Are you passionate about baseball? Do you want to experience Europe in a unique way? If so, you have come to the right place. Old World Baseball, LLC (OWB) is dedicated to providing custom-tailored, high-quality, baseball-playing/cultural opportunities in Europe for groups and individuals (of all ages).
Each of the founders of OWB, Tom Gillespie and Stephan Rapaglia, has had tremendous coaching and playing experience in the European baseball world. Between them, Tom and Stephan have coached and/or played in the shadows of Windsor Castle and Edinburgh Castle, in Barcelona's Olympic Stadium, and in other historic European locations such as London, Paris, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Cologne, Hamburg, Stockholm, Prague, Madrid, Munich and Zagreb. OWB was founded by Tom and Stephan so that adventurous and enthusiastic North American ballplayers can share these types of experiences.
*Old World Baseball is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball® or the World Baseball Classic®.
Click any headline for more information.
The roster for OWB's 2013 trip to Europe is now complete. Destinations will include France (Paris), Germany (Munich and Regensburg) and the Czech Republic (Prague). The trip will run from July 5 - 18. If you are interested in being considered as a roster alternate, please contact OWB.
Both OWB co-founders have a number of connections with the recently completed World Baseball Classic. Among other things, The Netherlands, a WBC semi-finalist, is the same team that Stephan Rapaglia (then field manager of the Great Britain National Team) coached against in the final of the 2007 European Championships, and Tom Gillespie worked with some of Team Italy's stars at the MLB European Academy.
John Cook (Amherst '15/OWB '11) and Conner Gunn (Amherst '16/OWB '12) led Amherst College to a couple of victories during Amherst's spring trip to Florida. In a 5-2 win over Endicott, Cook struck out nine in seven solid innings of work, and Gunn hit his first collegiate HR to support Cook's winning effort. Cook picked up another win later in the trip with a relief effort against Western Connecticut, and Gunn led the offense with 3 hits and 6 RBIs.
Tom Gillespie has established a new non-profit organization (Play Global!) the mission of which is to develop respect and teamwork through baseball. Play Global! teaches baseball to coaches and youth in developing countries and areas of conflict.
Tom Gillespie recently returned from Uganda after spending a week running coach and player clinics for the Ugandan Baseball and Softball Federation. Click the headline to see a photo. In 2010, Tom spent time in Uganda working with many of the members of the Uganda Little League team that qualified for the LLWS.
Mister-Baseball.com has reported that the first MLB games to be played in Europe will be hosted by the Netherlands.
Regensburg's Armin-Wolf baseball stadium (a likely OWB 2013 venue) has received recognition in the NY Times as a "hidden gem of Europe.
OWB Co-Founder Stephan Rapaglia recently participated in MLB's World Baseball Classic Qualification tournament as the bench coach for the Great Britain Men's National Team.
The New York Times recently featured the Rouen Huskies baseball club in Rouen, France. OWB spent a few days in Rouen during OWB's 2011 trip, with the Huskies as the host club.
A recent article in the Ridgefield (CT) Press discussed the participation of Ryan Callanan and OWB Co-Founder Stephan Rapaglia in the 2012 OWB Trip.
OWB's 2012 trip to Europe (July 9 - 19, 2012) has now ended, and it was a great success. The trip included 9 games in 10 days and visits to 8 cities in 3 countries. The OWB team stayed in modern hotels and historic castles, and team activities included walking tours in Amsterdam and Antwerp, as well as bike tours through Bruges and the surrounding Belgian countryside and along the Rhine River in Germany.
The Netherlands recently made history by winning the 2012 Baseball World Cup, a tournament which included USA, Cuba, Japan, Korea, Canada and all of the world's other top baseball-playing nations.
Stephan Rapaglia is quoted multiple times in a ESPN.com feature article on the rise of European baseball:http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/6948276/mlb-baseball-europe-take-off.
Tom Gillespie ran coaching and player clinics in Uganda in 2010, where he worked with many of the members of the Little League team recently featured on ESPN (http://search.espn.go.com/uganda-baseball/videos/6).
OWB's July 2011 High School Trip involved visits to 7 cities in 3 countries, with games against 4 different national teams.