Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Getting here was beyond tough... "PLAYING IN THE WORLD SERIES IS LIKE A WALK IN THE PARK"



Getting here was beyond tough...
"PLAYING IN THE WORLD SERIES IS LIKE
A WALK IN THE PARK"
by Charles Frye

With a fist full of medals, Justin Baylor talked about what he described as the greatest accomplishment in his young baseball career, playing in the Pony World Series. Yet, before going further, he did want to make something perfectly clear and did so by stating, "You know we didn't win?" I quickly mentioned "neither did seven other teams from various parts of the world." Silently he shook his head in acknowledgement and then continued: "I just mentioned that because you may be talking to the wrong guy."

"How so?" I prodded

"Well, there is a team of happy players over there that did win (pointing to the celebrating winners) and then there's the team over there that seems just as happy about taking runner-up. I don't know, I'm just thinking maybe they could tell you more."

"Perhaps, but they're busy, and I just as soon talk to you. Besides, those players only won one more game than you."

With a smile, as if that was a nice fit, "That surely is one way to look at it."

To keep the conversation moving, I quickly added, "I saw your team lose."

"So did I and I was a few feet closer," he said with a smile and in what seemed more like an afterthought said, "But let me add this: Playing in the World Series is a great experience, win or lose it is great and there are only three degrees of greatness in the World Series: Champion, Runner-up, and then Participant." Everyone here gets a medal and every team playing in the competition gets a banner. The only real difference is the color of the medal, not the intensity, not the effort, and surely not the pride of getting here. They rightfully got the gold," pointing to the World Champions "and they rightfully got the silver as runner-up; and we rightfully earned the bronze. No complaint here."

"You don't have to convince me," I said, adding, "As I just mentioned I saw your team eliminated, but I also saw your team in some tough competition in lower level tournaments; so I know your team's strength." (He offered a quick "Thank you.") In doing an assessment, do you think you could have beat either of those teams that were just in the Championship Game?"

"Let me say what I firmly believe: Any team here can beat any other team here on any given day."

"Continue," I coaxed.

"Well, as I see it, going all the way back to the District Championship, which by the way we lost, progressing through Section, Region, Zone, and then Super Zone, all of which we won or took runner-up and advanced, the winning itself depended on which team had the right stuff at that crucial moment in time. The crucial moment was the game. It didn't matter what the team did the day before or what it could do the next day. It was what they could do in the now, in the game, game after game. (Stopping for a breather)

"They (motioning toward the champions) were the victors - 'today.'" (Emphasizing today.) But today just happens to be the gold medal day so it is a very significant win. (After a pause, continuing) If you have enough pitchers with the right stuff on game day, you have a good chance of advancing. I do want to say this as well, but not too loudly, there are teams that are not in the World Series that could have, if not outright should have, beat us but didn't. We saw great teams. We either lucked out and didn't have to play them or we did play them and we just happen to get the breaks at the right time. There is no illusion here, no grandiosity, no chest thumping."

"What do you attribute your success to?" I asked.

"Great group of players, not just great ball players. Guys that really care for each other. These are my brothers. Then there's the manager. He sets the tone for the team. He's the anchor during our drifting moments. If I make an error he asks, 'Is that the way you wanted that to go down?' How can I answer that? 'Sure, I meant to miss it so the centerfielder could try and make a spectacular 8-2 throw out at home plate.' He expects us to support one another, but he didn't have to tell us to do that. We just do that. Then there's our parents. Always supportive of every player, not just their son. I love that. I also want to say this, I saw great, great teams get eliminated and they had pride and they had character and it showed. It was humbling to watch them in their time of great defeat. Their heads were high and when they passed for a high five they said things like 'Good luck going forward' and they meant it."

"How do you know they meant it?" I asked.

"I know that," stopping momentarily, "because that is just what I told that team over there when they eliminated us and I meant it. If I ever start feeling bad for not winning, which I won't, I would simply think back to the hundred plus teams that were in all the tournaments we played and we were the last team standing in our Zone. Also, there were a thousand plus players on all those teams that did play great but didn't make it here, but we did. It is easy for me to put this loss in the right prospective"

As I shook his hand and said goodbye Justin said, "One more thing I want to say; getting here was beyond tough; playing in the World Series is like a walk in the park."

