It's been a long time since I sent a baseball update, partly due to trying to perform 3 jobs this years: pitching in Germany, coaching in Hungary, and scouting all over Europe. Also on the pitching end there wasn't much good news to report as it was generally an awful season in Hamburg. I pitched well at times, but as this blog details, after 4 successful professional seasons, I hit a wall, physically and mentally. When I was released from my contract in Hamburg at the beginning of June, my team, HSV Stealers, was floundering on the brink of playoffs and eventually collapsed down the stretch. Meanwhile, I had taken up residency in Budapest Hungary to coach the Hungarian National Team the rest of the summer as we prepared for the European Championship Qualifier in Barcelona Spain. I resigned myself to the fact that my playing career could be finished.
After the tournament in Barcelona (where our squad was competitive against Spain, Finland, Ireland, and Switzerland but finished 4th out of 5), I returned to the States for my best mate, Adam Crabb's wedding in San Francisco and got ready for the last few classes of my law school career. Surprisingly I received two offers to pitch during this time: 1. to go to Armarillo Texas immediately to pitch in the minor league American Association and 2. to return to Europe at the end of the month for the Inter-League Playoffs, to play for the Hungarian based Janossmorja Rascals, one of the best teams in the regional super league.
Today I will fly to Vienna from Detroit after completing my first week of law school and pitch this weekend for the Rascals against the best teams from Croatia, Hungary, and Slovakia. You can follow the action on my blog as always, on my facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/#!/
At times I feel like quite the baseball mercenary, but the team I will play for, along with some other Americans, and former teammates living in Europe (Ty Eriksen and Sam Boone) is made up of about 7 players I coached on the Hungarian National Team, and as they compete against the best teams from other countries in the region, I felt a sense of pride in Hungarian baseball that I worked so hard this year to improve as a coach, and can hopefully help raise the level of play and awareness in the next two weeks. I also am grateful for the opportunity to finish the season (and maybe my career) on a positive note, and to pitch in some meaningful playoff games.
I appreciate the UDM Law School and my professors letting me continue my professional career in this manner. Thanks to my sponsors Vinci Gloves (www.vincipro.com) and 3n2 (www.3n2sports.com) for outfitting me with great equipment for the season. Finally, I am thankful for the continued well wishes and support from all my family, friends, and colleagues on this email throughout my 5 years of professional baseball around the globe.