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Ghanaian Baseball Star Travels to Italy for a Chance at the Majors

Daniel Atiemo, starting second baseman for Ghana’s National Baseball Team, will showcase his talents this month at the Major League Baseball International (MLBI) European Baseball Academy held in Tirrenia, Italy.  This competitive gathering is designed to instruct elite young baseball players from Europe, the Middle East and Africa in order to prepare them for the rigors of professional and international baseball.  From August 9 to 30, 55 of the top players from the region will participate in the camp at the Italian National Olympic Training Center.

“Players like Daniel Atiemo carry the torch for baseball in their countries and lead the way for the development of baseball in their regions,” said Paul Archey, Senior Vice President, Major League Baseball International.  “Through the Major League Baseball International European Baseball Academy, Daniel will compete with elite talent from across the region and learn from some of the world’s most experienced baseball instructors.”

Known by the nickname “Iron,” 19-year old Atiemo is a standout player in his West African nation where thanks to help from organizations like the African Development Foundation (ADF), many children are now catching baseball fever.

“I am very thankful to Major League Baseball and the ADF for helping me with this opportunity, and I look forward to getting on the field to show that Ghanaian baseball players can compete on this level,” said Atiemo.

Atiemo’s exposure to professional baseball began earlier this year in March when he attended two weeks at the New York Mets spring training camp in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Mets General Manager, Omar Minaya, invited him to attend during a February goodwill baseball tour to Ghana. The tour was organized by the African Development Foundation. His impressive play, along with the growing popularity of baseball in Africa, even gained him an interview on ESPN with Dusty Baker.

The sport of organized baseball is relatively new to the country of Ghana as recently showcased in the international media by way of PBS’s Frontline Series. 

“This is exciting for us to see how a sport like baseball can take root and give talented players from all over the world a chance to reach their dreams,” said ADF President George Ntim.