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Jimmy Rollins goes to Uganda; finds a knuckleballer

Jan 18, 2012, 8:50 AM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v St Louis Cardinals - Game 3 Getty Images

Great story at ESPN.com about Jimmy Rollins’ recent trip to Uganda, where he met and worked with young baseball players who were supposed to play in last years’ Little League World Series but were unable to come up with the funds to travel here. With Rollins’ help they will now get to play a series against the Canadian team they were supposed to meet in Williamsport.

Lots of great stuff in the story, but I like this thing about a shortstop/pitcher named Babu who is easily my favorite Ugandan baseball player now:

[Rollins] and Babu Alex, a talented shortstop and pitcher, have become fast friends. “As a shortstop, I want to be Jimmy Rollins,” said Babu, who has two younger brothers who are also shortstops. “As a pitcher, I admire Cole Hamels. I have four pitches, including a knuckleball.”

If they’re turning out knuckleballers in Uganda, I put my full support behind the establishment of major league training academies all over that country.

(thanks to bigxrob for the heads up)

  1. Old Gator - Jan 18, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    I get the odd feeling that R. A. Dickey had been through there already on his way to Kilimanjaro….

    • Francisco (FC) - Jan 18, 2012 at 9:07 AM

      Who do you think taught Babu the Knuckleball?

      • kopy - Jan 18, 2012 at 9:13 AM

        I can just see a teenager throwing upper 90s with movement until Dickey comes over and says, “No, NO! You’re doing it all wrong! Here, let me show you…”

  2. drmonkeyarmy - Jan 18, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    This is indeed a great story. I love hearing stories about athletes and their charitable work. One of the reasons I love HBT is that these stories actually get mentioned. To often these “feel good” stories don’t get the coverage they deserve.

    • Old Gator - Jan 18, 2012 at 9:04 AM

      Just as well. I don’t do smarmy, and I hope he shot a couple of meerkats and poached some rhino horn while he was over there too.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jan 18, 2012 at 9:35 AM

      What kind of monster would thumbs down that comment? Seriously, the decadence prevalent in the lives of these HBTers is become more apparent by the day. Next thing you know, the readers will be organizing an annual goat slaughtering and peyote roast. Once again, I am going to blame Cur. His influence on this board is growing and is rather concerning. Behind his beaver wrestling exterior, there lies a black heart capable of unspeakable evil.

      • phillyphreak - Jan 18, 2012 at 9:40 AM

        Mmmmm slaughtering…..

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 18, 2012 at 9:50 AM

        “annual goat slaughtering and peyote roast.”

        As long as the Goat is marinaded properly and BBQ’d over some seasoned cherry wood, and the peyote shows up, count me in!!!

      • cur68 - Jan 18, 2012 at 11:06 AM

        Hey!

      • paperlions - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:34 PM

        I don’t think it’s “unspeakable evil”….I mean, we talk about it all the time, right?

      • paulsdamnblog - Jan 18, 2012 at 4:32 PM

        I have to agree with Jonny5, goats kind of tough and really needs to be marinated first.

  3. drmonkeyarmy - Jan 18, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    Also, it has just come to my attention that Jimmy Rollins and his wife are expecting their first child. It has been a good winter for Jimmy. Let’s hope the good karma carries on throughout the summer.

    • Francisco (FC) - Jan 18, 2012 at 11:30 AM

      that Jimmy Rollins and his wife are expecting their first child.

      Hey so am I! It’s a girl, I have the enormous task of making sure she does not fall for cur-infested blue jays fandom and make sure to raise her as a proper Phillies Phan.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:32 PM

        I’m counting on you FC. You can’t let her fall in league with the Dark Side. Remember, you must instill in her that Joe Carter used some type of evil voodoo in Game 6 to defeat the side of righteousness. As a result, the world fell into disequilibrium until all was restored to order by Sirs Cole Hamels and Brad Lidge.

      • cur68 - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:48 PM

        Big moment ahead for you Eff Cee. I predict you’ll have your work cut out for you since she’ll be Canadian. This means wit, charm, discretion, worldliness, and a fondness for Blue Jays pre-programmed in. She’ll be as awesome as Captain Kirk. As lovely as Sarah Mclachlan. As talented as both and you will fight a losing battle from day one. She regard all Philly Phans with due amusement and tolerance (as is befitting the way we treat all of those inclined to tout anything as deranged looking as The Phanatic). Furthermore, she’ll be able to swear in 3 languages, regard hockey as an amusing interlude to fistfights, and enjoy her seal blubber raw. You have so much to look forward too…

        PS: Carter did use voodoo in Game 6. He had Jobu serve up Mitch’s Mojo like a slider middle in. That’s how awesome he is. Your little girl will be on the side of awesomeness, truth, and owning Phillys like I own my pickup truck.

      • Old Gator - Jan 18, 2012 at 10:56 PM

        Children are horrible.™

  4. mojosmagic - Jan 18, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    Jimmy has always been one of those guys that gives back to the community. Great person and a fantastic, fun to watch player.

  5. mox19380 - Jan 18, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    nice article. Jimmy seems to do more good than the average player. Hopefully one of their runners can teach jimmy the art of stretching and conditioning so J-Roll avoid his now annual DL stint with pulled hammies/calf/etc

  6. crnvic847 - Jan 18, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Is this Babu from Seinfeld?

    • bjavie - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:07 PM

      You very bad man!! Very bad!!

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