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

PONY BASEBALL VENEZUELA 2015 CONVENTION

choir, Falcon Venezuela to January 12, 2015, in order to start the 2015 baseball organization Venezuela pony start the year with the 3rd annual convention in order to perform the different regional, national and international tournaments in this 2015. José Pérez polishing and Daniel ramos vasquez responsible for the league, accompanied by the principals and their national coordinators began the convention in Falcon state, Vargas, district capital, miranda, Aragua, Carabobo, Guárico, Cojedes, Yaracuy, Trujillo, states Valera, and the seat Falcon, were those who said that if this season which all subjects of the events, logistics and different tournaments, Falcón category mustang, bronco Aragua in the category, Carabobo were discussed at the category pony, and Trujillo, Valera or fixed point and palomino colt will be responsible for being the headquarters for different nationals who are the calendars for the months of March and April.

in recognition convention coordinators, gifts were given, and the various agreements, conventions, statutes, rules and regulations that govern for this 2015 season, the Cumberland Hotel hosted this wonderful event is signed for the annual meeting of the pony, Mr. Ulises Pereira, joan lopez, montilla hector, omar quero, will klar diaz, Larry jose alvarez, oscar Izaguirre, cesar ventura, Ricardo Martinez, Faneite inal, jonys Robertis, gentlemen, journalists Gustavo Diaz, Alexis cuauro, omar Castle jarrison lopez and Javier kings supported by public radio, press and television, pony organization congratulates Mr juan Guanipa for their valuable support and cooperation to the organization that has been doing a great job by different states.

information office pony baseball Venezuela

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In order to start the 2015 baseball organization Venezuela pony start the year with the 3rd annual convention in order to perform the different regional, national and international tournaments in this 2015. José Pérez polishing and Daniel ramos vasquez responsible for the league, accompanied by the principals and their national coordinators began the convention in Falcon state, Vargas, district capital, miranda, Aragua, Carabobo, Guárico, Cojedes, Yaracuy, Trujillo, states Valera, and the seat Falcon, were those who said that if this season which all subjects of the events, logistics and different tournaments, Falcón category mustang, bronco Aragua in the category, Carabobo were discussed at the category pony, and Trujillo, Valera or fixed point and palomino colt will be responsible for being the headquarters for different nationals who are the calendars for the months of March and April.

in recognition convention coordinators, gifts were given, and the various agreements, conventions, statutes, rules and regulations that govern for this 2015 season, the Cumberland Hotel hosted this wonderful event is signed for the annual meeting of the pony, Mr. Ulises Pereira, joan lopez, montilla hector, omar quero, will klar diaz, Larry jose alvarez, oscar Izaguirre, cesar ventura, Ricardo Martinez, Faneite inal, jonys Robertis, gentlemen, journalists Gustavo Diaz, Alexis cuauro, omar Castle jarrison lopez and Javier kings supported by public radio, press and television, pony organization congratulates Mr juan Guanipa for their valuable support and cooperation to the organization that has been doing a great job by different states.

Information Office PONY Baseball Venezuela.

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Lewis Baseball Association Opens Indoor Facility

WBOY NEWS : By Alex Hines, Lewis, Gilmer, Barbour and Randolph County.
(http://www.wboy.com/story/27880510/lewis-baseball-association-opens-indoor-facility)

View the video here.

The process began in March and after less than a year, a local baseball association is opening a brand new facility for its kids, thanks to a few big donors.

Dozens of people gathered in Butchersville Sunday afternoon for the opening of the new indoor practice facility built by the Lewis Baseball Association. Association President John White welcomed the crowd that turned out to see the new facility. White said he was surprised to see so many people at the opening, but not at how much they've backed the league.

"I'm pleasantly surprised on a wintry day like this that we had people come out, but this is the kind of support we've had since day one when we went into PONY baseball. It's grown every year and we have great community support," White said.

