If you missed the news on Twitter, first reported by Mister-Baseball.com, the Great Britain Senior National Team now know what route they need to take to qualify for the 2012 European Baseball Championship.
Team GB will head to Tel Aviv, Israel, at the end of July for a four-team tournament including the host nation, Lithuania and Georgia.
The many Brits who think of baseball as ‘that rounders game played by Americans’ would scarcely believe such an event could take place.
Finding out that Great Britain has a team is often a surprise in itself. Adding Israel, Lithuania and Georgia into the baseball mix would leave people doubting your sanity, but it’s a great example of the varied and diverse baseball culture that, unknowingly to many, exists in Europe.
The news story on the official Great Britain website provides some additional details, for instance noting the respective IBAF world rankings of the four teams. They would lead you to believe that Great Britain should qualify comfortably. Certainly they will go into it as favourites and should be confident of progressing, but new Head Coach Sam Dempster will know that taking any baseball team lightly is the first step towards a humbling defeat.
I’ve no doubt that Dempster and General Manager Jason Greenberg will have the team well-prepared for the trip and to re-start the national team’s rise after a disappointing 2010 campaign.
The final paragraph in the Great Britain story also raises the possibility that the games might be streamed live on the internet. Tel Aviv’s time zone is two hours ahead of British Summer Time so we could be able to follow the games at a convenient hour.