LONG ISLAND, NY – After a recent relocation from Manaus, Brazil to the Big Apple, advertising executive Joao Silva, 39, is eager to help his eight year old son fit in as the new kid in a new country. “Americans love baseball. I want my son to be part of the group at the parks and at school. So, like many American dads, we spend some time after my day at work, in the backyard, just kicking around a baseball,” he says. “I feel silly wearing the glove, but it’s important to blend in when you’re trying to make new friends.”
In Brazil – known more for its love of soccer and jiu-jitsu – the American pastime is gaining enough popularity for its growing population of 207 million to know the sport exists. “I’m still learning the rules,” Silva admits. “Like when the – how you say – umpire blows the whistle for a foul, is that a free pitch or a touchdown? Either way, Victor is learning how to dive to get the umpire’s attention.”
His son, Paulo, is fitting in well. He leads his little league team in goals by a wide margin.