The USA claimed their fourth World Cup U18 title in a row, with a 8-0 victory over Korea and with that, the tournament came to a sunny close last Sunday afternoon. Must be said; after the home run by the tournament MVP which gave the USA a 7-0 and decisive lead, more attention was paid by the other teams to the girls around the field then to the boys on the field. It’s fair to say to that after 8 World Cup games in 9 days, and 3 training matches in the 4 days before our boys deserved some distraction. With a 2-1 victory over the Italians the 8th position was secured by team Kingdom of the Netherland a day before. And with that 2 days of fun had started.

It was good to get the minds distracted a bit because a long trip was awaiting us. Flying from Thunder Bay to Toronto was not that bad, but a 4,5 hour overlay and then a 8 hour flight to a windy Amsterdam accounted for an almost 24 hour trip form hotel to home. Still nothing compared with the South African team who flew from Toronto to Frankfurt and then directly a Frankfurt – Jo’burg flight (+Jo’burg – Capetown for some). Our Curacao-kids had complete other troubles. Because of hurricane Irma their flights to Miami were cancelled and they had to stay for an unknown period in Toronto. Luckily for them, Jonathan Schoop and the Orioles were in town playing the Blue Jays and again, the were invited to visit the match, and thus, 2 hours after our arrival in Toronto part of the team was in the Skydome again.

Now everybody is safely home (although 2 bags of baseballs went missing) it is time to move forward. For some of the boys this means moving to Amsterdam as they take part in the new full-time academy which has been started in the ‘CTO Amsterdam’. For me it means preparing for my next flight, because on Friday morning I fly to Tokyo and from there to Matsuyama, to talk about baseball.. again..