Press Release Russian International Baseball, Total Baseball Development
Bill Krejci will arrive to Moscow, Russia on March 11 for a nine day whirlwind tour of Moscow and Russian baseball departing the Russian capitol for Iowa on March 19. Krejci of Creston, Iowa will join Bob Protexter of Sioux City, Iowa who is already in Moscow after returning there from the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Krejci will serve as the head speaker and clinician for a three day coach’s seminar, with one day to include softball as well.
Krejci will also serve another three days working in a camp setting and helping with the evaluation process for the Russian National Baseball Teams of all ages. With those two events comprising six of the seven full days of Krejci being on the ground in Moscow, the seventh day will be fully occupied as well with a Press Conference at the Russian Olympic Committee in Moscow, with that day rounded out with meetings with Russian baseball officials and sports officials to help to evaluate the state of the game in Russia and to help to work to further develop the game in a country where thirty years ago the game simply did not exist. Krejci and Protexter have been invited to Moscow by Russian baseball coach and former Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim minor league baseball player Alexander Nizov.
Krejci is the Director of Athletics at Southwestern Community College in Creston, Iowa and has the served the school for thirty six years. Krejci has been the Athletics Director since 2000, and prior to that was the Head Baseball Coach for twenty two years with a school record of 543 wins. Southwestern is a two year university that has accreditation through the State of Iowa Department of Education and offers many areas of study and specialization, and more information can be found about this institution on their website at: www.southwesterncc.edu.
Since 1996, Krejci has been affiliated with USA Baseball, the National Governing Body for amateur baseball in the United States of America, and more information can be found about this organization on their website at: www.usabaseball.com. In 1996 and 1997 Krejci served as a Trials Coach for the USA National Team 18-Under. Krejci then coached with the USA National Team 16-Under for two summers; as an Assistant Coach in 1998 and as Field Manager in 1999, leading the United States to an undefeated record at the PAL World Series.
During the summer of 2000 Krejci was the Field Manager and won the Silver Medal with the USA National Team 18-Under in the World Junior Championships in Edmonton, Canada. Krejci was an Assistant Coach on the 2005 USA National Team 16-Under, and assistant coach on the 2009 USA National Team 18-Under. In 2009 that team won the organization’s first gold medal in the Junior Pan American Games in Venezuela. Overall, Krejci has helped lead his teams to two gold medals, two silvers, a PAL World Series title, three undefeated summers and an overall record of 40-3 as a USA Baseball coach.
In 2013 Krejci served as Business Manager for the first ever 12-Under USA National Team that won the gold medal in Chinese Taipei. In addition to his coaching duties for USA Baseball, Krejci served as Youth USA National Team Cross-Checker Scout in 2002 and 2003; and was the Testing Director for the Junior Olympics Event in 2000-2001. Through USA Baseball and the USA National Teams, Krejci has coached eleven players that are now playing in Major League Baseball, and 25 players that are now playing in Minor League Baseball.
Among these players include five players that played in the 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star Game at the New York Met’s Citi Field in New York City on July 16: From the American League; Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins, and JJ Hardy and Manny Machada of the Baltimore Orioles, and from the National League; Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves and Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals. Krejci now continues his work with USA Baseball as a Special Advisor and Talent Evaluator for Team USA of various age groups and for USA Baseball as a whole. Krejci received his Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree from Northwest Missouri State University, where he was a two-time Letter Winner in Baseball. He was inducted into the Northwest Missouri Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996, and the Iowa Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2002. In 1999 Krejci was honored as the United States Olympic Committee Baseball Developmental Coach of the year. Krejci is a native of Chicago, Illinois, and resides in Creston with his wife Teresa.
As Krejci will serve as the key note speaker at the baseball and softball clinics and seminars and will be working to help operate the Russian National Team camps and working with the evaluation process, he will be assisted by Bob Protexter in logistical coordination, Russian language translation, and all things baseball. Protexter speaks Russian and is the Owner and Operator of Total Baseball Development in Sioux City, Iowa and is the President and Founder of Russian International Baseball.
