The Uganda Little League Team's Doubly Awesome Moment

The Uganda Little League Team's Doubly Awesome Moment

Jimmy Rollins takes a lot of heat for his OBP, occasional lack of hustle and new contract, but you might just be a bad person if you didn't enjoy what Rollins did for the Ungandan National Little League team last night, or what those kids did in turn for a local Phils fan.

Rollins, if you haven't heard by now, has sponsored the Uganda club -- the first-ever from Africa to win a Little League World Series game -- by sending the kids, shoes and equipment and even paying for their education. Last night at CBP, he hosted the whole team, taking them on a tour of the clubhouse and handing out custom fit hats.

Still, that's not even close to the best part, when you consider what they did for another kid who appeared roughly their age.

If you watch this video on MLB.com, you'll see Rollins make a nice backhanded, running catch down the left field line before chucking the ball into the stands.

What you won't see -- be would have if you were watching the broadcast last night -- is that Rollins threw the ball to the Ugandan team who proceeded to hand the ball to a Phillies fan roughly their age sitting next to them.

THEY GAVE AWAY A GAME BALL.

With any luck Jimmy probably signed a whole mess for them anyway, but, still, a game ball.

These quotes from Jimmy and Odong Henry, one of the team's coaches, from the Lehigh Valley Morning Call sum things up nicely:

"Jimmy Rollins is a great man to us, as a brother, as a father, as a caretaker," Henry said. "When he's with us, he's really down to earth. He's not like a superstar. He talks to us freely. He plays with us. When he comes to our country, he doesn't care where he sits. He eats with us."

"Bouncer (Henry's nickname) named his son after a missionary who first was bringing baseball over there," Rollins said. "He told me pretty soon there was going to be a whole bunch of kids over in Africa named Jimmy Rollins."

If they're anything like their namesake, they'll have a knack for philanthropy, gold-glove fielding and smack-talking the Mets.

In the meantime, the Ugandans already know how to hang with the Phanatic:

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Steve Mason rediscovers himself in New York just before Flyers return

Steve Mason rediscovers himself in New York just before Flyers return

It had been a while since Steve Mason saw himself.

Walking into the Barclays Center on Sunday, the Flyers’ goalie was 0-6-2 with a 4.03 goals-against average and .844 save percentage over his last 10 appearances (see more recent Flyers numbers and stats).

A far cry of how Mason truly sees himself in net.

But heading into Wednesday’s rivalry clash with the Rangers, Mason will have something to build on, something he couldn’t say since Dec. 21 - the last previous time he had earned a victory. He’s fresh off his first win in over a month, a massive one for Mason considering all the key moments on Sunday the Flyers hope invigorate his confidence.

Without numerous clutch stops from their goalie, the Flyers don’t come back from two goals down to beat the Islanders, 3-2, in overtime. Mason made four saves  — three on four-time All-Star John Tavares — in just over a minute of a third-period power play. The Flyers ended up having to kill two New York man advantages in the final 10 minutes of regulation in order to force overtime.

The extra session is when Mason was just as good, if not better, stoning Tavares on a breakaway attempt that had game-winner written all over it. Mason made four saves in overtime after 13 in the third period.

“I was happy with the way that, personally, this game went for myself,” Mason said Sunday. “It’s been a tough stretch and this is more the type of game that I expect of myself. In recent games, the team was lacking the big saves and tonight it shows what kind of difference it can make.”

It was a massive performance heading into a massive three-game stretch against the Rangers, Maple Leafs and Hurricanes.

“Mase made some huge saves for us,” Simmonds said. “It allowed us to get back in that game.

“It’s not just Mase [with the] ups and downs. Everyone in here has been kind of fighting it and squeezing sticks pretty tight. That one felt good and I think Mase led the charge for sure.”

Mason understands just one game doesn’t turn around a season.

“It’s nice to feel good after a game,” Mason said. “At the same time, whether you’re winning or losing, you have to have a short mindset and get ready for the next one.”

That brings the Flyers to Madison Square Garden Wednesday to face the Rangers, who they’ve lost five straight games to dating back to last season. Mason hasn’t had much luck against New York this season, allowing seven goals in two losses with an .860 save percentage. However, in 2015-16, Mason put up a 1.74 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in five games against the Rangers.

“That’s going to be a tough game going into MSG,” Mason said Tuesday (see story).

The good thing: Mason was in New York two days ago, remembering what he can be.

Manute Bol's 7-foot, 17-year-old son dominates in HS season debut

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Manute Bol's 7-foot, 17-year-old son dominates in HS season debut

Bol Bol, the 17-year-old son of the late Manute Bol, is a top high school basketball prospect with offers from schools like Arizona, Kansas and Creighton. This highlight tape should give you an idea why.
 
Bol, whose father played in the NBA for parts of 12 seasons, including 215 games for the Sixers, now attends the famed Mater Dei High School in California and played in his first game of the season this past weekend. Listed as the No. 16 overall prospect in the 2018 recruiting class by Scout, Bol started his season off with a big 21-point, 10-rebound effort.
 
Take a look at the highlight tape from the 6-foot-11 Bol and expect to see him carry on his father’s legacy on the court at a major NCAA college basketball program soon.