Richard Stanley worked for 22 years as a chemical engineer for Proctor & Gamble before he retired and started to volunteer with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). As a part owner of the minor league Trenton Thunder, the Yankees Class AA affiliate, he knew a thing or two about baseball, and it wasn’t too long before he found himself bringing the game of baseball to Uganda. In 2002, Uganda Little League Baseball was born and has since grown into a sport for champions. In July 2015, Uganda sent three teams to compete in the Europe/Africa Regional Baseball Tournament in Poland, and made a second ever appearance by an African team in the August Little League World Series held in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Clearly, Uganda is winning.
Unlike soccer, the game of baseball is not an African staple; it remains America’s favorite, culturally relevant pastime But over the last decade, Stanley has devoted himself to growing Little League baseball in Uganda and has even predicted that the country will eventually produce a major league player. And he would know. Stanley has helped the likes of Robinson Cano, Joba Chamberlain, and Melky Cabrera on their way to the New York Yankees.
The Ugandan teamed is poised to play competitively by all standards, and next on Stanley’s agenda is to one day bring US Major League Baseball (MLB) scouts to visit the country. This idea is not so farfetched, given Uganda’s current success rate. In fact, references have been made to the Dominican Republic’s success in sourcing extremely talented major league baseball players, with the anticipation that Uganda will rival the Dominican Republic’s success.
Stanley has made a strong case to support this “Eventually, Uganda will long surpass the Dominican Republic as far as the number and quality of players”. This, we believe, is the perfect pitch.