Volume XIII April through July 2016 Issue 53

Major League Minor League Skills/Strategies HS/College/Seniors
Feature Stories World Baseball News Release Performance Enhancers
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San Francisco Giants Try for Another Championship Season in 2016

It's an even season and the San Francisco Giants expect to be contending for another World Series Championship, just as they did by winning it all in 2010, '12 and '14. As he surveyed the Giants' talent in their clubhouse, there was no doubt in manager Bruce Bochy's mind, and he knows a thing or two about what it takes to win in October. "It's a really good ball club," said Bochy. The Giants are in a dominant division featuring the three-time defending National League West champion Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Pictured here with Bochy is Buster Posey, the Giants veteran catcher.

For the article, go to Major League

100-Win Cardinals Are Ready to Defend NL Central Title

There was no way the St. Louis Cardinals could match the headline-grabbing activity of the Chicago Cubs, their biggest National League Central rival. The Cardinals led the majors last season with 100 victories and have made it to the post-season five consecutive seasons, with a World Series title in 2011. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, pictured here with general manager John Mozeliak, said, "Looking around the room last fall and seeing the guy's disappointment, that's a motivator." Mozeliak added, "This team is going to be exciting to watch and it's going to be extremely competitive."

For the article, go to Major League

Expectations Soar as Cubs Try to End Championship Drought

The Chicago Cubs look about as loaded as any team after a 97-win season that took them to the National League Championship Series and sparked hope among their long-suffering fans that a championship drought dating back to 1908 might be in its final stages. They signed three-time Gold Glove winner Jason Heyward and John Lackey and are counting on big things from Jake Arrieta, who led the majors in wins with a 22-6 record and a 1.77 ERA. Pictured here is John Maddon, National League manager of the year in 2015.

For the article, go to Major League

Ken Griffey Jr. Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Ken Griffey Jr. is headed to a place for which his talent and achievement always made him seem destined -- the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. In typical Griffey fashion, he made history in the voting process. The 99.3 vote percentage is the highest in Hall of Fame history. "Ken was the best player in baseball," said former Mariners manager Lou Piniella. "There is nothing he couldn't do on a baseball field. He could hit for average and he could hit for power. He could steal a base."

For the story, go to Newsletter and Feature Stories

With President Obama, Castro Watching, Rays Beat Cuban Team

When Kevin Kiermaier slid in to home for the Tampa Bay Rays' first run of the day, President Barack Obama flung his arms wide in the sign for "safe." Then he turned to his left and shook the hand of his seatmate and Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro. The scene was a remarkable milestone for sports diplomacy as the two presidents try to set aside more than 50 years of Cold War hostility during which about the only thing the countries agreed on was a shared love for baseball.

For the article, go to Newsletter

John Maddon and Jeff Banister Selected MLB Managers of the Year

John Maddon and Jeff Banister were a huge hit in their new jobs. In his initial season with the Chicago Cubs, Maddon took the National League prize following the club's first postseason appearance since 2008. Banister easily topped Houston's A.J. Hinch and Hall of Famer Paul Molitor of the Minnesota Twins. "To be able to have this in year one is tremendous," said Banister. "But it means that we had a group of players that went out every single day, they showed some grit and played together."

To read, go to Newsletter

Mike Piazza Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame for 2016

Mike Piazza was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Piazza became the top offensive catcher in big league history, hitting better than .300 in nine straight seasons and finishing with 427 home runs. He was a 12-time All-Star with a .308 career batting average. Piazza spent the majority of his 16-year career starring with the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets.

In another article, Hall of Fame Says No to 10 Veteran Candidates Up for Election.

For the stories, go to Feature Stories

Joe Garagiola, Former Cardinals Catcher and 57-Year Broadcaster

Joe Garagiola's nine-year baseball career was a modest one. His 57 years in broadcasting that followed made him one of the most popular figures in the sports world and beyond. The man Arizona Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall called "one of the biggest personalities this game has ever seen" died March 23. He was 90. Garagiola grew up in the Hill neighborhood of St. Louis not far from future Hall of Famer Yogi Berra. Bob Costas, NBC's longtime announcer, said, "Joe had a genuine impact on the craft. He was among the first to bring a humorous, story-telling style to the booth."

