Blueprint for the Green and Gold

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We are growing increasingly frustrated with the inertia of the South African Baseball Union. In 2012 we submitted an extensively researched four year Strategic Plan to SABU for consideration.

The Mission: “To provide national leadership and develop baseball as a preferred sporting option and recreational choice, providing a framework for maximum access and mass participation
in building a healthier nation”

The Vision: “Develop and maintain baseball as an adequately resourced system at all levels of participation and that allows for the equitable delivery of school sport, recreation and competitive baseball.”

At that time South Africa was ranked 23rd in the world and uniquely positioned to derive maximum benefit from the rapid globalization of the sport of baseball. With the introduction of a South African Baseball League (SABL) we could derive immediate benefits in foreign investment, international relations and tourism. In collaboration with local national and international, private and public sector partners, we had secured investors willing to establish quality facilities to meet the needs of both elite level showcasing and participant growth of Baseball.

Two years later South Africa is ranked 31st in the world, having been passed by the likes of Hong Kong, Thailand, Phillipines and Argentina; the only efforts to grow the sport are being spearheaded by dedicated individual outside the confines of the SABU; the numbers of players in the professional ranks has remained static at eight; investors have grown impatient with the lack of response and set their sights on other southern hemisphere countries and our national championship was held without a murmur in the international baseball and scouting media?

This is a far cry from the realistic and achievable goals proposed in the Strategic Plan.

At the conclusion of this strategic plan cycle (31 December 2017),
baseball will be the sport of choice for 140,000 South Africans with a top sixteen (16) world ranking and an automatic berth in the Little League World Series. South Africa will take its rightful place as an integral part of the burgeoning international baseball structure.

I have shared the original document in the hopes of staring a dialogue that will help propel our baseball out of obscurity.

Blueprint for the Green and Gold

For the record, I am not trying to secure a position on the SABU. My son followed his dream to become a professional baseball player and my commitment is to grow the game of baseball in South Africa, leveraging my access to resources and knowledge developed over a fifteen year association with this sport from coach and manager to administrator. I also serve as the President of the Going to Bat Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of our youth by providing any child who wishes to play baseball or softball with the means and the opportunity, providing a viable alternative to other destructive options.

In this document the term “Baseball South Africa” is used generically and should not be confused with BaseballSA.com which is a website I created to  to provide players, administrators, coaches, supporters and scouts with easy access to information on the growing number of South African baseball players.

Keith Lovegrove

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