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Czech Republic This Out

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LEFT-HANDED HITTERS AND PITCHERS ABOUND...
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...THE CZECHS CAN PLAY, AND THEY CAN ALSO PUT ON A SHOW WITH DANCERS IN THE CROWD

The Czech Republic, like Russia, is more known for left-handed hockey players than baseball sluggers. And the Czechs are ahead of the Russians on the diamond.

The former communist republic hosted the 2005 European Championships at four different venues. Czech television even broadcast three games live nationally, a first in the country. The events drew strong crowds and much enthusiasm.

 

You can learn more about baseball in the Czech Republic and Europe in World in a Ballpark: Baseball Goes Global, which is available for purchase at the Buy Joe's Guides page.

 

You can see Joe's other Europe photos by traveling to these links: European Feast; Baseball Italia; The Netherlands: Dutch Treats!; The British Are Coming!; French Connection; Do You Speak German?; Luck Of The Irish; From Russia, With LoveSpanish Passport and Swiss Cheese!

 

If you want to view a sample of the guide and see how easy the guide is to use, visit the World Baseball Classic page.

THEY LACK THE FUNDS OF OTHER EUROPEAN COUNTRIES..
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...BUT THE CZECHS HAVE AMONG THE BEST FACILITIES IN EUROPE, AND EVEN THE PRESS TAKES NOTICE!

The Czech Republic Prime Minister, Vaclav Klaus, had noticed baseball has become in his country "a certain lifestyle and also a social phenomenon. It has the possibility to address even those young people who might otherwise not find their way into sport. That is, in my view, the nicest thing about baseball."

NOW CZECH THIS OUT: A LOCAL TV BROADCAST IN EUROPE
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THE 2005 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS WERE THE FIRST EVER TO BE TELEVISED IN THE EX-COMMUNIST BASTION

Despite limited funds, the Czechs have built good facilities, mainly outside Prague and in smaller cities like Blansko, Chocen and Olomouc. Brno also has a strong baseball niche. About 3,000 Czechs are participating in baseball nationwide, and the national team has been skippered by U.S. coaches and former MLB players, including Bruce Hurst, which have also taught Czechs.

"We've played together for five, six years now; 14 players are together all the time," said 6-foot-3 inch right-handed pitcher Kamil Meluzin. "I never played another sport, baseball is my favorite."

EUROPE'S SLEEPING GIANT? THE CZECHS ARE BONDING
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UNLIKE MANY OF THEIR EUROPEAN COUNTERPARTS, MOST CZECHS HAVE PLAYED TOGETHER FOR MANY YEARS

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