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Nov, 2019

Jan Bagin joins PONY's International Board of Directors

Living in Czech Republic, baseball has been a major part of Jan Bagin’s life. He began his involvement with baseball in 1976. In 2000, Bagin began his journey with PONY Baseball and Softball.

PONY Baseball and Softball wanted to make its presence in Europe in the 1990s. PONY started with England first. They were able to organize PONY European tournaments and even organized a Friendship Series with England. The friendship series allowed England to send a team of 14U players to Pennsylvania to play exhibition games.  

Jan Bagin attended the Confederation of European Baseball Congress, and this is where we met PONY President and CEO Abraham Key. After this interaction and lengthy discussion, PONY Baseball and Softball decided to relocate its European Zone Championship to Prague.

When Bagin started he only had 4 teams who would play for a chance to attend a World Series in the United States. Now, the European Zone Championship has a full complement of 16 teams in every age category in addition to their waiting list.

“PONY European Qualifying Tournament is a very successful story of the growth here in Europe,” Bagin said. “At the star we only had 4 teams who would come compete. Now we have over 62 teams fighting for their chance. We never believed or even dreamed of the success PONY has brought to us.”

European Baseball is becoming a huge competitor. In 2017, Netherlands became the first PONY European Zone team to win a Pony World Series event, when they went undefeated and won the Colt World Series in Lafayette, Indiana.

Last month the International Board of Directors voted in Bagin as an official board member to represent the European Zone. 

Now representing the European Zone on the International Board of Directors, Bagin wants the leagues to develop in all the major European Countries. He wants to see PONY Baseball and Softball grow in Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Great Britain. He sees a lot of potential growth among these countries.

“Our rules are much better for teams to participate than any other organization,” Bagin said. “The players enjoy being able to play with their friends instead of being placed by region.”

Jan Bagin is a member of Czech Baseball Hall of Fame. As well as awarded by the European Baseball Country Association for his lifetime achievements in baseball.

PONY Baseball and Softball

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