Ukrainian baseball players play against NYPD in fundraising game

Sonia Rincón Image
Saturday, October 15, 2022
EMBED <>More Videos

Players from Ukraine's national team took on members of the NYPD in a ballpark that the national team would love to go home to. Sonia Rincon has more.

CONEY ISLAND, Brooklyn (WABC) -- There was baseball in Brooklyn on Friday night - but it is not what you might be thinking.

Players from Ukraine's national team took on members of the NYPD in a ballpark that the national team would love to go home to. It was also why they were in New York - to share the love of an American sport and bring back some help.

Dmitry Sagalchik helped organize the team trip.

"A lot of people answered our call. People found us to contribute. It became an easy task," said Sagalchik.

Donations and purchases at the games will raise money to restore field and sports complexes destroyed overseas. The players say it is just as much for the next generation as it is for this team.

"It's difficult. It's a terrible thing that while they are playing soccer and baseball on the playgrounds, rockets are flying over their heads. But this generation is going to grow up stronger. It's a point of pride to protect these children," said Ukrainian pitcher Sergei Shtapura.

Ukrainian New Yorkers held and waved the yellow and blue flag to the Ukrainian National Anthem before the friendly game.

Mary Sabat is a retired NYPD civilian employee who is rooting for New York's Finest but says what is happening in Ukraine breaks her heart.

"The children, the families, the whole country. And I think this is a great charity event," said Sabat.

Philip from Queens says in this particular game, it doesn't matter who wins.

"If you had fun, you won. Hopefully, they'll have some fun. Hopefully, they'll raise some money and keep the awareness awake," he said.

On Saturday, the Ukrainian team will be back to face the FDNY's team in an afternoon matchup.

The games are free with a suggested $10 donation to go toward rebuilding ballparks and sports complexes.

ALSO READ | Eyewitness News gets exclusive ride-along with NYPD commissioner amid fear over subway crime

----------

* More Brooklyn news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.