ACCRA, Ghana -- A delegation headed by Hall of Famer Dave Winfield and former Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants manager Dusty Baker arrived in Ghana on Friday for a goodwill trip aimed at promoting the sport in a region where little is known about it.
The delegation also includes New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya, Major League Baseball vice president Bob Watson and former major leaguers Reggie Smith and Al Jackson.
"I believe it's never too late to begin introducing the American game [baseball] to our Ghanaian youth, and others in Africa just as we've done in soccer. It is never too late to learn anything," said Joshua Benamba, a final year university student.
The delegation is expected to donate baseball equipment, organize baseball clinics and visit schools in Accra. It also will tour the coast and meet with President John Kufour on Monday before returning to the United States the next day.
"I feel good about the purpose of this trip, which is also to promote a game that unites and strengthen people," Minaya said at the welcoming reception. "I feel the enthusiasm in these young guys to adopt the game. They are serious and we are ready to go to limits with them."
Daniel Morde, a soccer fan from Ghana, looks forward to the period when there will be Ghanaian baseball stars.
"We should not only regard it as a strange game, but who knows," Morde said. "It could sooner than later become a hard currency earning opportunity for us."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press