Results tagged ‘ world cup ’

Its turning green at Omar Torrijos Stadium

Over the past couple days we have been overseeing the zoysia sod installation on one of the 4 fields in Panama for the upcoming baseball world cup. It’s exciting to witness the progress of these fields.  Here at Omar Torrijos Stadium, Santiago they installed a new drainage system, irrigation a sandy loam soil over gravel .  With the rain they receive in this country drainage is key.  Next stop for sod. Aguadulce.

Remembering: Team USA Visits Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial

usa team at memorial.JPGIn 2007  I had the honor of meeting  Retired Colonel Joe Bevilacqua Superintendent of the American cemetery in Nettuno Italy.  In addition to his position at the cemetery  he  and has also helped us with the field preperations over the past few weeks with equipment and resources .  During our conversations he wondered if the USA baseball team may have some time to come over to the cemetery to see the site. One thing lead to another and it worked out that Team USA could be there a few minutes before BP of the Netherlands game.

sciliy mem headstones.JPGThe Cemetary  is as humbling  as Arlington Cemetary with over 8000 Americans laying rest from the Anzio beach invasion of the allied forces during WWII.  The 77 acre site is American property. The players were obviously moved by Colonel Joe’s presentation of the invasion and the cemetary facts. Joe has a crew of over 16 guys that maintain the grounds which were breath taking.

memorial.JPGNot only was there a memorial but also a chapel where over 3000 soldiers  considered missing in action have their names etched into the Roman traventine marble.  Inscribed in  bold letters in the chapel. ” IN PROUD REMEMBERANCE OF THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF HER SONS AND IN HUMBLE TRIBUTE TO THEIR SACRIFICES THIS MEMORIAL HAS BEEN ERECTED BY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”   On several unknown cemetary markers the inscription reads..HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY A COMRADE IN ARMS KNOWN BUT TO GOD”

A couple of the players were talking and I over heard one say, ” had the guys laying here not given the ultimate sacrfice  we may not have been here today playing this game”.

Im glad it worked out they could see the cemetery as it really puts things in perspective as to why we are playing these games.  Many Many thanks to our armed forces for keeping us safe.  God Bless All of our military and those that have fallen for our freedom.  Gone but not forgotten.

Anyway   …. CUBA – USA tommorow for the GOLD MEDAL   Check out the poster .


Checking out ballparks in Europe for the 09 World Cup

moscow stadium.JPG

Baseball is planning for a big year internationally in 2009.  For a lot of reasons.  Not only will we have the WBC (World Baseball Classic) but also in September, IBAF will hold the Baseball’s World Cup Championship throughout Europe.  As I began blogging this entry we were rolling along the autobahn outside of Regensburg, Germany at 192 kilometers per hour.  (Thats about 120mpg.)   We were in Prague earlier in the day and
electric fence.JPGStockholm on Tuesday.  Today we are
in Moscow. One thing all the sites have in common is traffic.  It’s a common issue where ever you live and here in these European cities it’s the same.   Traffic is traffic.  My traveling partner on this excursion is Jim Baba Executive director of the Canadian baseball federation. We are part of the advance team for IBAF inspecting venues for the 2009 world cup.  (Photo below is Jim Baba and “Jim” Georgia. Thats the Basilica behind us in Red Square) The Russian Federation were tremendous hosts!  The photo of the outfield fence is quite electrifying!  The astro turf type grass was partially replaced in the infield a couple years ago but the outfield turf is original…1989. 


Each baseball venue will host the first round of competition with each site having 4 teams. With a 20 team tournament we will then go to the second round where locations are still being determined. On the  list of  other sites for the second round include locations in Italy, Spain and the Netherlands.  


regensburg stadium shot.JPG
Regensburg, Germany is about 140 miles from Prague.  Both Regensburg and Prague have nice sport complexes and stadium improvements are planned at all the venues. What is great about the new venue evaluation system is that we have more time to allow the venue to make improvements. Our suggestions and recommendations will help to improve the fields to bring there venues up to a higher standard of play for this particular tournament. 


regensburg game underway.JPGRegensburg has a type of blue/fescue blend turf type and Prague is all bluegrass.  Stockholm is a variation of several grasses at the time and Moscow is synthetic.  As I mentioned, the tournament is being played at a key time.  Just a few weeks after the World cup the IOC will vote once again in Copenhagen to add new sports to the Olympic program for 2016 so baseball is staging a huge event throughout Europe to showcase the game in multiple European cities that embrace the sport.  The folks we have met on this trip are baseball crazed!!!!   Baseball was voted out of the Olympics for the 2012 year but if the vote goes well in Copenhagen
we will be back in the Olympics for 2016. 


basilicamurray jim jim.JPGThis was my first time back to Moscow since being here in 1989 for the Diamond Diplomacy tour.  Peter Kirk and a group of other Minor League owners brought over two minor league teams to play.  At that time it was still the USSR and some folks joke about the fact that the next year the wall came down and the countries split due to baseball coming to tour the country.  Dave Trembley manager for the Baltimore Orioles was the manager of the team we brought over to play friendly games with local clubs in Kiev, Tallinn and Moscow.  The country has truly changed and for the better…except for the traffic.

 prague stadium shot 1.JPG

 Prague’s complex was delivered a brand new smithco today and also has a Jacobsen 1900 tri- king.  The facility has 2 full size baseball fields and a couple youth facilities. It’s a real gem in Europe with a great location just outside of the old town in Prague.  Stockholm will also be making some improvements to there venues to host a 4 team roundjanexplains the project.JPG. The Mayor of Stockhom and other local officials greeted us warmly.