June 2012

International baseball booming


Wow what a year (so far) for international sportsturf biz. So much going on for baseball around the world. Planning for the WBC and other events! It’s great to see the game growing on so many fronts.

Crazy week in taiwan and Japan dodging two typhoons. No big damage but a lot of rain.
We will be playing the WBCQ in new Taipei city ballpark in november. Nice stadium. Needs a little field work but in a cozy location. This weekend was another dragon festival in Kaohsiung. What a fun sport.

In early June went to Toronto to talk about 2015 Games development planning before heading over to Australia/ Auckland to see the ABL sites and other locations for possible games. The fall is going to be crazy again with field works going on in Panama, mexico, Regensburg and taiwan …plus a couple of clinics here and there. It’s great to know I have a great group of seasoned international traveling groundskeepers that can make these projects happen.

So if I have this right, I believe i set a new personal record for actual miles flown in a 30 day period a bit over 100k.

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.In mid May I was in Europe checking up on the World Baseball Classic Qualifier site in Regensburg, then onto several other European cities including Athens and Amsterdam. Then to Mexico to see the status of the ballpark they are building in Hermosillo. Chad’s doing a great job on that facility and as i have said before this ballpark will be used for the 2013 Caribbean world series. After Hermosillo , stopped by San Juan to work with the guys on a new potential site for the PR baseball academy.

Australia air travel…no worries mate!


My Ausie friends have the travel thing down pat!   Let me explain.   After a day of meetings in Sydney on Thursday,  we had a long travel day planned on friday beginning with a flight from Sydney to Melbourne.  its a 645am departure from one of the busiest airports on the Pacific rim.  Im thinking 4:00 am pick up and at the airport at 430.  Tom says nope see you at 545am..  I was a bit skeptical

545am –  Tom picks me up at hotel in downtown Sydney to drive to airport

6:00am- Arrive at avis to return the rental car

6:05am- enter terminal and go through security screening ( with my belt, shoes, socks…and NO BOARDING PASS)

610am- enter Qantas lounge. Pick up boarding pass and dine on a  breakfast buffet that was outstanding

625am- Walk to gate

630am- take seat (on a full flight)

Flight departs at 645am on time.   Over a course of 1 hour and not even having to rush the experience was amazing!    I really liked the fact they allow anyone to pass security without a boarding pass.  You can bring your friends, have meetings in the airport, family can meet you at the gate etc…

Tom Nicholson and I performed site visits in 4 state capitols on Friday. Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane which would have been impossible in the US or other countries.

Traveling around Australia this week reminded me of the air travel we enjoyed before 9/11 changed our countries transportation system.   We live in a safer world because of our security systems which I support but one can only wish we could some day return to a simpler way of flying with  “no worries” .

Ballparks in Regensburg and Athens


On my recent venture we took some time to check in with the folks in regensburg Germany to see how the WBC qualifier preparations were coming along. Stopped in Amsterdam to see the developments of a new ballpark and then onto Athens. The 2004 Olympic baseball stadium in Athens is currently not a baseball venue but a soccer venue. At least they are using it for a outdoor sport!

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There is only one “main” olympic stadium still being used for baseball which is in barcelona host of the 1992 games. The 1996 olympic stadium was Fulton county stadium which was torn down,the 2000 olympic main stadium in Sydney was a showground for cattle and was only a temporary venue for the games. However west of Sydney is the 2nd olympic venue and it has been resurrected by mlb and is used in the abl league. The 2008 wukesong baseball olympic stadium in beijing and both Practice fields were reduced to rubble shortly after the games. So the Olympic baseball stadium legacy plan is not doing so great

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