Tag Archive | "South Africa"

Baseball’s Rise Marked By New Stadiums Worldwide


Press Release IBAF.org

“Our sport has entered into a new era of globalisation.” WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — A fresh wave of planned or recently completed baseball and softball construction projects is set to boost the growing popularity and globalisation of the bat-and-ball sports, as well as local economies, World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) officials reported. The latest developments follow historic growth for baseball and softball across Africa, with first-ever national stadiums erected in Ghana and Uganda in early 2014.

Now, as baseball and softball’s global footprint deepens, new facilities are being rolled out in the Bahamas, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain and the United Kingdom, in addition to new-builds in mature markets like Mexico — and South Korea and Taiwan, where the first-ever domed baseball stadiums are currently taking shape.

Bahamas 

In 2015, a new national baseball stadium in the Bahamas — Andre Rodgers National Baseball Stadium — will be completed and “heralds rapid expansion of the game of baseball in the Bahamas,” reads a statement posted in November on the official website of the Government of the Bahamas.

Prime Minister of the Bahamas Perry Christie told reporters at the groundbreaking ceremony:”This is a result of the extraordinary progress of baseball in the [Bahamas], without government support, sponsored by people who had an interest, who stimulated young people…to get involved in baseball. We are now talking a benefit to the economy of the Bahamas.”

Government officials in the Bahamas indicate the state-of-the-art facility “will support the nation’s current energies to fully develop its sports tourism.”

Netherlands

Europe’s first state-of-the-art baseball and softball complex just outside Amsterdam in Hoofddorp, Netherlands was inaugurated for the 2014 season and has already hosted its first international competition. As well as attracting major baseball and softball events to the region and providing a new and exciting athlete-/fan-experience, the venue’s strategic location makes it very attractive as a regional training centre to further strengthen the development of baseball and softball in the Netherlands and in Europe.

In 2013, the Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Association unveiled Europe’s first baseball and softball urban playground. The innovative “urban” concept was rolled out in Rotterdam and aims to take organised baseball and softball to the street, increasing the sports’ pathway and connection with young people in non-traditional settings.

New Zealand

Last month, the Auckland Council unveiled a new crown jewel baseball facility, cited by Auckland city officials as “the first of its kind in New Zealand.” Baseball New Zealand and McLeod Park Baseball Diamond have since been awarded the hosting rights of the U18 Baseball Oceania Championship, which serves as the qualifier for the 2015 U18 WBSC Baseball World Cup. Following McLeod Park’s opening ceremonies, officials in New Zealand have already been assessing the feasibility of building baseball’s first-ever national stadium in New Zealand.

Spain

The Instituto Barcelona Deportes (Barcelona Sports Institute) announced last week that it is set to begin construction on a new sports/community project, including the roll out of a new softball field next to baseball’s Estadio Carlos Perez de Rozas on Pierre de Coubertin Street in Barcelona.

“Sport is fundamental in Barcelona, so we are committed to providing the city with sports facilities necessary to ensure constant sport and of quality,” Deputy Mayor for Quality of Life, Equality and Sports, Ms. Maite Fandos, said in a statement.

South Africa

In a joint venture, the City of Cape Town and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport announced last month the unveiling of the rebuilt Bishop Lavis Softball field, which included laser-levelling of the pitch, installation of irrigation, construction of a backstop and fence, as well as installation of floodlights to hold training and competitions in the evenings.

“We are committed to providing facilities which will encourage communities to participate in sport and will nurture young talent. Sport encourages young people to live healthy and keeps them involved in wholesome activities and off the street,” the Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services, Alderman Belinda Walker, said in a statement.

United Kingdom

Following the first-ever dedicated baseball/softball stadium in the U.K. with Farnham Park Baseball and Softball Complex built last year in Slough, BaseballSoftballUK (BSUK) recently announced plans to build a new baseball and softball facility in Manchester to promote the sports and bolster participation numbers in the North of England. As growth has taken off in the U.K., including the newest facility inaugurated in Essex, John Boyd, BSUK Joint CEO, announced in November a project to expand the Farnham complex to include another international-standard baseball field.

WBSC on Baseball/Softball’s Continued Trend of Global Growth

WBSC president Riccardo Fraccari hailed the wave of initiatives as a major boost for the positioning of baseball and softball as one of the world’s leading global sports, particularly as WBSC and its partners continue working toward a return of baseball and softball in the Olympic Games.

“Our sport has entered into a new era of globalisation,” said the world governing body president. “More and more clubs, communities, cities and nations are investing in the development of baseball and softball because it is being recognised that baseball and softball are proven and popular sporting and fan activities that engage young people across both genders as well as sponsors and broadcasters, and can help to stimulate economies.

“WBSC, our National Federations, our professional league partners and the youth leagues are heavily invested in promoting our sport around the world to attract and reach — and remain relevant to — the next generation of athletes and sport fans, alike. This recognition and support from governmental institutions to help drive growth marks a significant breakthrough for our sport in terms of universality and evolving into a truly global sport.”

Based on data compiled, the WBSC estimates that over 65 million athletes practice the sport of baseball and softball in over 140 countries, with youth and females making up the majority of the participation-demographic.

Copyright © 1999-2014 IBAF . All rights reserved. Permission to cite from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to ibaf.org as the source.

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MLB International hosting Elite Camp in South Africa


Press Release Major League Baseball

Conference to be Held for Aspiring Baseball Coaches

For the second year, Major League Baseball International (MLBI) will hold an African Elite Camp in Cape Town, South Africa from December 5-14th for 36 of Africa’s top young baseball players. Fifteen coaches from the participating nations – Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda – are also on hand to learn from the experienced MLB staff. Majestic continues their sponsorship of MLBI game development programs with a financial contribution to the African Elite Camp.

For the first time, a South African Coaches Conference will be held in conjunction with the Elite Camp. MLB staff will run clinics for 35 aspiring baseball coaches from South Africa to improve their knowledge of the game. In addition, a baseball clinic will be held in the township of Phillipi for 60 promising young baseball players from a disadvantaged area.

The camp is taking place at the Athlone A’s Baseball Club, home to one of the South African Baseball Union’s Intensive Training Centres, which serves over 400 players. The indoor facility at the complex, which features batting cages, pitching mounds and a workout facility, was made possible through a $200,000 Baseball Tomorrow Fund grant awarded in 2010. The Baseball Tomorrow Fund is a joint initiative between Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association designed to promote and enhance the growth of baseball throughout the world by funding programs, field improvements and equipment purchases to encourage and maintain youth participation in baseball and softball

Rick Magnante, manager of the Vermont Lake Monsters in the Oakland A’s system, is the lead instructor at the African Elite Camp. He has managed in the minor leagues for ten years, and also was the manager of the South African National Team in the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics. Additional instructors include former Major Leaguers Homer Bush, Craig Lefferts and Gerald Perry; Mike Randall, who was part of Magnante’s coaching staff during the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic tournaments; Jeff Krushell and Bill Holmberg.

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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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Baseball in South Africa Townships


The game is truly becoming international, and it remains a way for kids to achieve a better life. This game can teach so much, and for some young kids in South Africa they are getting that chance. With baseball comes greater responsibilities like school, and through baseball they can be reached. It’s not only a great game, but a great tool to inspire kids to be great in other areas of life.

This is a touching look at baseball in South Africa from CNN.

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