THE FRIDAY TICKET
Little League Woodbat Tournament in Robbinsdale raising money for Africa
August 2, 2014By Wally Langfellow of Minnesota Score
Three years ago, Robbinsdale resident and former Robbinsdale Little League President Gary Tonsager traveled to the small country of Benin,West Africa where he met a young man named Alban Guidi who loved American baseball. It was Alban's hope to teach the kids in Benin the game—he reasoned that it would help keep the kids off the streets and in school since many forego their education to help put food on the table. Alban will be on hand at the Woodbat Tournament this weekend working as a volunteer and serving as an ambassador to his native Benin.
Now 65 players strong in addition to 15 enthusiastic coaches, Baseball in Benin has become a reality. Tonsager, along with another Robbinsdale resident and former Little League coach, Wally Langfellow, have teamed up to begin Little League Baseball in Benin, West Africa. Robbinsdale is the "sister baseball city" to Cotonou, Benin, Africa.
The Baseball in Benin project has already supplied players in Benin with much needed equipment including shoes, bats, gloves, catcher's gear, batbags, hats and jerseys. The proceeds of this weekend's Woodbat Tournament will be used to help build a field in Benin. Players there currently play on a beach.
Once their field is constructed, the players in Benin can begin toform more teams and in the coming years, Tonsager and Langfellow hope to bringthem to Robbinsdale to compete in the Wood Bat Tournament. The WoodBat Tournament,, now in its 10th year, is a great way for the players inMinnesota to connect and help the players in Africa.
For more information and photos, go to the Baseball in Benin Facebook page,or to BaseballinBenin.org. Woodbat Tournament information can be found at