Finally... Spring is in the air (at least in the northern hemisphere) and with the change of season we can depend on a few certainties. The snow will melt and the weather will steadily improve (eventually). Taxes will be due (in the U.S.) and of course, the baseball season will soon begin. This means for the fifth straight spring, I am set to begin another pro season of baseball in Europe. As always, I am sending a mass email to most of my close friends, family members, colleagues, former and current professors, past and current teammates, and fans who have expressed interest in my baseball career on where I'll be playing this season and how to follow, if interested.
This email might come as a surprise to some, especially considering when I last wrote everyone in August, I was contemplating retirement and going back to Detroit to work on finishing my law degree at University of Detroit Mercy. A few weeks ago, however, in the midst of the law school semester, I re-signed with the HSV Stealers (Hamburg Germany) to play in the top league called the Bundesliga. As many of you may recall I left Almere in mid-July last season and went from the Dutch Head Class to the German Bundesliga, pitching 2 complete games in August to help HSV into the playoffs. I am set to return on April 8, and will already be pitching on Sunday April 10. The management have assembled a great team, including my friend Max Warren, a former D1 standout hitter and pitcher from Harvard, who was a teammate of mine during summer college ball in Fairfax Virginia in 2005. All the German league game action and stats can be found here (in English):
A unique development to this year's baseball season will be my new job as Assistant Coach and Pitching Coach of the Hungarian National Baseball team. I made some contacts with the Hungarian Federation while visiting Budapest on vacation last summer, and was officially offered the position to work with the national team in January. My role with the Hungarian national team (made up of the best players from Hungary to compete in international competitions) won't conflict with playing for HSV in Hamburg. I will be traveling to Hungary 1-2 times a month during the Spring and Summer, culminating with a week in Barcelona Spain to compete against the national teams of Spain, Ireland, Finland, and Switzerland in the European Championships Qualifier. The Hungarian press release can be seen in English here:
Seems like yesterday when I started this mass email / blogging in 2007 to keep interested friends and family members informed of my games and stories from my first season in Belgium and Israel, especially because translating team websites and league stats weren't as easy to do as they are today with the assistance of devices like Google Translate. Since that time, European leagues have also seen a dramatic increase of coverage with websites in English like www.mister-baseball.com, a very comprehensive domain that covers everything baseball in Europe. However, I will still keep the blog going strong because sometimes interesting stories from the travels and game are nice to write about from a personal perspective. A few years ago we tried an actual website, but my website maintenance skills pale in comparison to my pitching skills, so I stuck with the blog until this past off-season when my sister, Rachel, recommended to utilize facebook, as almost everyone in the world (other than China and some Eskimos) are now on the social network. The facebook athlete page, will do the best job of syncing all the various game recaps, news from the Europe, updates, and my blog posts that I recommend you visit here and add it to your favorite pages:
Last week I was interviewed about my experiences in Europe by Ty Eriksen for Mister-Baseball and that can be viewed here:
Finally, I am being sponsored this season by this great new baseball company 3n2, that specialize in cleats/shoes and apparel.
Check them out here: www.3n2sports.com