As the opposite younger baseball gamers from Whalley, B.C., ran to one another on the diamond to rejoice their nationwide Little League championship victory Saturday in Mirabel, Que., Dio Gama raced to his father. Each dad and son realized the bittersweetness of the second.
Tears streamed from the 13-year-old boy’s eyes as he hugged his father, Noe Gama, as a result of he knew he would not be travelling along with his teammates to the Little League World Sequence this week in Williamsport, Pa.
Dio Gama, who was born in Las Vegas to Mexican dad and mom, has lived in Canada for 3 years. His dad and mom have been looking for refugee standing in Canada for greater than a decade, however the household’s case stays in authorized limbo after a federal decide ordered a evaluation of their case final month.
The method has been difficult by the truth that Noe has beforehand been denied standing in Canada. In 1997 he was convicted on a drug cost in america. Beneath a plea settlement, Noe acquired a 60-month jail sentence and agreed to deportation from the U.S. He was transferred to a Mexican jail to finish his sentence and was launched in 2001. In 2008, Noe first arrived in Canada with a customer visa and claimed refugee safety.
The household hoped its case can be resolved by now, however simply days earlier than the nationwide championship sport, the household bought a letter from its lawyer saying the applying was nonetheless pending and advising that Dio shouldn’t go away the nation as a result of there was an opportunity he would not be allowed again into Canada.
The staff left Sunday for Williamsport with out Dio.
“This has at all times been my dream, to play for Canada on the World Sequence,” Dio stated earlier than boarding his flight again to Vancouver. “I used to be taking part in the nationwide championship prefer it was my final sport with my staff.”
‘He is torn into 100 items’
Dio saved all of it a secret. He did not inform his coaches or teammates he would not be capable to fulfil his dream of taking part in within the Little League World Sequence if the staff gained the Canadian title.
Nonetheless, with all that weighing on him, Dio turned in his greatest efficiency of the event within the championship sport. He hit two triples and drove in 4 runs to assist Whalley to an 11-Zero victory over Glace Bay, N.S., that earned them a spot in Williamsport.
“I had an awesome sport,” Dio stated. “I had enjoyable and I am glad about that as a result of I knew it was most likely my final sport with my staff.”
His father watched each second of the sport from the stands in Mirabel and was emotional all through.
“He is torn into 100 items,” Noe Gama stated of his son. “As quickly as the sport was over he got here to me and began to cry. It is so troublesome for him and me.”
As quickly because the celebration ended after the sport, Noe approached Whalley’s head coach, Mike Marino, to share the information with him.
“We had been devastated,” Marino stated from the staff bus travelling to Williamsport Sunday afternoon. “Not solely is he a pacesetter of the staff however he is an awesome child. He was devastated. All of us are.”
Holding out hope
Marino says Dio joined the staff this previous 12 months with the hope of serving to them get to the World Sequence. As a result of Dio is 13, this was his final likelihood of attending to the celebrated occasion.
Marino felt the poise the younger participant confirmed within the championship sport, contemplating the circumstances, was outstanding.
“It reveals braveness, maturity and a way of perception in himself. He could also be 13 however acts like at 17- or 18-year-old.”
The staff is attempting its greatest to get Dio to the World Sequence.
Marino says they’ve written a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau explaining the scenario and are additionally contacting different politicians.
“We’re doing every little thing we are able to proper now. We wish to get him flown in for the World Sequence,” Marino stated.
Dio continues to be holding out hope he might be a part of his Canadian staff in Williamsport.
“I admire what everyone seems to be doing proper now,” he stated. “This has at all times been my dream.”