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Baseball in Myanmar

Baseball is a sport played primarily in US and Japan. There is however, a Myanmar national baseball team. Watch and listen to the video closely to try and identify the ten missing words in the transcript below. You can listen to the video more than once.

This is where the game of baseball is literally a small grassroots movement. The infield of an old horse 1____________ is now the home field of the Myanmar national baseball team. The club is a collection of part-time players with day jobs. They include 2____________ workers, a teacher, a cook and a taxi driver named Kyaw Thuya Tun. He's 33 years old, married with two daughters.

''I drive the car to work for my family and I play baseball because I love it''

Toru Iwasaki of Japan, the 3___________ of a local private primary school, started the team 18 years ago. The program gets very little 4______________ support from the national sports ministry and depends mostly on money from coach Iwasaki's own pocket to stay afloat.

"Surely, I like baseball. I like baseball and I'd like to introduce baseball in this country's to spread more. This is my passion.''

On this 5__________ afternoon, the Myanmar national team is taking on a ragtag squad of expatriates from the US and Japan.

''I like coming out with the guys and the camaraderie that comes out of it''

Mick Amundsen-Geisel grew up in America and works as a guidance 6___________ at an International School in Yangon but today he's competing against the Myanmar national team, a club he 7_________ practices with.

''It's definitely an American game but it certainly has Asian aspects here ... like the language that they use and the cheers that they do.''

But you get a sense of baseball's 8______________ or lack of it, here in the Myanmar by looking at the number of people in the stands. The team prepared a printout explaining the basic rules of the game in the local Burmese language to help 9__________ understand the game. Few people are familiar with baseball in this country where football also known as soccer is still king.

''People don't even know what this uniform is for. In other countries people know this is a baseball uniform but here it's hard to explain what baseball is about''

For now, baseball is likely to remain a fringe sport in Myanmar but this team is making its own contribution 10_____________ America's national pastime.

Dave Grenoble for VOA news Yangon Myanmar.


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