The Euro Baseball Tour has quickly become an expected event on the European baseball calendar. Incredibly, the event is only in its third year, but has quickly become one of the largest youth events in the sport. Registration is open for the 2021 edition, which has already eclipsed the number of participants in last year’s tourney. Michal Hanuš and Pavel Józek shared with us a little of EBT’s history and their vision for the tournament.
Inspired by what they had seen at renowned Battle at the Castle youth baseball tournament in 2018, Hanuš and Józek returned home from the Netherlands with an idea. Could they replicate what they had seen, and their sons had experienced, back home in Třebíč, Czech Republic? Would what had worked in Oosterhout, work in a town of approximately 36,000 inhabitants just west of Brno? In other words, if they built it, would they come?
With their Euro Baseball Tour (EBT) entering its third year, it would seem the answer is a resounding yes. The numbers speak for themselves:
2019: 2 age groups, 20 total games:
2020: 3 age groups, 54 total games.
And, at press time, the 2021 edition has 183 players from 10 countries registered to compete in Třebíč from Aug. 8-13. Registration for this year’s event ends Mar. 1, and there is already a waiting list in place for the U13 age group. One of the unique characteristics of the tournament is that players are drafted onto the teams, rather than clubs signing up themselves.
“We would like to have EBT as a place where young players will spend a great week with baseball and find new friends in the baseball community,” noted Hanuš as he explained the long-term vision for the tournament. We would like to have more foreign players on the rosters in the future, and to mix players from different countries.”
Hanuš and Józek are affiliated with the Třebíč Nuclears Baseball Club. They were inspired to start the tournament not just by what they had seen at The Battle at the Castle in 2018 (Hanuš was there again in 2019), but also by a desire to fill a hole in the regional youth baseball calendar. With the Czech youth season pausing for summer holidays in July and August, Hanuš and Józek saw an opportunity.
“For Czech, Austrian, and Slovak players, there is not enough baseball during the August period,” observed Hanuš, like Józek affiliated with the Třebíč Nuclears Baseball Club.
And so, the Euro Baseball Tour came to be. From a humble 77 players in 2019, the tournament attracted most of the Czech U12 and U15 youth national teams for the 2020 edition, and the founders hope to build on this strong start in 2021.
“If a youth player would like to improve his baseball skills and get more experience from hard and competitive games, Euro Baseball Tour is a good event for the player,” Hanuš said. We hope the Euro Baseball Tour will be an essential part of the European youth baseball calendar.”
More information about the Euro Baseball Tour can be found on its homepage at eurobaseballtour.eu.
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