NGoepe, now 31, in 2017 became the first African to play in the major leagues after making his way into affiliate baseball thanks to his excellent defensive play. He was born in South Africa, his full name is Mpho ‘Gift Ngoepe and his first name also means’ gift’ in his native language Soto. “So you could say my name is a ‘double gift’!” Nguibi joked in an interview on Monday with The Sun from his home in Florida.
“I am waiting to know the quarantine rules, but I have to be in Quebec in May,” he continues. In addition to succeeding Cuban Jordan Mandoli in the short title role, Nguibi will lend a hand to manager Patrick Scalabrini in his role as a hit coach.
“The fact that Pat gave me the opportunity to be a player and coach had a huge impact on my decision to go to Quebec. Pat won many tournaments and he knows a lot about building good chemistry in the team. I think I can learn from him, because I also want to be a coach after my soccer career.” .
In Ngoepe, Capitals has just got a hold of an seasoned player who has played baseball on all continents. “Of course I played in Africa when I was young, in Italy after being invited to the academy of major European and African players, in Brazil, Mexico and Cuba when I represented my country in the Junior Championships as a teenager and in Taiwan for the World U-21 Championship.”
His spells with the Sydney Blue Sox in 2018 and 2019 and with the Melbourne Aces, with whom he won the championship this winter, were not even his first steps on Australian soil. “I also competed in the qualifiers for the classic World Baseball Championships in Australia in 2016 and the US in 2012. In 2009, we competed in the Classic, but we were playing against Mexico with Jorge Canto in the ranks and brothers Scott and Jerry Hairston Jr. Good! ”He said about his country’s loss, 14-3. Then South Africa lost 8-1 to Cuba. “We can’t afford to lose any of these games,” Nguib said.
Open the way
Since Nguibi led the way, another South African player, right-handed Tyler Scott, has played in the big teams with the Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners in 2019. “We played against each other. Now Tyler is playing in Hiroshima Japan. Our national team is improving, but we are still … We lack a lot of elements. ” You should know that football, rugby and cricket are the three main sports in the Ngoebe’s home country and that many South Africans do not even know about baseball.
Nguibi says that even hockey and softball are two more popular sports than baseball in South Africa. In addition to eventually becoming a coach, Gift Ngoepe admits that he desperately wants to work to develop his sport across the African continent. “South Africa may be the strongest country in Africa in baseball, but that is nothing when compared to the rest of the world.”
Meanwhile, he will try to help develop capitals with his glove, experience, speed and stick. “He didn’t have great hit rates in affiliate baseball, but he always had a good average in scoring goals, and in the Atlantic League in 2019, he’s still scoring 0.289 with three home hits in the game. Only 38 goals, Patrick Scalabrini said.” Monday.
The latter said that he had been in contact with Nguybe for a while and that other teams from other independent leagues were watching him as well. For Ngoeb, the choice was easy not only because of the opportunity to learn the coaching profession, but also because he would return to Canada, where he played with Jeez in 2018. “Canada is a great country, I really liked the time. I spent in Toronto and was only told about good things. For Quebec City. “
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