We’d like to thank the Orioles Advocates and Cardboard to Leather for their generous and ongoing help in supporting our efforts here in Szentendre. Over 50 gloves, 35 bats, a few hundred practice balls, multiple sets of catchers gear, uniform pants, socks, batting gloves, cleats, and many other items. In three years they have helped us grow from 7 Junior players to over 30 players participating on 3 different teams. Donations of 1% here in Hungary on your annual tax bill will help us defray the costs of shipping even more equipment over from the United States so young Hungarian players can participate with the proper equipment.
We also thank the city of Szentendre and Polgármester (Mayor) Miklós Verseghi-Nagy for supporting our efforts. The current roster of Sleepwalkers have been given a chance to grow the sport and return Szentendre to the Hungarian League and International status it enjoyed from 1993 to 2012. Szentendre fielded one of the very first Baseball teams in Hungary in 1993 and was the site of the first full size (regulation) baseball field in all of Hungary. Currently it remains as one of only five in the Hungarian Baseball Leagues and is used by many other teams besides the Sleepwalkers as their ‘home’, practice, or ‘tournament’ field. We are currently looking for corporate supporters to help us make improvements to the field & maintain it’s historic “1st in Baseball” status in Central Europe.
The SZKHSE Sport Egysulet has graciously allowed us to use their indoor gym and outdoor field for our Winter and Spring practices. Located at the Magyar Honvédség Altiszti Akadémia (Hungarian Army NCO Training Academy: http://www.ncoa.hu) it gives our new players (nearly 2/3rds of the roster) a chance to hone their skills before starting the season in late March.
Thanks also to MOBSSZ, The Hungarian Baseball League for their outstanding efforts in promoting Baseball in Hungary. With zero support or funding from the National Government and operating within a sports culture & individual club system that often compels young athletes to focus on just one sport year round; baseball is often a hard sell to parents and young athletes. With Hungary producing some of the finest Water Polo & Team Handball players in the world it seems that baseball (a sport that develops excellent hand-eye coordination, test your ability to think & react quickly, and rewards the ability to throw a round object very fast and accurately) would be the perfect sport for those athletes wishing to add new twist to their existing skills. As for the Hungarian obsession with focilabda? Try catching a 9cm (vs 40cm) circumference ball hit at 180kph (vs 90kph) from a distance of 18 meters. Better/Quicker goalie, waterpolo, team handball skills?