Archive | September, 2012

Adam Greenberg Will Get His One At Bat with the Miami Marlins

It has been over 7 years since Adam Greenberg strolled to the plate in Miami for the first time in his ever so short Major League career. He saw one pitch, and you could say he never really saw it.

That one pitch started and ended his Major League career as it hit him flush in the back of the helmet. Causing a concussion and the problems that can occur afterwards effectively ended his chance to ever take his place in a Major League batter’s box again.

Until Matt Liston came along. Liston, a filmmaker and passionate baseball fan, started a campaign to get Adam one more at bat with the team he started with, the Chicago Cubs. Over 26,000 people, including yours truly, signed an online petition to get Adam one more at bat.

The campaign was unsuccessful getting Adam an at bat with the Cubs, but in the end it was a huge success.

It was announced on Thursday that Adam will get one more at bat where it all began, in Miami. The Marlins have stepped up and are giving Adam a one day contract for next Tuesday October 2.

I’m excited that Adam will get his chance. Like so many others growing up my dream was to have an at bat in the majors, but like most I wasn’t good enough. Adam was, and he had it all taken away in one moment.

I think what makes this story so heartwarming and why I got behind it was Adam himself. He never complained. He never lobbied. He never said the Cubs or MLB owe him anything. He just went back to work. He played through the 2011 season in the minor leagues trying to get back to the big leagues. He kept working like so many others but his time past him by.

Adam isn’t doing it for the money. His one day pay will be donated to the Marlins Foundation, which will donate the money to the Sports Legacy Institute that studies the treatment and prevention of brain trauma in athletes.

I am glad the Marlins stepped up to do this. It shows some class and compassion from an organization as a whole, MLB, that can seem less than friendly at times.

I know I’ll be watching the Marlins play the Mets that day. I’m excited to see Greenberg get an at bat no matter what the outcome.

What do you think?

Below is the Today Show footage of the Marlins announcing the move with Greenberg and Liston in studio.

 

Also check out the OneAtBat.com video that Liston made to help spread the word.

 

You can also follow the One At Bat campaign on Twitter by searching for the hashtag #OneAtBat

Posted in MLB, N. America, News0 Comments

Documentary About Baseball in Panama: Indestructible: Baseball on the Isthmus

Here at Baseball de World, we applaud people who try to share the world of baseball with or from countries around the world. One of my personal favorite things are baseball films, especially documentaries. That’s why I want to bring to your attention a documentary in the making.

Indestructible: Baseball on the Isthmus is a film by American Eric Soussanin on the history and culture of baseball in Panama. The state of the game in Panama is uncertain as it is trying to rebuild from many years of corruption, under funding, political fighting, and disorganization.

Sousanin’s research in 2008 got him a U.S. Fulbright Grant to spend a year on the Isthmus where he began exploring the countries baseball.

The history of the game alone would make an interesting film by itself. Throw in the corruption and problems that have plague the game there and this should be a great film.

The film includes interviews with some big names from the sport including Omar Moreno, Olmedo Saenz, Bruce Chen, Candy Maldonado, and more.

I’m excited to see the film, but it isn’t finished yet and the need our help.

The filmmakers are in the final stages of production and need help to finish the project. For just $10 you can help the film get made AND get a copy of it for yourself. Any amount will help and you can help get this film made with any donation amount at their Kickstarter page – Indestructible: Baseball on the Isthmus.

I am not one to just suggest anything. I’ve taken a closer look at the film and I am truly excited for this to be made. So much so that I donated. I wouldn’t ask you to and not do it myself.

Here is the trailer from the film. Take a look at it and visit their Kickstarter page to see more from filmmaker Eric Sousanin.

“¡Indestructible!: Baseball on the Isthmus” – Trailer (Avance) from Eric Soussanin on Vimeo.

You can also follow what is happening with the film on Twitter (@PanamaBaseball) and on Facebook as well.

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Some Thoughts on the World Baseball Classic Qualifiers

With the first two World Baseball Classic Qualifiers in the books, there were a few things that stood out to me.

First of all, I love the idea. I’m glad they are incorporating more countries into the mix with the qualifiers. Part of the goal for the WBC should be, and I believe it is, to spread the game to other parts of the world. We know baseball is big in the US, Japan, Korea, and Mexico along with some other places. But I want to see the game grow in other parts of the world. Seeing the great facility in Germany was a great start. I was very excited to see the qualifier there, and really glad that Germany had a good showing. However, that leads me to the first thing I didn’t like.

To me Germany is the one place where I could see baseball expanding the easiest. They have one of the best leagues in Europe with a small but passionate built in fan base. Having them host a qualifier was a great idea and will only help the future of the game there. But….

Why was Canada playing in the Regensburg pool? I understand that they didn’t win a game in the last WBC, but they did win 2 in 2006 including a win over the USA. They have the best WBC record of anyone in the qualifiers and I would dare to say the strongest program set up. So shouldn’t they have the easiest route to qualification. Instead they had to travel a long way and play a pretty solid team from Germany.

I would have rather seen Canada playing in the qualifier in Florida and put Israel in the qualifier in Germany.

Another thing that surprised me is Spain. It didn’t surprise me that they won. They have shown in the past they have solid team and are one of the top teams in Europe. What surprised me was the lack of players actually born in Spain. I’m not against having players play with countries where they have family ties, but I thought there would be more home grown talent.

Baseball in Spain could expand, but will they get behind a team basically made up of players from other countries. I hope so. I know the Spanish League is good, but it has had its struggles. FC Barcelona dropped its team recently due to funding issues. I am not 100% sure if this was because the baseball team was just losing a ton of money, or if it stems from financial issues with the soccer club.

I am really looking forward to the qualifier in Panama. Of the four teams playing, only Panama has played in the tournament before. However, the other teams will compete. Colombia has a good system of players. It might not be at the same level as other Central and South American countries, but its not bad either. The same goes with Nicaragua. There is a history of baseball there that will help that country compete. The one wild card is Brazil who will be managed by Barry Larkin.

There is a lot to second guess with the WBC, but there is so much more to look forward to. I like where it is heading and it has really turned into the premier baseball tournament in the world.

What are you most excited about in the upcoming WBC? Is there anything you would change? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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WBCQ Germany: Host Germany Routes Czech Republic 16-1

REGENSBURG, Germany – Host team Germany opened up its World Baseball Classic Qualifier against European rival Czech Republic on Friday night. They didn’t disappoint the hometown fans as they destroyed the Czech Republic 16-1.

For most of the game, it was close. Germany opened up the bottom of the 1st by scoring 3 runs on a 2-run triple by Max Kepler (1-for-3/3 runs scored). Kepler would score on a Donald Lutz ground out to give them an early 3-run lead.

That’s where it would stay until the 5th inning. In the top half of the inning, Czech Republic would cut the lead to 2. Jakub Sladek walked to lead off the inning and promptly stole second. After a couple of strike outs, Sladek moved to third on a single by Martin Drong (2-for-2). He scored moments later on an error by Germany first baseman Lutz on a pick off throw. That’s all the Czech Republic could muster.

In the bottom of the inning, Germany opened up the game by scoring 8 runs. After scoring 5 more in the 6th inning, the game was over due to the mercy rule.