As a baseball player at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa in 1990, Protexter traveled to Moscow, USSR, which was twenty-four years ago to the day on March 3; knowing ten Russian words and semi-knowledgeable of the Cyrillic alphabet, where he begin his coaching career as an assistant coach for head coach Andrei Borodin and his baseball team of the Mendeleyev University of Chemical Technology, better known as the Moscow Red Devils. The Red Devils won the National Championship of the USSR in 1990 and Protexter moved on to assist the USSR National Team that summer where they became the Champions of the European Championship (Group B) in Parma, Italy. Protexter returned to America for his final year of eligibility at Morningisde College where he was an infielder.
After receiving his degree in 1991 with a double major in Political Science and History, Protexter returned to Soviet baseball where he again assisted the USSR National Team at the IBAF Intercontinental Cup in Barcelona, Spain and then went on to the European Championships (Group A) in Rome, Italy. Following these tournaments Protexter returned to Moscow to assist the Red Devils who went on to again win the National Championship of the USSR in 1991.
In 1992 Protexter joined the California Angels, currently the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, as a player liaison and on-field translator as Bob Fontaine, the Angles Director of Scouting signed three Russian players to minor league contracts; Yevgeny Puchkov 3B; Ilya Bogatyrev SS; and Rudy Razjigaev LHP. Protexter went on to head up the Angles Russian scouting program through 1996, where the Angles signed three more players including Alexander Nizov. Protexter returned to the States where he would serve as an assistant baseball coach at Morningside College from 1997 to 2005. As well as his alma mater, Protexter’s father Donald was the head baseball coach at Morningside College from 1955 until his untimely death in 1983. During his work as an assistant at Morningside; Protexter also worked for the Seattle Mariners during the summer and fall season of 2001 as a player liaison and on field translator for Russian RHP Oleg Kornev.
From 1997 to 2007 Protexter continued to work with the Russian National Teams as a bench coach at various International Baseball Federation (IBAF; and more information can be found on their website at: www.ibaf.org) sanctioned tournaments including: 1997 Junior World Championships in Canada; 2000 Junior World Championships in Canada; 2001 Senior European Championships (Group A) in Germany; 2001 Senior World Championships in Taiwan; 2003 Senior European Championships (Group A) in Holland; and 2007 Senior European Championships (Group A) in Spain.
The 2001 senior Russian National Team hit the pinnacle of success as they won the silver medal at the Senior European Championships (Group A) in Bonn, Germany whereas during an Olympic qualifying year that finish would have qualified the Russians for the Olympics. Protexter also enjoyed working two summers on behalf of regional organizations of USA Baseball as a state director for the National Team Identification Series (NTIS) as the Director of the Iowa NTIS in 2010 and the Director of the Nebraska NTIS in 2011. In 2004 Protexter formed Total Baseball Development in Sioux City, Iowa that he continues to operate to this day, and as well continues to operate Russian International Baseball an organization he originally formed in 1990 as Soviet Baseball Stateside. Both organizations work to develop baseball, baseball players, and baseball organizations in their respective parts of the world. Protexter resides in Sioux City, Iowa.
Alexander Nizov is a native of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia and grew up as a gymnast until he found baseball. His baseball career jettisoned very early on as he was accepted onto the exclusive Russian Army Team where as a 2nd baseman he used his speed and agility along with his hitting prowess to become one of the top young prospects in Russia and in Europe. Protexter scouted the young Nizov in Russian High League play and offered him a contract with the Angels. Nizov signed and went on to play in the Minor Leagues in the United States for two summers in 1997 and 1998 under veteran manager Bill Lachemann on the Single A level Butte Copper Kings, hitting .276 in 1997 as a slick fielding second baseman. Nizov is one of fourteen players from the former Soviet Union to have played Minor League baseball in the United States since their meager beginnings in 1987.
