Mexican children play ball in gear from here

District 69 residents opened their hearts to help young ball players


Viva la Baseball!

From the infield comes word Oceanside Minor Baseball’s Mike Parlow and Brian O’Hare teamed up with Vicki Matthew and Robin Pearson recently at Springwood Park, as the local association donated three complete sets of uniforms to the couple, who have been taking equipment down to the kids of La Manzanilla, Mexico, for a couple years now.

“We still need hockey or large equipment bags and large gloves this year but otherwise we’re in pretty good shape,” Vicki said. “The La Manzanilla teams are up to three this season and maybe even four, so it’s grown. This has been a very successful partnership.”

“It’s marvellous to continue supporting these guys – they’re doing all the hard work,” Parlow said of the local couple. “Folks around here have been taking used baseball equipement to Mexico and the Dominican Republic for at least 16 years, and we’re just happy to help them out.”

As for the enthusiastic beneficiaries of La Manzanilla, first reported by The News back in 2011, the kids took the summer off “because it’s too hot and rainy,” but by now have registered their kids and have probably started playing.

“The kids were following Patti, their manager, around town in their enthusiasm to get started,”  Vicki chuckled, adding the older team will play hardball and the younger kids will continue to play softball.

“More of the community have become involved too, which was a major goal of ours.”

As it stands, the couple has about four duffle bags full of donated baseball gear ready to go. Members of the Parksville Seniors’ Athletic Group have also contributed.

“We’ll take down what we can when we go (Dec. 1) and get the rest of it down later,” she said.


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