Baseball in Benin is an organization that was formed in 2010 after Gary Tonsager visited Benin on a Onesight mission giving eye exams and glasses to people in need. The organization strives to organize and promote baseball in the nation of Benin, West Africa. Baseball in Benin is based out of Minnesota and is currently focused on training coaches, setting up leagues, shipping baseball equipment and securing fields to play on. With the help of the organization in Minnesota and people on the ground in Benin the game of baseball is expanding in the small west African nation. Currently there are over 20 coaches and 300 kids participating in baseball. Below are the profiles of the people who are involved in the project. For more information on the story of Baseball in Benin visit the media page or contact us.
Gary founded Baseball in Benin after his One Sight mission there in 2010 providing eye wear to those in need. Since then he has devoted much of his time to the cause. Most recently in May of 2016 him and Wally went to Benin with the goal to bring a team over from Benin Africa to compete in the 2016 Wood Bat Tournament Benefiting Baseball in Benin.
Wally Immediately jumped on to support Baseball in Benin as soon as Gary returned from Benin in 2010. Wally is the owner of Minnesota Score Magazine and has coached countless youth sports teams in the Robbinsdale area. He made his first trip to Benin in May of 2016 with Gary.
The inspiration for it all. Alban hails from Benin. He was one of Gary's interpreters and recognized his Brett Favre jersey. Alban had lived in the U.S. as a child and him and Gary started talking Baseball. Alban talked about how he regretted not bringing his baseball glove to Benin where Baseball is non existent. Recently Al has obtained a degree from the University of Tampa.
Fernando was an interpreter for Gary during his One Sight mission. Fernando originally learned Baseball through Youtube videos. In the summer of 2013 Fernando got the opportunity to come to Minnesota to train to become a certified Baseball coach. He helped coach 3 different baseball teams. Fernando returned to Benin and is currently coaching over 200 kids. Fernando was a coach for team Benin when they visited Minnesota in 2016.
Arnaud was another on of Gary's interpreters in Benin. He is currently a school teacher in Cocotomey Benin. In 2014 he was trained and certified as a coach by Fernando. Arnaud was a coach for team Benin that visited Minnesota in 2016.
Gary and Constant met at the One Sight clinic in 2010. He was the facilitator in charge of organizing the One Sight clinic. He is the project consultant for Baseball in Benin. He has dual citizenship with houses in North Carolina and Cotonou Benin.