In January 2013, Kevin Seitzer of the Kansas City Royals coaching staff visited Switzerland on invitation from Embrach Mustangs head coach Chris Byrnes. The Swiss Baseball Federation had the great pleasure to enjoy a full day of hitting clinics from the 2x MLB AllStar who played 12 years in the Big Leagues and posted a career batting average of .295.
Three months later, Josh Crouse and Harry Wischnewski – both playing club ball with the Embrach Mustangs – followed their own invitation to visit Kevin Seitzer and the Kansas City Royals baseball community. Driven by a superb baseball column by Lee Judge from the Kansas City Star, the two players became big Royals fans in the past years and enjoyed many outstanding comments and tidbits on pro ball.
Crouse and Wischnewski had the amazing opportunity to work out daily at Mac-N-Seitz (www.mac-n-seitz.com), an incredible baseball facility in Kansas City owned and operated by Kevin Seitzer and Mike McFarlane, both combining 25 years of Big League experience. Mac-N-Seitz serves as the official winter home of the Kansas City Royals and every offseason in November Royals Leftfielder and 2x GoldGlove winner Alex Gordon works out at Mac-N-Seitz. Both Crouse and Wischnewski were boosting their practice for the 2013 baseball season in Switzerland, especially Wischnewski who is an outfielder for the Swiss National Baseball Team, competing in this year`s Qualifier European Championship hosted in Zurich, Switzerland.
On April 30th, just one day after arriving in Kansas City, Harry Wischnewski had the great honor to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Royals opened a 3-game home stand against the Tampa Bay Rays. He took the mound just 12 minutes before James Shields would start the game against his former team, with which he played his first six years in the Majors before being traded to Kansas City this offseason in a blockbuster deal. Representing the whole Swiss baseball community, Wischnewski enjoyed the moment even more when he fired a strike to teammate Josh Crouse.
The two players and friends had the chance to talk with players, coaches as well as media representatives during the four games at Kauffman Stadium and shared many stories from Swiss Baseball.