Results tagged ‘ Canada ’
We kicked off the first series of MLB Field clinics in Canada this past week. In conjunction with MLB operations and Baseball Canada they selected some great locations for the hands on educational workshops. We started in Vancouver at historic Nat bailey park. Then to centennial park in Edmonton and finished Friday in Winnipeg. We had great turnouts in all 3 clinics. A lot of work by Jim Baba, baseball canada executive director and his staff to organize these events was critical to the success. Thanks to Jim and his crew. Chad Olsen and I are headed up the education content with Bob Curry from Covermaster and a couple reps from Turface. What was great were the added resources for education coming from the STMA (sportsturf managers association) and the Western Turfgrass association (WTGA). These groups provided literature, CD’s and special guest speakers that included presentations from their executive director and board members. The MLB Clinic sessions focused on basic field maintenance as well as budget planning and networking. It was the first time these groups had been together so it was exciting to see them exchange emails and phone numbers during the breaks. Sharing information is what it’s all about.
The majority of the attendees were from the parks rec departments and private schools. In BC and Winnipeg we had a group of volunteers that were responsible for managing the fields after the city performed mowing and other duties. I have a very soft spot in my heart for volunteers in this industry. Seeing people give up their vacation time and family time to be a part of a working clinic to take care of their home baseball and softball fields. WOW! It just doesn’t get any better than that.
All in total the field and venue held up well in front of 4000 people. Canada moved up a notch with a win over GB 11-1 that was ended in the 7th due to the 10 run rule. Compliments to great ground crew from Germany along with Dan and Kevin. After 9 two hour practices these guys really did a great job holding the field together.
A great first day for the two clubs at the renovated ball park in Regensburg for the World Baseball Classic. Field held up great as did the weather. GB’s Sam Dempster was excited to see the field and the upgrades. Canada’s Ernie Whitt and Greg Hamilton also had some great things to say about Armin Wolfe Arena grounds. Always good to get the first day over. Martin Brunner and his groundcrew did a great job managing the practices. With 8 practices and only 6 games it sounds a bit upside down but that’s baseball.
GB’s squad actually met yesterday for the first time with the pros that joined them. i think with the influx of pro guys for Czech, Germany and GB this will be an interesting tournament. By the way… Thanks to Dan Bonanno and Kevin for painting some awesome logos! You guys rock!
This past week was a bit of a blur. From Amsterdam to Munich to Regensburg. With the teams starting to arrive tomorrow for the WBC qualifier in Germany, I am sure they will be excited about the field upgrades and temporary facilities built for the event. Great Britain> Canada arrive tomorrow and the Czech and Germany clubs bus in for the event. All the teams are posting some big names MiLB names on the roster. The big chatter in European baseball is that the EURO baseball Championships just ended in Rotterdam and Italy came in 1st after a “unique” play off system beating Nederlands. Its pretty typical to see these two clubs be in 1 & 2 slots. Spain was right up their too. Great Britain and Czech fared well but they didn’t have the pro guys that they will have for this event.
Anyway mounds, bullpens and infield have been worked on this past week. John Deere provided us with a nice mower to showcase. Our friends at Diamond Pro and BullDog Pitching rubbers sent over some products to jazz up Armin Wolfe stadium. We even scavenged a Covermaster tarp from the 2004 Athens Olympics that was still in storage for the games since Regensburg did not have one. Pretty cool but it has no leaks after sitting for 8 years on a pallet. Our volunteer Regensburg U18 team helped spread some product today. What a great group of kids.
After a 3 hour rain delay and 6 1/2 tarp pulls the Dutch started the gold medal game in panama at 840pm and ended it with a win over Cuba. What a performance by both clubs as the final score was 2-1. A light rain fell on the field the entire night and for a while it seemed the game would never start but with a great effort by the tarp crew at Rodney Carew stadium we were able to out maneuver the rain. Earlier in the afternoon the USA vs canada bronze medal game was called off due to rain and what was thought to be a tie for 3rd actually became a win for Canada because they beat USA in pool play.
This is the second time i have witnessed the Dutch team win a tournament when they were not favored to win anything. The 2009 World Baseball Classic was another great win for the club after defeating the DR twice. The win at the Baseball World Cup should prove this country is a baseball power. All in all a great day for international baseball. Having the Netherlands win the gold is just another checkpoint for how far the game has developed outside of it’s origins.