On Monday July 25, 2016, Deputy Press Attaché Stephen Dreikorn threw the first pitch and addressed about 200 fans at Poland’s first game in the European Baseball Championship C-Pool Qualifier in Miejska Gorka, Poland. Dreikorn explained that U.S.-Polish relations are robust and include sports, education, and culture as well as trade and military partnerships. Embassy staff present at the event greeted the fans and players and gave them American flags and vintage American baseball cards. The Mayor of Miejska Gorka, Karol Skrzypczak, also threw out an opening pitch and delivered brief remarks.
Poland’s first game against Hungary was part of the tournament that will last until July 30th. Poland defeated Hungary 13-0. Poland will also play Romania on Wednesday, Georgia on Thursday, and Estonia on Friday. The C-Pool championship game will be played on Saturday July 30th, at 14:00 in Miejska Gorka, and the winner of the tournament will be elevated to Europe’s B-Pool for next year’s tournament. Concurrently, another six teams are competing in Slovenia in another C-Pool Qualifier, and the winner of that tournament will also be elevated to B-Pool next year.
The C-Pool tournament is part of the Confederation of European Baseball (CEB), which was established in 1953 with five initial nations. Poland was the eighteenth member country to join in 1990. There are currently 38 member nations with around 150,000 players.
In supporting this event, the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw engaged in sports diplomacy and people-to-people relations, in order to strengthen bonds between the United States and Poland through the universal passion for sports, which transcends linguistic and sociocultural differences and brings people together. The Embassy proudly promoted and developed the American game of baseball as well as fostering communication and international exchange. The use of sports as a diplomatic platform exposed foreign participants to American culture while providing them with an opportunity to establish links with other sports professionals, U.S. diplomats, and Polish citizens.
For more information on European Championship C-Pool Qualifier in Miejska Gorka, go here: http://www.baseballstats.eu/2016/miejska/schedule.php