For this story, go to News Release

Zack Greinke and Diamondbacks Finalize $206.5 Million 6-Year Deal

Zack Greinke and the Arizona Diamondbacks finalized their $206.5 million, six-year contract on December 8, a deal with a $34.4 million salary that is the highest in baseball history. Greinke, a 32-year-old right-hander, was 19.3 last year, with a 1.66 ERA, the lowest by a qualifying pitcher since Greg Maddux's 1.63 for Atlanta in 1995. He had a 45 2/3 innings streak and teamed with left-hander Clayton Kersaw at the top of the Dodgers' rotation.

For this article, go to News Release

Giants' Stellar Infield Could Help Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija Cash In

Revamping the rotation was the focal point of the San Francisco Giants' offseason, as the team spent a combined $220 million on free agent starters Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija. Much cheaper and just as important to the Giants' quest for a fourth World Series title this decade will be the four home grown players behind them, who represent the top defensive infield in the majors. First baseman Brandon Belt, third baseman Matt Duffy and shortstop Brandon Crawford, pictured here, were among the finalists for the Gold Glove at their positions last year.

For the article, go to Feature Stories

On His 88th Birthday, Vin Scully Has Called Baseball for 67 Years

As teams prepared for the 2016 season, there is one constant that can be counted on. Vin Scully will call Dodgers games. In the booth since 1950, Scully has been with the Dodgers for more than 10,000 games, and 23 World Series. Unfortunately, 2016 is the last year that Scully's voice will come from the Dodger Stadium press box. As Scully turned 88, it is time to look back at baseball and realize just how the voice of the Dodgers has shaped viewing of the sport.

In another story, John Smoltz Named Lead Fox MLB Game Analyst.

To read, go to Newsletter

Longtime MLB Umpire Tim Welke Calls It a Career

The first time Tim Welke stepped onto a ball field as a professional umpire, he was a teenager hoping he wouldn't get yelled at too much. As the years turned to decades, Welke got an earful. All umpires do. He worked more than 4,200 games in the big leagues, spread over 33 seasons, including four World Series. Managers, players and fellow umpires often praised Welke for his even-tempered demeanor and ability to control a game without letting emotions escalate. True to his nature, Welke's last ejection came in 2012.

For the story, go to Feature Stories

Frank Malzone, Former Red Sox All-Star Third Baseman

Frank Malzone, the Boston Red Sox's all-time leader among third baseman with homers and RBIs, died of natural causes on December 29. He was 85. Born in the Bronx, Malzone made his name in Boston, hitting .292 with 103 RBI as a rookie in 1959. He was an All-Star that year, winning a Gold Glove Award. Known as a cat-like defender he attacked ground balls and could turn double plays in an instant. A member of the Red Sox Hall of Fame, he played in Boston for 11 seasons from 1955-65. After retirement, Malzone worked as a scout and instructor, eventually joining the Red Sox front office.

For the article, go to Feature Stories

Pat Pieper, Chicago Cubs' Legendary Public Address Announcer

Pat Pieper of the Chicago Cubs was regarded by many as the dean of baseball public address announcers. In 1916, Piper handled the P.A. microphone for the first time for Cub games at Wrigley Field, and through the years Pat's voice was synonymous with baseball at Cubs Park. Indeed, Piper possessed a style of his own. Cubs fans enjoyed Pat's routine, "Atten-shun, your atten-shun please, have your pencil and scorecard ready and I will give you the line-up for today's ball game. Leading off and playing center field, number 5, Frankie Baumholtz!"

For the story, go to Newsletter

Marie "Red" Mahoney of A League of Their Own Fame

Marie "Red" Mahoney played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League that was made famous in the movie "A League of Their Own." She passed away on January 23 in Houston, Texas. She was 91. Following World War II, Mahoney was recruited to play in the AAGPBL, which was immortalized in the movie. The game these women played was good old country hardball. Millions paid to see them play. How good were they? Charlie Grimm, then manager of the Chicago Cubs, said after watching shortstop Dorothy Schroeder of the South Bend, Indiana Blue Sox, "If she was a boy, I'd give $50,000 for her."

