Dave Winfield thinks Ghana could produce quality baseball players.
"We know they've got some talent. We know they kicked America's behind in soccer," the US Baseball Hall of Fame member said on Thursday before flying to Africa for a goodwill tour.
Former Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants manager Dusty Baker, Major League Baseball vice president Bob Watson and former major leaguers Reggie Smith and Al Jackson also are making the trip along with New York Mets manager Omar Minaya.
"All you have to do is see the last World Cup and see how great athletes those guys were from Ghana," Minaya said, thinking back to the Black Stars' 2-1 victory last June that eliminated the US in the first round.
"You look at those athletes and you say, `Why can't they play baseball given the opportunity?'" he said.
Based on last year's opening-day rosters and disabled lists, 27.4 percent of the 813 players in the major leagues were born outside the US' 50 states.
The Dominican Republic had the most of those with 85, followed by Venezuela (43), Puerto Rico (33), Canada and Mexico (14 apiece), Japan (nine), Cuba (six), South Korea (five), Panama (four), Taiwan (three), Australia and Colombia (two each) and Aruba, Curacao and Nicaragua (one apiece).
In the US minor leagues, 2,964 of 6,568 players were born outside the 50 states (45.1 percent).
The Taichung Warriors yesterday collapsed in the final at the 15th Taiwan Annual Cricket Cup in Chiayi City, but Chetan Sharma’s 50 scripted a near-unbelievable resurgence to snatch the trophy from the Taiwan Stars. Sharma’s 4-24 restricted the Stars to 130-6, but the reply was a disaster as the Warriors fell to 25-7 after six overs. However, Sharma undid all the work of opening bowlers Amir Sohail and Abrar Hussain (both 3-14) to guide them to a two-wicket win. The result reversed their group-stage encounter at the eight-team, two-day competition at the Yunsan baseball fields. In the semi-finals, Sohail took 4-21 as the Stars
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