both know it."

But the poverty also left a lasting impression on him and he decided he would try to solicit baseball equipment for the Dominican people.

That was approximately 20 years ago."

From the article in Bangor Daily News, 3/15/07, by Larry Mahony

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2 Comments:

  • Susan: I hope this note finds you doing well.

    I wanted to reach out to you because I saw you posted the article on Tom Mosseau on this blog.

    A friend had sent me a link to the story too and I have reached out to Tom and we are trying to work out a time where he will appear with me on one of the MLB Live Shows on MLB Home Plate XM 175.

    I hope you are able to listen and find the conversation enjoyable.

    Best,

    Steve Lenox
    Fill-In Host
    MLB Home Plate (XM 175)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:24 PM  

  • Thanks very much for your comment, Steve. Glad you noticed the Tom Mosseau story, too. I like hearing about specific help reaching those who need it and will use it--rather than just giving to a giant fund in which much of the money is wasted on administration, etc. This is one too many stories about substandard and potentially unsafe ballfields in these important countries. Of course, I want safe ballfields in the US, too. Thanks again. I hope to catch your coverage of the story--perhaps the channel will somehow publicize it. If not, believe me, I understand. I worked in radio for 20 years.

    By Blogger susan mullen, at 8:50 PM  

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