For the story, go to Newsletter

MLB Teams Playing Follow-the-Leader By Focusing on Contact

The Kansas City Royals' mantra seemed so simple as they methodically pounded their opponents into submission throughout the 2015 postseason with an unrelenting offensive attack. The Royals were so good at making contact that they foiled some of the game's hardest-throwing pitchers. At a time in the game's history when strikeouts are at an all-time high, the Royals are a throwback to the dead ball era or at least one that existed before the designated hitter. Last season, the Royals rarely swung and missed.

For the article, go to Feature Stories

Monte Irvin, Hall of Fame Power-hitting Outfielder

Hall of Famer Monte Irvin was a power-hitting outfielder who starred for the New York Giants in the 1950s in a career abbreviated by major league baseball's exclusion of black players. He died on January 11 of natural causes. Irvin was 30 when he joined the Giants in 1949, two years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. In the National League pennant race of 1951, Irvin provided a glimpse of what he could have done to big league pitching in his prime.

For the article, go to Newsletter

Red Sox to Retire Hall of Fame Great Wade Boggs No. 26

Hall of Fame great Wade Boggs, who won all five of his career batting titles with the Red Sox, will have his No. 26 retired on the right-field facade at Fenway Park in a pregame ceremony on May 26. "Wade Boggs took the art of hitting to an extraordinary level," said Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner. "From 1982 to 1992, the five-time batting champion was invincible. Boggs worked at his craft relentlessly and for nearly a decade, New England fans worshipped him, pitchers feared him, and young children emulated him."

To read, go to News Release

Los Angeles Dodgers Hire Dave Roberts as Manager

The Dodgers have hired Dave Roberts to be the first minority manager in franchise history. The 43-year-old former major leaguer served as bench coach for San Diego the last two seasons. Before that, Roberts was a special assistant for the Padres' front office in 2010 and their first base coach from 2011-13. He served as manager for one game last season after Bud Black was fired. He becomes the third minority manager in the majors, joining the Washington Nationals' Dusty Baker and the Atlanta Braves' Fredi Gonzalez. Roberts was born in Okinawa where his father served in the U.S. Marines.

To read, go to Feature Stories

Reds Retiring Rose's No. 14, Inducting Him into Team Hall of Fame

Pete Rose is getting a Hall of Fame induction -- in the Cincinnati Reds' team hall during a weekend of honors this summer in his home town -- that will include retiring his No. 14. The Reds' announcement on January came after MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred rejected Rose's application for reinstatement to baseball in December. The June 24-26 events will feature a 40-year reunion of the 1976 World Champion Reds, including a team Hall of Fame banquet in which Rose will be awarded the red sports coat its members wear.

For the article, go to Newsletter

Graham McNamee Wins Ford Frick Award for Baseball Broadcasting

Graham McNamee has won the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting. He is the 40th winner of the Frick Award. He will be honored during the Hall of Fame awards presentation on July 23 in Cooperstown, New York. An aspiring opera singer turned broadcaster almost by accident, McNamee called every World Series from 1923-34 and also worked the first four MLB All-Star games from 1933-1936. Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said, "Graham McNamee defined what it was to broadcast baseball games to a nationwide audience."

For the story, go to Feature Stories

Batting Styles of the 1970 Oakland Athletics

Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando, and Rick Monday of the 1970 Oakland Athletics have three things in common. These three hitters were all coached by Bobby Winkles, while playing collegiate baseball at Arizona State University. Then, after signing professional contracts, they received part of their minor league apprenticeship under manager John McNamara, their skipper at Oakland. Featured in Don Weiskopf's Photo Gallery are the sequence-series photographs he took of Jackson, Bando, Dick Green, and Bert Campaneris.

To read and view, go to Photo Gallery

Jim Davenport, Giants Gold Glove Third Baseman and Coach, Dies

Jim Davenport, a slick-fielding third baseman who broke in with the original San Francisco Giants and became a fixture in the organization, died on February 18. He was 82. Davenport spent his entire 13-year playing career with the Giants. Later, he worked in various roles including scout, coach, minor league instructor, and major league manager. He led National League third basemen in fielding percentage three consecutive seasons, starting in 1959. He won a Gold Glove in 1962. Last season, he served his 51st in the Giants organization as a special assistant for player development.

