Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Season 6!

I know I'm a little late with this year's annual baseball email but better late than never to update everyone with news from Budapest on this little baseball vagabond adventure I've been on for the past 6 years now. 

I arrived in Europe at the end of April, but unlike years past where my main purpose was to play professionally, I have taken on some new roles that are very different than before.

In March I was named Head Coach of the Hungarian Senior and Under-21 National teams and we officially started this year's program with another strong showing during my Head Coach debut at the annual Danube Cup against the National teams from neighboring Slovakia and Austria:
This is a great opportunity for someone my age, to lead a national team, consisting of the best players in the country of Hungary in various international tournament throughout the Spring and Summer. We just completed our national team training camp yesterday and we are getting ready for a friendly match against a team from the U.S. next week, followed by the Prague International Cup tournament June 30 & July 1 as we continue to build for next year's European Championships Qualifier. 

Additionally, I am directing player development for the whole country, which involves traveling every week to various cities and towns throughout Hungary, helping individual clubs with their training programs and outreach activities to recruit new players to the sport. I'm helping develop the baseball fabric in a country that only recently started playing baseball with the end of Soviet rule in the early 1990s. There's a lot of room to make a large impact on how baseball players are developing to play the game correctly.

Meanwhile, I am also continuing to play professionally for the Janossomorja Rascals http://www.facebook.com/pages/J√°nossomorja-Rascals/181412281900987, arguably the best team in the country of Hungary who also play in the regional premier league against other top club teams from neighboring countries of Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Slovenia. http://www.mister-baseball.com/preview-15th-edition-inter-league/
So far I've helped the Rascals as a starting pitcher and designated hitter into 4th place in the Inter-League. Last weekend I hit my 2nd home-run of the season and pitched the last two innings against Obuda Warriors for the save that helped locked up the final spot in the Inter-League playoffs to be played in Croatia at the end of September: http://www.mister-baseball.com/results-interleague-slovakia-hungary-june-9/ .  As one of the leading hitters and pitchers in the league you can find my stats here:

We also recently finished in 4th place (out of 12) against club teams and national teams from all over Europe at the Finkstonball Tournament in Attnang-Puchheim Austria a few weeks ago:
http://finkstonball.com/ . And for the second year in a row, 3n2 Baseball is sponsoring me and for all my baseball and softball playing friends I encourage you to check them out at www.3n2sports.com

Of course as many of you are aware, during the past few years I have been working towards a law degree at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. While playing and coaching in May I was finally able to graduate, and now even though I maintain my profession as a baseball player and coach, I also am officially a lawyer now. 

Many things have changed in the past 6 years - as I have played, coached and scouted around the globe from Belgium to Israel to Australia to the Netherlands and Germany, and now in Hungary. (I think I'm on pace to set some sort of record with playing in the most amount of countries - 

I remember starting out in Belgium back in 2007, the only way to communicate to friends and family back home was to post my adventures, pictures, and game recaps on my blog: www.justprin.blogspot.com
Only U.S. college students were on facebook, and there wasn't much international media attention to baseball in Europe. Now with almost everyone on facebook and with these other websites I have sent links to - it's much easier to take a few minutes and share in this adventure with me.
Check out my photo gallery on facebook: 
Austria Tourney:
Photos from Hungary:

Stay in touch and enjoy the summer (or Australian winter, for those down under)!