Team USA’s 14-and-under national baseball team will be headed to Managua, Nicaragua, on July 22, and they’ll be taking a piece of Baltimore with them.
Baltimore native Troy Stokes Jr. is one of only 18 youths selected to represent the U.S. in the COPABE Pan Am ‘A’ 14U Championships scheduled to begin this weekend. With 14 year olds picked from all over the country – including six players from California and three players from Texas – Stokes is the lone selectee from Maryland. He’s also one of only two African Americans on the team, hand-picked from more than 40 youths participating in the tryout for the team.
“I believe this is the first time ever that there will be at least two Blacks playing for Team USA’s 14U team,” Troy Stokes Sr. told the AFRO. “It was either one or none, but never two. That’s definitely a step in the right direction.”
The national team left for Nicaragua on July 21 and will begin action on July 25 in a match against Panama. They will face El Salvador on the 27th, Mexico on the 28th and Honduras on the 29th. Each game will be played at either Jackie Robinson Stadium or Dennis Martinez Stadium, both located in Managua.
Due to strict team policy, coaches or players will not be available to the media.
“Not even the parents are allowed to contact the kids during the championships,” said Stokes Sr., who will be leaving for Nicaragua on July 23. “The most we can do is wave.”