- HOME OF YOUTH BASEBALL IN HANOI, VIETNAM
- HANOI CAPITALS FINISH 9TH OF 18 TEAMS IN 14U MIDWEST USA CHAMPIONSHIPS
- 10U CAPITALS FINISH THIRD IN BANGKOK CHRISTMAS CLASSIC
TURN BACK THE CLOCK: Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh's Big Day in the Heartland of the USA
Hanoi Capitals catcher Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh has had some big moments on the baseball field. The jersey he wore when he it the first home run over the fence ever for a Vietnamese team in an international competition hangs in the the Pony Baseball Hall of Fame in Washington, Pennsylvania (HR vs Indonesia 12U at the 2011 Pony Asia Pacific Zone Championships in Seoul, Korea).
However, the 18U Capitals Captain never imagined the day he would have on July 20, 2013 on first day competing in the USA on this trip in a game against an outstanding travel team - the Mid-Michigan Fury. Quoc Thinh went 3-3 with 6 RBI, including a walk-off single with the bases loaded in the final inning to lead the Hanoi Capitals to a dramatic come from behind 9-8 win over the Mid-Michigan Fury in the opening game of the Lakeshore Panther U14 Classic in Holland, Michigan. Here is a video of Thinh's bases clearing double in the second inning after Ben Treutler hard shot to the pitcher for a single to load the bases. The ball hit off the 345-foot left center wall. Quoc Thinh is now a student at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technlogy (RMIT) majoring in finance in Hanoi. Quoc Thinh also did well at catcher this tournament throwing out two runners from Mt. Prospect (Chicago). He is a former district level ping pong champion and also a good basketball player. Thinh won the fastest baserunner competition at the 2011 Pony Vietnam Bronco Classic Baseball Tournament. He has competed in over 100 international baseball games for his country since joining the Hanoi Capitals as a 10-year old. Thinh also has the unique achieve of winning the city championship for grenade throwing for distance and accuracy as judged through the mandatory military olympics that all schools participate in. He finished second in the nation in grenade throwing as a high schooler.
Link to video of Capitals big inning, Thinh's bases clearing 345 double off the wall: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdVCPmKys9o
Pictured below: Quoc Thinh scores in the Game Day USA 14U Midwest National Championships in Chicago as coaches Tom Treutler and Jacob Hilowitz look on.
2017 Pony Vietnam National Championships: April 22 - 23 in Hanoi
From April 22 - 23, the Pony National Championships for Mustang (U10) and Bronco (U12) will be held in Hanoi. Teams are expected from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The winners from the Mustang Division will qualify for the Asia Pacific Zone 10U Mustang Championships in Singapore from June 8-11, 2017. The winners from the Bronco Division will qualify for 12U Bronco Division Asia Pacific Zone Championships in Fukuoka, Japan from Jul 2-7, 2017. Information on tournament can be found at: //s3.amazonaws.com/my.llfiles.com/00203447/VIETNAM-NATIONAL-YOUTH-PONY-BASEBALL-CHAMPIONSHIPS.pdf
18U Hanoi Capitals Farwell Tour in United States
The Hanoi Capitals 18U Team, which qualified for the 2015 Colt Word Series, will compete on a farewell tour in late January 2017 before the players head off to college. The team is scheduled to play exhibition games versus the Seattle Klouters alumni in Seattle on 20 June 2017 in a game to honor Seattle Klouters Coach Phil Rognier, who has worked with the Capitals since 2009. On 24 June 2017, the Capitals will play a reunion game versus the Garden Grove Pony alumni in Orange County, California.
Seattle Klouters to Visit Hanoi
From April 8 - 14, 2017, the Seattle Klouters 12U team will visit Hanoi to play some friendship games and provide baseball clinics to Hanoi youth. The group will also visit schools and a local school for special needs children. The Klouters have visited Vietnam 7 times since 2009. The Klouters were founded by Coach Phil Rognier, the Director of the First Swing Foundation.
Japan Baseball Hall of Fame Members Visit Hanoi Capitals
On February 19, 2017, the Meikyu Kai Golden Players Association, a Japanese baseball hall of fame of players from the Japan professional league visited Hanoi and provided a baseball clinic for the Hanoi Capitals players and other youth players. Visiting were two current members of the Japan Baseball Hall of Fame: Pitcher Manabu Kitabeppu, 213 Wins for the Hiroshima Carp, and 1st Baseman Norihiro Komada, over 2,000 hits for the Yomiuri Giants. Good to see all teams in Hanoi there, Capitals, Little Hanoi, and FISHANU. A big thanks to the Meikyu Kai Golden Players Association for bringing this memorable event and a chance for the youth of Vietnam to meet the greats of Japanese baseball.
Japan Baseball Hall of Fame Pitcher Manabu Kitabeppu guides a Hanoi Capital youth player
Hall of Fame 1st Baseman Norihiro Komada, over 2,000 hits for the Yomiuri Giants
List of Hanoi Capitals' International Tournament Appearances
Since being formed nearly 9 years ago in the summer of 2008, the Hanoi Capitals have participated in approximately 200 international games over a span of approximately 40 international tournaments or exhibition games in eight countries (USA, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, South Korea) versus teams from 11 countries including: USA, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, CNMI (Saipan), Hong Kong and Malaysia. The team will join the Bangkok Christmas Classic in December of 2013 in three divisions (U10, U12, and U15) and will mark its 100th international tournament game. Below are the teams detailed tournament appearances, with tournament location and participating teams:
- June 2009: Little League U11 Minor League Exhibition Games (Jakarta, Indonesia) (Teams participating: Bandung, Jakarta, Philippines, Hanoi Capitals)
- October 2009: South Asia Boys Baseball U12 Championships (Singapore) (Indonesia, Singapore BCS, Singapore MacPherson, Singapore Lightning, Capitals)
- October 2009: South Asia Boys Baseball U10 Championships (Singapore) (Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore MacPherson, Capitals, Philippines Alabang Tigers)
- November 2009: Singapore Thankgiving Weekend U12 Tournament (Singapore) (Singapore BCS, Singapore SAS, Indonesia, Hanoi Capitals)
- July 2010: Little League U12 Asia Pac Championships (Surabaya, Indonesia) (Hong Kong, Phil, Thailand, New Zld, Capitals, Guam, CNMI, Kor., Taiwan, Indo.)
- July 2010: Pony Bronco Division (U12) Asia Pacific Zone Championships (Taipei, Taiwan) (Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Taipei)
- July 2010: Hanoi Capitals vs Garden Grove Pony Baseball (U11) (Garden Grove, California)
- July 2010: USTSA U11 World Series (San Diego, California) (20+ teams from California, Texas and Arizona, and Hanoi Capitals)
- January 2011: Vietnam Bronco Division (U12) Baseball Classic (Vinh Phuc, Vietnam) (Jakarta Senaya, Indonesia Prambors, Capitals, UNIS, Hanoi Japan School)
- January 2011: Pony Mustang Division (U10) Asia Pacific Zone Championships (Vinh Phuc, Vietnam) (Hanoi Capitals, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore)
- April 2011: USA - Vietnam Baseball Challenge (U12) - Hanoi Capitals vs Seattle Klouters (Hanoi, Vietnam)
- July 2011: Pony Bronco Division (U12) Asia Pacific Zone Championships (Seoul, Korea) (Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Philippines, Russia, Hong Kong, Capitals)
- April 2012: Pony Mustang Division (U10) Asia Pacific Zone Championships (Singapore) (Russia, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Hanoi Capitals)
- July 2012: Little League Junior Division (U14) Asia Pacific Region Championships (Nha Trang) (Taiwan, Philippines, CNMI, Hong Kong, Capitals, Indonesia)
- July 2012: Vietnam U10 Beach Classic (Nha Trang, Vietnam) (Indonesia, Hanoi Capitals, Nha Trang APC)
- October 2012: Vietnam U12 Baseball Classic (Hanoi, Vietnam) (Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Korea-HCMC, Hanoi Capitals)
- December 2012: Bangkok U10 Christmas Classic (Bangkok, Thailand) (Hanoi Capitals, Thailand, Bangkok American School, Singapore SAS)
- July 2013: Lakeshore Panther U14 Classic (Holland, Michigan) (8 teams from Michigan, Illinois, and Hanoi Capitals)
- July 2013: Hanoi Capitals vs Grand Haven Bucs (Grand Haven, Michigan)
- July 2013: Gameday USA U14 Midwest National Championships (Chicago, Illinois) (Capitals, 17 teams from Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Ill., Michigan and Wisc.)