Eric Suttle (2-for-4) picked up a couple of hits. Nine different batters had at least one hit as Germany emptied its bench in the 10 hit attack.  They also walked 6 times. However, the big blow came from the player of the game in third baseman Matt Weaver. Weaver capped off the 8-run 5th inning with a grand slam to center field. It was Weaver’s only hit, but he dazzled in the field making several great plays at third base.

Mike Bolsenbroek was the beneficiary of the offensive outburst picking up the win. Bolsenbroek pitched well going 5.1 innings before his pitch count ran out due to tournament rules. He gave up only 1 run on 5 hits and struck out 6 batters.

Germany now faces off with Canada and the Czech Republic will face Great Britain in an elimination game.

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WBCQ USA: Israel Homers Its Way Past Spain and Into Championship

JUPITER, Florida – The World Baseball Classic Qualifier in Florida has one team in the championship game already. On Friday night, Israel defeated Spain on the power of the right handed bat of Nate Freiman.

The AA first baseman of the San Antonio Missions, Nate Freiman hit a pair of 2-run home runs to lead Israel to a 4-2 win and a spot in the championship game Sunday night. Freiman went 2-for-4 picking up his third and fourth home runs of the tournament.

Justin Schumer picked up the win pitching 5.1 innings allowing just 1 run on 6 hits. Josh Zeid gave up a run in the 9th inning but finished it off to earn the save.

Richard Salazar pitched well for Spain lasting 6 innings and giving up only 2 runs on a home run to Freiman taking the loss. Salazar  gave up only 4 hits.

The game was scoreless until the top of the 6th inning when Freiman connected on his first home run. However, Spain kept it a game by picking up a run in the bottom half of the inning when Rafael Alvarez single to center. On the play, Israel center fielder Ben Guez misplayed the ball allowing Alvarez to advance to third and Paco Figueroa, who singled, to score from first. Alvarez would finish the night 3-for-4.

Spain tried to make a comeback in the 9th inning. Lead off hitter Adrian Nieto (1-for-3) doubled to start the inning. However, the most Spain could muster is a few ground outs that would score Nieto but no other runner reached base.

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Book Review: Seasons in Hell by Mike Shropshire

Seasons in Hell: With Billy Martin, Whitey Herzog and “The Worst Baseball Team in History”-The 1973-1975 Texas Rangers is one of the best baseball books I have read in a long time. Former Rangers beat writer Mike Shropshire looks back on the trials and tribulations of what it was like covering the team during their early years in Arlington.

He covers the colorful owner who brought the Rangers to Texas, Bob Short, and the rise and fall of a Texas high school baseball legend in David Clyde. It’s a thrilling ride that will leave you laughing and wondering how some of the people in the story even survived their time with the Rangers.

Shropshire picks up coverage as the beat writer in 1973 after Ted Williams left as manager. The great Whitey Herzog took over for the 1973 season and looked to rebuild the team that had lost 100 games in ’72. Sadly, that wasn’t going to happen.

Instead the Rangers seem more like a traveling circus as times as David Clyde arrives. Herzog wouldn’t make it through the season as owner Bob Short looked to make a splash with a flashier manager simply because he was looking to sell the team. His goal in moving the team to Texas was to sell the team to make a profit, which he eventually wound up doing. In the meantime, he hired Billy Martin and things really got interesting.

Whitey Herzog summed up the team with a great quote. In a game against Baltimore, Jim Palmer was in the 8th inning against Texas with a perfect game going. After the game, Herzog was told by Shropshire that Ranger outfielder Rico Carty said he intentionally fouled off a pitch he thought was ball four because he didn’t want to see a perfect game spoiled by a base on balls. Whitey responded with, “Oh. What a bunch of crap. Besides. If anybody throws a perfect game against this lineup, they oughtta slap an asterisk on it.”

The 1974 season saw some drastic changes as the Rangers battled the Oakland A’s for the American League pennant. Billy Martin led the team to a strong finish behind eventual MVP Jeff Burroughs and AL ROY Mike Hargrove.

The Billy Martin tales are quite entertaining from the altercations to the drinking. I get the feeling that there could be another complete book on his time in Arlington.

In the beginning, the Rangers were a second class team and organization, at least that is how it seemed. They played in an old minor league stadium not really up to MLB standards even for the times. But perhaps the best part of where they played are the descriptions and stories of spring training from Pompano Beach, Florida.

Interestingly enough, the players weren’t the only colorful characters in the story. The writers have their fair share as well.

Overall, the story was a pleasure to read. It brought back a lot of old memories from players of the past as well as the stadium for me having grown up watching games there. This book is a must read for any baseball fan as Shropshire does a great job detailing life on the road as he covers the team. However, for those Rangers fans out there it’s a must own. This is one book I easily see myself picking up again in a year or two to hear the funny stories from the past once again.

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WBCQ USA: Spain Rips France 8-0

JUPITER, Florida – Game 2 in the World Baseball Classic Qualifier in Florida had Spain and France facing off with one another. It was over quick as Spain jumped out to a 5-0 lead and shut down France’s offense winning 8-0.

Spain scored a pair of runs in the first inning and that’s all they would need. They pounded out 16 hits against French pitching and showed they were a team to look out for in this qualifier.

Spain’s offense was led by Barbaro Canizares who drove in two runs including one on a solo home run in the bottom of the 8th inning. Engel Beltre had a big game as well. The property of the Texas Rangers picked up 3 hits including a triple, 1 RBI, 2 runs scored, and stole a pair of bases.

Paco Figueroa chipped in going 3-for-4 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored. Yunesky Sanchez and Rafael Alvarez both had two hits. All but one Spain starter picked up a hit in the game as they pounded France.

Nick Schumacher pitched a good game holding France to 4 hits over 6.1 innings to pick up the win.

France showed some talent, but they have a long way to go. What you can take away from this tournament for teams like France is the opportunity to play talented teams. There is some raw talent on the team but some of the small things in the game that really need to be worked on like routes taken on balls. I love that France has a very talented coaching staff, and you see the teaching going on during the games. That’s exactly what needs to be done in order to get to a higher level.

Spain was an interesting team. They have some talented hitters that can compete with the likes of Israel in this qualifier. The question with them is will they have the pitching needed when the times come.

Up next for the two teams:

September 21

1pm ET Israel vs Spain

7pm ET France vs South Africa

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WBCQ USA: Israel Picks Up First Win Against South Africa

JUPITER, Florida – The 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers officially kicked off with the first game finishing up with a victory for Israel over South Africa.

This is the first Classic that has a qualifying system for the final four teams of the tournament. Sixteen teams were invited to four different qualifying tournaments in the USA, Taiwan, Panama, and Germany with the winner of each advancing to next year’s Classic.

Israel and South Africa opened up the first qualifier with a 7-3 win for Israel.

Israel got on the board in the first inning with a long solo home run from Nate Freiman (2-for-5). It was his first of two solo home runs.

The game remained close due to solid pitching from both pitching staffs. South Africa starter Dylan Unsworth pitched well going 6 innings allowing only 1 run on 5 hits.

