August 2009

2009 World Cup Fields taking shape…

By now everyone has heard the news about the Olympic vote going against baseball.  Not much more to say about it. The Olympics never wanted baseball anyway.  Sad but true…Bottom line is that this game will grow and develop just as strong without those guys.

There loss. Lets turn the page…

DSC06076.JPGSo now lets get ready for the  World Cup as well as other future International Basebal events on the agenda of MLB and IBAF.   Things are coming along in Zagreb, Croatia for the Round 1 games.  Building the field from Scratch!    Some of the local ground crew in Zagreb getting the job done.   Keep them rolling aldo. 

The Sod that came in for the field was really nice.  How about the loading device..a different type of forklift.  



090814_orvallen_2544.jpgSame thing in Stockholm…progress is steady on the dry days which are few and in between.. the monsoon rains are hampering some of the renovations.  Hopefully mother nature  will let up an give us a break!     


IOC votes this Thursday if Baseball remains an Olympic Sport

Thumbnail image for olympic photos of familty and field 106.jpgOn the 13th of August,  the Executive Committee of the IOC will determine which 2 sports from the 7  will be submitted to the IOC congress in October for inclusion into the 2016 Olympic Games.  A historic day for baseball and softball internationally. It’s literally the bottom of the 9th inning for baseball.  Harvey Schiller, President of IBAF, and his staff have worked extremely hard to answer all the questions and concerns of the IOC regarding why baseball should be 1 of the 2 finalists. I am overall upbeat about the pending decision but at the same time aware that the IOC President has not been a major supporter of our national past time.  It has been an uphill battle with this group since 2005 when they tried to get baseball kicked out then. 

I still wonder how we got on the black sheep list to begin with.  Some of the reasons suggested were Steroids? Well then you need to cut half the other Olympic sports out of the program!  Lack of Pros? Not even , when you look at the MLB players who played in past Olympics that are currently playing in the Majors.. (Soccer doesnt even allow there pro players!)   A North American Sport?  Not even close ….just ask Japan, Holland, Taiwan, Korea and all of our South American baseball fanatics if they think its a North American Sport!  

Its amazing to see the game growing so strong around the world. As I have mentioned in previous blogs,  we are preparing for the 2009 World Cup in Europe . I heard today that over 200 MLB owned players representing 16 countries have been given approval to compete in the World Cup tournament.  That number shocked me because in 2007 we had less than a 100. … Again it goes to show you how many pro-players are developing from other countries.  One of the best articles I have read in recent months regarding Baseball’s Olympic movement was in in Baseball Digest… thanks jerry for covering all of the facts to a tee..( thats a batting tee not a golf tee)

Its time to put on the Rally Caps Folks.


Last Minute World Cup Venue Improvements


As the games approach we have found that our European brothers and sisters have a lot in common with  their baseball counterparts here in the USA.  Waiting until the last minute to get everything completed must be symbolic with baseball stadiums undergoing renovations.  Somehow everything always turns out ok but … one has to wonder if it could be easier!


Holland has 3 nice parks in Rotterdam, Haarlem and Amsterdam.  Haarlem is undergoing some major stadium upgrades while Rotterdam has installed a retractable batters eye. Due to high winds they need to be able to lower the structure on moment’s notice. 

Haarlem has a unique marking
white turf tip.JPGsystem for the irrigation heads as they have a very aggressive aerfying program. they have taken the white plastic tuffs of fiber and put them in the turf at grass height next to t heads operator to see the tufts while poking holes in the soil. Pretty cool tip Hans!  Amsterdam is going to have new lights.  We are planning the staffing part to handle the field maintenance operations now.  More to come i am sure.