Archive for the 'Olympics' Category

Bucketlist Reviewed

Monday, June 24th, 2019

Myworld is in Omaha to watch the last two games of the college world series. First we will enter into Papillion for a day game for the Storm Chasers, which will be a DHer of sorts, i.e. a finish to the second game that was suspended last night and a new game. Then we will travel down to Omaha for the first game of the finals of the College World Series. That will be a first, three games in one day.

Since this college world series was on my bucket list myworld thought we would summarize some of our bucket list accomplishments since 2011 after we first wrote of our bucket list down. At the end we will identify those adventures still on the list. These are only our baseball bucket lists. We have plenty of non-baseball adventures we would still like to capture.

October 2011 - Went to Panama to watch the last Baseball World Cup. The event is not quite as strong as the soccer World Cups. Attendance was sparse. Netherlands went on to upset Cuba for their first World Cup win. Lots of rain at the event. The third place game was not played because of rain but Canada was awarded the bronze. The gold medal game was delayed by about five hours. This would be the last World Cup before a major reorganization.

November 2011 - Visited Taichung, Taiwan for the Asian World Series. This is another event that was discontinued. Another upset as the Samsung Lions defeated the Softbank Hawks to become the first non-Japanese team to win the Asian Series.

February 2012 - Traveled to the Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to see the Series del Caribe. Cuba had yet to be allowed to participate. This is another event that is struggling for survival. At the time the teams played pool play and the team with the best record was declared champion. This event was anticlimactic as the Dominican Republic won it easily. On the last day, win or lose the Dominicans had won the pool. They added Cuba later and went to a pool play and playoff format to make the finals or last day more meaningful.

September 6-11 2013- Japan trip. This was my fourth trip to Japan to watch baseball so not really bucket list material. Some of the events were. Witnessed Wladimir Balentien hit his 54th homerun on his way to a record breaking 60 for the year, smashing the record of Sadaharu Oh and Randy Bass, who each had 55. Also saw a pitcher’s duel between Masahiro Tanaka and rookie sensation Shohei Ohtani, won by Tanaka 3-2. Tanaka would go on to break a baseball record of 25 consecutive wins and then went on to play for the New York Yankees the next year. Ohtani is now with the Angels.

November 7, 2013 - Visited Arizona and watched the Arizona Fall League for the first time. Aaron Sanchez and Travis Shaw were two players who impressed me during that visit.

July 8th 2014 - Traveled to Dyersville Iowa to see the Field of Dreams. Also around that time went to Durham, North Carolina to see the old stadium that was used for the Durham Bulls movie. Myworld loves the Durham park and we have visited there at least three times.

November 11 2014 - Revisited Taichung, Taiwan for the 21 and under World Cup. Taiwan won it, upsetting Japan. Chun Lin Kuo pitched seven shutout innings in the 9-0 rout. Myworld was strangled in blue confetti after the win.

June 20th 2015 - These bucket lists can not be predicted. Witnessed my first no hitter, Max Scherzer doing the honors in Washington D.C.. The only previous no hitter I had seen prior to that was a seven inning minor league no hitter. I never really counted that since it was only seven innings.

June 23 2016 - Did not see a Little League World Series but I did go to Williamsport and visited the park. Went to a minor league game in Williamsport and watched Triston Mackenzie pitch for the Indians minor league team. The minor league park is located next door to the first field where the Little League World Series was played. They are still playing Little League games at that field.

July 2016 - Went to Haarlem, Netherlands to watch the Honkball tournament. It was my first experience of European baseball. The facility where they held the tournament is pretty impressive. I do believe Japan may have been the winners of that tournament, upsetting the Netherlands in the finals but I could be wrong. I did not see the finals preferring to enjoy some of the sights of Haarlem instead.

February 8 2017 - Witnessed my second Series del Caribe, this one in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico beat Mexico in the championship match. This was the first Series del Caribe that Cuba was allowed to play.

March 12, 2017 - Travelled to Miami, Florida to watch a World Baseball Classic game and it was wild. The Dominican Republic beat the United States and the crowd was probably more entertaining than the game. Also saw a couple World Baseball Classic games in Miami in 2013. Kenley Jenson was a catcher for the Netherlands.

July 7-9, 2018 - This was my first Futures game. The United States defeated the World. Talk is that they will be changing that format for this year. The homerun derby and the All Star game followed after that. The experience was awesome. The only downside is I had to leave early because the game went into extra innings and Metro was closing.

June 24 2019 - In Omaha to see the College World Series

November 2019 - Hope to return to Tokyo to watch the Premier 12

2020 and beyond.

The Olympics is on the agenda. I’ve already been to an Olympic event when they were in Los Angeles but watched the volleyball. The prices for these events seem a little steep.