For the story, go to News Release

Royals' Salvador Perez Gives $1 Million to Urban Youth

Royals catcher Salvador Perez has donated $1 million to the Urban Youth Academy, a 21-acre development of playing fields and other park amenities near downtown Kansas City, Missouri. It coincides with a City Council Committee vote to endorse more than $2 million in city funds toward the $7 million first phase. Other funding has been supplied by the new MLB-MLBPA joint youth development initiative. The three-time All-Star catcher has helped the franchise to back-to-back World Series appearances and was voted MVP in the 2015 World Series.

To read, go to Feature Stories

Dave Henderson, Major League Postseason Hero, Dies

Dave Henderson, the former major league outfielder who hit one of the most famous home runs in postseason history, died on December 27 after suffering a massive heart attack. He was 57. Henderson was best known for his home run in the 1986 American League Championship Series for Boston. With the Red Sox one strike from elimination in Game 5, Henderson hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning against the California Angels to send the Series back to Boston. The Red Sox won Games 6 and 7 to advance to the World Series.

For the story, go to Feature Stories

Baseball Toughens Up on Chew as Sky Darkens for Big Dippers

Big league players are now getting a written reminder that smokeless tobacco is banned at stadiums in Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Both the Mets and Yankees say they back such a ban at their parks. Mets third baseman Juan Uribe is shown here using tobacco during batting practice before a game. One page letters were put in clubhouse stalls throughout spring training, where there is no prohibition. The notes come jointly from Major League Baseball and the players union.

For the story, go to Feature Stories

Developing a Winning Pitching Repertoire

In his well-illustrated study on developing an effective pitching repertoire, Don Weiskopf discussed the development with many of baseball's most successful pitching coaches. If a pitcher has a good fast ball, curve ball, and an effective changeup, and can control these pitches, he has enough to be successful. Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver, pictured here, was the complete pitcher. He had two fast balls, one that rises, and another that would sink. He also had a good slider, a fine curve, and could change up on all of his pitches.

To read and view, go to Skills and Strategies

Pete Rose's Plea for Reinstatement Rejected by Rob Manfred

Pete Rose's application for reinstatement to baseball was rejected December 14 by Commissioner Rob Manfred, who concluded the career hits leader continued to gamble even while trying to end his lifetime ban and would be a risk to the sport's integrity if allowed back in the game. Manfred said in a four-page decision the career hits leader admitted he has kept on betting legally on horse racing and professional sports, including baseball.

In another article, MLB Shows Petty Vindictiveness in Pete Rose Case.

For both articles, go to News Release

Pitchers Are Using Bigger, More Traditional Wind-ups

A major change continues to occur in the game of baseball. A growing number of major league pitchers are using bigger and more traditional styles in winding up. They have switched from the no-wind-up delivery used by most pitchers the past couple of decades. Among the many hurlers using a traditional wind-up are Adam Wainwright, one of baseball's most dominant pitchers, pictured here with Tom Seaver; Max Scherzer, Matt Moore, John Lackey, and Francisco Liriano. Featured in BPA's sequence-series photo section are five former pitching greats: Steve Carlton, Bob Gibson, Jack Morris, Billy Pierce, and Sonny Siebert.

To read and view, go to Coaching Clinic

Triple-A Still Thriving After 1998 Realignment

On and off the field, baseball changed in the 1990s more than any decade before it. Breathtaking state-of-the-art ballparks popped up from coast to coast. Television contracts abounded. The '90s brought a boom like never before seen with big increases in franchise values, and magnificent new facilities dotting the Minor League Baseball landscape. Pictured here is Coca-Cola Field, home of the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons of the International League.

For the story, go to Minor League

AFL Batting Champion Adam Engel Named League MVP

White Sox outfield prospect Adam Engel was named Most Valuable Player of the Arizona Fall League. He won the league's batting title with a .403 average. A 2013 19th-round pick from the University of Louisville, Engel is the Sox' 17th-ranked prospect according to MLB.com. Improving as a hitter was Engel's stated purpose coming into the autumn campaign. He will begin the 2016 season at AA Birmingham, said Nick Capra, White Sox director of player development.

Another article is Jacob Heyward Came Through in Starring Role for Miami."

