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They play baseball in Manipur, India. And there’s a movie coming out about it

May 6, 2013, 11:32 AM EDT


File this under things I did not know:

Some American soldiers brought the game to Manipur [in northeastern India] during World War II and started a tradition that has lasted all these years handed down from family to family, making it perhaps the only place in India where baseball is played.

“I know that there are several women who are involved from one generation to the next over the years to keep it alive,” [Melissa] Leo said, “because “it really seems to help especially the youth to direct their energies and have a healthy outlet for them.”

There’s a documentary coming out about it called “The Only Real Game.” It was made by Mirra Bank and is narrated by Melissa Leo. It was shown at the New York Indian Film Festival over the weekend. I’m sure at some point we’ll be able to see it on Netflix or something.  I love stuff like this, so I’m looking forward to it.

  1. cur68 - May 6, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    So long as no one sings for a half hour, takes ~ the entire movie to die, or engages on any form of group dancing, this could be ok. If any of the above takes place, I shall recommend it to my mom, who loves that sort of thing, and promptly purge it from my brain with a giant q-tip.

    • Francisco (FC) - May 6, 2013 at 12:06 PM

      I’m trying to picture the entry point for the Q-tip here Cur… are we talking Star Trek 2 Ceti Alpha Eel entry point or are we talking pre-school index finger entry point? Because the latter was heavily favored by the Ancient Egyptians to scoop brains out.

      • cur68 - May 6, 2013 at 12:17 PM

        If you’ve spent any part of your formative years being forced to watch Bollywood movies, you’d know that the hollow-head feeling you get after one means that point of cranial entry is completely meaningless.

        In fact, after one particularly protracted musical interlude in something that looked like My People’s version of Romeo & Juliet I felt certain that the hollowness had extended right down to my fingernails. Access to the cranial vault, which had taken to toning mournfully like a tuba every time I passed near an open window and the breeze hit my ears, would have been possible from almost a metre away.

        You can see why they have such a large population there in India. Its either fornicate and make babies or watch the damn movies. I know which I’d choose.

      • bigleagues - May 6, 2013 at 12:31 PM

        Actual true Indian porn has begun to seep out to the internets. I hear it’s really bad, but the good news is . . . NO MUSICAL INTERLUDES.

        The truly odd thing about the Bollywood movie is the reluctance to lock lips. Man and woman will simulate foreplay in some of the more risque attempts at cinematic intimacy, but will never allow lips to get closer than a centimeter apart.

        Women will argue its sexy and artistic. I’ll argue blueballz.

      • indaburg - May 6, 2013 at 12:38 PM

        Bollywood movie are like traditional Indian weddings. Extravagant affairs with lots of dancing and singing that seemingly goes on for days, and by the end, no one remembers what the point was. I’m with cur although I will stop short of q-tip impalement. I will watch this so long as there is no superfluous dancing and singing. It sounds like a great story.

  2. El Bravo - May 6, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    Next you’ll be telling about there is baseball played on the North Side of Chicago. I’m skeptical to say the least.

  3. Old Gator - May 6, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Basechakra. I like it.

  4. historiophiliac - May 6, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    I love that the women are helping to keep it going.

    • indaburg - May 6, 2013 at 12:32 PM

      That’s what jumped out at me too. Cool story. I look forward to the movie.

      • historiophiliac - May 6, 2013 at 12:33 PM

        I hope there’s baseball dancing.

      • indaburg - May 6, 2013 at 12:44 PM

        I can see it now. As the runner tries to score from third, the catcher lifts the baserunner up over his had a la Patrick Swayze from Dirty Dancing, spins him around, while the boys in the dugout lock arms and do high Rockette leg kicks. “I’ve had the time of my life…” Cue credits.

      • heyblueyoustink - May 6, 2013 at 1:22 PM

        Dirty Dancing made it’s way into HBT today. Not sure where to go from here. Seis de Mayo, brain working at about a DSL level right about now.

      • indaburg - May 6, 2013 at 2:50 PM

        Major League: The Musical.

      • historiophiliac - May 6, 2013 at 2:33 PM

        I guess that means blue is sitting this one out then.

      • heyblueyoustink - May 6, 2013 at 3:08 PM

        Sometimes I can contain myself :-) ….. sometimes.

      • historiophiliac - May 6, 2013 at 3:12 PM

        Boooo! No one puts blue/stink in a corner.

  5. bigleagues - May 6, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    My GF is of Indian descent LOVES to chide me about the superiority of Cricket over Baseball.


    • greatdayfortwo - May 6, 2013 at 1:39 PM

      If you weren’t aware, you might be excited to know there’s a movie coming out (probably) next year that is based on The Million Dollar Arm, the contest that brought cricket playing Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel to the MLB rookie leagues for a chance to learn to pitch in a baseball game.

      • bigleagues - May 6, 2013 at 7:28 PM

        Yes, thank you. I am aware of this and have been fascinated with that story since I heard of it a few years ago.

  6. nprakash5 - May 6, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    Though it is excellent you found this article and I appreciate it, but the map of India is wrong. Hope you can correct it to the right one instead of this.

    • mazblast - May 6, 2013 at 5:05 PM

      Enlighten us as to what is wrong with the map. I’m genuinely curious.

      • nprakash5 - May 6, 2013 at 11:52 PM

        I probably should have done so in the first place. The top portion of the map shows Kashmir with some portions marked in different colors. It has a portion called Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and another portion called China-occupied-Kashmir. It is unfortunate that even other sources are marking this as different country or atleast show as if they are not part of India. Please look at the link below for example on what should be the correct map.

  7. raysfan1 - May 6, 2013 at 10:14 PM

    For those who might be curious as to American soldiers’ activities in India during WW II, there were a number of air bases in the northeastern area used to stage supplies which were then flown “over the hump” (over the Himalayas) into China to supply US and Chinese forces. The US planned to launch all out aerial assaults against Japan from Chinese air bases; some missions were flown but were generally ineffective. The efforts eventually were made moot when US forces seized Saipan–B-29s could reach Tokyo from Saipan but not from any of the air fields in China.

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