Nizov was released following the 1998 season and returned to Russia to begin his career as a baseball coach while continuing to play at a very high level for many years on the Russian National Team including being named the Top Defensive player at the 2001 Senior European Championships (Group A) in Bonn, Germany. As the leadoff hitter Nizov helped his countrymen to a silver medal in 2001 beating both Italy and Holland before eventually falling to Holland in the Championship Game. This was the first time in over forty years that a team other than Italy or Holland had finished in first or second place in the European Championships; paving the way for the changing landscape in European baseball.
Nizov is the General Director of the “Development Fund for Baseball and Softball”, as well as the Head Coach of Balashikha in the Russian High League, Russia’s top competitive league, and Nizov also serves as the coach of the youth team SDUSSHOR Balashikha. Nizov’s coaching talents are also used by the Russian Baseball Federation as a National Team Coach where he was in 2004 assistant for 10-12 year old Russian National Team that finished 2nd place at the European Championships in Slovakia, 2005 Head Coach for 10-12 year old Russian National Team that finished in 1st place at the European Championships in Moldova, 2006 Head Coach for the 10-12 year old Russian National Team that finished in 2nd place at the European Championships in the Czech Republic, 2008 assistant for the 13-15 year old Russian National Team that finished in 2nd place at the European Championships in Rome, Italy; 2009 assistant for the 13-15 year old Russian National Team that finished in 2nd place at the European Championships in the Czech Republic, and the 2011 Head Coach for the 16-18 year old Russian National Team that finished in 6th place at the European Championships in Spain. Nizov continues to compete as well as a player/manager for his Balashika squad and resides in Balashika, Russia with his wife Svetlana and their son 12 year old son Nikita; who like father like son plays baseball.
Krejci’s work with Protexter and Nizov will help to further develop baseball in the country of Russia, where partial deterioration of the sport has resulted from the ouster of baseball as an official Olympic sport by the International Olympic Committee vote in 2005. Baseball was the first sport to be voted out of the Olympics since polo in 1932. Baseball was started and developed in many, many countries simply because it became an Olympic sport. The sustainability of baseball in many countries also heavily relies on government funding, and government funding in many countries is allocated to sports that are Olympic sports. This is one of the many reasons it is important to regain baseballs status as an Olympic sport.
Efforts to regain entry failed in 2009, and baseball and softball then combined efforts for re-entry into the Olympic Program in 2013, but fell short in September of last year in Buenos Aires, Argentina as votes needed were taken by wrestling as wrestling was readmitted just a few short months after it was ousted itself by the IOC. This may have set the precedent that the IOC will look further into re-accepting a sport back into the program that had been voted out. Chatter began in November of 2013 with a Press Conference where the new President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach of Germany said that baseball would be discussed at the IOC Executive Board meeting in December. Now in 2014 good news may be on the horizon for Russian baseball and baseball around the world as Bach again exclaimed in Sochi, Russia at the recent Winter Olympic Games that “The goal is to have more flexibility in the composition of the Olympic program,” referring to questions of a more flexible system in place to decide the Summer Olympic program that could include baseball, and also in regards being supportive of adjusting the 28 sport limit, that currently prohibits adding more sports.
The earliest possible entry could be 2020 for baseball and the push will be strong as the 2020 Games will be held in the baseball obsessed country of Japan, which of course has many existing facilities that could be used to host baseball games. Baseball had been in the Olympics as a medal sport in the official program from 1992 through 2008. Baseball has a rich Olympic history and has had many entries in the Olympics as an exhibition sport and as a demonstration sport from 1904 all the way up through 1988 in Souel, Korea. Baseball’s big break onto the big stage was when it’s lot was cast in stone so to speak as the IOC voted baseball into the Olympics as an official medal sport on October 13, 1986 by the IOC; former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch of Spain; and then President of the International Baseball Association (now known as the International Baseball Federation) Robert Smith of the United States.
