National team coach Pavel Chadim poses with one of the mascots after a press conference for 100 days to the European Baseball Championship, which will take place from September 24 to October 1 in the Czech Republic, June 15, 2023, Prague.
Prague – One hundred days before the start of the domestic European Championship, representatives of Czech baseball presented the mascots of the championship, symbolizing basic game skills. The tournament will be played in five cities from September 24 to October 1. At today's press conference in Prague, the Czech representatives made no secret of their ambition to win medals for the first time in history.
“We would like to fulfill the dream of many baseball generations. We have been trying and knocking on the medal door for thirty years. We would now like to make all baseball fans happy,” said coach Pavel Chadim.
The tournament will take place in Prague, Brno, Ostrava, Třebíč and Blansk. The Czechs will face Austria (September 24), Greece (September 25) and Spain (September 26) in the basic group in Ostrava. They will play the possible quarter-finals on September 28. According to the chairman of the Czech Baseball Association, Petr Ditrich, most of the matches of the Czech team are almost sold out. There are a few dozen tickets left.
“The fact that there are a hundred days to the championship, the preparations are at a high stage. I am convinced that you do not know the stadiums. We want to focus on entertainment for the spectators. We will build port stands, mainly where the Czech national team will play and where the championship will be held decide,” said Ditrich. He would also like to take advantage of the interest of foreign fans. “We have prepared packages. We know that, for example, the Dutch are sending a large group,” he added. The cheapest tickets cost 290 crowns.
In addition to the three mascots who represent the main baseball skills of pitching, batting and catching, the championship also has three ambassadors. The main one is the three-time Olympic champion and world champion in javelin throw Jan Železný, who in 1996, after the games in Atlanta, completed a trial at the local club of the overseas MLB Braves.
“These guys are exceptional. They have such talent that if they were born in America, many of them would be playing in professional competition and earning millions of dollars,” Železný said in a video recording about the Czech national team.
Another ambassador is former hockey player Martin Erat and the third will be national team catcher Martin Červenka. “We want to confirm our ambitions at the championship. Europe will be important for us and I believe that we will attack for medals there. It will not be easy, there will be strong opponents, but we will do our best to make it a success,” said Červenka
The Czechs have made their first appearance at the March World Baseball Classic tournament, which is an unofficial world championship. “It was very intense there. Now we have Saturday's All Star Game and next week Prague Baseball Week. After two months of extra league and playoffs, it's time for the last preparatory block. Unlike in the past, even the best opponents want to play with us, so we will have three matches in Rotterdam with the Netherlands and two matches in Brno with Italy,” said Chadim.