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Toyonaka bound!

06/01/2019, 12:15am PDT

These girls are going 2 for 2

This summer, two of SMYSA's all-stars are going to play ball in Japan! Lexi Kuka (12) and Sammie Marinec (12), who both play on the Slammers 12C team, also tried out and earned spots to play on the 2019 San Mateo/Toyonaka Baseball Exchange Team. They will be the only two girls playing on the baseball team comprised mostly of boys. The exchange team, which is organized by the San Mateo/Toyonaka Sister Citiy Association, will be celebrating 40 years since its first goodwill baseball exchange was played back in 1979. 

Both Lexi and Sammie are very excited to be goodwill ambassadors for their hometown of San Mateo. When asked what was different between playing baseball and softball, Sammie answered, "The biggest difference is hitting and how the ball is coming in differently." Lexi, who had never played baseball before, was surprised at the size and weight of the actual baseball. "I thought it was like a golf ball." She also admitted that curve balls were hard to hit.

Not only are these two BFFs excited to be going through this experience together, but there are a lot of things that they're both looking forward to as well. This will be the first time Lexi has traveled outside the country. Coincidentally, she loves sushi and can't wait to try some in Japan. Sammie is most excited to learn about a new culture. "I’ve heard that the people are really nice. I can't wait to meet my host family. I know this is going to be an experience of a lifetime!"

Good luck ladies. We are so proud of you.

How to help the San Mateo/Toyonaka Baseball Team

If you'd like to help the San Mateo/Toyonaka Baseball Team reach their fundraising goals, please go to

Upcoming Events

Toyonaka or Bust – Monte Carlo Casino Night

Mark your calendars to join us on June 15th for our casino night fundraiser supporting the 40th Anniversary Baseball Exchange Team. Casino games, food, drinks, and silent auction. Click here for details.

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