Israel took a different stance pitching wise as they kept all their pitchers available for the rest of the tournament. You can only throw 85 pitches in a game. However, if you throw more than 50, you have to sit 3 days which effectively ends your tournament. So Israel used 6 pitchers keeping the pitch counts low. Starter Eric Berger pitched 3 innings allowing just 2 hits picking up the win.

Israel scored 5 of their 7 runs late in the game picking up 3 in the 8th and 2 more in the 9th. Charles Cutler drove in 3 runs with a pair of hits. Shawn Green picked up 2 hits coming out of retirement to DH for Israel.

South Africa was limited to just 3 hits in the game. They scored all their runs in the 9th without picking up a hit. They did walk 4 times though.

Complete Box Score

Thursday France will face off with Spain in Florida with the winner playing Israel on Friday.

In Germany, Canada and Great Britain will start the qualifier off on Thursday.

You can watch all the qualifying tournament games online at www.worldbaseballclassic.com

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Interview: London Majors Player Cleveland Brownlee

This week we bring you an interview with Cleveland Brownlee who has played baseball professionally for the past few years in London, Canada. Brownlee originally hails from Atlanta, but over the past few years has put up some very nice numbers in the Intercounty Baseball League for the London Majors.

He was nice enough to sit down and answer a few questions for us.

First of all, can you give us a little background into your baseball career and how you wound up in Canada?

I started playing at the age of four. Played all the way through high school and college. Played varsity for three years in high school at Cedar Grove High School in Ellenwood, Ga. thats about 15 minutes outside of downtown Atlanta.  I went to Clark Atlanta to play baseball. There I played four years and hold our College record for most home runs in the 4 Years. We did not have a great college team. I played division 2 baseball in the SIAC (Southern Intercollege Athelitic Conference.) I hit over .300 all four years with a total of 46 hrs in those four years. We had a struggle program that sometimes we only played 30 game seasons. I earned All Conferece first team player and school MVP. After graduating from Clark Atlanta University in 2007, I went to a few open workouts and that was where i signed my first pro independent contract . From that I was invited to spring training workout with the phillies in Clear Water, Fla. I have bounced around from indy leagues all over and ended up in Canada after Duane heard a few good things about me and decided to give me a chance.

You have been playing for the London Majors in the Intercounty Baseball League in Ontario, Canada for the past few years. What has the experience been like playing in Canada?

My experience playing in london canada has been like no other. It has been nothing but good to me. I call it my second home. The fans love me there and I have put up great numbers for the past few seasons. I’ve been nominated as fan favorite for the past three years. There is also great baseball being played there. I was under great ownership in the league. I couldnt have asked for a better team to play on. We had the best of facilities, uniforms and just overall great environment to play baseball in.

Have you played in any other foreign countries over the years?

No

You briefly played in the Continental Baseball League in Alexandria a few years back. Was this your only stop in independent ball in the US? What was that experience like and how is it different than playing in another country?

This was where I received my most at-bats in indy ball. I was traded to that team from the Laredo Broncos. I came into a bad situation only because they were alredy half way into there season. I came in not hitting too well and that’s when I got released.  It was a really good league but i dont think that a person can prove himself in only 20 at bats.

I read a short snip it that you were recommended to play for the Laredo Broncos of the United League in 2009 by former MLBer Cecil Fielder. How do you know Cecil and how has he helped you on the field in the past?

I met Cecil at a baseball work out in Atlanta . He saw me take batting paractice and came over and talked to me for awhile. Said that I reminded him of himself on how far the balls were leaving the field. He asked if I wanted to work out with a few more pro guys that he trained and I said yes. I went thru lessons 5 days a week with him not hitting less than 300 balls a day. Me and Cecil became great friends and he called around to help me get tryouts. He is a great teacher . I still call him to this day and mess with him or we talk about other talent around Atlanta that I send his way.

What was it like working with Teammates International and why should others looking to keep playing think about utilizing their services?

Working with Teammates International was a great experience for me. It opened up a door so that the world could really see what I could do. Duane was a straight up guy telling me that he was new to it and that I would be his first real client.  I think that it is a great option for young kids wanting to go furthur in baseball to try. He has multiple contacts now and lots of opportunty for you to go places.

You have had a great career with the London Majors. I understand you are retiring after this year. What are your plans after baseball? Will you enter coaching or get out of the game entirely? Will you stay in Canada or return home to the States?

I always say that I am done playing after every season but I only seem to get better every year. I was teaching high school and doing a lilttle coaching  so I might go into coaching when I’m done but not for sure yet. I would love to stay in canada and start a life there,  but Atlanta has always been my home.  So its still undecided on where I’ll live and start a family and career yet, all depeneds on how long I continue to play.

As a veteran of playing in another country, what is one bit of advice you could give someone who didn’t get drafted but wants to keep playing?

To me being drafted has alot to do with politics. I have played with alot of guys that have been drafed high and ended up playing indy ball or up in Canada. I have proven time after time that I was just as good but most of the time better than those guys. It all depends on how much you want to keep playing. I had something to prove and I worked hard on my craft to let the world know that yes I did deserve a a chance .. so I would tell any kid to keep playing, never give up, and sometimes it takes a little longer to get where you going..

Cleveland Brownlee has put up some great numbers in the IBL over the past few years. In 2012, he blasted 12 home runs and drove in 38 in only 32 games while hitting .326. His 12 home runs were 2nd in the league and he ranked 3rd in RBI. In 2011, he hit .387 and was named a First Team All-Star. You can follow Cleveland’s baseball pursuites on Facebook.

We’d like to thank Cleveland for taking the time to answer some questions for us, and we wish him luck in his future pursuits.

Photo courtesy Wayne Brown

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2012 European Championships: Day 2 Recap

NETHERLANDS – Day 2 has come and gone at the European Championships hosted by the Netherlands. Day 2 saw a few more blowouts, as Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands won big.

Spain 10, Russia 1

Spain got a great start from Ricardo Hernandez picking up the win. Hernandez went 7 innings giving up only 1 run on 3 hits. He threw only 75 pitches in 7 innings.

Spain pounded out 20 hits in the rout. Francisco Figueroa had a big day at the plate for Spain going 3-for-5 with 2 doubles. Daniel Martinez doubled twice, drove in 3 runs, and scored another. Franklin Tavarez chipped in with 3 hits and a RBI, and Nestor Perez drove in 2 runs on 3 hits as well.

Yury Bakalets was the only Russian hitter with more than 1 hit going 2-for-3. Niko Chermoshentsev took the loss lasting only 4.2 innings giving up 4 runs on 11 hits.

Belgium 2, Germany 10

Germany rode the arm of starter Andre Hughes to victory as he went 7 innings allowing just 1 run on 10 hits. Robbe De Jongh took the loss for Belgium starting and going 7.1 innings allowing 8 runs on 13 hits.

Offensively Germany was led by Maximilian Kepler who homered for the second straight day going 3-for-5 and driving in a pair of runs. Max Boldt had a nice day as well going 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and a RBI. Christopher Howard drove in 3 runs including a pair on a 2-run double as Germany pounded out 16 hits.

Stijn Janssens drove in both runs for Beligum with a pair of hits going 2-for-4. Benjamin Dille, Thomas de Wolf, and Lorenzo Oeyen all had 2 hits for Belgium in the loss.