The building was completed so quickly thanks to some big grants. State Farm Insurance donated $25,000. Major League Baseball: $50,000. Other companies that operate in the area helped as well. CONSOL Energy gave $40,000 to complete the building as part of the outreach CONSOL performs wherever they do business.

"It's part of the core ideals of the company within the community structure. We felt it was an adequate amount, and we continue to try to strive to find better projects and good projects and this was one of them we wanted to get involved with," said CONSOL's Greg Cunningham.

Representatives from PONY Baseball were also on hand to see the new facility. Tom O'Connor has worked with the Lewis Baseball Association since it first started as a PONY league and said now that the facility allows practice year-round it will make a big difference to its players.

"I have seen, over the four years they have been involved in PONY-sanctioned tournament play, the growth of their players. Now they need to work on their mechanics and this is the type of facility where they can do that. Working on the mechanics will cause the kids to play better when they get on the field of play," said O'Connor.

The building will not sit idle long; practices are already scheduled throughout the week.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Opening Day of Aruba Youth Baseball

Photos from the opening day of Aruba Youth Baseball Competition.  Photos sent in to us by Gabriel F. E. Brown, President of St. Martin Pony Baseball/Softball League.





Monday, January 5, 2015

PONY WITH A SUCCESSFUL 2014 AND 2015 BIG GOALS

The Pony baseball in the Dominican Republic, had a 2014 full of great

successes and achievements for the institution and its athletes, in different activities

who participated in the passing of the past twelve months.

These were the opening words of Professor Eugenio Baez, president of

this institution in the country, at the start of a meeting with a journalist, in which

reported on the achievements of the newly last year and the goals of 2015.

Baez said that the year began with the playoffs in different provinces and

then at regional levels, in which 5,240 children participated in all

country, who showed his talent trying to reach the following fax

competecia.

The February 7 was inaugurated national tournament of this organization,

960 best baseball players of our qualifiers looking to get the

right to represent the country in international competitions.

  The Pony baseball last year attended several World Series after

you conquer the scepter of champions in the Caribbean Series held in

Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, but his greatest achievement was getting silver in

Bulerson World Series, Texas, USA, in the category Mustang,

9-10 years.

The Dominican Republic also had the privilege to welcome delegates

international, for the celebration of the Latin American Congress of the Pony

Beisbol.

For 2015, we have big goals muuchas actividaddes and mid

of January start the playoffs, then give way to the end of

February national tournament that will conclude in March.

International commitments this summer, are at the Caribbean and

others worldwide, plus some invitational cups.

Mayaguez again be the scene of the caribbean series

cattegorias Mustang 9-10 11-12 Bronco, Pony Colt 13-14 and 15-16 years in

these skills will be looking for a place to attend

different World Series that category.

The category Pony 13 and the bronco 11 will have that will be held in

California and Virginia, will have among its competitors Dominican teams,

who will attend the mission of bringing gold, also is scheduled

assist in the category 9 under, to the island of Aruba and other tournaments character

invitational to the Municipality of Arroyo, Puerto Rico and the city of New Yor.

The newcomer year, will also have among the activities of the Pony,

Talks, workshops and clinics for athletes with various institutions of the country,

besides permanent conferences that seek to strengthen

institutional, the massification of the program and development of children and

youth of the country

Friday, December 26, 2014

CELEBRATING DOMINICAN REPUBLIC PONY BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL MEETING BETWEEN PARENTS AND CHILDREN

(San Cristobal) PONY Baseball in the Dominican Republic held a Sunday fellowship game between parents and children participating in the San Cristobal PONY Baseball League.

The activity was held at the premises of Doña Chucha and play this beautiful city, had the presence of baseball highlighted that more tournaments will be held this year.

Likewise present were the parents of these boys who celebrated a friendly game of softball.

The meeting was lively all the way mothers who enjoyed every at-bat of their husbands and their children, showing all enthusiasm and excitement they felt living this historic moment that joined families.

Eugenio Baez, president of the Pony Baseball, thanked the parents for their support and participation in this in this share was left for history.

