IBAF Submits Proposal Backing Baseball in Olympics
- Updated: March 2, 2009
The International Baseball Federation recently sent out a press release of an update of their efforts to get baseball back into the Olympics.
In February, the federation submitted a 150 document to the International Olympic Committee with facts, figures and statistics as to why baseball should be included in the Olympics in 2016. One of their major statistics was that there are almost 300 people with MLB experience who played in the Olympics.
Some of the other projects going on in the world include this list brought to us by the president of IBAF, Dr. Harvey Schiller (editor’s note: unfortunately, no relation to me that I know of):
Baseball Kenya developing a project involving almost 1,700 children in impoverished areas of Nairobi to introduce baseball as a way to work together, resolve conflict and learn both life and athletic skills.
The announcement by Baseball Turkey of the establishment of 35 baseball teams, as well as serving as the host of European youth championships in Antalya .
The establishment of new baseball programs for as many as 40,000 school children in Phnom Penh , Cambodia .
The announcement that Spain’s Eric Gonzalez, a native of the Canary Islands and a top prospect in the San Diego Padres organization, was a recipient of a medal from the Spanish Government for his work growing the sport.
The introduction of Dominican Republic-born Gerardo Yassel Cabrera as Iran ’s national baseball coach.
Clinics for both umpires and coaches held across Europe, all designed to grow the game.
Over 37,000 fans showing up for an open practice on February 20, 2009 for the Japanese National Team as it prepares for the World Baseball Classic.
In addition to those advancements marked above, the federation is also proud of their progress in the Baseball World Cup which will be held this coming September at 27 different venues around the world.
There did not seem to be any real great reason to take baseball and softball away from the Olympics in recent years and the IBAF has set out to correct this streak. Many Major Leaguers have benefited from their experience in the Olympics and it is without a doubt something that very few of the most elite athletes in the world get to do.
Bill Jordan is a contributor to BaseballReflections.com. He can be reached by e-mail at BillJordaniv@yahoo.com.