- November 2013: Turkey Tournament U14 (Singapore - combined team with Sanook, Thailand)
- December 2013: Bangkok Christmas Classic (U10, U12, U15) (Bangkok, Thailand)
- March 2014: Friendship Series with Sanook (Thailand) 16U (Hanoi, Vietnam)
- May 2014: Pony Mustang (U10) Asia Pacific Zone Championships (Manila, Philippines)
- June 2014: Little League 12U and 14U (Junior) Asia Pacific Region Championships (Manila, Philippines)
- September 2014: Hanoi Baseball Classic (3rd Annual) - Hanoi (Russia, Bangkok All-Stars, Capitals)
- September 2014 Joint HCMC - Hanoi Baseball Tour of Japan (Tokyo, Osaka) (Several capitals joined HCMC Baseball Ass'n Camp in Japan)
- October 2014 FAAST 16U Autumn Classic, (Whitmore Lake, Michigan) (Canada Baseball Academy, Saline, Hanoi / Muskegon Capitals)
- November 2014 Friendship Series with Sanook (Thailand) in Hanoi, Vietnam
- February 2015 Pony Baseball Okinawa 14U Friendship Tournament (Okinawa, Japan) (Vietnam, Japan teams, Philippines)
- March 2015: Pony Mustang 10U and Mustang-9 (9U) Asia Pacific Zone Championships (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) (Capitals, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia)
- July 2015: Colt World Series (16U) (Lafayette, Indiana) (Capitals, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Champions of West, East, South and North of USA, local teams)
- October 2015: Thailand Open Tournament (Bangkok) (Vietnam High School and College All-Stars (Capitals, RMIT, HUS, FISHANU, HBA; Thailand teams)
- June 2016: Pony Asia Pacific Zone Mustang (U10) and Mustang-9 (U9) Championships (Singapore) (Capitals, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines)
- July 2016: Pony Asia Pacific Zone Bronco (U12) Championship (Seoul, Korea) (Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Capitals, Indonesia, Philippines)
- December 2016 Bangkok Christmas Tournament (U10, U12 and U15) (Bangkok, Thailand) (Vietnam, Bangkok All-Stars, Bangkok Thunder)
- June 2017: Pony Asia Pacific Zone Mustang (U10) and Mustang-9 (U9) Championships (Singapore) (Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam All-Stars)
- June 2017 18U Capitals Friendship Game vs Seattle Klouters Alumni (Seattle, WA)
- June 2017 All-Star Summer Slam 18U (Orange County, California) and Reunion Game vs Garden Grove Pony Alumni
- July 2017 Pony Asia Pacific Zone Bronco (U12) Championships (Fukuoka, Japan) (Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam All-Stars, Indonesia)
Thanks to all those that made it possible (Coaches Dang Quyet Chien and Pham Ngoc Phu, Coach Loc Tieu, Coach Adam Poel, Coach Yamada, Coach Jacob Hilowitz, Coach Danny Meltzer, Coach Matt Schwarz, Luis De Guzman, Coach Brian Bulloch, Coach Barry Plocher, Coach Michael Orona, Coach Adam Cooper, Coaches Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh and Nguyen Tuan Anh, League Director Ngoc Thuy, Team Mom Bui Thu Giang, Luong Thi Hong Chuyen, Luong Thi Hai Yen, Lan Anh all the parents and kids, First Swing, MLB Envoy Program, Microsoft, SSI Securities and everyone else!)
Hanoi Capitals Compete in Bangkok Christmas Classic
The Hanoi Capitals 12U and 10U baseball teams competed in the Bangkok Christmas Classic. The teams competed well, each winning one game in the tournament, with the 12U team defeating the strong Bangkok Thunder team in one game with a dramatic rally in the last inning. The Vietnam teams were coached by Coaches Dang Quyet Chien, Pham Ngoc Phu, Coach Duy, Adam Cooper, and Hanoi Capitals 18U players Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh and Nguyen Tuan Anh. Thank you to KTC Electronics of Korea and Hanoi for sponsoring some costs for the tournament.
Hanoi Capitals 10U in Bangkok
Hanoi Capitals 12U in Bangkok
Hanoi Capitals Parents and Supporters in Bangkok
TURN BACK THE CLOCK: Vietnam's Triple Play vs Taiwan
Vietnam's U14 team recorded a rare 4-6-5-2 Triple Play vs the Asia Pacific Little League Champions from Taiwan at the 2012 Little League Asia Pacific U14 Championship Tournament in Nha Trang, Vietnam on July 3, 2012. The triple plays was included the first out on an infield fly, then SS Nguyen Kha Duy tagged out a Taiwan runner trying to advance to second, then whirled and threw the ball to third baseman Nguyen Tuan Anh who ran down a runner between 3rd and home, then threw the ball to catcher Lam Nguyen Khai Hoan who tagged out the runner for the third out. The play happened in the first inning of the game.
Capitals U18 Pitcher Joins FISHANU Team for Cambodia Tournament
Hanoi Capitals ace U18 pitcher Nguyen Tuan Anh joined the Hanoi University FISHANU baseball team for their tournament in Cambodia against teams from Cambodia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. Tuan Anh pitched a 1-hitter against the Hong Kong national 14U Little League team in Nha Trang as a Junior player and pitched well against Mexico and Texas in the Colt World Series.
18U Hanoi Capital Pitcher Nguyen Tuan Anh, pitching for the FISHANU college team, delivers a pitch at the international open tournament in Cambodia
First Ever Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh City Youth Baseball Series
On December 3 and 4, 2016, the first ever Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh City Youth Baseball Series was held. The series featured the Hanoi Capitals and the Ho Chi Minh City University of Sports (HUS) 12U teams. The HCMC team was coached by Coach Ngo Duc Thuy and Coach Kwon. All games were very tight, with the Hanoi team coming out on top in two games, and HCMC team winning one game, and the last game was decided in the last inning. It is hoped that the teams will get many more chances to compete. Thank you to KTC Electronics, whose donations covered the costs of the HUS team to travel to Hanoi, and other tournament costs. The HCMC HUS team featured excellent pitching, though only established one year ago in District 9 of HCMC (formerly Saigon).
Hanoi Capitals Wrap Up 2016 Summer Season
The Hanoi Youth Baseball Club - Hanoi Capitals held a summer-end party to celebrate a good summer of practice and games, including the 12U team competing in Korea, and the 10U competing in Singapore in the Asia Pacific Zone Championships.
Asia Pacific Zone Bronco 12U Championships - Capitals Battle in Seoul, Korea
The Hanoi Capitals 12U Bronco Division team competed in the Pony Asia Pacific Zone Bronco Division Championships against teams from Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Philippines and Indonesia. The Vietnam team was coached by Coach Dang Quyen Chien, and Capitals 18U play Pham Phu An.
Mustang 10U Capitals Compete in Asia Pacific Zone Championships in Singapore
The 10U Mustang Hanoi Capitals competed against teams from the Philippines, Indonesia, Russia, and Singapore in the 2016 Mustang Division Asia Pacific Zone Championships in Singapore. The Hanoi Capitals have played several tournaments in Singapore since their first visit there in 2009. The Vietnam 10U Capitals were coached by Coaches Pham Ngoc Phu and Dang Quyet Chien, and Capitals 18U player Hoang Nhat Quang.
Vietnam All-Stars Compete in Thailand
A team of Vietnam All-Star college and high school baseball players composed of players from the Hanoi Capitals, Ho Chi Minh City University of Sports, Ho Chi Minh City Baseball Association, FISHANU and RMIT baseball clubs competed in an open tournament in Bangkok, Thailand at the International School of Bangkok. Hanoi Capitals players participating included Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh, Nguyen Tuan Anh, Hoang Nhat Quang and Yuya Kunimasa. Although the team did not win, all games were just losses by a run or two. Thanks to Tom Irwin of the Bangkok All-Stars for good organization of the tournament. The Vietnam team was coached by Coach Pham Ngoc Phu. Manh Chien of FISHANU hit a home run over the fence in a game for the Vietnam team.
Hanoi Capitals 16U Competes in 2015 Colt World Series in Indiana, USA
The Hanoi Capitals 16U team represented the Asia Pacific Zone in the 2015 Colt World Series in Lafayette, Indiana. Other teams in the event were the Puerto Rico, Czech, and Mexican national 16U champions, as well as champions from four regions in the United States, and two local teams. The Capitals competed well in all games. Duc Huy Nguyen lead the team with a .500 batting average. Pham Phu An and Lam Nguyen Khai Hoan both hit over .300 and played well in the field. Nguyen Tuan Anh pitched well in his two appearances. Ben Nguyen Treutler who could not play in the field or hit due to recent surgery on a torn labrum scored two runs as a pinch-runner. The Capitals were coached by Coach Adam Poel, Coach Loc Tieu,Coach Tom Treutler, and Coaches Pham Ngoc Phu and Dang Quyet Chien.
Hanoi Capitals 16U with Mexico National 16U Champions.
MLB Great Chan Ho Park Visits Hanoi Capitals as EDCF Goodwill Ambassador
Former Los Angeles Dodgers star pitcher, Mr. Chan Ho Park, who won 124 games in MLB, more than any other Asian pitcher in MLB, visited the Hanoi Capitals Training Center in mid-June to give a talk and clinic with the Hanoi Capitals players. Mr. Chan Ho Park was visiting through a program of the Korean Economic Development Cooperation Fund, whose delegation was lead by Mr. Choi of Korea EximBank. Mr. Park is the EDCF Goodwill Ambassador.
Mr. Chan Ho Park was the first South Korean baseball player in MLB. He had a long MLB career of 17 years, and pitched in the 2001 MLB All-Star Game and struck out over 1,700 batters.
Notably, Mr. Park shared important life lessons on never giving up, overcoming fear, focusing, and helping others. Below are some pictures of Mr. Park's baseball clinic in Hanoi with members of Vietnam's 16U Colt Baseball team that has qualified for the 16U Colt World Series in Indiana, USA in August, and younger Capitals players.
Korea is one of Vietnam's biggest investors and has strong cooperation in cultures and sports. The Hanoi baseball community thanks Mr. Park and EDCF for their time and effort to help the youth teams here. Mr. Park also donated several gloves and catcher's gear to the Capitals program.
Below - Chan Ho Park with 16U Captain Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh (jersey in Pony Hall of Fame for first HR for VN in international competition) and Nguyen Tong Hai (member of Michigan state champion teams in football and baseball)
Chan Ho Park instructs the players on focus, overcoming fear, never giving up and helping others.
Chan Ho Park as an L.A. Dodger All-Star Pitcher
Hanoi Capitals 16U Selected for Colt World Series
Vietnam to Host Pony U9 and U10 Asia Pacific Championships
Hanoi Capitals Join HCMC Baseball Association Tour of Japan
Seven Hanoi Capitals players were selected to join the Ho Chi Minh City Baseball Association team trip to Japan. The group had the opportunity to play competitive games against Japanese schools, and to visit a baseball museum and the historic Koshien Baseball Stadium in Kobe. Thanks to the Ho Chi Minh City Baseball Association and the government of Japan for this opportunity. 16U Captains Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh, and ace pitchers Tran Trung Hieu and Nguyen Tuan Anh lead the Hanoi delegation along with Nguyen Hai Nam, Nguyen Tran Tung Lam, Pham Huy Hung and Ha Quoc Huy.