Croatia 2, Greece 7

Greece found the win column in their 2nd game against Croatia. Greece jumped out to a 6-0 lead scoring 6 in the 3rd inning and held on for the victory.

Piter Tountas doubled twice driving in a run and scoring another. Iason Zachos picked up a pair of hits along with a RBI as it was a team effort for Greece as 7 different batters drove in a run.

On the hill, Panagiotis Sykaras pitched well for Greece picking up the win tossing 6 innings allowing 2 runs (0 ER) on 5 hits.

Mathew Susac took the loss starting and going 3 innings allowing 6 runs (3 ER) on 5 hits. Michel Curic drove in a run going 2-for-4 for Croatia. Filip Berecka added a pair of hits as well in the loss.

France 0, Netherlands 15 (5)

The Netherlands ran all over France on Day 2 of the tournament winning big. The Netherlands pounded out 11 hits and worked 5 walks en route to 15 runs.

Michael Duursma drove in 3 runs and scored 3 runs going 2-for-2. Hainley Statia doubled twice, drove in 2 runs, and finished the day 2-for-4, while Nick Urbanus (2-for-3/2 RBI) and Danny Rombley (2-for-2/RBI) both scored 3 runs.

On the mound, the Netherlands got a great start out of Robbie Cordemans who pitched a complete game shutout allowing only 4 hits and striking out 8.

Quentin Pourcel started and lasted only 0.2 innings giving up 6 runs (4 ER) on 2 hits and 3 walks.

Czech Republic 1, Great Britain 6

Great Britain looking to get back onto the medal stand picked up a win to improve to 1-1 so far. Great Britain used a steady attack scoring a single run in 6 different innings to pick up the win.

Gregory Hendrix picked up the win tossing a complete game 5-hitter allowing just the 1 run and striking out 8.

Five different batters drove in a run as Aaron Hornostaj led the way offensively picking up 3 hits including a triple, a RBI, and 2 runs scored. Matthew Roxburgh, Matthew McGraw, Michael Johnson, and Richard Klijn all picked up 2 hits for Great Britain in the win.

Marek Cervenka took the loss for the Czech Republic pitching 5 innings allowing 3 runs (2 ER) on 7 hits.

Sweden 1, Italy 8

Italy jumped out to a 4-1 lead with a 4-run second inning and they never looked back picking up their 2nd straight win.

Luca Panerati picked up the win pitching 6 strong innings allowing only 1 run (0 ER) on 2 hits. Nicklas Melin took the loss lasting only 3.1 innings giving up 5 runs on 4 hits.

Juan Carlos Infante blasted a 3-run home run to cap the 4-run 2nd inning for Italy. Christopher Colabello and Tyler Latorre both picked up 2 hits in the win.

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IBAF 18U WBC: Top Players from Seoul

SEOUL, South Korea – The 2012 IBAF 18U World Baseball Championships concluded this weekend in Seoul. It was a well run tournament with some great competition.

In the final day of play, the USA defeated Canada for the gold medal. Earlier in the day, Chinese Taipei downed Colombia 4-1 to win the bronze medal, and South Korea defeated rival Japan to finish 5th place.

Shortstop Christian Arroyo (USA) finished as the tournament MVP. He finished the tournament with 10 RBI to lead the tournament and was named to the All-Star Tournament Team. He finished the tournament hitting .444.

The top hitter for the tournament is Young Jin Young (KOR) who finished with a .478 average.

Garrett Williams (USA) finished with the best ERA for a pitcher at 0.00 in 11.2 innings of work.

Ryan Boldt (USA) led the tournament in stolen bases with an astonishing 12.

Final Standings

1) USA
2) Canada
3) Chinese Taipei
4) Colombia
5) Korea
6) Japan
7) Panama
8 ) Venezuela
9) Australia
10) Italy
11) Netherlands
12) Czech Republic

Individual Awards

Most Valuable Player: Christian Arroyo (USA)
Leading Hitter: Young Jin Young (KOR)
Pitcher Best ERA: Garrett Williams (USA)
Pitcher Best Win/Loss Average: Su Min Lee (KOR)
Most Runs Batted In: Christian Arroyo (USA)
Most Home Runs: Mitchell Triolo (CAN)
Most Stolen Bases: Ryan Boldt (USA)
Most Runs Scored: Ryan Boldt (USA)
Outstanding Defensive Player: Tzu Wei Lin (TPE)

All Star Team

Best Starting Pitcher: Shintaro Fujinami (JPN)
Best Relief Pitcher: Jen Ho Tseng (TPE)
Catcher: Tomoya Mori (JPN)
First Baseman: Chih Chieh Su (TPE)
Second Baseman: Kyle Hann (CAN)
Third Baseman: Jesse Hodges (CAN)
Shortstop: Christian Arroyo (USA)
Outfielder: Jun Suk Song (KOR)
Outfielder: Elliot Hargreaves (AUS)
Outfielder: Cristian Cano (COL)
Designated Hitter: Jeremy Martinez (USA)

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Team USA Wins IBAF 18U World Baseball Championships

SEOUL, South Korea – The 2012 IBAF 18U World Baseball Championships concluded with the gold medal game tonight as the USA faced off with its North American neighbor Canada. It was an exciting finish to what turned out to be a fantastic tournament put on by the folks in South Korea.

Cal Quantrill, son of former MLB pitcher Paul Quantrill, got the start for Canada. He had looked very good all tournament until the gold medal game. He didn’t pitch horribly bad, but his defense didn’t help him out at all. He went 2.1 innings giving up 4 runs (only 2 ER) on 4 hits.

On the other side of things was Ian Clarkin for the USA. This was Clarkin’s first start in the tournament after having pitched 4.1 innings in 2 relief appearances. Prior to the gold medal game he had not given up a run. He pitched great against South Korea in the 2nd game of the tournament for the USA but had to leave the game earlier than he’d hoped due to injuring his hand. On this day, Clarkin was good. He pitched 6 innings allowing only 2 runs on 4 hits to earn his first win of the tournament.

The offense was exciting as well. Canada got a run in the top of the 2nd to take the lead to the excitement of the Canadian rooting section. However, the lead didn’t last long as the USA came back quickly with a single from Reese McGuire (2-for-3) and a double from Chris Okey (2-for-3) in the bottom half of the inning. McGuire wasn’t going to score on the play, but interference by the third baseman as he rounded third gave him a free pass to the plate to score the go ahead run.

The US put together a solid inning in the bottom of the 3rd to take a 3-run lead. Garrett Williams (1-for-3) led of the inning with a walk. Ryan Boldt (2-for-5) followed that up utilizing his speed with a bunt single. After a sacrifice bunt put runners on 2nd and 3rd,  Jeremy Martinez (1-for-2)  singled to right to drive in Williams. The throw from Canada’s right fielder went all the way to the backstop allowing Boldt to score from 3rd base. Then it really got interesting.

Martinez had made a running error rounding 2nd base too far as the catcher picked up the ball. However, instead of running at the runner or throwing in front of him, Canada’s pitcher, who was backing up the throw home, threw behind Martinez to second base allowing him to easily move up to third.