For these articles, go to Minor League and HS/College/Senior

San Francisco Giants Extend Affiliation with River Cats

The Sacramento River Cats and San Francisco Giants have announced an extension of their Player Development Contract (PDC). The extension is for four years, keeping the Giants' Triple-A affiliate in Sacramento through the 2020 season. River Cats General Manager Chip Maxson made the official announcement at their Preseason Party on March 6, in front of loyal fans at Raley Field. The River Cats have been at Raley Field, pictured here, since the year 2000.

To read and view, go to Minor League

International League Announces 2016 Hall of Fame Class

The International League has announced that former League MVP Hensley Meulens and former League Manager of the Year Charlie Montoya will be inducted into the circuit's Hall of Fame as members of the class of 2016. Meulens spent parts of five seasons playing for the Columbus Clippers. Since 2010, Meulens has been the hitting coach of the San Francisco Giants. Montoyo is the all-time most winning manager in Durham Bulls history. He departed the International League in 2015 to become the third base coach of the Tampa Bay Rays.

For the story, go to Minor League

South Atlantic League Founder John Henry Moss Leaves Legacy

Minor League Baseball is filled with individuals who have dedicated their lives to the sport, but very few are able to rise to the level of prominence and influence that was achieved by longtime South Atlantic League president John Henry Moss. He was quite simply a titan of the industry. His career in professional baseball dated back to 1947 when he served as the president of the SAL from its inception in 1959. On June 7, 2009, Moss suffered a stroke, and on July 1 last year, he passed away in Kings Mountain, North Carolina.

For the article, go to Minor League

Legendary Mike Hessman Retires as MiLB Home Run King

Mike Hessman, Minor League Baseball's all-time home run leader, has retired. The 37-year-old slugger announced on November 28 that it was "time to swap out a bat for a fungo" as he ends his career as a player and begins a coaching career. Hessman, who played the last two years in the Tigers organization with the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens, set the U.S. - based minors home run record at 433 with a grand slam on August 4. He played parts of 19 seasons in the Minors and 20 as a pro. A corner infielder for the bulk of his career, Hessman is shown here hitting his 400th career home run.

To read, go to Minor League

Kristin Warfield Named New Minor League Baseball CMO

Kristin Warfield has been named Minor League Baseball's chief marketing officer. Her responsibilities will include building a strategic vision and delivering corporate partnerships across integrated national platforms, as well as overseeing MiLB sales, advertising, marketing, promotion and research efforts. Warfield brings nearly two decades of experiences in developing and activating partnership programs to Minor League Baseball. Her ability to successfully create integrated, measurable marketing platforms is one of her primary strengths.

For the story, go to Minor League

Lloyd McClendon to Manage Toledo Mud Hens in 2016

Lloyd McClendon is the 2016 manager of the Toledo Mud Hens, the Detroit Tigers' Triple-A affiliate. His experiences includes eight years as a player and seven years as a manager in Major League Baseball. The 56-year-old Gary, Indiana native has managed the Seattle Mariners for the past two seasons. From 2001-2005, McClendon managed the Pittsburgh Pirates, and he spent eight seasons with the Detroit Tigers from 2006-2013, mostly as the team's hitting coach. "It's an honor to come back to the Detroit Tigers organization," said McClendon. "Fifth Third Field is a wonderful ballpark and the fans are outstanding."

For the article, go to Minor League

Wally Backman Returns as Manager of the Las Vegas 51s

Wally Backman will return as manager for the New York Mets Triple-A affiliate for the 2016 season. He will begin his fourth season as manager. Frank Viola will return for his third season as pitching coach, and Jack Voigt will be back for his second season as hitting coach. Backman said, "I'm excited to return to Las Vegas. I enjoy working with everyone in the 51s' front office and look forward to another successful season in the Pacific Coast League. We have the potential to field another exciting team for the fans to watch and enjoy."

To read, go to Minor League

It's Not Cricket, but It's a Ballgame in Australia

More than 10,000 miles from his home in chilly New England, Pawtucket Red Sox Manager Kevin Boles tucked a stopwatch into his sweatshirt pocket and clocked the first pitch of the game between his Perth Heat and the Canberra Cavalry. It was 80 degrees, a typical December day. Pictured here, bagpipers are playing the Australian national anthem. Nearly half of the Australian Baseball League's players hail from minor league systems in the United States, almost all of them in search of extra experience during the off-season. American influence in Australia now runs pretty deep.

