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A Home Run: Allstars play Okinawa Prefectural Government

By Senior Airmen Omari Bernard | III Marine Expeditionary Force | November 27, 2016

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The U.S. Consulate Allstars, a team made up of U.S. Consulate and senior military leaders stationed on Okinawa, took on members of the Okinawa Prefectural Government in a friendly game of baseball, Nov. 19, 2016, at Kadena Air Base. Although the Allstars lost the game 15-5, they were able to build on a partnership through baseball diplomacy.

This is the first time the team has played a team from the Okinawa Prefectural Government.

“I had a great time at the game,” said Lt. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson, III Marine Expeditionary Force commanding general. “It was great seeing the Okinawa Provincial Council out here.”

Nicholson said there are a lot of community outreach programs that go unseen.

“We talk a lot about doing things in the community,” he explained. “We do more than most people know. We are trying to integrate Okinawan teams into all of our intramural leagues; whether it’s football, soccer or basketball. The more the community feels a connection to the bases the better it is for all of us.”

Through friendly games and competition around Okinawa, the Allstars, coached by Joel Ehrendreich, U.S. Consul general, Naha, hope to continue to build a tradition of community outreach through baseball diplomacy.

“The main focus of today’s game was to build up a relationship with the Okinawan Prefectural government and the people of Okinawa,” Ehrendreich said. “In that regard it was a great success.”

The Allstars are scheduled to continue playing more baseball games throughout the rest of the year and into the summer of 2017, spreading diplomacy and building partnerships through baseball.

“As always, it’s fun to be out on the field,” Ehrendreich said. “We are going to continue to try our best to make friends through baseball across Okinawa.”
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