Hanoi Capitals at historic Koshien Stadium in Kobe
Hanoi Capitals with local Japanese team
Hanoi Capitals 16U Top Russia, Fall to Thailand
In the 2014 Hanoi Cup, the Hanoi Capitals topped the Russia National Pony team from Nahodka, near Vladivostok, by a score of 13-1. Tran Trung Hieu scattered 2-hits over 5 innings pitched, and Nguyen Tuan Anh closed out the game.
In the championship game, Hanoi fell to Thailand 10-3.
Team of the Week: U7 Tigers
The U7 Tigers are Baseball World's Youngest Team. Hope to see them in the Pony Mustang Competitions in the coming years!
Baseball World Opens Fall Seasons
Baseball World, Vietnam's first dedicated baseball training facility, is opening its fall season in Hanoi this week, with a record 118 players on the rosters.
Teams for this fall include:
U12 A's, Angels, Cubs, Giants, Phillies and Pirates
U16 Dodgers and Yankees
Girls' Softball: Bruins and Seminoles
Team Rosters can be found at this link: http://leaguelineup.com/teams_baseball.asp?url=hanoipony&sid=693023963
Limited spots are still available on teams at each age.
For further information, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Fall Tournaments in Hanoi
Hanoi Capitals and Baseball World to Host Fall Tournaments:
First Softball Teams for Girls Formed in Vietnam
The Hanoi Lady Capitals girls' softball teams were recently formed. There are currently 22 girls playing, and they will compete in the fall season as two league teams, the Bruins (named after the successful University of California at Los Angeles softball team) and the Seminoles, named after the Florida State University's fine women's team.
Vietnam Records Best Little League Finish
In the Asia Pacific Little League Championships for the Junior Division, held in the Philippines in July, Vietnam recorded its best ever finish. Vietnam lost close games to Saipan (9-7) and Guam (5-3), and beat Quater 9-2. Vietnam also competed in the Little League 12U Division. Nguyen Tong Hai, pictured below, pitched outstanding for Vietnam, allowing just 1 earned run in 8 innings pitched in the tournament.
Baseball World Training Center Opens in Hanoi
Baseball World Training Facility, the Home of the Hanoi Capitals, opened its doors for baseball training. This is Vietnam's first ever dedicated baseball training facility, with 15,000 sq. feet, including a full size diamond, outfield fences for U10 games, batting cages, pitching mounds, and pitching machines. Currently, the facility has 118 members aged 5 to 18 years of age, and includes 10 coaches.
Pony Mustang Division Asia Pacific Zone Championships
The Hanoi Capitals 10U participated in the Pony Mustang Championships in Manila. This is the third time in the last four years Vietnam has joined this tournament. Vietnam finished in third place.
Hanoi Capitals Host Asia Pacific Zone Meeting for Pony Baseball
Hanoi Capitals Baseball hosted the 2014 Asia Pacific Zone Pony Baseball Meeting at Rex Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City last week. Great to host baseball leaders from Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, Korea, Singapore, India, Philippines, MLB, Russia, Hong Kong, USA and Nepal here in Vietnam. Results of the voting, the following hosts were determined for 2014 Asia Pacific Zone Championships for Pony Baseball:
U-10 and U11 Championships: Manila, Philippines (May 2014)
U-12 Championships: Seoul, Korea (July 2014)
U-14 Championships: Singapore (July 2014)
U-16 Championships: Tokyo - tentatively in the Seibu Dome (December 2014) (pictured below), home of the Seibu Lions of Japan Professional League. Winner will join 2015 World Series.
Any teams in Vietnam interested joining Pony Baseball to compete for right to join these tournaments, please contact Coach Tom: email@example.com
Hanoi Capitals Top China, Fall to Thailand
At the Bangkok Christmas Tournament, the 15U Hanoi Capitals fell to Bangkok All-Stars 4-3 in the semi-finals. Nguyen Duc Huy pitched an excellent game with a 3-1 lead going into 6th inning before Bangkok rallied. The Capitals defeated China 16-0 and 11-0 in the tournament. Tran Trung Hieu hit a 310 foot homer over the fence to left field vs China.
Hanoi Sluggers Power Thai Baseball in Singapore Tournament
Hanoi Capitals 14U players Captain Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh, Nguyen Duc Huy (pictured below) and Tran Trung Hieu were invited to join a newly formed team the Thai Sanook for the Turkey Tournament in Singapore last this weekend. The Hanoi players donned Thai jerseys and performed well, accounting for four of the five home runs hit in the tournament, and leading their team to four wins. Their team had a chance to win the tournament on the last day, but fell to Philippines. Quoc Thinh (known as "Rabbit" for his speed) hit a long blast to centerfield vs Indonesia, and also raced to an inside-the-park HR in another game. Nguyen Duc Huy hit back to back dingers vs Rusa Hitam of Indonesia. Tran Trung Hieu scored several runs getting on base a lot, and also had a couple doubles, and performed well behind the plate. Nguyen Duc Huy won one game pitching and only gave up 2 runs over 5 innings to the strong BCS Club of Singapore.
Fall League Teams Being Formed
Fall league teams are being formed. Anyone aged 6-18 is welcome to join our league. Players aged 13 and above must try out to be placed on a team due to space limitations. Practices are Saturday and Sunday morning, and Wednesday evening.
For more information, please contact coach Tom: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hanoi Capitals 14U Complete Successful USA Trip
The Hanoi Capitals finished 9th of 18 teams in the Game Day USA Midwest 14U National Championships in Chicago from 25-28 July 2013. The team defeated two teams from Chicago on this trip, and one team from Michigan. The team also tied teams from Michigan and Chicago. The team finished third in its pool of five teams in the Lakeshore Panther Classic in Holland, Michigan. This was a very good result considering 5 of the team's 9 starters were 13 year olds playing up in 14U division.
Link to photo galleries from team games in USA: Muskegon Chronicle - http://photos.mlive.com/4474/gallery/hanoi_capitals_vietnamese_baseball_team_plays_in_grand_haven/index.html#/0
Grand Haven Tribune - http://www.grandhaventribune.com/gallery/573456
Team highlights of the trip included:
1. Walkoff win vs Mid-Michigan Fury of Bay County, Michigan after trailing 8-4, to win 9-8.
2. Decisive wins over Chicago teams Welles Park (14-2 victory) and Bridgeport (9-1).
3. Brave comeback from three runs down with one one out vs Sparta Spartans to tie the game (game ended in 9-9 tie). Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypWhodNSlGQ
4. Strong outing vs Cincinnatti Fury, an elite tournament team founded by former major league star Don Gullett. Though we lost 6-0, this was the best game our team played in the USA, but we ran into an outstanding pitcher.
5. A friendly game vs Grand Haven Bucs with all the fanfare (announcers, national anthems, etc.) followed by a potluck and fellowship with the Buc players and parents.
6. 9-9 Tie with Mt. Prospect of Chicago that was a back and forth battle with lots of drama - no one deserved to lose and no one did.
7. Supporters that came to root on the team from afar (Andy and Jacob Hilowitz from Alaska, Hank Nguyen from Villa Park, California, Tim Rutledge from Louisville, Rick and Janet Kratz and Julia Mikulich from Milwaukee and Chicago, Wayne and Dawn Rizley, and Glen Rizley from Muskegon).
Individual highlights included:
1. Complete game, 4-hit win by 13-year old Nguyen Duc Huy vs Bridgeport (Chicago) on just 59 pitches in 5 innings. Duc Huy only allowed one run in the 9-1 win. Notably, he only walked one batter, and only went to three balls with one other batter. He threw 42 strikes and 17 balls over 59 pitches.
2. 6-RBI, 3-3 performance by catcher Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh in 9-8 victory over Mid-Michigan Fury including a walk off bases loaded single with one out to win the game. Thinh also threw out two runners from Mt. Prospect (Chicago) on steal attempts. Thinh also had a clutch one-out RBI single up the middle to score Ben from second in the Capitals dramatic comeback vs Sparta Spartans. Link to video of Thinh's bases loaded, 345 foot double off the wall in Holland, Michigan vs Mid-Michigan Fury: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdVCPmKys9o
3. Only one-run allowed by 13 year old second baseman Pham Phu An as he pitched 5 innings vs Mt. Prospect, as well as sterling defense in middle of infield, including several double plays such as a 6-4-3 DP with 2B Lam Nguyen Khai Hoan vs Lakeshore Storm at Hope College, and an unassisted DP vs Cincinnatti Fury where he tagged out the runner heading to second and threw to first to complete the DP.
4. Two wins and two saves pitching by 13-year old LH pitcher Nguyen Tong Hai, as well as excellent play in center field. His best performance was 4 2/3 innings of shutout relief vs Welles Park of Chicago.
5. .567 batting average with 16 SB, 17 hits and 11 runs scored, by Ben Treutler over 10 games, including only striking out once in 37 plate appearances. Ben hit safely in all ten games of the trip, and got on base 24 times in 10 games with a .649 OBP. Ben had some other highlights: awarded Gameday MVP award by Chicago coach for handling 7 chances at third base successfully in game vs Welles Park, and also a head first slide around the catcher when going second to home on a single to bring the Capitals within one run of the Sparta Spartans which lead to a tie (Video highlight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsWvbRPMBP0). Ben also had a very solid pitching performance vs Cincinatti Fury, an elite team from Ohio.
