"Many children are afraid of the incoming ball, sometimes it takes years of training to overcome this," said Pavel Gladikov, a coach at the Moscow-based Spartak baseball school. "Some 80 percent of the kids just stand there, their mouth agape, until the ball hits them on the forehead. Their reactions are too slow. I don't know why their parents and teachers don't teach them to react faster."Unknown to most baseball fans there used to be a Russian baseball league. It was created by American communists who came to help build utopia for the workingman in Stalin's paradise. It didn't last long, as Tim Tzouliadis documented in his The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin's Russia. Most ended up in the Gulag (or just shot by Stalin's executioners during his purges).
One who did survive was Victor Herman who wrote a memoir of the experience, Coming Out of the Ice. It took forty-five years, but he did return to the U.S. The game isn't over til the last man is out.