Old World Baseball* - Overview                                        Twitter @oldworldbball
Are you passionate about baseball?  Do you want to experience Europe in a unique way?  If so, you have come to the right place.  Old World Baseball, LLC (OWB) is dedicated to providing custom-tailored, high-quality, baseball-playing/cultural opportunities in Europe for groups and individuals (of all ages).
Each of the founders of OWB, Tom Gillespie and Stephan Rapaglia, has had tremendous coaching and playing experience in the European baseball world.  Between them, Tom and Stephan have coached and/or played in the shadows of Windsor Castle and Edinburgh Castle, in Barcelona's Olympic Stadium, and in other historic European locations such as London, Paris, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Cologne, Hamburg, Stockholm, Prague, Madrid, Munich, Regensburg, Rouen, Toulouse and Zagreb.  OWB was founded by Tom and Stephan so that adventurous and enthusiastic North American ballplayers can share these types of experiences.  
*Old World Baseball is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball® or the World Baseball Classic®.  


Click any headline for more information.

At the invitation of current Great Britain Head Coach Liam Carroll, Stephan Rapaglia served as a special advisor to GB's 2016 WBCQ team. The 2016 WBCQ took place in Brooklyn, NY in September, and GB finished in 2nd place. Stephan is a former GB head coach (2004-2010), and he also served as GB's bench coach for the 2012 WBCQ. 

MLB.com recently published a great article on South Africa's Ngoepe brothers (Gift and Victor) who are now both in the Pittsburg Pirates' organization, with OWB's Tom Gillespie being the international scout responsible for signing Victor.  Older brother Gift was the first black South African to sign a professional baseball contract, as well as the first to make the 40-man roster of any MLB team.   http://m.mlb.com/news/article/168958928/ngoepe-brothers-back-together-with-pirates

OWB's roster for its 6th annual HS trip to Europe will consist of 21 college baseball-bound players from all over the USA. The 2016 trip will include visits to Spain (Barcelona), France (Toulouse area), Holland (Amsterdam area) and Germany (Mainz area).  As usual, our opponents will consist of European national teams and top-level European club teams. If you would like more information about any of OWB's trips, please contact Stephan Rapaglia via email (coachpags@oldworldbaseball.com). 

Parker Tew, an alum of OWB's first-ever HS trip to Europe finished a stellar career at MIT in May 2015. In a 2015 season that saw MIT reach the NCAA Regionals for the 3rd consecutive season, Parker led the nation in doubles (27) and batted .387 with 9 HRs and 51 RBIs.  Parker was named the MVP of the 2015 NEWMAC tournament, as well as 3rd team All-American ABCA and 1st team CoSida Academic All-American.

OWB Completes Successful 2015 HS Trip
OWB recently completed its 5th annual HS trip to Europe. The 2015 trip, which included 20 players from 11 different states (and Canada), visited the Czech Republic, Germany and Belgium. OWB's opponents consisted of 3 different European national teams, and the top club team in Germany. If you would like more information about the 2016 trip, please contact Stephan Rapaglia via email (coachpags@oldworldbaseball.com). 

Tom Gillespie of Old World Baseball has another venture, Play Global - a non-profit using baseball to bring people together in areas of conflict. Most recently, Tom and Play Global participated in a special event in Israel.  Check out the article below from Israel and see recent news from there, Uganda, Kenya, and more on Play Global's Facebook page. http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Sports/Israeli-baseball-bringing-Jewish-and-Arab-youth-together-393807

Old World Baseball and Collegiate Baseball League Europe (CBLE) have reached a collaboration agreement to advance their respective programs as well as the development of European baseball. CBLE, initiated in 2012, provides a high level summer competitive and showcase opportunity for US players aged 18-23 and continues to expand. For more information about CBLE, visit www.cble.org.

Several of OWB's 2014 opponents finished their seasons with great success after competing with OWB in July. The Great Britain Juniors finished 2nd in their tournament, qualifying for the 2015 U18 European Championships, and 
the Czech U21 team won the U21 European Championships. At the club level, Kotlarka Prague reached the Czech top league finals, while the Leksand Lumberjacks reached the Swedish top league finals.

OWB recently completed a very successful 2014 trip to England, Sweden and the Czech Republic. The trip, which ran from July 5 thru July 18, involved 2 OWB teams, 32 OWB players, 4 countries, 6 cities, 5 flights, 19 games, 9 international opponents, 2 formal tours, 2 castle visits and 1 karaoke night! 

Two recent articles in Connecticut newspapers focused on Brendan Donohue's European experiences with OWB in 2014. http://www.dariennewsonline.com/sports/article/Darien-baseball-players-square-off-in-England-5671734.php and http://blog.ctnews.com/dncsports/2014/08/05/catching-up-with-darien-baseball-captain-brendan-donohue/. 
Play Global!, a non-profit started by OWB's Tom Gillespie, is finalizing its first major project. With financial assistance from MLB's Derek Lee, Play Global! has already begun installing batting cages in Uganda, and Play Global! recently completed extensive baseball clinics in that country as well. http://allafrica.com/stories/201408183175.html.  Learn more and help at www.play-global.org.

OWB's 2013 trip to Europe is now complete.  OWB's team of 22 ballplayers from around the U.S. finished its tour with a 6-4-1 record against a combination of European national and "major league: teams.  Travel destinations included France (Paris), Germany (Munich and Regensburg) and the Czech Republic (Prague). 

You can also keep track of OWB news via the following forms of social media:
*Facebook: www.facebook.com/oldworldbaseball.
*Gamechanger: 2013 trip boxscores are available via Gamechanger at http://gc.io/team-51a8e688de0b8838ba565dbb. Old World Baseball Summer 13 is the team name.
*Twitter: @oldworldbball.

Just prior to OWB's 2013 trip to Europe, the Philadelphia Daily News wrote a piece about Lehigh-bound P/OF Matt Kozemchak. 

Both OWB co-founders have a number of connections with the recently completed World Baseball Classic.  Among other things, The Netherlands, a WBC semi-finalist, is the same team that Stephan Rapaglia (then field manager of the Great Britain National Team) coached against in the final of the 2007 European Championships, and Tom Gillespie worked with some of Team Italy's stars at the MLB European Academy.      

Tom Gillespie recently returned from Uganda after spending a week running coach and player clinics for the Ugandan Baseball and Softball Federation. Click the headline to see a photo.  In 2010, Tom spent time in Uganda working with many of the members of the Uganda Little League team that qualified for the LLWS.
OWB Co-Founder Stephan Rapaglia recently participated in MLB's World Baseball Classic Qualification tournament as the bench coach for the Great Britain Men's National Team.

OWB's 2012 trip to Europe (July 9 - 19, 2012) has now ended, and it was a great success.  The trip included 9 games in 10 days and visits to 8 cities in 3 countries. The OWB team stayed in modern hotels and historic castles, and team activities included walking tours in Amsterdam and Antwerp, as well as bike tours through Bruges and the surrounding Belgian countryside and along the Rhine River in Germany. 
OWB Co-Founder Tom Gillespie recently took a position with the Pittsburgh Pirates as a professional scout for the team in Europe.
Stephan Rapaglia is quoted multiple times in a ESPN.com feature article on the rise of European baseball:
Tom Gillespie ran coaching and player clinics in Uganda in 2010, where he worked with many of the members of the Little League team recently featured on ESPN (http://search.espn.go.com/uganda-baseball/videos/6). 
OWB's July 2011 High School Trip involved visits to 7 cities in 3 countries, with games against 4 different national teams. 

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