“The Dream”, a phase that Juan Bustos Sr. used to describe a vision he saw. That vision that he described was bringing baseball players to Italy to play in a baseball tournament. He had three goals: Give baseball equipment to those in need in Italy; Bring local ball players to Italy to compete; Experience an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will change the lives of not only the baseball players he is bringing, but to change the lives of the baseball players his team is facing.
I know my life changed from this amazing experience that I was lucky to be part of. I think all kids should experience what I did this past summer. The chance to not only play baseball, but learn new customs of baseball Italy had to offer. I was excited from the initial plane ride to Munich, to us winning the entire tournament with a 6-0 record.
My teammates and I played our hearts out to show the Italians how good we are and they saw it. They saw us win that championship from not only teamwork, but also from the help of the parents.
Our parents were the backbone to this entire mission. They completed the mission to send us to Italy, and our mission as players was not only to have fun, but to win. To win the entire thing. And we did. We did. So, thank you to everyone who made this vision possible. Thank you Juan Bustos Sr. Thank you Pozzi family, Smith family, Cortes family, McBride family, Olguin family, Venezia family, Alvarez family, Ono family, Fernandez family, and my family for supporting your players. Thank you Juan Bustos Jr, Javi Bustos, Rodney Caton, and Justin Pozzi for coaching us to succeed.
Thank you Juan Bustos Sr. Dave Pozzi, Sergio Contreras, Patrick Ono Sr. and Marvin Cortes, for driving us to the games and practices. Thank you to everyone who helped make this vision possible to not only change our lives, but to change the lives of many others. Thank you for supporting the 2012 Baseball Without Borders National Team. Thanks to you, we are all champions!
Earlier this month, 11 South San Francisco middle school youth traveled to Verona, Italy with the non-profit organization Baseball Without Borders. The team of ten boys and one girl beat out their Italian competitors to win a local tournament.
All of the players had participated in the South San Francisco PONY Baseall program this year, and many played for South City school teams in past years.
The author of this post, Ricky Pagan, 14, pitched a complete game in the championship game.
Baseball Without Borders will be holding tryouts for next year's team in September. Check back with Patch for updates.