Friday, December 19, 2014

PONY BASEBALL RESCINDS BASEBALL BAT RULE CHANGE FOR PONY LEAGUE ONLY

(Washington, Pennsylvania, December 17, 2014) - Effective immediately PONY has decided to revert to their 2014 rule for bats in Pony League (14U) only. This year the Board of Directors discussed changing the bat rule for Pony League (14U) to only a -3 BBCOR baseball bat. After lengthy discussions with our Field Staff and membership it was determined to continue to allow the use of the -3, -5, -7 and -9 in Pony League regular season and tournament play.

There is and continues to be an emphasis on the safety of our players. Many felt that the -3 bat was a significant deterrent to successful participation in Pony League. There is a vast array of maturation between 11 and 14 and the best solution was to allow all Pony League players to use the same bats as last year.

“After attending our Zone, Regional and League Presidents meetings there was a ground swell of interest in returning the bat rule for Pony League to its original status in 2015,” stated Abraham Key, President and CEO.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

PONY Baseball and Softball of the Dominican Republic hands out shoes.

(San Cristobal, Dominican Republic) PONY Baseball and Softball of the Dominican Republic recently handed our baseball shoes to  underprivileged children participating in the PONY program. Most of the children come from the poorest parts of the city and were playing with shoes that were not suitable for the practice.

Eugenio Baez, president of PONY Baseball and Softball of the Dominican Republic, thanked the gesture of Mrs. Rosanna Monteagudo, who was the person who donated the baseball shoes.

Baez, visibly moved, said that women and men with heart and willingness to work to help others, including Mrs. Monteagudo, is what the country needs to succeed.

“Rosanna is an intelligent and caring woman with a vocation of unparalleled service and it shows every day with their actions on behalf of the community,” stated Baez.




Monday, December 8, 2014

WBSC welcomes Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms as new era for sports and athletes

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) joins the worldwide chorus of support following the successful reception and endorsement of key Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms at the extraordinary IOC session in Monaco today, particularly regarding the adoption of a more flexible Olympic sports programme.

On behalf of the worldwide baseball and softball family, WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari congratulated and thanked IOC President Thomas Bach, the IOC Members and working groups for leading and driving the reforms, which sport experts say will open a new chapter in world sport.

"The WBSC fully shares the IOC's vision of Olympic reform under President Bach, and stands ready to support and assist the Olympic Movement in implementing the reforms, wherever baseball and softball can help," President Fraccari said.

"Above all the Olympic Games is the world's most inspirational sporting event, and the Agenda 2020 reforms will inspire more young people and women, who are the future of all sports, to take up more sport and to participate in sport and in the values of sport, and make sport more relevant to the next generation, and as a catalyst for change in our communities and societies," President Fraccari said.

President Fraccari indicated that the WBSC would wait for guidance and direction from the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 organisers to determine how the new reforms could involve baseball and softball.

As potential Olympic sports, baseball and softball -- sports that embody and promote gender-equality -- would also help to take the Olympic values and focus on sport to 65 million players and 250 million fans at all levels worldwide, and make the Olympic Games more relevant in more regions of the world where baseball and softball are growing in popularity, especially among young people and women, and have become national sports.

President Fraccari said that as the world governing body overseeing baseball and softball, the WBSC is humbled by the opportunity provided by the reforms to be included in the Olympic Games which enable future Olympic host cities and organising committees, including Tokyo 2020, to include additional sporting events in the Olympic sports programme, which could potentially include baseball and softball, two of the most popular sports in the world that have experienced a wave of global development in recent years.

The new more flexible approach to Olympic sport approved by the IOC session has provided a massive boost of optimism and hope that the changes could result in baseball and softball joining the Olympic Games sports programme.

"It's like when the manager calls you off the bench to pick up the bat and warm up, and the bases are loaded," President Fraccari said. "All you want to do is swing for the fences!

"Today, there is excitement circulating around the baseball and softball world and there is great hope that our athletes will now have a real opportunity -- the pinnacle and highest honour in our sport -- to play for their country, aiming to win an Olympic gold medal.

