We believe the future of baseball lies on the majestic continent of Africa
We are absolutely committed to helping grow the game of baseball in Africa
Share your pictures, events, accomplishments in this truly wonderful game.
BaseballAfrica is an information resource owned and managed by the Going to Bat Foundation, Inc. a tax-exempt 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization in the US. The Going to Bat Foundation was co-founded in 2009 by African-born professional baseball player Kieran Lovegrove, currently with the San Francisco Giants organization. There is no affiliation with any baseball federation or union in Africa.
We are committed to improving the lives of youth in Africa by providing any child who wants to play baseball or softball while improving their education, with the means and the opportunity, providing a viable alternative to other destructive options.
Africa was the last of the six major continents to develop baseball and has only produced one major league player as of February, 2019. Gift Ngoepe made history in April 2017 when he became the first African-born player to play in the Major Leagues with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Others are now poised to follow in his footsteps.
Could Africa become the next hotbed for baseball talent? The heartbeat is weak, but it is growing and there is no questioning the athletic talent. While South Africa is the currently the highest ranked country on the continent, there is a growing passion for the game in countries like Benin, Ghana, Botswana, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya and Togo.
South Africa’s baseball strength has been bolstered by international competition, but the cost of traveling halfway around the world has stifled the growth of the game on the continent. Although developing the game in a country like South Africa, where baseball is not a major sporting code, is a daunting task in itself, the secret to long-term growth and strength might lie in simultaneously fostering the growth of the game within other African countries.
MLB has demonstrated its commitment to developing the game amongst Africa’s one billion inhabitants. The annual African Elite Camp showcases a group of 40 players selected from tryouts in nine countries for a tournament and training event held in South Africa. MLB is also donating equipment, training youth coaches, and holding clinics in seven other countries to reach players as young as 12.
Japan has also been developing the sport in Africa for years. They have helped create leagues in Burkina Faso and Tanzania, and the Japanese government paid for new fields in Ghana and Uganda. African coaches and top players visit Japan for training. A few Africans have earned spots on teams in Japan’s independent leagues.
European teams from countries like France and Germany are also reaping the benefits of inter-continental competition by escaping the harsh northern hemisphere winters and honing their baseball skills during the African summer.
Let’s focus on growing this wonderful game throughout Africa.
Gift Ngoepe, the first African-born player to play in the Major Leagues.