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West Side LL Slams HR for Cuba

A simple email resulted in enough baseball gear to outfit a full league of kids in Cuba.

"Would West Side LL have any used equipment to donate to Beisbol Across Cuba?" I asked.

"We might have a few bats and helmets," replied Jose Aguilera, VP of baseball for WSLL (left).

I met Jose at the league's storage facility on Manhattan's Upper West Side. He opened the door to the room and said, "This is all yours."

Stunned, I muttered, "I thought you said a few helmets and bats."

"Your charity means a lot to me," said Jose. Turns out, his parents fled Cuba in 1961 and Jose was born later that year in NYC. He has never travelled to Cuba but has long dreamed of taking a youth team to the island, to visit and to share his heritage as a Cuban and a fan of baseball.

Transporting all the gear from Manhattan to the BAC storage room required two trips with my pickup truck packed full. Each of the approximately 20 team bags are filled with helmets, bats, catcher's gear, plus some uniforms, mitts and other equipment.

And WSLL is not done giving. In June, the league will stage a BAC day, giving all players of WSLL the opportunity to share dreams with kids in Cuba.

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