Friday, August 12, 2011
Back to Europe Round 5, Part 2 - Never Say No
So. The day after our European Qualifier ended in Barcelona - I raced to the airport to catch a flight back to Hamburg (to pick up my suitcase) and so I could fly out to Detroit, as originally booked way back in May, so I could eventually get over to San Francisco to attend the wedding of my best friend, Adam "Lobster Jackson" Crabb. It wasn't easy.
The Hungarian national team left Sunday morning, very early, about an hour or two after I stumbled back to the hotel with a gal to share a pint size bed less than a meter from my "road roommate"... Slept about 2 hours, packed efficiently and whisked off to the airport via taxi/train/shuttle. Upon arrival I was informed that the HU Federation, who I had watched book my ticket the day before via a third party website, actually had not paid for the ticket, so luckily I was at the airport a bit early and $500+ later I was on my way to Hamburg via one stop over in Brussels.
My flight arrived at 9PM, was picked up by my former Hamburg teammates, Daniel and Alex Harms, slept maybe an hour on the couch, then off to the airport again all my luggage in tow, arrived at 4AM for my 6AM flight to Amsterdam. A few hours later and some additional security, I was on my way to the U.S., didn't sleep more than about 2 hours, of course during the meals. Did meet my two favorite detroit hip-hoppers, Black Milk and Guilty Simpson, who played one show in Amsterdam and then flew back to Detroit almost as soon as they arrived.
Stayed in Detroit for one night, then another 8 AM flight to San Francisco for Crabby's wedding.
During these 5 precious days, finally back stateside, I suddenly had two incredible offers for someone who had an 8 E.R.A. in the German Bundesliga. I got an offer to go down to Armarillo Texas in the American Association and pitch for them for the rest of the season or fly back to Europe to play for the 2nd best team in Hungary, the Jannosmorja Rascals during the interleague finals (made up of the top teams from Slovakia, Croatia, and Hungary) as well as the Hungarian Cup playoffs. It begins Aug 26 with the interleague finals in Zagreb Croatia, a place I have never visited in all my time in Europe. But because I'm starting law school again (for my final year) in Detroit, I'm only going to play three weekends, from Aug 26 to Sept 11. This will cover most of their playoffs and I'm really looking forward to a totally new baseball experience, to be able to pitch again, especially when I thought this season was a lost cause. It gives me a chance to pitch meaningful games, do some batting as well, play alongside many guys I coached for the Euro Championships with the Hungarian national team, and of course see some good friends and neighbors back in Hungary.
This is the life of an international baseball vagabond. Never say no to a great offer because don't know when it could be your last chance. Always keep a bag/suitcase close by and halfway packed. When someone uses the words - "Croatia" and "Baseball" in the same sentence... say "yes."