Thoughts from Tom Giffen
Roy Hobbs 25th Anniversary
2013 is the 25th anniversary of Roy Hobbs Baseball and the Roy Hobbs World Series.
We are working on ways to celebrate appropriately, and you can see our 25th anniversary logo right here. Variations of this logo will be involved in just about everything we do this year.
2013 will be a special year for us, with a number of changes as well as additions to our calendar. Here’s a look at what’s on the agenda …
Age division adjustments – We are making changes in the Veterans and Masters divisions, lowering the minimum age to 35 & 45, eliminating any underage players – please don’t ask for 34s and 44s – and making everyone eligible to pitch. We believe this more accurately reflects league makeup around the country.
Open Division – The Open Division will become truly open with regard to age. It will be 18+, but we will keep ‘pro’ player guidelines and add some collegiate guidelines as well. Our reasoning is to be more inclusive and to address the dwindling numbers issues in our youngest age group.
Forever Young, Frontier, Pioneers, Platinum, Relics, Sage, Wisdom … Division – Here comes the 75+ division … A 75+ division will start this year during the 3rd RHWS week with the Legends & Vintage Divisions.
Roy Hobbs Hall of Fame – The Roy Hobbs Hall of Fame is a reality as a part of the 25th anniversary celebration. There will be two celebrations of the first class of inductees at the 2013 RHWS, set up in such a way that all RHWS participants will have the opportunity to participate. The official nomination form is linked, so please read the goals, guidelines and criteria and make your nomination for the inaugural class.
And, the last word … – Ellen and I had the opportunity to attend the World Baseball Classic semifinals and finals in San Francisco in March. Suffice to say, despite the chill, it was most enjoyable, and we shared some great baseball with a number of Hobbs friends – a great thank you to Bonni & Joel Weinstein, Jake & Denny Brown, Rena Kirkpatrick & Gus Manning and Bob Wilms and members of the NorCal Giants for all their hospitality during our visit.
In light of the fact that the Olympics will never again embrace baseball (I really believe that for two reasons, first being the facilities cost to the host country and second that MLB will never let its stars take off 3 weeks in mid-summer to compete, which is a major issue for the IOC), IMHO the WBC is a worthy endeavor, one worth our support. The success of the Netherlands this year is good reason to support and watch.
Despite the fact that we Americans can be huge nationalistic flag-wavers with the best of them – see Olympics – sometimes we fail to fully understand what it means to compete for our home country. I had one opportunity to do that in 2001 as one of the coaches of the US team in the Women’s World Baseball Championships in Toronto (and have a championship ring to show for it), and that was special. I have fond memories of that event and of all the players and coaches involved.
It’s easy to see that fire in the play, the walk, the talk of the players in the WBC, especially from the Latin American teams (where playing for your country is perhaps the highest sporting honor one can achieve) and the Far East.
The US team approach really needs an attitude adjustment, and I don’t believe the US team will ever win the WBC until MLB teams and players understand the honor of playing for one’s country and approach the WBC as a truly international competition worthy of our attention and best effort … and not just a glorified exhibition.
Just one baseball fan’s opinion …
All that being said … Have a great season on the field and we hope your MLB seats have perfect sight-lines!