6. Clutch two out game-tying single by Lam Nguyen Khai Hoan to cap a heroic last inning 3-run one-out rally to tie Sparta Spartans. Hoan also had an outstanding bunt on a suicide squeeze in the same game to score Thinh.
7. Best play of the trip was in the final inning of a tie game with Mt. Prospect, when Prospect had winning run on third with no out, the batter hit a fly ball about 260 feet to left center. Ben Treutler, playing centerfield, ran about 20 yards, caught the ball then heaved it home as the winning run was tagging from third base. LHP Tong Hai ran out toward shortstop position and cut off the ball and spun and relayed a frozen rope to catcher Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh who was blocking the plate to out the runner who had tagged and preserve the tie. Another outstanding play was LH pitcher Tong Hai covering third base on an unusual 6-3-1 double play vs Sparta. The shortstop threw out the batter running to first, then a runner on second tried to advance to third, but Hai covered the base and 1B Duc Huy fired the ball to him and Hai tagged out the runner sliding into third.
8. 13-year old third baseman Tran Trung Hieu's towering fly ball at Hope College in Holland, Michigan vs the Lakeshore Storm that was caught by the centerfielder. It was hit to the deep centerfield of this college stadium and estimated to travel about 360 feet (about 112 meters). The hit put a dent in the new bat the team had bought for the tournament and warped the bat. This was the longest hit in history of our program.
9. Nguyen Tuan Anh's charging dive to catch a Texas Leaguer at Hope College.
10. Several good hits by 13 year old Nguyen Kha Duy and Hoang Nhat Quang who both added a lot of offense for the Capitals in this trip. Quang also caught many balls in left field.
Team statistics for the 10 games can be found at this link:http://leaguelineup.com/teams_baseball.asp?url=hanoipony&teamid=4445291&stats=OFFENSE&ss=033
Pitcher Nguyen Duc Huy pitched a complete game, 4-hitter vs Bridgeport (Chicago) on just 59 pitches.
Shortstop / 2B Pham Phu An closes in a ground ball.
LH Pitcher / center fielder Nguyen Tong Hai races to first base.
13-year old third baseman Tran Trung Hieu hit a ball 360 feet at Hope College (pictured below).
Ben Treutler dives back to first in game vs Grand Haven.
Special thanks to: Chip Baker and Anthony Santiago - Florida State University, Tom Cotter and Bryan Sandberg - Grand Haven Baseball, Mr. Smith and Mr. Moyzis of Game Day USA, Doug Hoey - Lakeshore Storm, everyone at West Ottawa Baseball. Carl Treutler, Sue Treutler, Wayne Rizley, Dawn Rizley, Hank Nguyen, Tim Rutledge, Rick Kratz, Janet Kratz, Julia Mikulich, Andy and Jacob Hilowitz, Donna Prins, Muskegon Chronicle/MLIVE, Grand Haven Tribune, Holland Sentinal, University of Chicago students/community: Nhung, Chau, Hung, Son, Hieu and Eric)
All coaches that helped the team to get to this point: Rick Dell, Phil Rognier, Dave Palese, Kevin Sharp, Jeff Pratt, Bob Buskett, Joe Truesdale, Luis De Guzman, Michael Orona, Danny Meltzer, Mike Griffin, Pat Davis, Matt Schwartz, Coach George from Cuba and of course coach Loc Tieu.
Hanoi Capitals 14U Attends MLB Games in Chicago
The Hanoi Capitals 14U team attended MLB games in Chicago at U.S. Cellular (White Sox vs Tigers) and Wrigley Field (Cubs vs Brewers). Below is a welcome message from the Cubs. It was a good chance for the Capitals players to see the highest level of the game, and the amazing baseball atmosphere in the USA with good hot dogs and "Take Me Out to the Ball Game".
The team also took the opportunity to visit one of the world's finest educational institutions, the University of Chicago, the home of Field's Prize winning professor Ngo Bao Chau. A group of Vietnamese students at the university was kind enough to give the team a tour of the top-ranked Booth School of Business (thanks Nhung, Chau, Hung, Hieu, Son and Eric!). The team is pictured below at University of Chicago campus courtyard.
The Capitals 14U also took time out to visit one of the world's top museums - the Museum of Science and Industry, pictured below.
Hanoi Capitals 14U Attends Florida State University Baseball Camp
The Hanoi Capitals 14U spent a week training at Florida State University's Mike Martin Baseball Camp in Tallahassee, Florida from July 14-18.
The team received instruction from the FSU coaches, including coach Anthony Santiago. The team was treated to a tour of the FSU baseball museum, and locker rooms, and the famous FSU football stadium by FSU Head of Baseball Operations Chip Baker. The team also played two games in Dick Howser Stadium, pictured below.
Below are some links to press articles from local media outlets:
Lam Nguyen Khai Hoan - Named MVP of Team in USA
Hanoi Capitals 14U player Lam Nguyen Khai Hoan, an exchange student at Muskegon Catholic HS in Muskegon, Michigan, was named MVP of the school's JV team. Hoan is a catcher and second baseman. Hoan is an exchange student and earned a 3.15 GPA. He hopes to become an engineer someday. He was twice named MVP of Hanoi's Pony League. Hoan is pictured below.
Capitals Pitcher Earns Sprinting Honors in USA
Hanoi Capitals pitcher Ben Treutler won the 200 meter dash at the Muskegon - Kent - Ottawa Middle School Track and Field Championships (16 schools from 3 counties in Michigan). As a 13 year old in 2012, Ben finished second in the home to first contest for the Asia Pacific Region for 14U at the Little League Asia Pacific Region Championships, finishing second to a player from Saipan. Ben's 400 relay team was ranked second in the state of Michigan for Middle Schools.
Results of MKO Track Championship Track Meet - http://www.athletic.net/TrackAndField/MeetResults.aspx?Meet=196197#35928
Hanoi Capitals U14 Team Prepares for Chicago and Michigan Tournaments
The U14 Hanoi Capitals have begun practices to prepare for their summer schedule in the USA for training and tournaments, which is anticipated to include the following camp and tournaments:
July 14-18: Coach Mike Martin's Baseball Camp at Florida State University - http://collegebaseballcamps.com/seminoles/info/9766
July 19-21: Lakeshore Panther Classic, Holland Michigan - http://lakeshorestorm.wix.com/pantherclassic
July 22: Friendly game vs Grand Haven Young Bucs U14, Grand Haven, Michigan - http://www.grandhavenbaseball.com/
July 25-28: Game Day USA Midwest National Championships (Chicago, Illinois): - http://www.gamedayusa.com/tournaments/details.cfm?TID=263
2012 Results: http://www.gamedayusa.com/results/baseball.cfm?TID=29
The Hanoi Capitals last trip to the USA was in 2010, when the team participated in the USTSA U11 World Series in San Diego, California. Below is team pictured in 2011, after finishing as top Southeast Asia team at Pony Bronco U12 Asia Pacific Championships in Seoul, Korea, following wins over Indonesia and Philippines.
Link to team page / roster: http://www.leaguelineup.com/teams_baseball.asp?url=hanoipony&divisionid=636227&teamid=4445291
The Amazing Story of the Vietnamese Baseball Player that Starred in Japan
This is the amazing story of a Vietnamese boy that starred in baseball in Japan10 years ago. On July 30, 2001, the Mainichi Daily brought news that for the first time, a Vietnamese student had officially participate in the famous Zenkoku baseball tournmant (83rd Annual National High School Tournament of Japan) that involved 49 teams at Koshein, Osaka – he was Nguyen Tran Phuoc An, 16 years old (pictured above), wearing jersey no. 16, a 10th grader, in a key role as a pitcher for Toyodai Himeji High School. He was the youngest student athlete at the Koshein tournament, but had the biggest responsibility of anyone in his team as a pitcher. Previously, in July, 2001, Phuoc An had made a major contribution in sending the Toyodai Himeji team to first place among 160 teams in his province so they could win the right to represent their province in the 49 team tournament, that was the result of a competition of 4,163 teams throughout the country. Participating in Koshein is a major honor, and is the dream of millions of Japanese youth.
Phuoc An was the youngest child of Mr. Tran Van A and Nguyen Thi Ich, although he put his mother’s family name first. His parents came to Japan in 1984, and he was born one year later. He was 1.75 meters tall, and weighed 64 kg, and began playing baseball in grade school, throwing left handed. News of his participation in the Koshein tournament was printed in many newspapers such as Asahi, Kobe Shinbun, Kobe Diri Sport, Nikkan, Nikkan Sport, SSport Nippon, Sport Hochi, etc. – causing the local Vietnamese people and Japanese persons alike very interested in following the tournament, and this gave them a chance to understand more about this sport. There were about 30 Vietnamese and 200 Japanese faithful in Kobe and Osaka that would go to watch and root for An.
In the first game of the tournament on August 12, 2001, Toyodai Himeji defeated Gifu Mita by a score of 9-4 and defeated Josuihan by a score of 4-3, but lost badly to Nichinan Gakuen by a score of 15-0. Though they did not win, the appearance of Phuoc An was a great pride to the Vietnamese people in Japan.
In 2003, in the final of the Senbatsu tournament (75th annual tournament), Phuoc An’s Toyodai team won and was invited to participate at Koshein. Phuoc An wore jersey No. 1 this time, and as a high school senior, had grown to 1.79 meters tall and 69 kg in weight, and could throw a baseball 142 km/hr. In the first game of the tournament on March 27, 2003, Phuoc An’s team defeated Okayama Joto by a score of 4-2.
On March 30, 2003, Phuoc An’s team met Naruto, and blanked their foe 3-0 to qualify for the quarterfinals of the prestigious Koshein tournament, for the first time in the last 24 years for the school. In this game, Phuoc An was a standout hitter and pitcher, as well as fielder. He struck out 15 batters of Naruto. If one of his teammates had not misplayed a ball that was ruled a hit, he would have had no-hitter.
