Ugandan catcher Dennis Kasumba, who will have a chance in MLB

Theoscar Mogollon Gonzalez | @Theo_Mogollon

Inspirational stories like these give us a chance to look at the game in a different light. Just four years ago, Denis Kasumba worked at a slaughterhouse in Uganda to try to earn enough money to eat, just 14 years old.

And it is that things have now completely changed for him, since this Thursday he received a travel visa to be able to play baseball in the MLB Draft League this summer, a circuit where amateur players from universities Six teams participate. and high schools, hoping to develop their skills in front of hundreds of Scouts.

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As journalist Matt Monagan reports on the portal, Kasumba’s story is one where resigning is not an option. His father went away to fight in the Ugandan Civil War and never returned, while his mother abandoned him and his siblings at his grandmother’s home when he was just two months old.

From then on, extreme poverty forced the young man to look for ways to keep himself alive, so he dropped out of school and went to work in a slaughterhouse near his home, with the intention of earning nothing. Will eat

Briefly, in that continuing routine he met coach Paul Wafula, who also grew up in the same circumstances and found purpose in baseball helping others. It was then that Kasumba joined the local team run by Wafula, working as a catcher on a dusty playing field.

Later, after joining the Ugandan baseball team, Kasumba used a small space next to his grandmother’s house to exercise, recording videos that eventually went viral on social networks, in which he and the household used equipment.

In view of this, the videos reached various coaches in the United States as well as Sean Campbell, the president of the MLB Draft League. “I love creativity. It’s using the resources it has available to it”Campbell commented in an interview.

The momentum of the video, as well as the harrowing backstory, led the Uganda Baseball Federation to recruit Kasumba to play Campbell in a draft league. And it is that the Ugandan government and non-governmental organizations helped the young man to finally get a travel visa after overcoming some inconveniences.

Now, Denis Kasumba will have to report to Frederick Keys, the Maryland team with whom he will play in June. There he will be coached by former catcher Rene Rivera, who will surely help him learn new skills and adjust to a place he never dreamed of reaching. Baseball has undoubtedly given him new hope.

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