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200 Years of U.S.-Russia Relations

For more than 200 years, Russia and the United States have shared a multi-faceted diplomatic relationship, at one point even sharing a land border when Russia had a settlement at Fort Ross, California. Over this period, the two countries have competed for political and economic influence, and cooperated to meet mutual global challenges. In 2007, private and government organizations in the United States and Russia mark the bicentennial of diplomatic relations with events that illustrate the depth and history of the relationship.

Brief Historical Overview:

Russia's sale of Alaska to the U.S. Government in the mid-19th century marked an active period that included commercial joint ventures and Russian support for the United States during the American Civil War. The early 20th century saw sometimes tense relations, but our countries continued to talk and, at times, cooperate. Although the United States did not recognize the Soviet Union until 1933, we provided humanitarian assistance to the victims of the 1921-1923 famine. Despite our differences, the Soviets and the Americans united against a common enemy during World War II, and the Soviet Union participated in the Lend-Lease program under which the United States provided the Allies with supplies. That period ended with the onset of the Cold War, as our military alliances opposed each other in Europe and across the globe. Nevertheless, cultural, sports, scientific, and educational exchanges, and summits that led to important arms control treaties, kept the lines of communication open. U.S. and Soviet astronauts even ventured into space together in the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz mission.

After the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the end of the Cold War, the U.S.-Russian relationship took on a new dimension, and contacts between our citizens expanded rapidly in number and diversity. Russians and Americans work together on a daily basis, both bilaterally and multilaterally, in a wide range of areas, including combating the threats of terrorism, nuclear arms proliferation, HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, and other global challenges. Not surprisingly, there remain issues on which our two governments do not agree. Even after 200 years, our relations continue to evolve in both expected and unexpected ways.

Source: U.S. Department of State -



For more information on baseball in Russia please contact RIB in the United States by phone at 712-276-2360 or by email at

Russian International Baseball (RIB) was founded by Bob Protexter in 1993 out of Soviet Baseball Stateside (SBS); which he created in 1990 in an effort to further the state of the game of baseball in its early years in the Soviet Union. In autumn of 1986 the USSR Olympic Committee declared the game of baseball an official sport in the Soviet Union with the premise and stated said goal of winning gold medals in the Summer Olympic Games. RIB is an American based organization that assists Russia in the areas of developing and advancing their baseball programs through coaching, clinics, equipment, marketing, and sponsorships. RIB works directly with the Russian Olympic Committee, the Russian Baseball Federation, and the Russian National Teams of all ages. RIB is located in Sioux City, Iowa, USA.

Latest RIB Project:

2007 Russian National Baseball Team's 20th Anniversary U.S.A. Baseball Tour

• Who: The Russian National Team versus top summer collegiate leagues, the Chinese National Team and Team USA

• What: Minimum of seventeen games and maximum of twenty-one games

• Where: Eastern United States at the best possible venues pending final optimal schedule in, and not limiting to, the Atlantic Baseball Confederation Collegiate League, the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League, the Coastal Plain League, the New England Collegiate Baseball League, and the New York Collegiate Baseball League

• When: Thirty-two day travel period from July 15 to August 15

• How: Through your aid and support of the internationalization and globalization of baseball

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT RIB AT or by phone in the U.S. at 712-276-2360


Bob Protexter
Founder & President - Russian International Baseball
Owner & Operator - Total Baseball Development
1330 South Cornelia Street
Sioux City, Iowa 51106

July 12, 2005

Jacques Rogge
President - International Olympic Committee
Chateau de Vidy
1007 Lausanne

Dear Mr. Rogge,

I am writing to you today in respect to the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) recent decision at the 117th IOC session in Singapore to drop baseball from the docket of Summer Olympic medal sports effective in the 2012 Summer Games, and in reverence to the IOC for keeping baseball for future considerations and holding the right to reserve to admit the sport back in again to the list of medal sports for the 2016 Summer Games. Baseball is a summer sport and belongs in the Summer Olympic Games, but for the survival of the game as an Olympic sport and for the continuation of the aspirations of the baseball world I am writing to you today to suggest and to propose that baseball be admitted to the Winter Olympic Games as a medal sport. The ideal setting would be to add baseball to the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver as to not miss an Olympic step with one of the world's most popular sports, and by possibly playing the games at nearby Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington of the United States or at Canada's own SkyDome in Toronto, Ontario. The immediacy of this is very important as many burgeoning baseball countries that play the sport and have fallen in love with baseball hold an Olympic gold medal as the highest honor to attain in the athletic world. For the countries that already embrace baseball deep in the fabric of their culture this would hold an added inspiration to be the best in the world at the Winter Olympic Games. The globalization of the game and its popularity are now at a fever pitch with participating baseball playing countries with National Baseball Federations more than doubling from sixty to one hundred twenty two since only 1990. The four year delay that could possibly see baseball being put back in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games with a positive vote simply leaves too many countries and their administrators with too many maybes and questions for them to continue with an aggressive and progressive stance on the sport of baseball.