"The reforms herald a new era for sports and athletes worldwide, and provide important hope and inspiration for sports and athletes wanting to participate in the world's most important global sporting event, the Olympic Games," said President Fraccari.

The world governing body leader was confident that if included, baseball and softball could significantly enhance the Olympic experience, building on the vast fan, player and community support levels for the bat-and-ball sports worldwide.

"While baseball and softball have very deep historic and contemporary connections in sporting communities and at all levels of society in Japan, the sports are experiencing worldwide popularity and growth, with new as well as existing and upgraded venues able to host the sports in both traditional and new markets in Africa, the Middle East as well as in Europe," he said.

President Fraccari said the huge legions of young people and women who play and support baseball and softball at all levels across the world, along with strong sponsor, broadcaster and viewing audiences and support would increase levels of excitement and engagement at the Olympic Games.

President Fraccari said the WBSC had devised a new shorter and more compact format for Olympic baseball and softball which included the use of a shared and existing competition venue in order to ensure the baseball and softball events were sustainable and affordable and leave meaningful sporting and community legacies for young people and women after the Games.

# # #

MEDIA -- For more information, please contact:

About the World Baseball Softball Confederation:

Headquartered in the Olympic Capital city of Lausanne, Switzerland, the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) was established in April 2013 and granted recognition as the sole competent authority in baseball and softball by the International Olympic Committee at the 125th IOC Session in September 2013. The WBSC represents a united baseball/softball sports movement that encompasses over 65 million athletes worldwide.

The WBSC governs all international competitions involving any of the National Teams of its 141 National Federation members.  The WBSC oversees the Softball World Championships, The Premier 12, the World Baseball Classic, and the U12, U15, U18 and U21 Baseball World Cups.

For further information, please go to 
www.WBSC.co.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

PONY Partners with Leading Online Group Travel Site

HotelPlanner.com selected as the official team travel and meeting booking provider for 2015.

Washington, PA

PONY Softball and Baseball is proud to continue their partnership with HotelPlanner.com as the organization’s official team travel partner for 2015. The partnership is entering its third straight year. As PONY’s preferred hotel reservations provider, HotelPlanner continues to deliver the best hotel group booking services for PONY’s tournament sports travel.

The PONY organization, Protect Our Nation’s Youth, holds hundreds of events throughout the country annually that require hotel stays. HotelPlanner is the largest provider of group travel planning services for sports teams in the country and has helped to simplify travel for the organization. “We have had 2 very successful years and look forward to an even better 3rd year,” stated PONY President, Abe Key.

With hotel membership with over 50,000 hotels, HotelPlanner assists PONY in planning sport team tournaments and event travel within the United States and worldwide. “We are excited to continue our partnership with PONY to help make team travel events more affordable to parents/athletes and provide the best hotel reservation service to tournament planners, teams, and attendees in booking their hotel stays,” stated Tim Hentschel, CEO of HotelPlanner.com

With the technology and proficiency in youth sports travel, HotelPlanner.com guarantees the lowest group rates or will pay for the group leaders’ hotel room. The company is also an honored sponsor of the PONY World Series.

About PONY

PONY Baseball and Softball was founded in Washington, PA in 1951 with six original teams of 13 and 14 year olds. Today, there are over 500,000 annual participants each spring and summer from ages 3-23 in baseball and in fast and slow pitch girls’ softball throughout the United States and in more than 30 countries. PONY’s International Headquarters is in Washington, PA which hosts The PONY League World Series.

About HotelPlanner

HotelPlanner.com provides online services to the global group hotel sales market. Its service ensures the lowest rates by allowing clients to receive quotes online from hotel group sales managers. The company delivers group travel services to world class organizations including the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), and the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), for 80 universities, colleges plus corporations and government entities. HotelPlanner.com also provides mobile applications for booking group hotel reservations and owns and operates Meetings.com, a site that provides information on meeting and banquet venues around the world for corporate and association meeting planners. Founded in 2002 and based in West Palm Beach, Florida, the company also has offices in Las Vegas, Nevada, London, England and Hong Kong.