IBAF President Schiller pleased with continued growth of international talent pool and player development.
(Lausanne, SWITZERLAND) Major League Baseball (MLB) announced this week that through the close of the third annual MLB International (MLBI) European Baseball Academy on Aug. 30,seven Academy participants have signed professional contracts with six different MLB Organizations.
MLB said that the seven players, all of whom are among Europe’s best talent, hail from five countries, including three players from Germany and one each from Denmark, France, Italy, and the Netherlands. It reported that in total, 18 MLBI European Baseball Academy alumni have signed professional contracts with MLB clubs since the birth of the program.
Newly-elected International Baseball Federation (IBAF) President Harvey Schiller was encouraged by the report, saying that the sustained growth of baseball in Europe is not only a sign of the positive contributions MLB is making in baseball internationally, but also a reaffirmation that baseball communities are strengthening in countries that are still relatively new to the sport.
“Congratulations to these outstanding athletes and to all those who have helped them achieve this level of success,” said Schiller. “The success of these players will certainly motivate thousands of young athletes across Europe in their love of the game of baseball.” This report from MLB comes as the IBAF and the Confederation of European Baseball (CEB) usher in the 2007 European Championship/Olympic Qualifier, which kicks off today in Barcelona.
The Championships will not only crown the top team in Europe, but it will also qualify the first place team for the Olympic Games next year in Beijing.
On the heels of a successful Olympic Games test event in Beijing last month and the latest in a number of positive reports out of the MLBI Academy, Schiller is pleased with how the landscape of international baseball is shaping-up heading into the 2008 Olympic Games.
“This is truly an indication of the successful global growth of baseball,” Schiller said. The 2007 European Championship/Olympic Qualifier will run from Sept. 7-16, 2007. Please visit www.eurobaseball2007.com for more details. The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games will be held from Aug. 8-24, 2008.
About the IBAF Founded in 1938, the IBAF is the International BAseball Federation recognized by the International Olympic Committee. Established in Lausanne, Switzerland – the Olympic Capital – in 1994, and counting 115 National Federation members, the IBAF organizes the Baseball World Cup, the World Cup of Women’s Baseball, World Championships in their different categories, the Intercontinental Cup, and the Baseball Olympic Tournament. The IBAF secures the development and expansion of baseball all over the world. For more information, please visit www.baseball.ch.