Olympic Baseball Test Event a Success
After some real nail biting moments, the first Major International Baseball event in China was completed. We did it all ….pulled the big tarp, had irrigation breaks couldn’t find petroleum for the equipment, etc… Many of the volunteers had really caught on to the field maintenance and pregame activities by the final game. Japan ended up with the gold medal while China won the Silver and France the bronze. It was an amazing experience that had a happy ending. Too many volunteers to thank but they all did a great job!! Yes this is a big ground crew but the culture is to perform the task with many people…(makes it tough sometimes but we got it done.) For example painting the coach’s box line, having to carry off the BP cage because some days its broken.. This at times took up to 8 people due to the weight and quality of the equipment…which will be changed before next summer.
We had ordered 5 pallets of Soil amendment from the states (actually could have used 10) but the freight cost was crazy so we settled with 5. It arrived not a moment to soon as the rain came in the first couple days and the product saved us. Thanks to Paul Zwaska and Liz at beacon for pulling it off. You can only imagine the shipping process to china?it is extremely difficult, The Mound clay from Gail Materials held up exceedingly well and the volunteers really got into the packing and sweeping of the maintenance responsibilities Thanks to Luke Yonder for helping us through that process as well as the folks at Gail? Dave especially. Obviously we have a lot of tweaks to make but all in all the tournament was a success. Now we ( Brick man Sports turf) are off to Barcelona for the qualifier then Nicaragua and Taiwan for evaluations of parks.
With so many different cultures you have to be careful what you do or say in other countries. We had the ground crew performing the YMCA in China but when a few upper level officials heard that the C in YMCA stood for Christian …they had to pull it as not to offend other religions. Oh well? we will work on something else for 2008. The volunteers loved it!
The medal ceremony was crazy. The mascots are called friendlies. Funny name for a strange looking creature. Oh well, they have a distinct following of youth.
Again the best memories about the tournaments are the people you meet; the friends you make and experiences you share with people from around the world. Baseball is a worldwide family composed not only of athletes, but coaches, manager?s, officials, operators and best of all sports turf managers…
Thanks for all the compliments on the fields. A Bunch of you have sent notes and I have passed your comments onto the people who made it happen. Erik and Budge?great job guys. Looking ahead to the 2008 Olympics will be interesting.