July 2005

Back from Italy

Gone for a couple weeks with the family to Italy.  One of those vacations you always think about and never take…no cell phone, blackberry etc..  In this day and time a true vacation from work is pretty tough. My first "summer" vacation in 20 years!  Working at ballparks makes getting away during mid season tough.  I found myself on "our family beach day" checking out Major League Baseball’s European Baseball Academy in Tirrinia Italy.  We have been assisting the locals with renovating a field over the past several months and I was so close I had to check out the status.  Nice field and a great staff. Dan Bonnano MLB’s European operator does a great job.

The Academy will start this August and assist the ongoing development of some 60 local Italian baseball players.  Baseball is growing in Europe..regardless of what the IOC thinks.  Now with the World Baseball classic taking shape for 2006 the game will grow even greater around the world.  Greece_italy_photos_145

There is a really cool beach outside of Pisa in Tirrinia that is owned by the USA.  There is a Army Base in the area so sharing some time with our enlisted men goofing off on the beach was a highlight.  It was nice at the end of the trip to purchase a cheese burger and fries with US currency instead of Euros at the snack bar. You can imagine, eating pasta everyday can take its toll on the body!  What was even more ironic was watching the line at the snack bar build with locals purchasing the same thing. I can guarantee its the only place in Italy you can purchase a hot dog! I guess our All American beef burger and tube steak have a few friends everywhere.  It was the first time I had been to a country that didn’t have your standard McDonald’s or KFC.  I saw one in Florence! 

Its good to be home.

IOC Cancels Baseball for 2012

Daves_greek_photos_096Baseball suffered an international blow when the IOC voted to remove the sport from the Olympics in 2012.  Having been involved in a few Olympics its tough to comprehend how they decided on removing a sport like baseball that is

loved by millions of people around the world! (GREEK TEAM ABOVE)

The game will still be played in Beijing 2008, but in London 2012, where MLB happens to have an office, the game will not be a medal event. I feel bad for the country and the people over there who have lobbied so hard for the sport only to have a hand full of IOC members change the future of the game in Great Britain. 

Just recently, I received word from friends at the B.B.U.K . (Baseball United Kingdom) about the excitement and plans they have made to use the 2012 Olympic games to promote baseball through out the country where thousands play softball and baseball.  He sent me a note today and said the IOC vote changes everything for the sport. Projects are coming to a halt to build fields for youth development!

We need a International Blog to send a message to the IOC.  Its time to sound off baseball fans!!!

Job Seekers !

Olympic_photos_of_familty_and_field_016 WANTED:  Anyone looking for a good… fun… outdoor summer job working in a baseball stadium!  Must like long hours, working under a wide range of climates, Baseball experience not necessary, Gardening, horticulture, turf or grounds management a plus!!!!!

I hear it from a lot of people about how they want a job in baseball working in the front office.  Anyone that is searching for a job in baseball should also consider a groundskeeping position   Obviously, the more education you have as it relates to Agronomy, Horticulture or soils science will help to increase your value when a Head job comes up.  I know many groundskeepers in professional baseball that  have apprenticed and interned at parks with out a formal education.  I have also had the privilege to work with a few very well educated sports turf professionals that have a hard time mowing a straight line. A lot of what happens on the field as it relates to groundskeeping is an art!  I know of a couple front office job seekers have changed there degree and decided to move towards sports turf management and stadium operations. 

The top traits/experience I look for when hiring someone is their work ethic, personality, team player, common sense, strong back and a drive to succeed regardless of the elements.  Give me someone that possesses those skills and in a couple years he or she could be the head groundskeeper of a pro ball club.

If you have an interest in the profession check out some of the links I have to the right or send me a note. You never know you may be a natural!