Things really got interesting in the bottom of the 4th inning. Willie Abreu (0-for-1) led off the inning being hit by a pitch. After a single by Cavan Biggio (1-for-4) put runners on 1st and 2nd, USA performed a beautiful double steal. With runners at 2nd and 3rd and the infield in, Christian Arroyo (0-for-4) grounded into a fielder’s choice to third base. On the play, Abreu went on contact and bowled over the catcher. Catcher Christopher Shaw made a great play holding onto the ball tagging Abreu out at the plate.

On the play, Abreu was thrown out of the game because when he tried to run over the catcher he threw his arms upward toward the catcher’s head. I understand why the umpire threw him out, but I don’t think it was a malicious act. It was more of a natural reaction. Shaw did make a great play.

Some of the Canadian infielders didn’t take too kindly to Abreu’s acts and started walking toward him while talking loudly. The benches didn’t clear because the umpires saw what was happening quickly and did a great job of shutting it down quickly. That was good to see because it could have gotten out of hand had they not stepped in quickly.

Canada dodged bullet after bullet as the USA put runners on several more times only to hit into a double play by hitting the ball hard at someone.

The bottom of the 7th looked like it might be another one of those plays as the USA put 2 runners on. After a wild pitch put the two runners at 2nd and 3rd, Reese McGuire (2-for-3) doubled to the pitcher. Yes that is what it will say in the play by play if you read it online. McGuire hit a rocket back to the mound, but this time a play wasn’t made and the ball bounced off of the pitcher’s glove glancing into short left field just getting by the drawn in short stop. McGuire wound up with a double that barely left the infield and two runs scored on the play as the USA boosted its lead to 6-2.

That is where it would stay as Ryan Olson and Keegan Thompson came in to shut down the Canadian bats for the last 3 innings.

It was a well played game all around. Both teams have a lot to be proud about as they finish 1-2 in the standings.

The fans should also be mentioned as well. Both sides had vocal crowds, albeit not very large for having to travel so far. It was nice to see and hear the chants for both Canada and USA. I know it meant a lot to the players who traveled so far to play.

This was the first gold medal for the USA since 1999, and their 6th overall. This was Canada’s first silver and first medal since they won bronze in 2006.

Photo Courtesy IBAF.org

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European Championships: A No-Hitter and a Cycle Highlight Day 1

THE NETHERLANDS – Day One of the 2012 European Baseball Championships is in the books. Six games in all were played on Friday, and all but two were blowout wins.

Greece 0, Spain 10 (8)

Spain got off to a good start as Leslie Nacar tossed 7 shutout innings allowing only 3 hits and striking out 9 en route to the win. Franklin Tavarez (2-for-3) doubled and scored 3 times from the number 2 spot in the order. Leonardo Hernandez picked up 3 hits including a double driving in a run to help in Spain’s 14 hit attack.

Efthymio Karkatselos took the loss for Greece lasting only 2.1 innings giving up 6 runs on 7 hits. The Greece offense was stifled all day as they only picked up a total of 3 hits.

Russia 1, Sweden 14 (7)

Russia cut the Sweden lead to 4-1 and then the flood gates opened as Sweden got 7 runs in the bottom of the 4th to blow the game open.

Peter Johannessen drove in 4 runs with a 2-run double and 2 RBI ground outs going 1-for-4 on the day. Matthew Merrifield had a big day at the plate going 3-for-4 with 2 doubles, 2 RBI, and 3 runs scored. In total, Sweden pounded out 11 hits in the rout to pick up a win to start the tournament.

Rikard Leander tossed 6 innings allowing a single run on 7 hits while striking out 6. Anton Shirokiy took the loss for Russia.

Germany 5, Czech Republic 4 (10)

In perhaps the best game of Day 1, the Czech Republic came back from down 3-1 to tie it and send it into extra innings, but couldn’t complete the comeback falling short in the 10th inning.

A walk and a pair of errors in the bottom of the 8th inning by Germany allowed the Czech Republic to tie the game at 3 forcing the extra frame. In the 10th, Germany score twice. They got the first run on a bases loaded hit by pitch and the second on a sacrifice fly.

In a dramatic finish, the Czech Republic loaded the bases on a bunt single (tie break rules put runners at 1st and 2nd to start the inning) with no outs. That was followed by a pair of strike outs before Jan Drabek (2-for-5) singled up the middle driving in a run only to have the tying run thrown out at the plate for the final out of the game.

Luke Sommer pitched well for Germany but didn’t factor into the decision. Martin Dewald picked up the win pitching 3.1 innings in relief. Jendrick Speer drove in 3 runs, and Maximilian Kepler (2-for-5) blasted a solo home run.

Marek Minarik took the loss for the Czech Republic pitching 3 innings in relief allowing 2 runs on 4 hits. Paval Budsky (3-for-5) doubled twice and drove in a run in the loss.

Great Britain 1, France 3

Patrice Briones pitched a complete game allowing just 1 run on 6 hits to lead France to the win over Great Britain.

With the game tied at 1 in the bottom of the 4th inning, France picked up a run on a throwing error and another on a RBI single to take the lead for good. Maxime Lefevre drove in a run with a single in the 4th inning. Frederic Hanvi didn’t pick up a hit but with a pair of walks he wrecked havoc on the base paths stealing 2 bases and scoring 2 runs.

Aeden McQueary-Ennis took the loss for Great Britain pitching 4 innings allowing 3 runs (2 ER). Matthew McGraw picked up a pair of hits for Great Britain going 2-for-3 with a double.

Croatia 0, Italy 16 (5)

Italy made short work of Croatia pounding out 20 hits en route to the big win to open the tournament. Tiago Da Silva and Carlos Richetti combined to no-hit the Croatians on Friday night. Da Silva pitched 4 innings striking out 6 and Richetti finished off the no hitter in the 5th.

Tyler Latorre went 3-for-3 with a double, a RBI, and 3 runs scored to help Italy to the win. Mario Chiarini drove in 3 runs picking up a pair of hits including a triple. Every starter for Italy picked up at least one hit in the game.

Belgium 0, Netherlands 17 (6)

Tom Stuifbergen tossed 6 shutout innings allowing just 4 hits to pick up the win against Belgium in the opener for the Netherlands. The offense pounded out 14 hits in the rout as Kalian Sams put an exclamation point on the game with a grand slam in the 6th inning. Sams hit for the cycle going 4-for-4 and driving in 8 runs on the night.

The schedule for Saturday features the following:

Spain vs Russia

Belgium vs Germany

Croatia vs Greece

France vs Netherlands

Czech Republic vs Great Britain

Sweden vs Italy

 

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IBAF 18U WBC: Korea Shuts Out Japan to Take 5th Place

SEOUL, South Korea – The 5th place game in the 2012 IBAF 18U Baseball World Championships concluded this morning as the host South Korea squad picked up the win over Japan 3-0.

Japan had beaten Korea just two days prior knocking Korea out of the gold medal match. This time Korea would get its revenge and finish ahead of Japan in the final standings.

The weather was overcast and the crowd was sparse at 10am, but those who were here rooted on their team furiously.