On March 31, Toyodai then battled with Hanasaki Tokuharu in the semi-finals. The teams were tied after 15 innings, with the score 2-2. The game continued the next day, and was replayed as a new game. On April 1, as the game was played again, the teams were still even, after nine innings, with the score knotted at 5. In the 10th inning, with Toyodai batting, with the bases loaded and no outs, the Hanasaki Tokuharu pitcher was worried that if the opponent go a hit, his team would lose, so he tried to throw outside the strike zone. He didn’t expect that he would be way off target, and his catcher could not get the wild pitch, and the Toyodai runner on third base ran home, scoring a “Sayonara” walk off run getting the score to 6-5 and putting Toyodai in the championship game.
On April 2, Toyodai met Hiroshima, a super strong team, and Toyodai tried its best, with Phuoc An getting an RBI to score a run to save his team’s reputation, but they lost 5-1. Thus, the road hand ended for the Toyodai team, because in baseball, there is no second place, no third place – only a champion.
Although Toyodai lost, they had improved greatly since 2001, and made it their furthest in 24 years, a great accomplishment. That year in 2003, Phuoc An was talked about a lot, as it was his last year, and he was about to graduate high school. Everyone was wondering if he would enter college or become a professional baseball player.
At this time, you could say, “Phuoc An” was the most famous Vietnamese name that became known to the Japanese people. Many Vietnamese people in Japan, and especially thousands of Japanese in the region of Himeji, Kobe, Osaka, etc., closely followed with all their emotion and pride in An. At his school, girls began to wear traditional Vietnamese Ao Dai Long Tunics, and this also caught the public attention. A number of former college students in Japan and around the world learned the news of him and were extremely proud. Also by following him, many Vietnamese learned about this new and strange sport. More information can be found at: http://members2.jcom.home.ne.jp/kuratateo/06sp-3.htm
Japan National TV (NHK) Documentary on Phuoc An
The image and name of Nguyen Tran Phuoc An was introduced by the Japanese media blitz over a week in March, 2003, and made a great impression in the hearts and minds of the Japanese people.
With a promising future, NHK TV Station, the No. 1 TV station of Japan aired a special program devoted to famous people with a feature called: Human Story – the Koshein Tournament of An the Pitcher, that was 50 minutes long, and introduced Phuoc An on both April 11 and 12, 2003. Phuoc An since he was small loved to play baseball and his whole family fully supported him. His brother Tri had used his salary to buy baseball equipment for his little brother even though it was very expensive, and regularly played with him. When Phuoc An joint the school’s baseball club, his talent developed and he was the key pitcher of the team. The first newspaper article on Phuoc An was printed on August 22, 2000 and that is still a great memory to his family. The article inspired and pushed Phuoc An to practice even harder.
There have been dozens of articles on Phuoc An. The Vietnamese TV stations also regularly did documentaries on him, and he was considered a rising star. The next goal in August of 2003 of Toyodai’s team was to win the championship of Hyogo province to qualify for the Zenkoku tournament in April among the 49 teams that were the champions of all provinces in Japan. This tournament was also to be held at Koshien.
This time, Phuoc An’s team lost, and did not qualify for the tournament, but he was one of 20 players chosen from nationwide to compete in Thailand from August 28 to September 6, 2003 for the Japan national U-18 team. His team finished third, behind South Korea and Taiwan. He is still a Vietnamese citizen, so his being chosen for the Japanese national team was exceptional for the Japan Baseball Federation. And, he brough honor to the Japanese team, as he pitched 13 innings in Thailand.
In a report on Saigon – Houston Vietnamese TV in Texas that was broadcast to the Vietnamese community, this news of Phuoc An was delivered, and the Director of the TV Station Anh Duong Phuc enthusiastically observed: “Vietnamese have talented people everywhere!”
Nguyen Tran Phuoc An Joins Toshiba’s Professional Baseball Team
When Phuoc An was 18 years old, after graduating from high school in January, 2004, he joined Toshiba’s company baseball team (starting in February, 2004). At that time, he was based at the company’s headquarters in Yokohama. This was a semi-professional team, where he would work two hours in the morning and in the afternoon play for the company’s team to help promote the company, and in his future, he would have the opportunity and potential to eventually play professional baseball.
Here is a link to a video of one Phuoc An's games from 2003, he is wearing jersey no. 1, left-handed pitcher of TOYO team. The entire game is online, and is one of his big tournament games.
The story above was written by Professor Do Thong Minh, Eastern Capital Newsletter, Tokyo, Japan, January, 2012 and translated by Tom Treutler.
Hanoi Youth Baseball Club thanks esteemed Professor Do Thong Minh of Tokyo, Japan for his research and for bringing this amazing story to many people.
Seattle Klouter Players to Visit Hanoi from February 15-22
Three Seattle Klouter players will visit Hanoi this weekend and next week to hold clinics for the Hanoi Youth Baseball Club players. The Klouters are one of the leading tournament teams in the Northwest Region of the USA. This is the fourth trip of the Klouters to Vietnam since 2009, through the Baseball Connect program of Microsoft and the First Swing Foundation. Clinic schedule will be announced shortly.
Below - Klouter players CT Tanner (he is returning to Vietnam on this trip), Beau Turner, JoJo Landel and Henry Pratt with Coach Phil Rognier at Chu Van An High School Field for clinic in April 2010.
Hanoi Capitals Over the Years - Video Retrospective
These videos show the progress of the team -- good job team!
Hanoi Capitals Early Years (2009) - Practice at 110 Degree Field in Xuan Dinh:
2010 Pony Asia Pacific U12 Championships in Taiwan vs Japan and Taiwan National Teams:
Upset Victory over Indonesia in 2011 Vietnam Baseball Classic in Hanoi:
Above - U14 Hanoi Capitals team captain Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh
MLB Envoy Coaches To Visit Hanoi from February 18-20
From February 17-20, MLB Envoy Coaches Kevin Sharp and MLB Strength Coach Joe Truesdale from the MLB Academy in China will visit Hanoi to work with the Hanoi Capitals Youth Baseball program. This will be the 10th visit by MLB coaches to Hanoi since 2009.
U10 Hanoi Pony All Stars to Compete in Pony Asia Pacific Championships in Jakarta
At the Pony Asia Pacific Regional Meetings in Hong Kong, it was announced that the Pony Mustang Asia Pacific Championships for the U10 Mustang Division and Bronco 11 Division will be held in Jakarta. Hanoi Pony League will send a team of all stars to the tournament from May 22-25, 2013. The winner of the tournament will advance to the Mustang World Series in Burleson, Texas in August, 2013. Other teams entered in the tournament include Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, and Russia.
Above - Vietnam U10 Mustang Team at Thailand Tournament (Won Bronze Medal), December, 2012
Hanoi Capitals Mustang Pitchers Combine for No-Hitter
Vietnam U11 and U10 Pitchers Nguyen Phuong Nam and Nguyen Tuan Minh combined to pitch a 2-0 No-Hitter win over the Malaysia All Stars U12 team from Kuala Lumpur at the 2012 Vietnam Pony Baseball Classic in Hanoi. Each player pitched 3 innings. Starter Nguyen Phuong Nam is an 11-year old 6th grader at Le Qui Don Middle School. Nguyen Tuan Minh is a 10-year old 5th Grader at Nam Thanh Cong High School. It was notable, as these were young pitchers playing up in an U12 tournament.
Hanoi Capitals Jersey at Pony Baseball Hall of Fame
Hanoi Capitals U14 Team Captain, Right Fielder Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh received a big honor - his jersey is now displayed in the Pony Baseball Hall of Fame in Washington, Pennsylvania. This is the jersey "Rabbit" wore when he hit a 240 foot home run over the left field fence at Tancheon Stadium in Seoul, Korea on July 20, 2011 in Vietnam's 14-3 win over Indonesia in the 2011 Pony Bronco Asia Pacific Championship Tournament. It was the first home run over the fence by a Vietnamese player at any level in an international tournament. Here is a video of Thinh's blast in Seoul, Korea: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVMLH3y6t1Y
Pictured below is Pony Baseball and Softball President and CEO Abe Key with Thinh's jersey in the Pony Hall of Fame.
FIELD OF UNLIKELY DREAMS - WALL STREET JOURNAL ARTICLE
The Wall Street Journal recently published an article on the Hanoi Capitals:
Field of Unlikely Dreams - Wall Street Journal
Pictured above: On their trip to USTSA U-11 World Series in San Diego, the Capitals found a familiar place to practice: A straw field behind the Quality Inn!
There are no baseball fields here. Just places where Tom Treutler lays down bases and rolls out a bucket of balls. It could be a soccer field or a tennis court. Wherever it is, Mr. Treutler's improvised diamond is the one place in Hanoi where Vietnamese 11- and 12-year-olds are playing baseball.
They have gloves, bats and red pinstripe uniforms with their first names on the back. From a distance, they look a little like the Philadelphia Phillies. But these are the Hanoi Capitals, Vietnam's only organized youth baseball team.
Since Mr. Treutler, an intellectual-property lawyer from Michigan, founded the Capitals in 2008, building a team from scratch has been his all-consuming project. He has spent more than $50,000 of his own savings on gear and travel to tournaments. He runs several practice sessions a week with two assistants.
"We haven't had a weekend for three years," said his wife, Thuy, who spends practices explaining the game to parents. "It used to drive me crazy. Now I love baseball more than Tom [does]."
Baseball has sprouted sporadically in several Southeast Asian countries, always as the result of a single committed person, according to Rick Dell, Major League Baseball's director of development for Asia. In most cases, it fails to take hold. "Unfortunately, although the growth is initially rapid, it levels off many times as interest remains localized and the vision does not include the big picture of spreading the game," he said in an email.