For the article, go to World Baseball

Major League Baseball Has Taken a Stance on PED's

It has been 10 years since Mark McGwire and several other MLB players were summoned by Congress to address the sport's steroid problem. Ten years later, anti-steroid activist Don Hooton says Major League Baseball has the toughest performance-enhancing drug policy in professional sports. He founded the Taylor Hooton Foundation to combat youth steroid use after his teenage son committed suicide in 2003. "Major League Baseball is leading the way, with financial support, helping us reach thousands of young athletes."

For the story, go to Performance Enhancers

How to Stop PED Use, Steroid Use and Doping

Many sports have been impacted by the use of performance enhancing drugs, steroids, HGH and blood doping. However, there now seems to be a climate among players and the powers that be in sports in which there is a more sincere desire to end these drug based forms of cheating. Having a uniform policy will help to make athletes and those who surround them more aware of the rules and accountable for their actions. Athletes, coaches and trainers need to be educated about the dangers associated with these substances, and the penalties need to be simple, significant and very clear.

For the article, go to Performance Enhancers

"Baseball Popular in Europe" Announced by European Governing Body

Baseball Europe has launched its Strategic Plan, which envisages the sport becoming even more popular in Europe. "Now, more than ever, we need the IOC to understand that Baseball and Softball are strong international sports," said Baseball Europe's President, Jan Esselman. He launched C.E.B.'s plan at the joint European Baseball and Softball Congress hosted in Hoofddorp, Netherlands. Leaders from across Europe and the world met to discuss and set a clear direction on the future development of the sports.

For the story, go to World Baseball

Tom Gillespie New Head Coach of German U18 National Team

Tom Gillespie has taken over as new head coach for the U18 National Team. The American who is living in Hamburg, Germany is succeeding Chris Dresel at the head of the coaching staff. "We're happy to have an international experienced coach like Tom for the post," said Dirk Fries, DBV's general manager. Gillespie is originally from Iowa and had been playing in Germany, Great Britain and Sweden. He has been helping develop baseball in Europe and Africa. Besides his work in baseball development, Gillespie has been a major league baseball scout for the Oakland Athletics and Pittsburgh Pirates.

For the article, go to World Baseball

Japan Honors Hank Aaron with Order of the Rising Sun

Japan has honored former home run king Hank Aaron with one of its highest awards, saying he is a symbol of its close relationship with the United States and their shared love of baseball. The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette was presented during a ceremony and reception at the home of Japan's consul general in Atlanta, Takashi Shinozuka. Aaron was singled out for his long relationship with Japan's home run leader, Sadaharu Oh, and their efforts to bring young people together through the World Children Baseball's Fair.

For the story, go to World Baseball

European Championship Set for Hoofddorp, Netherlands

The Confederation of European Baseball (CEB) has announced the 2016 European Championship will be held from September 9 to 18, 2016 in Hoofddorp, Netherlands. The 2016 event will be organized by the Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Association (KNBSB), the City of Hoofddorp and the local baseball club Hoofddorp Pioneers. The state of the art facility in Hoofddorp was opened in April 2014. Seating capacity at the stadium could be raised to 30,000. The hosting Dutch National Team is the defending champion.

For the article, go to World Baseball

Dutch National Baseball Team Will Play in France International

As defending champions, the Dutch team was invited for the France International Baseball Tournament that will be played in Senart, home of the Templiers. Two years ago, Netherlands won the invitational by beating France in the final. Next to Kingdom of the Netherlands and France, the other two participants are Germany and a team of international stars, players from various European competitions. The Dutch team will start the FIBT against team Germany on Thursday, September 1, in the afternoon. On Friday, September 2, the Dutch will take on the international stars. On Saturday, the Dutch will face France in the night cap.

To read, go to World Baseball

MLB Keen on Playing its First Game in London in 2017

Major League Baseball wants to showcase the sport in London and is working toward playing its first regular-season game in the English capital next year. Commissioner Rob Manfred said, "We are very interested in playing there, and we're working hard on the game. I don't think it will be an opener because of the weather issues. It would be later in the season. MLB opened its 2014 season in Sydney, Australia, where the Los Angeles Dodgers played the Arizona Diamondbacks, and has previously launched seasons with games in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Tokyo, Japan.

