TOKYO

17 Apr

As you, ravenous follower of this blog, already know, I was in Tokyo over the weekend for the International Baseball Federation’s World Congress.  72-hours in Japan.  Planes, trains, automobiles, and time machines.

IBAF World Congress

IBAF World Congress

The saying goes, “The fastest way from point A to point B is… the L train to the 2/3, the 2/3 uptown to Penn Station, transfer to the New Jersey Transit to Newark Airport, take the AirTran to your terminal, go to ticketing and through security remembering, of course, to remove all gold jewelry, sit at the gate, take a 16-hours flight over Canada and the East Coast of Russia to Japan, go through emigration and customs, and hop a 90-minute bus ride from Narita Airport to the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa, Tokyo.”  So that’s what I did.

The Bering Sea and Earth's horizon

The Bering Sea and Earth’s horizon

I have slept little to none of the last 4, or 5, days, so forgive me if my mind slips, more than usual, for things that used to be fixed– time and space, mostly, have abstracted, and I am not sure where or what I am, a living version of relativity, a human physics experiment. I left Tokyo Monday at 4:40pm, and landed Monday, the same day, in New York, at 4:25pm, after a 13-hour flight, 15-minutes before take-off.  Despite having traveled into a worm-hole, Ladies and Shtetl-Boys, I, without further circling, Representative Fish of Israel, King of All Jewish Baseball, professional blogger, amateur exaggerator – despite fatigue and legal insanity, will now dutifully tell you what happened in Japan.

74 countries were represented the IBAF conference in total.  Meet some of them, the Kings and Queens of International Baseball…

Brasil

Brasil

Bulgaria

Bulgaria

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India

For the win, Indonesia

For the win, Indonesia

Nigeria

Nigeria

Italy

Italy

Holland

Holland

Norway

Norway

Unites States of America

Unites States of America

Camaroon

Camaroon

Mario from Malta

Mario from Malta

Canada

Canada

Israel!  No suit, or traditional garb. Rookie mistake.

Israel. No suit! No traditional garb!  Blew it… rookie mistake.

The conference, besides the election and re-election of the executive committee of IBAF,  was mostly about getting baseball and softball back into the Olympics.  To do that, IBAF and ISF (International Softball Federation) had to combine forces and create a new, 3rd federation, or confederation, in this case, the WBSC (World Baseball Softball Confederation).  There is only 1 open spot for 1 sport left for the 2020 Olympics.  Traditionally, baseball and softball have been 2 separate sports run by 2 separate federations played as 2 separate, simultaneous 16-day tournaments.  But now, to have any chance of getting back in the Olympics, the 2 sports and their federations must combine, and 2, 6-day tournaments will be played back-to-back, with 1 day between to convert the field– maybe, that is, if baseball/softball get back in at all.  In any case, to make the WBSC a real thing, we, the representatives of the national federations, had to vote to ratify the constitution of the new WBSC, which we did, unanimously.  And the WBSC was born.

WBSC press conference and new logo

PLAY BALL 2020 is the name of the campaign to get baseball and softball back in the Olympics.  It launched at 4pm the day of the vote.  Here’s the link…

http://playball2020.com/

The International Olympic Committee will meet in 5-weeks, at the end of May, in St. Petersburg, Russia, to discuss what sport[s] are in and which are out.  So go, now, join the fight, use your twitters and you muskets, your training and your facebooks, and help get baseball and softball back into the 2020 Olympics.

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