Aug 22, 2023

Photo of kids playing baseball in Bhutan takes internet by storm

A group of children stands waiting under the 177-foot tall Great Buddha Dordenma statue in Bhutan, a tiny country in the Himalayas between Tibet and India. They’re not there to worship; they’re not there waiting for their parents. Three of the kids in this picture actually face away from the bronze-and-gold statue that houses about 125,000 other statues.

Those three have gloves on their hand. They’re watching as another kid throws a ball, and the person in the foreground swings a bat. They’re playing baseball on a concrete slab outside the monument.

A recent article on written by Michael Clair introduces the world to baseball in Bhutan, a country with a population of about 700,000. Since the inception of the Bhutan Baseball and Softball Association, a few dozen kids playing has turned into about 6,000, league co-founder Matthew DeSantis told Clair.

Archery and darts are traditional Bhutan sports, according to MLB, and DeSantis said the country didn’t have much TV or internet until 1999 or 2000. There is minimal knowledge of baseball, but this league is helping to change that. Within a few weeks of the league, 600 to 700 kids started showing up at each event.

As well as inspiring kids to play baseball, it inspired one of the coolest sports photos you’ll ever see. It was taken by DeSantis:

The world's most remote country, Bhutan, is experiencing a baseball boom

What started as a handful of kids playing on a concrete slab has grown to more than 6,000 children who are becoming dedicated baseball fans

"It's the fastest-growing sport in the country right now," says…

— MLB Life (@MLBLife) August 3, 2023

The league is growing, with a handful of teams and even playoffs. The Twitter account for the association has 361 followers as of Thursday evening, and it posts consistently to its audience.

A dedicated baseball field has yet to be built in the area, so they use open fields — or slabs of concrete — that they can find.

Read the full article here — it’s a great look into the rising popularity of baseball in an unexpected place.