For the article, go to World Baseball

Brisbane Bandits Win Australia Baseball League Championship

Queenland's favorite son David Nilsson became a Claxton Shield winner as a player and a head coach when the Brisbane Bandits clinched the Australian Baseball League championship. The wet but jubilant Bandits defeated Adelaide 7-1, February 6, at Holloway Field to take the championship series in two straight games. Despite slippery baseballs in a game hampered by persistent rain, starting Bandits pitcher Travis Blackley worked through six innings and left with his team leading 7-1. American German Donald Lutz hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the third inning.

For the story, go to World Baseball

Donald Lutz Wins MVP of Australian Championship Series

Donald Lutz celebrated his 27th birthday in spectacular style by hitting a three-run home run to set up the Brisbane Bandits 2016 Australian Baseball League title triumph. Hitting cleanup and playing designated hitter, Lutz went 2-4 with a triple, steal, RBI and a run. In Game 2, he put Brisbane up 3-0 in the third inning with a monster 3-run home run. For the two game series, Lutz, who stands 6'3" and weighs 239 pounds, would go 3-7 with a triple, home run, four RBI, two runs, a stolen base, and he was hit by a pitch.

For the article, go to World Baseball

Mexico Wins Caribbean Series with Home Run in 9th Inning

Jorge Vazquez hit a home run to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning on February 7, lifting Mexico's Mazatian Venados to a 5-4 comeback victory over Venezuela's Aragua Tigres for the Caribbean Series championship. It was Mexico's third title in four years. Mexico coach Juan Jose Pacho, whose team won all six games it played in the tournament, said, "We never gave up. We always battled to the fullest and kept our heads up, so today we celebrate this crown." Mexico players are pictured here celebrating after winning the Caribbean Series.

For the story, go to World Baseball

Paul Mainieri Enhancing LSU Tigers' Storied Baseball Tradition

Paul Mainieri plans to finish his collegiate baseball career in the same place it began over 31 years ago. He earned a letter in 1976 as a freshman outfielder at Louisiana State University. Before he succeeded Skip Bertman as LSU's baseball coach, Mainieri had established an unparalleled standard of excellence during his tenure at Notre Dame. In 2007, he returned to Baton Rouge eager to enhance the Fighting Tigers' storied tradition. "Louisiana State fans have always been proud of the way their Tigers play under Coach Mainieri," said Bertman, LSU's athletic director. "He makes them sound players, and he produces winning teams and good citizens."

To read, go to HS/College/Senior

South San Antonio H.S. Baseball's Dynastic Run Still Resonates

High School state baseball championships have been few and far between for San Antonio since the late 1960's, but there was a time when a school from the Alamo City owned the University Interscholastic League state tournament. Led by legendary baseball coach Cliff Gustafson who went on to a Hall of Fame career at the University of Texas, South San Antonio won its first state title in 1958 and began a dynastic run that has never been equaled in state high school baseball history. The Bobcats captured seven Class 3A state titles in a 10-year span under Gustafson.

Another article is Irmo Baseball Coach Strother Sligh a Legend to Players and Coaches.

For the articles, go to HS/College/Senior

Bill Arce, Legendary Baseball Coach, Ambassador, and War Veteran

Through the years, Bill Arce became a true baseball ambassador, traveling around the world to promoting baseball and instruct players. The legendary coach played an important role in the development of baseball in Europe. During his career as college baseball coach of the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags in California, Arce had started to spread his knowledge of the sport, and his teams won many titles. He was honored for his efforts as a mentor, physical educator, coach and athletic director, and was inducted into many Halls of Fame, including the American Baseball Coaches Association. During World War II, Arce enlisted in the U.S. Army and fought in the Battle of the Bulge in 1944 and elsewhere.