World Series game is still a must see. I may have to travel for that since the Nationals and Orioles may never give me that opportunity.

Been to every ball park in Japan but Hokkaido. That is on the list. Will be going to Saint Louis after the College World Series leaving Tampa, Seattle, Oakland, Chicago White Sox, Detroit, Arizona, Toronto and Colorado as the only major league parks I have not visited. Went to the old Seattle park and if I don’t hurry the Oakland and Tampa parks may no longer be available. Still lots of minor league parks to visit.

Hope to see a European championship tournament. On my bucket list is a visit to Italy so seeing a game there and visiting Italy would fulfill two accomplishments.

Myworld has seen games in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Panama and Dominican Republic so going to another country to see a game would be cool. We’ve also played softball in Australia and Sweden.

Myworld has also been to Cooperstown, but it might be cool to visit it again to see how time has changed it.

That is it for now.

South Africa Advances to European/Africa Cup

Monday, May 6th, 2019

There was not much doubt who would advance to the Europe/Africa Qualifier. They had to play the games anyway. In the championship match South Africa defeated Uganda 28-0. They had beaten them earlier in pool play 18-0. Uganda may have been the darlings of the Little League World Series a couple years ago, but they still have a ways to go before reaching the level of play of South Africa. The Europe/Africa qualifier will begin September 18-22 in Italy. And just as it was apparent that South Africa would win the Africa games, it is just as apparent that they will be outmatched against their European adversaries and not advance to the Olympics. But they still have to play the games.

South Africa catcher Kyle Botha was voted the MVP of the tournament. Third baseman Darren Boltman was identified as the top hitter. Now some major league team go out and sign these two players to minor league contracts.

Zimbabwe took 11 innings but beat Burkina Faso 17-16 in the third place game.

Final Two African Teams Determined for African Cup

Saturday, April 27th, 2019

The final two teams have been determined for the Africa Cup. Lesotho withdrew from the Africa Zone South Continental Qualifier, leaving only two teams to play, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The two will play to determine the seeding for the Africa Cup.

Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya have already qualified for the Africa Cup, which will be played May 1 to May 5. The winner of the Africa Cup will advance to the Europe/Africa Qualifier, with the winner of that event qualifying for the 2020 Olympics.

Groups Decided for the Premier 12

Monday, April 15th, 2019

The three groups for the Premier 12 have been decided. Group A will be from November 2-5 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Group B will be played in Taiwan from November 5-7. Group C will be played November 6-8 in Seoul Korea. The top two teams from each group will travel to Tokyo, Japan to play in a Super Round from November 11-16. The top two teams will qualify to participate in the 2020 Olympics (with the third place team qualifying if Japan should finish as one of the top two teams).

Group A

United States (2), Mexico (6), Netherlands (8) and Dominican Republic (12)

Group B

Japan (1), Taiwan (4), Venezuela (9) and Puerto Rico (11)

Group C

Korea (3), Cuba (5), Australia (7) and Canada (10)

Uganda and Kenya Qualify for Africa Cup

Saturday, April 6th, 2019

Uganda and Kenya both defeated Tanzania and advanced to the Africa Cup to be played in South Africa May 1-5. Burkina Faso and Nigeria were the first two countries to advance. The third Zonal playoffs will be played this weekend between the favorites South Africa, Lesotho and Zimbabwe. The winner of the Africa Cup (probably South Africa) will advance to Europe to attempt to qualify for the Olympics in 2020.

Kenya downed Tanzania 14-12. Uganda beat Tanzania 23-1. Uganda walloped four homeruns in the first inning in their win. They hit eight homeruns total, one an inside the park job. Kenya and Uganda play each other tomorrow for the seeding.

Burkina Faso and Nigeria advance to the Africa Cup

Monday, March 25th, 2019

Burkina Faso proved to be the more dominant team in the preliminary Zone West pre-Qualifier to see who would advance to South Africa for the Africa’s Cup. Burkina Faso out scored Nigeria in the opener 13-3. They then beat the hosts Ghana 14-4.

Nigeria was also able to advance with a 7-6 win over Ghana. They scored the winning run courtesy of two Ghana errors in the seventh inning. Ghana made eight errors in the game.

Two other regional matches will be played, the first in Zone East, which will be April 5-7 between Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda in Nairobi, Kenya. The second will be in Johannesburg, South Africa on April 27-29 between South Africa, Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

The top two teams from each zone will play the Africa Regional in Johannesburg May 1-5. The winner will then go to Europe (Parma and Bologna, Italy) to play in the Europe/Africa Qualifier September 18-22. The winner of that will qualify for the Olympics to be played in Tokyo in 2020. The runner up will go to Taiwan to play in a final qualifier in early 2020.