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Major Leaguers set to promote baseball in seven countries this offseason

Major League Baseball players will travel this offseason to share their passion for the game with fans and young players from developing baseball countries.

 In November, All-Star Curtis Granderson, Roger Bernadina of the 2013 Netherlands World Baseball Classic team and Chris Dickerson will visit France and the Netherlands as part of the fourth-annual “European Big League Tour.”

In December, Jeremy Guthrie of the Kansas City Royals will travel to China and the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Mark Melancon will visit South Africa. Yan Gomes of the Cleveland Indians, the first Brazilian-born player to play in the Major Leagues when he debuted in 2011, will represent baseball in his home country this December.

In February, relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins will serve as a pitching instructor at the MLB Brazil Elite Camp.

2013-14 MLB Ambassador Trips

Event

Players

Location

Dates

European Big League Tour

Curtis Granderson

Chris Dickerson

Roger Bernadina

Rotterdam, Netherlands

Paris, France

Nov. 16-17, 2013

Nov. 22-23, 2013

Clinics and Promotion

Jeremy Guthrie

Beijing, China

Changzhou, China

Shanghai, China

Dec. 6, 2013

Dec. 7-8, 2013

Dec. 9, 2013

MLB African Elite Camp

Mark Melancon

Durban, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa

Dec. 7-9, 2013

Dec. 14, 2013

Clinics and Promotion

Yan Gomes

São Paulo, Brazil

Dec. 12-15, 2013

MLB Brazil Elite Camp

LaTroy Hawkins

Ibiuna, Brazil

Feb. 2-12, 2014

 

 

In addition, Patrick Corbin of the Arizona Diamondbacks and A.J. Ellis of the Los Angeles Dodgers will head to Sydney, Australia in advance of the 2014 Opening Series which will take place March 22 & 23 at the historic Sydney Cricket Grounds. The Series will mark the first-ever regular season games played on the continent. Diamondbacks All-Star first-baseman Paul Goldschmidt recently promoted the event during tours in Australia and New Zealand.

Granderson, Bernadina and Dickerson are taking part in the European Big League Tour, an instructional tour led by former Major League pitcher Rick VandenHurk and supported by the Major League Baseball Players Association and MLB International. The event, which takes place November 16-23, features a group of players and coaches conducting free youth clinics in Paris, France and Rotterdam in VandenHurk’s native Netherlands. In the three previous years the event has been held, more than 3,000 young ballplayers have attended the clinics.

Guthrie will visit the MLB Development Center in Changzhou, China to conduct training sessions for the young ballplayers. MLB Development Centers, located in Wuxi and Changzhou China, provide a world-class facility for talented Chinese student athletes in grades 7-12. Each Development Center’s program incorporates an innovative teaching model that combines mainstream school curriculum with baseball skills development.

Melancon will serve as a special guest instructor at the MLB African Elite Camp in Durban, South Africa. For the third consecutive year, the camp will feature 40 of Africa’s top young baseball players. Rick Magnante, manager of the Vermont Lake Monsters in the Oakland A’s system, and former Major Leaguer Craig Lefferts will lead instruction at the Camp, while coaches from the participating nations – Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda – will be on hand to learn from the experienced MLB staff.

Gomes will return to his native Brazil, December 12-15, to participate in a number of community baseball events around São Paulo. He will visit the Confederation of Brazilian Baseball & Softball (CBBS) training complex and speak with their players. In addition, he will lead a clinic for school-aged children in Mogi das Cruzes, where Gomes began playing baseball as a child.

Hawkins will serve as the pitching instructor for the MLB Brazil Elite Camp from February 2-12. This Camp, which has taken place each year since 2011, brings together 50 of the best players from Brazil, Argentina & Colombia, age 14-17, to participate in morning instructional workouts, afternoon games and nightly seminars lead by MLB field staff.  Players receive Major League instruction from top professional coaches and put their talents on display for Major League Scouts.  The staff will include Hall of Famer Barry Larkin along with former Major Leaguers Steve Finley and John Mizerock.

Goldschmidt, who recently returned from Australia and New Zealand, visited a local aboriginal community to meet with promising young baseball players, helped to launch the Sydney Blue Sox season and met with the New Zealand National Team. The Sydney Blue Sox are a member of the Australian Baseball League (ABL), a six-team league started in 2010 that features homegrown talent as well as many players who hail from outside Australia playing a 46-game season running from November through February.

About MLB International

Major League Baseball International (MLBI) focuses on the worldwide growth of baseball and the promotion of Major League Baseball and MLB Club trademarks and copyrights through special events, broadcasting, market development, licensing and sponsorship initiatives.  MLBI is committed to showcasing the world’s best baseball talent through international events around the globe.  MLBI executes and supports game development programs targeting players and coaches from grassroots to elite levels.  With an extensive list of marketing partners worldwide, MLBI continues to grow its position as a leader in the international marketplace. MLBI is supported in its mission through presences in Beijing, New York, London, Sydney and Tokyo.

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