What Mr. Treutler's project may have going for it that others didn't is that Hanoi is bidding to host the 2019 Asian Games. If it is successful, officials will hope to field competitive squads in every event, including baseball.
When Mr. Treutler's connection to Vietnam began in the early 1990s, baseball had nothing to do with it. Working in Silicon Valley, he loved the sound of the language when he heard it spoken by a colleague. He enrolled in night courses at Stanford to learn and volunteered for an immersion program in Ho Chi Minh City.
In the next decade, Mr. Treutler married Thuy, returned to the U.S. to study law and, ultimately, relocated to Hanoi in 2007 after a stint in southern California. It was there that his oldest son, Ben, started playing baseball. Mr. Treutler wasn't going to let moving 12,000 kilometers get in the way.
"My father was a football coach for 30 years, so I grew up with team sports," Mr. Treutler said. "I didn't want my son to miss out on that. It was kind of a selfish thing at the beginning."
Word spread among Ben's classmates that someone was teaching baseball—bong chay in Vietnamese. Many of them had a vague understanding of the game from a Japanese comic book about a baseball-playing cat named Doremon. Here, at the very least, was a chance to make sense of him.
Mr. Treutler and his wife lugged suitcases of gear back from California. More equipment followed in the mail. A coach in Seattle began sending him whatever used gear he could sneak past the Vietnamese ban on importing second-hand goods.
The Capitals made their debut against the Japanese School of Hanoi in February 2009, but they failed to get a single hit and lost 16-0. The one run they thought they had scored was erased. The runner, who had advanced by stealing bases, had not touched home plate.
"It was like a dagger in the heart," Mr. Treutler said.
It was a harsh reminder of how much work there was to do. He registered the team with Pony and Little League, two American youth-baseball organizations, so it could enter tournaments abroad—there were no other Vietnamese teams for the Capitals to play.
Baseball in Vietnam, where other sports such as soccer and badminton dominate, is still seen as an American curiosity, though several universities have loosely organized clubs. The few adults who have played, like Mr. Treutler's assistant coach Pham Ngoc Phu, learned it from American humanitarian workers in the years after the war.
Unprepared as the Capitals were, Mr. Treutler shelled out $15,000 to take them to a tournament in Jakarta that summer. And when they first laid eyes on a perfectly manicured diamond, they turned to their coach and said, "It looks like ESPN."
The trip turned into a reality check. They lost every game by the mercy rule. "At that point, I thought, 'Maybe we made a mistake coming here,'" Mr. Treutler said.
Mr. Treutler reached out to Mr. Dell.
He sent them coaches to run clinics and turned them onto MLB's recommended training regimens. During practice Mr. Treutler, who was never more than a Little League dad before this, treats the programs as gospel.
Through 2010, the losing streak swelled to 34 games. Mr. Treutler could tell that it was wearing on his team.
"If we didn't go through that period of going to tournaments and seeing how other teams do it," Mr. Treutler said, "we'd still be where we were two years ago."
Their turn came last month, when the Capitals hosted Vietnam's first-ever youth baseball tournament in Vinh Phuc, the province just north of here. More than 400 practices after they first threw a baseball, four victories came in quick succession. Suddenly, they were pitching crisply, fielding cleanly, and hitting with more confidence.
"Last week when I worked with the pitchers, catchers, and hitters, I saw 11-year-old boys as good as any youth players in the world," Mr. Dell said. "In many ways it has turned in to a version of the Bad News Bears."
The buoyant Capitals capped the three-day event in front of a home crowd by overcoming a team from Indonesia on a temporary diamond. Finally, they were the ones lifting a trophy.
For the first time, Mr. Treutler felt like baseball could have a home in Vietnam. Even if it did not have a permanent field.
Grand Haven Tribune: Rags to Riches Story for Vietnam Baseball
GH native leading rags to riches story for Hanoi, Vietnam baseball
The Capitals do not have a regulation field to call their own in the city of over 6 million, but baseball — or “bong chay” in Vietnamese — has developed into a new-found passion for several children in a country where sports such as soccer and badminton traditionally rule.
“We started with a core of about six players nearly three years ago,” Treutler said via e-mail recently. “We now have about 80 kids or so in our program.”
Treutler, an intellectual-property lawyer, moved with his wife, Vietnam native Ngoc Thuy, and their two sons, Ben and Henry, to the Southeast Asian country from southern California in 2007. Frustrated that his sons had no opportunity to play baseball in their new home, the Treutlers took it upon themselves to get the ball rolling.
“We had to search all around Hanoi, which is very dense in population, and with not much land,” he said. “No one would rent us a field because they thought baseball was dangerous.
Even today, the Capitals and other Hanoi players practice on a football field with throwdown bases and no pitcher’s mound.
Their very first practice field was eight miles from Hanoi in Xuan Dinh Village, a town known for its production of candy.
“We asked the parents of a few friends from (Ben’s) birthday party to come to the field, and we had about six kids the first day,” Treutler said. “We started with Whiffle ball for the first two months so the kids could learn the rules, easily hit the ball, and just have fun. I ordered about 15 gloves and 12 balls and bases from Kansas via the Internet. It cost about $400 for the equipment but about $400 more for shipping and customs duty.”
Treutler’s parents, Carl and Sue Treutler of Grand Haven, even lent a hand in the beginning, gathering over 160 pounds of gear they’d purchase at garage sales or thrift shops
“We’d get bats, gloves, shoes, anything we could find, and put it in a bag. And when (Tom) visited, they’d take it back as luggage,” Carl said.
The fruits of the Treutler’s patience, hard-work, and willingness to spend more than $50,000 of their own savings on additional gear and tournament travel over the past three years has been one part of the equation. Seeing success on the field from players who had little or no previous experience in the sport was another challenge.
At one point, Treutler said his son, Ben, experienced 34-straight losses playing in Pony and Little League baseball. One of those setbacks came during the Capitals’ 7,500-mile trip to California last summer, where they lost in Treutler’s former hometown of Garden Grove, Calif., to the local Pony League team, 19-5.
The new experiences were great for his players, but Treutler began to worry that his son and his fellow teammates would get discouraged and lose interest in the sport.
Fortunately, it hasn’t happened.
“Our kids practice a lot, about four times a week year-round,” Treutler said. “And we play about 11 months a year, so the kids have improved a lot.”
Their practices often begin at 5:30 a.m. in an effort to beat the intense heat in Vietnam. “Often a 125-degree heat index during the summer,” Treutler noted.
At Vietnam’s first-ever youth baseball tournament in February — held in the province of Vinh Phuc — the hard work was rewarded. The Capitals claimed the title of the five-team field, besting two of the top teams from Indonesia, as well as the Japan School of Hanoi and the United Nations School of Hanoi.
The Capitals made more headlines in April, as they defeated the Seattle Klouters, 6-2, in a Pony League contest in the inaugural Vietnam Baseball Challenge. The Klouters, one of the top tournament teams in the Seattle area, traveled 21 hours to play in the game. It was believed to be the first time ever that Vietnam hosted a U.S. team in a youth sporting event. With 319 fans and several TV and print media in attendance, it was also believed to be the largest attended baseball game ever in Vietnam.
The Capitals’ latest conquest was their most rewarding, Treutler said, and further added to their rags to riches story. The team tallied a 2-2 record in the Pony Baseball Asia Pacific Zone Championships in Seoul, South Korea, which clinched fifth-place out of nine countries. One of their victories was against the Phillipines, a team that mercied the Capitals a year earlier — a clear sign of the player’s improvement.
“We finished the highest of all the Southeast Asian countries,” Treutler said. “This was the exact goal we set when we started our program three years ago — to be on top in Southeast Asia.”
“It is amazing that they could achieve this given they only play in a tournament once every six months,” he added. “There are not many teams in Vietnam, and it is too costly to travel abroad for tournaments that often.”
SUPPORTING THE CAUSE
Treutler said he’s been fortunate with the help of much outside assistance and generous sponsors. For example, an Asian Development program through Major League Baseball sends coaches to work with Treutler and his staff twice a year. They’ve helped establish precise training regimens that have sped up the children’s development in the sport.
In another act of generosity, the Seattle Klouters’ head coach, Phil Rognier, provided Hanoi baseball players with a thrill last year. Rognier’s foundation, the Microsoft-sponsored FirstSwing, provided a trip for the Capitals to fly to Seattle to attend a baseball camp as well as a Mariners’ game.
“Our kids were excited to see (Mariners’ outfielder) Ichiro, their hero, live,” Treutler said.
Although their progress is like night and day from the early Whiffle ball days, Treutler admits that Vietnam baseball is still nowhere near the collective talent of countries such as East Asian powers Taiwan, Korea and Japan. But his players remain diligent in reaching that level.
“We have made an effort to play in as many tournaments as possible over the last couple years, and some of our players have played in as many as 40 international games and are becoming real experienced,” he said.
That experience will expand next year, when Vietnam will host the Little League U-14 Asia Pacific Champsionships and the U-12 Pony Baseball Asia Pacific Championships.
“We need to get a baseball field built here, even if it is a modest one,” Treutler said.
But slowly, a sport that was so foreign to children just a few years ago, is beginning to be built.
“We hope to keep getting more kids playing here,” Treutler said.
Treutler said he couldn’t help but smile at one of his team’s tournament wins in South Korea, when Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh, a converted ping pong player, drilled a 240-foot home run against Indonesia.
Who knows how many more of those hidden gems are in Hanoi, and if they would have ever been discovered without one idea, made successful by a lot of hard work.