Lee Geon Wook baffled the Japanese hitters for 8 innings allowing only 3 hits while striking out 7. He was going toe to toe with Japanese sensation Shohei Otani, who was clocked at 99mph (160kmh)earlier this year. Otani pitched well battling some control problems topping out at 96mph (155kmh).

Despite taking the loss, Otani had a good game. He struck out 12 batters in 7 innings of work allowing only 2 runs on 2 hits. At the plate he was 1-for-3 and made a nice running catch in left field in the 9th inning to save a sure double.

Both starting pitchers pitched well keeping the hits to a minimum. Both teams combined for only 7 hits in the game. Jun Suk Song doubled and drove in a run for Korea, but the big hit came from Dae Young Yoon who homered down the left field line in the 9th inning for Korea to stretch the lead to 3.

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2012 IBAF 18U BWC: Gold Medal Match Contestants to be Decided Today

SEOUL, South Korea – The 2012 IBAF 18U Baseball World Championships will come to an end this weekend,but it is still unclear as to who will play in the championship game. Of the six teams to enter the 2nd round, five are still alive for a spot in the final with Canada leading the way.

The only team that will not make it is host South Korea. They lost the highly anticipated match with Asian rival Japan on Thursday night dropping them out of the race for the gold medal.

Canada leads the way with a 3-1 record as the USA, Japan, defending champion Chinese Taipei, and Colombia are still in the race all with 2-2 records.

So it will come day to the final day on Friday to determine who will play for the gold medal.

The schedule is as follows:

10:00 am Chinese Taipei vs Colombia
2:00 pm Canada vs Korea
6:05 pm USA vs Japan

Saturday will be the final three games of the tournament as the teams will play for 1st, 3rd, and 5th place. We will be there live for the final day bringing you updates via Facebook and Twitter.

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2012 European Baseball Championships Start Today

NETHERLANDS – The 2012 European Baseball Championships start today, Friday September 7 and play will continue through September 16. Twelve teams are divided into two pools as play begins as Italy looks to defend its championship from 2010.

Games will be played in Rotterdam, Haarlem, and Utrecht with the final taking place in Rotterdam.

The opening games for Friday September 7th are as follows:

2:00pm
Spain vs Greece
Sweden vs Russia
Czech vs Germany

7:30pm
France vs Great Britain
Croatia vs Italy
Belgium vs Netherlands

In 2010, Italy defeated The Netherlands 8-4 in the championship game winning their 9th gold medal at the European Baseball Championships. Germany finished with the bronze medal and Greece finished a strong 4th place.

Historically The Netherlands and Italy have dominated the tournament winning 20 and 9 gold medals respectively. Only Belgium (1967) and Spain (1955) have also won a gold medal.

A few teams are looking to get back onto the medal stand in Great Britain and Greece. Great Britain won the silver in 2007 when the tournament was in Spain. However, they finished a disappointing 8th in 2010. Greece won its only medal, a silver, in 2003. Since then they have finished 9th in 2005 and didn’t even qualify in 2007.

We will try to bring you daily updates here on the site. You can also follow all the action at http://www.ekhonkbal2012.nl/en.

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Help Adam Greenberg Get One At Bat

Anybody who grew up playing baseball dreamed of playing in the Major Leagues. As most of us grow older we realize how far out of reach that dream actually is, but we never stop dreaming.

As you move up the ladder in competition, fewer and fewer players continue making it harder and harder to reach the top.

Now imagine if you perservered through all the different levels to finally get the cal you’ve been waiting for all your life, a trip to the big leagues. Only to have it last one pitch.

That is what happened to Adam Greenberg formally of the Chicago Cubs.

On July 9, 2005 just 2 days after being called up from the minor leagues, Greenberg got his chance at the plate for the first time. It was a pinch-hit appearance in the 9th inning of a game against the Florida Marlins.

On the very first pitch, Marlins pitcher Valerio de los Santos hit Greenberg in the head with a fastball. Greenberg suffered a concussion and was immediately lifted from the game after only 1 pitch.

He never made it back up to bat.

After some rehab in the minors in 2005, Greenberg was still suffering from the side effects of being hit in the head. He struggled in early 2006 and was released in June by the Cubs. After bouncing around the minor leagues for the next few years, Greenberg never got the call again.

That is where filmmaker Matt Liston comes in.

As a lifetime baseball and Chicago Cubs fan, Liston is trying to get Greenberg his one at-bat. Liston has created a campaign and petition to get Greenberg one at-bat in the Major Leagues. Help us get him back for what everyone dreams of as a kid and what Greenberg deserves. You can sign the petition below and watch the video Liston has made about the event.

 

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DVD Ballplayer: Pelotero Releases Today

Today you are able to own your very own copy of one of the best baseball DVDs to hit the market in years, Ballplayer: Pelotero.

The film is a rare inside look at the recruitment of players from the Dominican Republic by Major League Baseball. It follows two young players about to turn 16 and become eligible to sign with a MLB club in Miguel Angel Sano and Jean Carlos Batista.

You can pick up the film through Amazon and other channels that sell DVDs. You can also now stream it through Amazon Instant Video as well as through iTunes.

You can read our review of the film here – Ballplayer: Pelotero Film Review.

We are also happy to announce the winner of our DVD giveaway. Thank you to everyone who entered. The random winner chosen by Rafflecopter was Robert Whitney.

Thanks again to everyone who entered. If you haven’t done so yet, pick up your copy of the DVD today.

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2012 IBAF 18U Baseball World Championships – Video and Photos from Day 3

Here are a few photos from the action on Sunday September 2nd at Mokdong Baseball Stadium in Seoul, South Korea.

Mokdong Stadium in Seoul, South Korea

Mokdong Stadium in Seoul, South Korea

Korea vs Australia

Crowd at Korea vs Australia

Korea vs Australia

Australian Flags at Korea vs Australia

Korea vs Australia

Cheering on Australia

Korea vs Australia

Warming up in the bullpen

Korea vs Australia

View of the stadium during Korea vs Australia

All photos courtesy Kihoon Jung.

Video of a few of the early highlights from Canada vs Chinese Taipei including a home run by Mitchell Triolo from Canada.

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2012 IBAF 18U Baseball World Championships Day 3 Updates

SEOUL, South Korea – The 2012 IBAF 18U Baseball World Championships continue this week in Seoul as 12 teams are battling it out for the title. Over the weekend there were some very exciting games. Here is a recap.

Colombia 1, USA 11 (7)

The USA showed patience at the plate and speed on the base paths as they worked 12 walks (and 3 hit-by-pitches) to go along with 10 stolen bases.

From the get go, the USA was off to the races on the bases. Lead off hitter Ryan Boldt (0-for-0/4 BB/ 5 SB) worked a lead off walk and promptly stole second base. Dominic Nunez (1-for-4/1 RBI) moved him to third with a ground ball to first base, and then Boldt scored on a double by Reese McGuire (1-for-2/3RBI). However they weren’t done. The next hitter Jeremy Martinez (1-for-2/3RBI) got hit by a pitch and before you could blink both Martinez and McGuire put on a double steal. Andrew McGuire then walked to load the bases before the Colombia pitcher unleashed a wild pitch scoring the second USA run.

