Baseball Season Starts in Germany

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vd0nP0aZSOk&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

Since my video we have had 4 regular season games.  Our first was away, in Ingolstadt.  Our team has a team van so we drive down in the team van and an additional car picks up players on the way who lives outside of the city.  This same day that we played, a military convoy passed us on the Autobahn with hundreds of men.  I found out later that on this same day there was a ceremony in the same city we played in for some members of the German Army who were killed in Afghanistan and from this city.  The president of Germany, Angela Merkel was even in attendance.

We had a double header (two games) in Ingolstadt.  My role on the team is first-baseman and closer.  I come in the last 2 or 3 innings of the game and pitch.  In this first game of the season, in my second at-bat I hit one of the longest balls in my life.  Going against the wind, I hit a two-run homerun over the fence in right field.  The right-fielder took one step back and then just stopped as he watched the ball sail over the fence.  I ended that game going 4 for 5 with two more doubles.  We won both games that day and started the season off on a good note.

Next weekend was our home opener.  All of my friends at my University were eager to see this baseball deal since they had all heard about me playing and read an article in the newspaper about it.  About 20 of my friends showed up to our first home game and watched us play.  Babsi, Franzi, and Monta all dressed up in our team colors (red and black) and made signs that they held up in the stands when I came to bat.  The newspaper even took a photo of them to publish in the newspaper.  This game was a close one.  We ended up winning in the bottom of the last inning with a walk of single with a runner on second base.  It was a great show for all of our fan’s, for which most of them was their first baseball game to ever see.  The second game we started and was delayed due to a 30 minute rainstorm.  After the storm we were flat and got spanked pretty badly, however I had a bases loaded triple in 5th.  So now we are 3 and 1.

All the Americans around here seem to come out of hiding with baseball here in Germany.  I’ve ran into more Americans in baseball than anywhere else here.  A lot of them are guys who were in the Army and living in Germany after being stationed here and they either umpire, coach, and some even still play.  I’ve met guys from Atlanta, Pittsburg, and even as close to home as Monterey.  Being that it’s an American sport, most of the player s on the other teams speak a fairly good amount of English no matter where they are from.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPmSdimuMXw&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

U.S. baseball raises new hopes The 20-year-old college player David Simmons will play for the Deggendorf Dragons to raise them to the Regional League.

Photo Caption: "I feel very comfortable here," David Simmons says of his adopted home of Deggendorf. (Photo: R. Binder)

By Thomas White He is a stroke of luck for the baseball Cracks of Deggendorf Dragons: David Simmons. The 20-year-old college players from the U.S. will spend two semesters at Deggendorf University of Applied Science.  During this time he will support the Bavarian League team of the Dragons to head them in the direction of Region League. For six years, the Dragons are now an integral part of the Bavarian League. The great dream Regional League - is the highest league in Bavaria – The team has not been able to make it there yet.  With David Simmons this year it will be different: "While the Bavarian League is very balanced, we will have been trying for a long time to move up…” is how the player-manager Stefan Brückner sports the objectives of the Dragons.  An essential part of the team since the beginning of the summer is David Simmons. The 20-year-old all-rounder has been playing baseball since he was six years old.  In the previous year he was an integral part of the Shasta Knights, a college team at the University of Redding, California.  Now he studies International Management  for two semesters at Deggendorf University of Applied Science,  and it will fit in time with the Dragons.

"Of course David is one of our strongest players. He will help us in any case, "said Bruckner,  Simmons' strengths are at bat.  Simmons thinks himself that first base is his strongest, but at the Dragons, he will probably be the key players in every position. "I feel very comfortable here," says Simmons  and he is happy about his new study and venue: "The atmosphere is great. Everything is more laid back than at home”.   He especially enjoys the fact that the pressure - for all sporting ambitions - far less than in his college team.  “I enjoy it here very much.  Especially, the traditional beer after a win, this is much different than at home.”  Simmons, who is originally from Chico (Calif.),  will not only support the Dragons as a player but also as a youth coach. Especially in the youth age groups provides the team with potential to grow.  From 16 years old,  it is then entirely possible to take the first steps already on the field playing for the top team.  Brückner and Simmons have a lot of time but nothing is stopping their team in the new season.  Already on 24 April is the season opener to Ingolstadt.  1 May is the first home game against the second team of Hair Disciples: "This is a very close case," predicts Brückner.  By contrast, Ingolstadt should be a victory there.  By then, the new clubhouse for the Dragons will be finished.  Currently, the DIY demolition is taking place and a construction company will build in the next few weeks the new house: "The storm has indeed made us strong, but that we will not let it get to us," said club president Volker Schuessler. And maybe David Simmons will remain with the club longer than some people believe. Because he will not rule out entirely, possibly even to remain entirely in Germany. The food and the temperate weather like him very well - and of course the beer after the victories ...