Nha Trang, Vietnam Hosts 2012 Junior Division Little League Championships for Asia - Pacific
The 2012 Little League Asia Pacific Region Championships were held in the Vietnam coastal town of Nha Trang in July. Taiwan was the winner, and advanced to the Little League Junior World Series in Taylor, Michigan.
VIETNAM TO JOIN MUSTANG CHAMPIONSHIPS
News from Seoul, Korea: Vietnam Finishes First in Pony Baseball for Southeast Asia
Vietnam Finishes 5th Overall in U-12 Pony Baseball Asia Pacific Zone Baseball Tournament in Seoul, South Korea and Wins Over Philippines in U-12 Southeast Asia Championship Game
• Vietnam 10, Philippines 1 (Southeast Asia Championship)
• Vietnam 14, Indonesia 3 (Pool Play)
Seoul, South Korea, 23 July 2011 -- Vietnam had its best finish ever in the Pony Baseball Asia Pacific Zone Baseball U-12 Championships (this was for the “Bronco” Division for 11 and 12 year old players) when its team composed of 7th and 8th grade boys from the capitol city of Hanoi finished 5th among 9 team in the 2011 Pony Baseball U-12 Asia Pacific Zone Baseball Championships at Tancheon Stadium in Seoul, Korea, held from 17-21 July 2011. The tournament was won by Taiwan, who will represent the Asia Pacific Zone in the Pony Baseball World Series in Monterey, California in August, 2011. Importantly, Vietnam won a special playoff game to determine the Pony Baseball U-12 Champion of Southeast Asia, in which it handily defeated the Philippines National Pony baseball team by a score of 10-1. Pony Baseball, founded in 1951, is one of the oldest youth baseball organizations in the world, with more than 500,000 youngsters playing baseball in its leagues around the world (see www.pony.org).
Vietnam finished the Seoul tournament with a 2-2 record with wins over Indonesia by a 14-3 score and the win over the Philippines. Vietnam finished behind teams from traditional Asian baseball powers Taiwan, Japan, and two teams from Korea, but finished ahead of Philippines, Russia, Hong Kong and Indonesia. The wins over Philippines and Indonesia are significant and show the quick rise of Vietnam to potentially becoming a Asian baseball power in the future. This was Vietnam's first win over Philippines in youth baseball after losing three games in a row dating back to 2009 - Philippines had won all three previous meeting by mercy rules. Although Vietnamese children have only played baseball for three years, Philippines has been playing baseball for more than 60 years, and is traditionally known as the top Southeast Asia country in baseball (one gold medal and one silver medal in the Southeast Asia Games), while Indonesia has played for more than 20 years and has twice earned the Bronze medal in the Southeast Asia Games. It is a great accomplishment for the Vietnamese youngsters from the Hanoi Youth Baseball Club who have now achieved the rank of top U-12 Pony baseball team in Southeast Asia even though there is no baseball field in Hanoi for practice or games, and the team has no pitcher’s mound for practicing. In April, 2011, Vietnam’s team defeated the Seattle Klouters, a team of all-star Little League and Pony baseball players from Seattle by a score of 6-2 in a friendly game in Hanoi, and also won the 2011 Vietnam Open Baseball Classic in January 2011, defeating teams from Indonesia, and teams of American and Japanese children studying in Hanoi.
In the game against Indonesia held in Seoul, Korea on 20 July 2011, Vietnam jumped to an early 5-0 lead in the first inning, en route to a lopsided 14-3 win. The game was called after 4 ½ inning due to mercy rules because Vietnam lead by more than 10 runs. In that game, Vietnam team captain right fielder Nhu Ngoc “Rabbit” Quoc Thinh, an 8th grader at Nguyen Truong To Middle School, blasted a 240-foot solo home run over the left field fence in the second inning. Vietnam then broke the game open by scoring 8 runs in the third inning.
Vietnam was lead by Quoc Thinh, who hit one home run, one triple and three doubles in the four-day tournament, who went 3-3 and scored 3 runs in the win vs Philippines, and third baseman / Pitcher Ben Nguyen Treutler (8th grade, Doan Thi Diem Middle School), who scored three runs and stole 7 bases versus Indonesia. Ben batted .667 for the tournament on 6-9 hitting, stole 15 bases, scored 7 runs, and had 5 RBI’s in the tournament, with a .727 OBP.
Pitcher Yuki Kijima, an 8th grader at the Japan School of Hanoi, was the winning pitcher for Vietnam in their wins over Indonesia and Philippines, pitching a complete game gem versus Indonesia, allowing just three hits, while striking out 5 Indonesian batters. Ben Nguyen Treutler also pitched well for Vietnam, closing the victory over the Philippines team with two innings of relief by retiring 6 consecutive batters, including striking out four consecutive batters at one point. Yuki and Ben baffled the Indonesia and Philippines hitters with a variety of pitches. Reliever Nguyen Tuan Anh (8th Grade, Doan Thi Diem Middle School) also was perfect in relief for Vietnam during the tournament, including retiring three consecutive batters from Japan.
2B / Catcher Lam Nguyen Khai Hoan (8th grade, Doan Thi Diem Middle School) had an excellent tournament highlighted by slugging a 250-foot home run over the fence in a friendly game versus traditional Korean school league power Hui Mang Dae Middle School that was played on an off day, and throwing out a runner at 2nd base in the game against Philippines.
Centerfielder Nguyen Tong Hai (7th grade, SIS Middle School) also provided several timely RBI’s for the Vietnam team, and stole 9 bases, after getting on base seven consecutive times after the first game. Vietnam Shortstop Nguyen Kha Duy (7th grade, SIS Middle School) and first baseman Tran Trung Hieu (7th grade, Doan Thi Diem Middle School) played well on defense for Vietnam in the tournament, as did utility player Nguyen Tuan Anh and catcher Kentaro Yamada (8th grade, Japan School of Hanoi) and utility player Nguyen Tuan Anh. Kentaro threw out a runner at second against Indonesia, and provided an RBI in each of Vietnam's victories. In the game vs Korea, Tuan Anh made several stellar plays at third base, including corraling in a long pop fly that drifted approximately 50 feet out in foul territory toward left field.
Yuki and Kentaro from the Japan School Pony Blue J's complemented the Vietnamese players on the team well, and made strong contributions in this first ever combined Vietnamese and Japanese team from Vietnam.
Duy, Hoan and first baseman Trung Hieu gained applause and roars of appreciation from the home Korean crowd by turning an excellent 6-4-3 double play early in the opening game of the tournament against South Korea. Vietnam played well against South Korea, down just 7-1 in the 4th inning, before losing 13-1 after emptying its bench in the last inning. Duy also played well in left field vs Korea, catching three fly balls.
Other members of the Vietnam team included: Chu Bao Khanh, Pham Huy Hung and Hoang Nhat Quang, all studying in 8th grade at Doan Thi Diem Middle School, as well as Phan Duc Tri (7th grade, SIS Middle School), who caught a fly ball in centerfield to end the game vs the Philippines, and Nguyen Duc Huy (7th grade, Giang Vo Middle School). The speedy Hung came in off the bench as a designated pinch runner, stealing four bases in the tournament. The coaches of the Vietnam team included Tieu Viet Loc (head coach) and assistant coaches Dang Quyet Chien, Pham Ngoc Phu and Danny Meltzer.
Vietnam employed coach Tieu Viet Loc's aggressive running game to swipe 28 bases vs Indonesia, and 15 stolen bases vs Philippines.
Hanoi Youth Baseball Club (HYBC) founder Tom Treutler commented: “Vietnam’s success in this tournament shows how far Vietnam baseball has come, and demonstrates the talent and commitment of the kids here. Even though we have only been playing for three years and do not have a baseball field, we topped Philippines and Indonesia, where they have been playing baseball for 60 and 20 years, respectively. Our kids really worked hard for the last few years, so they deserved these wins – the kids and our coaches never gave up, even after being mercy ruled nearly every game for two years straight and losing 34 games in a row at one point. Our coaches set a goal when we started our program three years ago, and that was to be the best in Southeast Asia, and we accomplished that in this tournament, so, I’m happy for these kids and our coaches. The Vietnamese children are very talented in baseball. For example, team captain Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh is a former standout youth ping-pong player who has applied his natural athletic ability to baseball, and has discovered his own talent and passion for baseball.” Treutler, who is Vietnam Pony Baseball Country Director and Little League District Administrator added, “2012 will be the biggest year for baseball in Vietnam, as the Hanoi Youth Baseball Club will host the Little League U-14 championships and the Pony Baseball U-12 Championships in Nha Trang or Hanoi. These tournaments will bring 20 top-notch baseball teams to Vietnam, and the winners will advance to World Series tournaments in the United States.” HYBC is licensed by, and operates under the authority of the Hanoi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Hanoi Sports Federation.
HYBC currently has 70 players playing on teams for children aged 8 – 15 years of old, and practices in the My Dinh National Sports Complex in Hanoi. 15-year old fireball pitcher Nguyen Viet Anh from HYBC from the club will play high school baseball in the United States this year.
Pictured below: Team Captain RF Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh, showing off his souvenier home run ball (240 foot HR vs Indonesia), and No. 25 Third Baseman / Pitcher Ben Nguyen Treutler (.667 BA, 15 SB and 7 runs scored in tournament).
Link to Seoul Pony Tournament Pictures
Link to Video of Quoc Thinh's Home Run vs Indonesia
Link to Vietnam Team Tournament Statistics
- Nguyen Ngoc Thuy, Chairwoman - HYBC, tel.: +84 98 809 8688; email@example.com)
May 8, 2011 (8 AM) TRYOUTS FOR SUMMER PONY TOURNAMENT TEAM
To make time for the tryouts, no games will be held on May 8, 2011, but regular practice for all players will be held during/after the tryouts (all players should arrive at 7:30 this Sunday, even if they do not want to try out for the summer team.)
