Play Ball, See the World
PC: Glenn Gervot
Is your club searching for talent to complete next season’s roster? You can certainly find what you need on your own but you can also use recruiting services. For some players and coaches looking for new challenges in either baseball or softball this may be an opportunity yet to be discovered.
If you’ve ever assisted with a college application for a student going abroad, you may be familiar with the dozens of websites designed to help players be seen by schools. These same kinds of sites also exist for professional level players and coaches. The International Baseball Community (IBC) is one of the services available to the European community for professional-level talent.
On the IBC website players and coaches can create an introductory profile. Clubs can receive a scouting report that includes prescreening for injuries, stats analysis and testimonials from coaches, players and scouts. On the flip side, clubs can create a profile with contact details and open positions.
This past season roughly 200 players from abroad were placed on teams across Europe. 80 of them came through IBC. “Most are from the U.S. The fun fact is that many of them are from California,” IBC founder David Burns said.
This winter the IBC sent 60 players to Australia, two to South Africa and one to China. “We have also had coaches assign in Europe, Australia, Canada, China, Singapore and New Zealand.”
David Burns himself came abroad to play in Austria where he played for the Attnang Athletics back in 1999. “I got the opportunity to play in Austria by chance. I am glad I took it, because it totally changed my life. Instead of going back home to Canada, I stayed. The reason for it is the obvious. I met and married an Austrian woman. We still live here, in Attnang, with our two children.”
David started the IBC website in 2012. He recognized the need for a platform where players and the clubs could meet. “At first it was only a fun side project that I worked along with my job as a teacher.” It didn´t take long before players, and clubs, found the site. “In the first year we had 31 signings, next year 65 and, in 2016 we’ve had 160. So this has grown into a full-time job for me.”
One player that utilized the site is catcher/outfielder Andrew Medeiros, 26. He started his baseball career in Westfield State University, in Massachusetts (NCAA Division III). After college Andrew signed with the independent club the Douglas Diablos of the Pecos League in 2014. “I came across the IBC website by accident,” Andrew explains. In the winter of the same year he moved to Australia where he played for the Ainslie Bears, ACT state league.
For the 2015 summer Andrew came to Europe to play with Belgium’s first division team, the Deurne Spartans. He was one of the team’s leading players with a BA of .466 and 38 stolen bases. The Spartans took home the championship that season. In 2016 Andrew signed with the Rouen Huskies in France Division 1 where his second year in Europe also ended with a championship party.
The IBC’s focus is on baseball but they have signed softball players as well. In the past season they had three girls sign in Europe. “The demand currently outweighs the supply. Every fast pitch woman with success in college as a pitcher or hitter, who signed up for the website, has been signed,” David Burns said.
Whether you’re a player or coach, if you are looking for a club now is the time to sign up to be placed for the summer of 2017. Clubs looking to complete their rosters have already begun the recruiting process so if you are hoping to add to your talent pool we recommend you begin with a web search for “baseball recruiting websites” or “softball recruiting websites” today.