That wasn’t all. Another walk and bases loaded wild pitch scored the third USA run. Using their speed and showing good eyes at the plate, the USA scored 3 runs on 1 hit in the bottom of the first. That’s how the game would continue.

The big blow for the USA came in the 3rd inning as they scored 4 runs, 3 of which came home on a Jeremy Martinez bases loaded triple.

Stephen Gonsalves looked good on the mound for the USA going the distance allowing just 1 run on 6 hits while striking out 8 to pick up the win. Arturo Pena didn’t get out of the first for Colombia taking the loss giving up 3 runs in 0.2 innings.

Czech Republic 1, Italy 12 (7)

In the battle of Europeans, Italy came out on top with a blowout win. Italy pounded out 13 hits led by Mattia Mercuri who picked up 3 hits including 2 doubles, 2 runs scored, and 4 RBI. Alberto Mineo chipped in 3 hits of his own along with 2 doubles and 3 RBI.

Gabriele Quattrini pitched well for Italy going 6 innings giving up just 1 unearned run on 2 hits to pick up the win. Viktor Smidt took the loss going only 2 innings allowing 8 runs (all unearned) on 6 hits.

Italy took advantage of a 2 out error in the 2nd inning to score 7 unearned runs and put the game away early.

Netherlands 3, Venezuela 8

The Netherlands dropped their 3rd straight game in the tournament as Venezuela improved to 2-1.

Wilson Garcia had a big day at the plate for Venezuela going 3-for-4 with a double, triple, RBI, and 2 runs scored. Seven different batters drove in a run for Venezuela.

Alexis Rivero picked up the win going 5.2 innings allowing 3 runs on 3 hits. Kaj Timmermans took the loss lasing 5.1 innings allowing 7 runs on 7 hits.

No hitter collected more than 1 hit for the Netherlands.

South Korea 7, Australia 1

Australia held close until late in the game when South Korea scored 2 runs in the 8th and 9th innings to put the game away. Australia jumped out on top in the bottom of the first inning scoring a run, but South Korea starter Hyun Sik Jang shut them down for the next 6 innings giving up the 1 run on 9 hits while striking out 7. Lewis Thorpe pitched well for Australia but took the loss giving up 3 runs (2 ER) in 5.1 innings on 9 hits while striking out 7.

Elliot Hargreaves continued his hot hitting picking up 2 hits and getting robbed of an extra base hit by South Korea right fielder who made a great catch up against the wall. Cameron Warner drove in the run in the first with a single up the middle. He finished the game 2-for-4 with a RBI and a double .

South Korea third baseman Young Jun Yoo had a big day at the plate. He finished the day going 3-for-4 with 1 RBI, 2 runs scored, and 2 stolen bases. Jun Suk Song also added 3 hits including 2 triples driving in 2 runs.

Canada 5, Chinese Taipei 6

In what was the most exciting game at Mokdong Baseball Stadium on Sunday, Chinese Taipei battled back from a 5-0 deficit to pick up a walk-off win against previously unbeaten Canada.

Canada picked up 2 runs in both the 2nd and 3rd innings to take a 4-0 lead. They added a 5th run in the 4th inning on a Mitchell Triolo solo home run to left field.

Cal Quantrill pitched a good game for Canada tossing 7.1 innings allowing just 3 runs on 7 hits. Dayton Dawe took the loss in relief.

Chinese Taipei started their comeback in the 5th inning when they scored 2 runs on a Yu Pin Sen bases loaded 2-run single to right field. They tied the game in the 8th inning when the picked up a 2-run single from Yu Ming Chen to pull withing a single run. Chia Wei Yang followed up with a RBI single tying the game at 5 to set up the dramatic finish in the 9th.

It looked like Canada might break the tie in the top of the 9th. A routine fly ball to left field was dropped and Canada started with a runner at second base. After a ground out moved the runner to third, the next hitter walked putting runners at the corners with 1 out. Then with the infield in, the runner at third made what seemed like a poor base running decision as he went on a ground ball to first and was out by 4 steps. Jen Ho Tseng then went to work getting the final out. Tseng was throwing as hard as anyone in the tournament reaching 95 mph on the radar gun.

In the bottom of the 9th, Tsung Hsien Lee walked with one out. He was sacrificed to second, and with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, first baseman Chih Chieh Su came up with the big walk off single up the middle driving in the winning run.

Panama 0, Japan 8

Ryuhei Johma pitched great for Japan shutting down Panama for 7 innings allowing only 3 hits to pick up the win.

Tomoya Mori (2-for-4/RBI), Shohei Otani (2-for-5/RBI), Hiroki Takahashi (2-for-5), and Kohei Sasagawa (3-for-3/3 runs scored) led Japan offensively as they pounded out a total of 13 hits in the win.

Hector Salazar took the loss for Panama pitching 3.2 innings allowing 3 runs (2 ER) on 5 hits. Panama managed only 3 hits in the game against the strong Japanese pitching.

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AUSTRIAN BASEBALL FEDERATION CONSTRUCTS A YOUTH BASEBALL FIELD

AUSTRIAN BASEBALL FEDERATION CONSTRUCTS A YOUTH BASEBALL FIELD

BASEBALL TOMORROW FUND AWARDS $100,000 USD

 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Athletics Ballpark in Attnang-Puchheim Highlights Donation

 Vienna, Attnang-Puchheim, Austria (August 29, 2012) – The Austrian Baseball Federation (ABF) announces the completion of a new youth baseball field at Athletics Ballpark, home of the Attnang-Puchheim Athletic Club.  The project was funded in part by a grant in the amount of $104,456 USD from the Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF), a joint initiative of the Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball.

To celebrate the completion of the project, the Austrian Baseball Federation will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Athletics Ballpark in Attnang-Puchheim on September 1, 2012 at 4 p.m. during the Austrian Championship of the 15-under division.  Cathy Bradley, Executive Director of the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, will participate in the festivities, along with Rainer Husty, President of the Austrian Baseball Federation; Rainer L. Krankl, Vice President Finances of the Austrian Baseball Federation; Christoph Wieser, Vice President Baseball of the Austrian Baseball Federation; Peter Ferak, Vice President Youth of the Austrian Baseball Federation. Mayor Peter Groiss of Attnang-Puchheim will also take part in the event.

The Athletics Ballpark facility, which includes one regulation baseball field, one youth baseball field, a clubhouse and batting cages, is the coaching center for Austria and site of national competitions and tournaments. The new youth field will support over 300 players from local youth programs and provide a host site for international youth tournaments.

“The completion of this project marks the realization of a dream for this organization and the community as a whole. Without the support of the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, construction of this youth field would not have been possible,” says Rainer L. Krankl, Vice President Finances of the Austrian Baseball Federation.

“We have to thank Project Manager Franz Kroiss and all of the volunteers for their work on the field. The hard work by the volunteers guaranteed a finish time of the project in less than six months,” noted Sebastian Libiseller, head of the local organization in Attnang-Puchheim.

“The Baseball Tomorrow Fund is pleased to support the Austrian Baseball Federation’s dedication to this project and to the game of baseball,” added Cathy Bradley, Executive Director of the Baseball Tomorrow Fund.  “We applaud the efforts of the organization to introduce the game to new players and to provide quality coaching and facilities in Austria.”