Shortly after this announcement by the IOC in late fall of 1986 the government of the USSR and the Olympic Committee of the USSR pronounced baseball as an official sport in the Soviet Union, giving it the green light to begin in a country where official-ness and documentation was everything. The Soviets started on the field play immediately in 1987 . . . from absolute scratch. Baseball in Russia and worldwide is looking for another big break by positive IOC discussions and a possible positive vote in 2014, and now fingers are crossed for baseball’s reentry to the Summer Olympic Games in 2020 in Tokyo.
Schedule for Bill Krejci – 2014 – Exclusive Baseball Seminar, Clinic, and Russian National Team Workout Camps:
11 March – Krejci arrives to Moscow from the United States ~ 11 марта (пн.) – прилет американского тренера в Москву
12 March – Press Conference at the Russian Olympic Committee ~ 12 марта (вт.) – Пресс – конференция в Олимпийском комитете (г.Москва)
13 March – Testing and evaluations for Russian National Team players ~ 13 марта (ср.) – Тесты для игроков сборных России (кадеты, юниоры молодежь)
14 March – Coaches seminar for Softball ~ 14 марта (чт.) – Тренерский семинар по софтболу (г.Тучково, Московская область)
15 March – Coaches seminar for Baseball ~ 15 марта (пт.) – Тренерский семинар по бейсболу (г.Тучково, Московская область)
16 March – Coaches seminar for Baseball ~ 16 марта (вс.) – Тренерский семинар по бейсболу (г.Тучково, Московская область)
17 March – Testing and evaluations for Russian National Team players ~ 17 марта (пн.) – Встреча с игроками сборной команды России 10-12 лет (г.Балашиха, Московская область)
18 March – Meeting with veterans of Russian baseball ~ 18 марта (вт.) – Встреча с игроками Национальной сборной
Встреча с ветеранами бейсбола (35+). (18.00 – в конференц – зале (2этаж) ресторане “Хижина”, по адресу – ул. Бакунинская, д.70) Приглашение… скоро будет информация
19 March – Krejci departs from Moscow for the United States ~ 19 марта (ср.) – вылет
Детальная программа семинара по софтболу и бейсболу будет размещена в скором времени.
Темы семинара: филдинг; питчинг; пик-оффс; игра в защите и командная стратегия в защите (как предотвратить очки), хиттинг; психология игры (mental game), подготовка команды к соревнованиям, игровые ситуации, тактика и стратегия игры в нападении (как приносить очки в нападении) и многое другое.
Moscow Area Baseball Federation – Information about the seminars and much other information may be found in Russian at:
Total Baseball Development (TBD) is a baseball school located in Sioux City, Iowa, USA that offers individualized personal and group instruction, out-of-season leagues, clinics, camps, and player placement services for high school, college, and professional baseball players. TBD has incorporated over 1,750 signups for players, in all programs inclusive since 2004, while providing ‘extra’ out-of-season baseball opportunities for high school aged baseball players in Sioux City’s tri-state area of Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
www.totalbaseballdevelopment.com — www.leaguelineup.com/totalbaseballdevelopment
Russian International Baseball (RIB) was founded in 1993 by Sioux City, Iowa native Bob Protexter out of his organization Soviet Baseball Stateside (SBS); which he created in 1990 in an effort to further the state of the game of baseball in its early years in the Soviet Union. In autumn of 1986 the USSR Olympic Committee declared the game of baseball an official sport in the Soviet Union with the premise and stated said goal of winning gold medals in the Summer Olympic Games. RIB is an American based organization that assists Russia in the areas of developing and advancing their baseball programs through coaching, clinics, equipment, marketing, and sponsorships. RIB works directly with the Russian Olympic Committee, the Russian Baseball Federation, and the Russian National Teams of all ages. RIB is located in Sioux City, Iowa USA.
www.russianbaseball.org — www.leaguelineup.com/russianbaseball