(KMSP) - Tuesday marked an exciting day for 12 little league baseball players visiting Minnesota from Benin, a small nation in west Africa.
The team got the chance meet some of the pros, caught a Twins walk-off win Monday night and even trained with some Twins instructor. The boys’ coaches hope the lessons they've learned this week will go far beyond the diamond.
Though the kids are relatively new to baseball, that doesn't mean expectations aren't high.
The team conducted bilingual drills as part of the Baseball in Benin program, which brings America's pastime to the west African nation.
“It’s also life skills, it’s school. We emphasize these kids prospering in school and transferring baseball skills, integrity to their school work and vice versa,” said Wally Langfellow, Vice-President of Baseball in Benin.
Langfellow said it probably won't be long until these kids are competing for a Little League World Series, helped along by some encouragement from those in the major leagues.
“I firmly believe you’re going to see them in Williamsport within five years, maybe shorter, because they’ve come so far in such a short period of time,” Langfellow said. “We can make that happen. We just gotta put in the work, keep it up and then it’s going to happen.”
The team is taking part in another scrimmage tonight ahead of the Baseball in Benin tournament little tournament this weekend.