The Austrian Baseball Federation joins the following European organizations to receive a BTF grant:  Krc Altron Baseball Softball Club (2002), Baseballovy a Softballovy Klub Hluboka nad Vltavou (2004), the French Baseball Softball Federation (2008), BaseballSoftballUK Ltd. (2012).

About the Austrian Baseball Federation

The Austrian Baseball Federation (ABF) was founded in 1983 and serves as the governing body of Baseball and Softball in Austria. As a non-profit organization the ABF´s goal is to grow Baseball and Softball in Austria and spread the sport especially among young people. Under the organization of the ABF numerous youth leagues for kids in all age groups are played throughout the country as well as the annual national championships where Austria’s best youth Baseball team is crowned in categories 10U, 13U, 15U and 18U. The ABF also initiated three academies that are based in the eastern, central and western parts of Austria. Those academies serve to develop the top level talents of the country. The central academy is based in the town of Attnang-Puchheim, where the existing ballpark will be upgraded with a new youth field due to the support of the Baseball Tomorrow Fund. For more information, visit baseballaustria.com and follow ABF on Facebook.

About the Baseball Tomorrow Fund

The Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) is a joint initiative between the Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball designed to promote the growth of youth baseball and softball throughout the world by awarding grants to support field renovation and construction projects, equipment and uniform purchases, coaches training material and other selected program expenses. Since its formation by MLB and the MLBPA in 1999, BTF has awarded over 620 grants totaling more than $22 million to non-profit and tax-exempt organizations in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and Asia.  Approximately 300,000 youth players have benefited from programs and facilities supported by the fund. BTF also facilitates league-wide initiatives including the collection and distribution of new and gently used equipment to organizations in need as well as field maintenance education clinics.  For more information, visit baseballtomorrowfund.com and follow BTF on Facebook, Twitter and MLBlogs.

Press Release Athletics Baseball Attnang-Puchheim

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Video of the Week: Inspirational 8 Year Old Playing Baseball

This weeks video was sent to me from friend and reader Leon Ho. This is an inspirational video of a young boy who plays baseball with only one leg. Not only that, but he plays the most demanding position on the field. If watching this doesn’t inspire you to do more, I don’t know what will.

 

Thank you Adam Bender for being an inspiration to all of us.

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Day 2 Recaps of the IBAF 18U Baseball World Championships

SEOUL, South Korea – Day 2 of the IBAF 18U Baseball World Championships is in the books. There were a few exciting games yesterday as Korea. Australia and Canada both made 9th inning comebacks, but only one team could finish with a win. In the battle of powerhouses, Korea knocked off USA and Japan downed Chinese Taipei.

Venezuela 6, Australia 3

Italy 3, Canada 4

Netherlands 6, Colombia 9

Colombia held off a late comeback from the Dutch in their match up on Saturday. Colombia jumped out to an 8-0 lead after a 7-run 2nd inning. The Dutch team didn’t help themselves making 4 errors giving up 3 unearned runs.

Roger Velez pitched well going 5 innings allowing 5 runs (2 ER) on only 4 hits to pick up the win. Tim Halderman took the loss lasting only 1.2 innings giving up 7 runs (4 ER) on 6 hits.

Rachid Engelhardt led the Dutch offensively going 2-for-5 with a double and a RBI.

Cristian Cano led the offense for Colombia going 2-for-4 with 2 doubles, 2 RBI, and a run scored. Yair Morelos (2-for-4/2 RBI), Gustavo Perinan (2-for-4), and Edwin Fuentes (2-for-4/1 RBI) also had good days at the plate in Colombia’s 11 hit attack.

USA 2, South Korea 8

South Korea used good pitching, speed, and a wild USA pitching staff to pick up a big win. Su Min Lee kept the American bats at bay for 5 innings allowing only 2 runs on 4 hits. He seemed to get ground ball after ground ball when he needed it. He got help from his bullpen as they shut down the Americans for the remainder of the game.

Designated hitter Dae Young Yoon had the big blow in the 4-run 7th with a bases clearing 3-run double to left field. That hit blew the game open and sealed the USA’s fate.

The American bats never seemed to get going, and they struggled in the field. They looked sloppy at times throwing balls into center field on two straight occasions once on a stolen base attempt and then immediately after on a pick off attempt.

The Americans also lost two players to injury during the game. Catcher Chris Okey collided with the 3rd baseman on a pop up near the dugout causing his head to snap back and leaving him a little dazed. He was able to walk off the field but he was replaced and is sitting today’s game out as well.

The USA also lost pitcher Ian Clarkin was hit on his pitching hand and unable to continue.

Japan 2, Chinese Taipei 0

In the other battle of international baseball powers, Japan got an outstanding pitching performance from Shintaro Fujinami who went all 9 innings giving up only 2 hits and striking out 13. Hsin Chi Hung didn’t pitch bad for Chinese Taipei but he couldn’t match Fujinami going only 6 innings allowing 2 runs on 9 hits to take the loss.

Japan picked up 12 hits, 11 for singles, in the game but only managed a run in the 2nd and 7th innings to even their record at 1-1.

Panama 6, Czech Republic 2

In the other night game, Panama picked up another win in Pool B against the Czech Republic. Peter Pineda pitched well for Panama picking up the win going 7 innings allowing only 1 run on 4 hits. Jan Novak took the loss going 5.1 innings allowing 5 runs (3 ER) on 7 hits.

Mario Sanjur picked up a pair of triples, while Anthony Diaz went 3-for-3 with a triple, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored to help Panama to the win.

Standings:

Pool A
1. South Korea 2-0
2. USA 1-1
3. Colombia 1-1
4. Australia 1-1
5. Venezuela 1-1
6. Netherlands 0-2

Pool B
1. Canada 2-0
2. Panama 2-0
3. Chinese Taipei 1-1
4. Japan 1-1
5. Czech Republic 0-2
6. Italy 0-2

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#BaseballJourney at the IBAF 18U Baseball World Championships

I have been fortunate to see some of the greatest baseball players to ever play in the USA, but I don’t want to stop there. I have lived in South Korea for most of the past 3 years during which I have seen a lot of baseball. I have gotten the chance to see every KBO team and stadium in use as well as a few that are only used by amateur and high school leagues.

Baseball is a religion of sorts here. The fans here are passionate, knowledgeable, and hungry for winners on every level. Luckily for me the IBAF 18U Baseball World Championships are currently being held in Seoul. So for the next two weekends I’ll be spending my time between two stadiums watching international baseball. This is my current #BaseballJourney.

This is my first foray into international baseball. I’m fortunate to be able to see the USA play. Not only that, but I am getting to see them play Korea as well which will make for an electric atmosphere.

However, on the grand scheme of things it is seeing other countries that you might not know have good teams. For instance, Italy and the Czech Republic are representing Europe. Colombia, Panama, and Venezuela are here as well representing South America. Then there are the powers that you expect to be here and do well like Japan, Korea, USA, and Canada.

It’s an exciting time watching international baseball for the first time. I’m excited and realize how lucky I am for the chance to do so.

I don’t know where my #BaseballJourney will take me in the future, but I’m excited about the prospects.

If you have a baseball travel story, share with us using the tag #BaseballJourney.

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