Patel, who played professional baseball in the United States for the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, attended the celebrations. He and Singh were drafted by the Pirates after they won a reality show competition, The Million Dollar Arm. The history of U.S. baseball connections to India dates back to World War II. “There is also a long history of baseball in the state of Manipur. U.S. soldiers who were stationed there during WWII would play pickup baseball games with Manipuris during their deployment. To this day, baseball is an influential part of Manipur’s culture, with women and girls among the most talented and passionate players,” the Ambassador noted.
Verma praised U.S.-India people-to-people connections and shared values, noting that they “form the foundation of trust and interconnectedness that will help us tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges together. The celebration featured performances by the U.S. Army’s 25th Infantry Division Band, Paradise Brass, who came from Hawaii for the event.