I can recall when I was young and my godfather, A.W. "Buck" Buckingham, would bring gifts and souvenirs back from the Olympics that he attended during his tenure as Director of Housing for the United States of the America's Olympic delegations from 1965 to 1980. It instilled in me a life long dream to go to, attend, or participate in the Olympics, Winter or Summer. That dream came true for me in 2002 as I attended the Salt Lake City Games as a translator for members of the Russian Olympic Committee, business people of Russia, and sponsors of the Russian Olympic team. I spent much time with Russian Olympic committee member and President of the Russian Baseball Federation, Yuri Kopylov, and many of his compatriots, as they told me of their own dreams of Olympic gold as young people growing up in the Soviet Union. Now Kopylov holds the dreams of the scores of Russian youth that play baseball in Russia today. Kopylov is not alone as many former world class athletes worldwide now run their respective baseball organizations and hold these same Olympic dreams dear to their hearts. The 2002 Winter Games was the greatest sporting experience of my life. To see a life's culmination of work by world class athletes poured into a short span of time on the world brightest stage was simply amazing. Every day for me was a new awe struck occurrence.

It is also my dream to continue to see baseball in the Olympics, and it is the dream of millions and millions of baseball participants of the world and their billions of fans also to see baseball stay in the Olympics. Depriving the baseball playing youth of the world of that dream is disconcerting and disheartens me as well as the entire baseball world. With this dream there is a will, and if there is a will there must be a way to make it happen. The survival of baseball as a medal sport in the Olympic Games is vital to the survival of baseball itself as a sport for many countries world wide.

The practical aspect of having baseball as a medal sport in the Winter Olympics works on the following premises. By having baseball as a Winter Olympic Games medal sport it allows for the flow of the game and its summer seasons around the globe to remain intact which will provide the Olympics with the best baseball players from all around the world ready and willing to showcase their talents once every four years in the Olympic setting. This same premise is used and is evident with the predominantly winter sport of basketball being played as a medal sport in the Summer Olympic Games. The logistics for baseball as a Winter Games medal sport will bring out the best ingenuity and creativeness of the host sites planners. The possibility now exists by using existing domed or retractable roofed stadiums close to the host city or by using existing baseball stadiums in the warmer climates of the host country's region. With these aspects in mind all parties involved are accommodated with baseball being a medal sport in the Winter Olympic Games, and the most important aspect for the baseball loving youth of the world and for the game itself is that baseball stays put in the Olympics.

Your participation as a world class yachtsman representing your home country of Belgium as an athlete in Mexico in 1968, Munich in 1972, and Montreal in 1976 started somewhere in your youth with a dream. With your experience in sports as an athlete and now as an administrator and keeping this in mind along with the dreams of the baseball world, it is then obvious that you know the value of such dreams and how important it is to keep them alive. I am writing this letter to you asking that you keep the Olympic baseball dream alive.


Bob Protexter

cc: all of baseball and the sporting world

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Russian International Baseball (RIB) was founded in 1993 and is a United States based organization that assists Russia in the areas of developing and advancing their baseball programs with coaching, clinics, equipment, and marketing. RIB works with the Russian Baseball Federation, their club teams, and the Russian National Baseball teams of all ages. RIB is located in Sioux City, Iowa, USA.

Total Baseball Development (TBD) concentrates on personalized one on one baseball instruction for players of all ages with a basic fundamental teaching of the game encompassing all aspects from pre-season conditioning to post-season championships and everything in between that are used for rapid, sound, and productive baseball development. TBD also specializes in player placement for high school, college, and professional baseball players. TBD is located in Sioux City, Iowa, USA.

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Russian International Baseball & Total Baseball Development
1330 S. Cornelia St - Sioux City, Iowa - 51106 - USA -
Phone 712-276-2360 - email


Bob Protexter, Founder and President of Russian International Baseball (RIB), in 2007 began his eighteenth year of involvement in Russian baseball. Protexter played baseball for two years at the University of Texas – Pan American (NCAA Division I) in Edinburg, Texas, before transferring to Morningside College (then NCAA Division II, and currently NAIA) in his native Sioux City, Iowa, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree, and graduated with a double major in Political Science and History in 1991. Protexter’s Russian adventures started in 1990 when he went to the USSR to coach baseball for the Moscow Red Devils; the 1990 USSR National Champions, and then went on to the Soviet Union’s National Team for the European Championships. He returned in 1991 to again help coach the Red Devils; 1991 USSR National Champions, and the USSR National Team again in the Intercontinental Cup and in the European Championships. Protexter then worked for Major League Baseball’s (MLB) California Angels, now the Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim, from 1992 to 1996, heading up their Russian scouting program. After that he returned home to Sioux City to serve as an assistant baseball coach at Morningside College until 2005, taking periodic breaks to serve as an on-field translator for a Russian minor leaguer in the minor league organization of MLB’s Seattle Mariners in 2001, an on-field translator during the MLB's Fall Instructional League for Russian coaches and the San Francisco Giants staff through Major League Baseball International’s Coaching Development Program in 2002, and a translator and American liaison for the Russian Olympic Committee at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games. Protexter also consults and advises MLB clubs on the subject of Russian baseball, Russian baseball players, and the operation of Russian baseball programs. In addition Protexter has served as a bench coach for the Russian National Teams of various ages at the European Championships, the World Championships, and at the World Cup with most recent travels taking him to the likes of Germany, Taiwan, and Holland. Protexter currently owns and operates Total Baseball Development, a baseball school in Sioux City and writes “How To” baseball articles for the Iowa Sports Connection magazine. He is the son of Marvella and the late Don Protexter, former long time head baseball coach and Athletic Director at Morningside College.