For the article, go to HS/College/Senior

Washington Huskies' Joe DeMers Born to be Top Dawg on Mound

For as long as he can remember, Washington Huskies' freshman pitcher Joe DeMers has always stood out in the sport. At each level and with each challenge, DeMers has excelled. Through all the accolades and successes against some of the top talents in his age groups, DeMers always tries to stay grounded. Husky coach Lindsay Meggs said, "Joe is a great teammate and competitor. Whether he is on the mound or simply waiting for his turn to pitch, he is on the top step of the dugout pulling for his teammates." He has leaned on his parents, Tom and Lisa DeMers, to provide guidance.

For the story, go to HS/College/Senior

Bobo Brayton, Hall of Fame College Baseball Coach

In the baseball world, the great ones always seem to have a nickname. Frederick Charles "Bobo" Brayton was no exception. He led the Washington State Cougars for 33 seasons, from 1962 to 1994. Brayton is the most winning coach in school history with a record of 1,162 wins, 523 losses and eight ties. His Cougar teams won 21 conference titles, including 11 in a row from 1970 to 1980. He led the Cougars to the College World Series in 1965 and 1976. As a collegiate shortstop at WSU under coach Buck Bailey (1947-49), Brayton was a three-time All-Northern Division performer in baseball.

For the article, go to HS/College/Senior

Eaton Baseball Coach Jim Danley Ousted After 45 Years, 807 Wins

After 45 years creating a legacy for Eaton High School in the Denver area of Colorado, baseball coach Jim Danley's iconic run was officially over. The district gave Danley a 13-point improvement plan for the upcoming season, saying he needed to sign or he would be removed as coach. Danley, the most winning baseball coach in Colorado history with a career record of 807-163-2, said he would not sign the plan. During the past 37 years, the Eaton High School Reds have won either a league, regional or state championship. In a follow up story, Jim Danley, Ousted Eaton Baseball Coach, Is Littleton High School's New Assistant Baseball Coach.

To read, go to HS/College/Senior

Sandlot Baseball Filled the Day for Kids

Somewhere, surely there is a boy this summer with a baseball glove dangling from the handlebar of his bicycle, on his way to a hastily put together, loosely organized version of our national pastime. Somewhere the youngsters found an empty diamond and quickly picked teams and went at it under the mid-day sun, and into dusk. Someone brought a bat, someone brought a ball, and right field was out. They played for hours, until the light of day abandoned them. Surely this must go on, somewhere in America.

To read, go to Youth Baseball

Sandlot Baseball Was a Hit

Before Little League, before Pony League, before Babe Ruth League, on Janey Way in Sacramento, California, we had sandlot baseball. We began by playing catch on the street with rubberized baseballs, but that soon failed to satisfy our need for real competition. So we searched for a place to make a field. That was easy because almost exactly in the middle of Janey Way stood two adjacent empty lots. They made a perfect sandlot baseball field.

For the story, go to Youth Baseball

How to Set Up a Sandlot Baseball Game

From the time he was eight or nine, up until he was about 15, R.J. Licata was a master at organizing neighborhood games. As he looks back now, he is amazed at all the things he learned by taking on this task. “Think about the different hats I wore just trying to get a game of baseball organized. There was a lot of carefree time-wasting, but when it was time to get down to business, we knew what we needed to do.”

For the article, go to Youth Baseball

Sandlot Kids

Getting Kids Back to Sandlot Baseball

The key to the revival of the sandlot baseball game are the thousands of public recreation and park agencies across the country. Children today do not play enough park and school playground baseball, and there is a long, overdue need to revive the concept and promote a nationwide movement. More opportunities to play baseball in parks and playgrounds need to be provided by local park and recreation departments and school districts. City playgrounds should be open longer and the necessary equipment provided. A major effort should be made to have local recreation and park agencies nationwide, coordinated by the National Recreation and Park Association, spearhead such a movement.

To learn more, go to Youth Baseball

Revival of Baseball Pick-up Games

The best way to get children to play more baseball on their own is to promote the return of pick-up games. The youth of America need to be taught how to organize pick-up games. In the Youth Baseball page, Don Weiskopf, publisher of Baseball Play America, explains the rules on how eleven favorite pick-up games are played. They include Work-up, Over the Line, Scrub, Catch a Fly and You’re Up, and a couple of Brent Mayne’s favorites, First to Ten and Play Catch.

For the rules, go to Youth Baseball

Sandlot play in Chicago

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