Forms and Information for Tournament Team Tryout
Practice Schedules for April - May
6:30 - 8:00 PM (All players NOT on Astros/Royals)
7:30 - 9:00 PM (Astros/Royals)
Every Saturday (at My Dinh Field)
7:00 AM - 9:00 AM (All players NOT on Astros/Royals)
14:00 AM - 16:00 PM (Royals/Astos)
Sunday 10/4 [NOTE: SCHEDULE WILL CHANGE WEEK TO WEEK! MUST CHECK WEBSITE WEEKLY]
7:00 AM - 8:15 AM (Bronco White Game: Tigers vs. Cardinals) [5 Innings] [Players arrive at 6:45]
8:15 AM - 9:30 AM (Bronco Red Game: Cubs vs. A's) [5 Innings](Giants PRACTICE) [All Players ARRIVE 8:00 for long toss!!!]
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM (Bronco Red Game: A's vs Giants) [5 Innings](Cubs PRACTICE)[Players ARRIVE at 8:00 for long toss!!!]
10:45 - 12:30 (Pony Game: Astros vs Royals)[6 Innings]
*All batters begin with 1-1 count;
Teams (NOTE - many players on TWO teams):
Bronco White(for newer and younger players):
Cardinals: All U-10 Players
Tigers: Quoc Huy, William Thai, Tuan Quang, Thanh Phong, Nhat Minh (Dong Anh), Nam, Tri, Khai, Luong, Tham Nhat Quang, Hoang Nhat Quang
A's: Phu An, Ben, Duc Huy, Quang Hieu, Hoang Nhat Quang, Thai Anh, Quoc Huy, Manh, Phan Anh, Octavio, Bach
Giants: Duy, Duc Tri, Thinh, Tong Hai, Tham Nhat Quang, Thanh Phong, Chu Bao Khanh, Nam, Trung Hieu, Duong
Cubs: Tuan Anh, Hoan, Nhat Minh (Dong Anh), William Thai, Quoc Minh, Vinh, Long Ha, Hieu Nguyen, Tuan Quang, Hoang Hieu, Vo Thanh Viet Anh, Viet Anh, Luong
Pony League (U14):
Astros: Ben, Thinh, Phu An, Duy, Trung Hieu, Mashu, Miyazaki, Khanh, Vo Thanh Viet Anh, Hoang Hieu, Manh, Duc Tri
Royals: Kakeru, Kentaro, Tuan Anh, Hoan, Duc Huy, Tong Hai, Quang Hieu, Quoc Minh, Hoang Hieu, Thai Anh, Viet Anh (Marie Curie), Vinh
Pictures from Historic USA - Vietnam Baseball Challenge
In the second photo, Hanoi Capitals SS Nguyen Kha Duy, 2B Pham Phu An and 1B Nguyen Duc Huy run off the field after recording the final out of the game.
More photos may be fund at this link:
Photo Album from USA - Vietnam Baseball Game
USA - Vietnam Baseball Challenge: Hanoi Capitals Top Klouters 6-2
Link to Box Score (At Bottom of Page)
It is believed that this baseball game was the first time youth sports teams from the two countries have met in Vietnam. It is also believed to be the largest crowd in history to attend a baseball game in Vietnam.
The ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by Mr. Hoang Vinh Giang, General Secretary of the Vietnam National Olympic Committee, and Deputy Chairman of the Olympic Committee of Asia. Prior to the game, in the aftermath of the recent tragic Tsunami in Japan, the players, coaches and fans joined the Japanese umpires from the Japan School of Hanoi (Iizaka-san, Miyake-san and Inagaki-san) in a moment of silence to honor the memory of the victims of the Tsunami in Japan.
In the pre-game ceremonies, Hanoi Capitals coach and the Director of Vietnam Pony Baseball, Tom Treutler thanked Coach Phil Rognier of the Seattle Klouters, Microsoft Corporation, and Coach Rognier's FirstSwing Foundation for their support to Vietnamese baseball through the generous sponsorship of Microsoft Corporation, who sponsored the game and have helped Vietnam in developing baseball over the last three years. Coach Rognier presented a commemorative gift to General Secretary Giang and addressed the crowd regarding the historical significance of the game.
The Capitals jumped to a 3-0 lead over the jet-lagged Klouters in the first inning, but then the Klouters came alive and rallied in the top of the fifth to close the gap to 3-2, only to have the Capitals answer with 3 more runs.
Ho Chi Minh City-born Ben Nguyen Treutler, now living in Hanoi, lead the Capitals by pitching 5 1/3 innings and allowing no earned runs, while striking out 5 Klouters to earn the Cy Young Award for the USA - Vietnam Baseball Challenge. LF Tran Trung Hieu came in to close the game and earn the save, by retiring the only two batters he faced in just five pitches.
RF Nhu Ngoc "Rabbit" Quoc Thinh and 3B Nguyen Tuan Anh each scored two runs for the Capitals. Hanoi hurler Ben went 3-3 at the plate with two doubles and a single, as well as 3 stolen bases.
The Klouters were lead by veteran Catcher Jordan "JoJo" Landel, who was named MVP for the USA - Vietnam Baseball Challenge, after throwing out five Capitals stealing, recording a stunning "web gem", making many fine blocks, and also getting on base every time up to bat. Landel combined with third sacker Beau "Bo Bo" Turner to stop many Hanoi runners in their tracks at third base. Klouter first baseman Connor "C-Man" Sand garnered two base hits for the Klouters, and nailed a runner at second base relaying a ball from the outfield. Seattle Klouter ace Henry "Hammer" Pratt pitched well in a losing cause, got on base twice while at the plate, and swiped three bases.
10-year old OF Marco "Spats" Cooper of the Klouters, the youngest player in the game played an excellent game, recording a two-RBI single, a walk, and a stolen base. At the post-game ceremony, Marco was awarded a commemorative Korea Pony Baseball cap from the Korea Pony Baseball Association as a souvenir of his first trip to Asia.
The game featured many memorable plays by the "brother combinations" playing in the game, including a rare brother to brother combination 9-3 outfield assist by the Sand brothers of Everett, Washington, and a sacrifice bunt by one of the Cooper brothers from Edmonds, Washington to advance his little brother.
In the top of the 1st, the Klouters threatened, but the Hanoi Capitals escaped unblemished. Speedy Klouter lead off man Kosta "Double Duty" Coooper began the game by drawing a walk. Kosta then attempted to steal second base, but was gunned down on a pitch out by Vietnam catcher Lam Nguyen Khai Hoan. Then, Klouter 2B George "Geo" Reidy got around on a pitch and blasted a towering moon shot to left field, but Hanoi Pitcher/Catcher Tran Trung Hieu, playing in left field for the first time, was positioned correctly and the ball perched in Trung Hieu's outstretched glove a mere few feet in front of the fence. Then, with two outs, Klouter pitcher Henry Pratt advanced to third after drawing a walk, but Hanoi pitcher Ben struck out the Klouter clean-up batter to halt the threat, and continued to shut down the Klouters over the next three innings.
The Capitals struck early in the bottom of the 1st inning, when lead-off batter Ben Nguyen Treutler choked up and short-stroked an 0-2 pitch but got good enough "wood" with his aluminum bat to launch a fly ball within a few feet of the makeshift 195-foot left field fence to record a lead off double. Ben stole third and then raced home on RF "Rabbit" Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh's long single to left center. Thinh then stole 2nd and 3rd base. Then, three-hole hitter 3B Nguyen Tuan Anh then also made contact and hit a ground ball to the left side that drove in Thinh on an infield error to stake the Capitals to an early 3-0 lead. Tuan Anh then scored on a subsequent fielder's choice.
In the top of the second, with one out, Klouter third-sacker Beau Turner teed off on a pitch and drilled a long line drive shot to centerfield, but fleet-footed Capitals CF Nguyen Tong Hai ("Lefty") ambled in, then burst forward and made a charging shoestring catch to rob Turner of a base hit on a play where Tong Hai evoked images of old-time Yankee center fielder Mickey Rivers back in the day in recording the out. Ben then K'd the next Klouter batter to retire the side.
In the third inning, following an error and a walk, the Klouters had catcher Jo Jo Landel on 2nd and Marco Cooper on 1st with one out, but then on a well-executed pitchout Hanoi catcher Hoan fired to third base and caught Catcher Jo Jo Landel hung out to dry in a run-down between 2nd and 3rd to record the second out with 2B Phu An chasing JoJo down from behind after receiving the throw from 3B Nguyen Tuan Anh on a well-executed one-throw run down. Then, when lead off man Kosta Cooper, the elder of the two Cooper brothers from Edmonds, Washington playing in the game, attempted a surprise bunt with two outs, Hanoi pitcher Ben Nguyen Treutler got off the mound quick and raced to the first base line, gathered in the bunt, and fired to first baseman Duc Huy to just barely nip the speedy Kosta Cooper at first to end the inning.
In the bottom of the third, Hanoi pitcher Ben easily legged out an infield hit down the third base line and promptly stole 2nd. Then, the Klouters executed a pitchout perfectly with C Landel firing right on target into the glove of the waiting 3B Beau Turner who tagged out Ben to prevent the Capitals from doing further damage.
In the 4th inning, the Klouters attempted to rally when Henry Pratt laced a letter high two-strike fastball up the middle with one out. Then, Capitals pitcher Ben swiveled 180 degrees on the mound and nabbed Henry as he tried to steal second. It was bang-bang play to record the second out. Then, Connor Sand singled and Antoine Arnaud drew a walk for the Klouters who kept the pressure on by moving runners to second and third base, but the Hanoi hurler Ben whiffed the next Klouter hitter on three straight pitches to thwart the Klouter threat.
In the top of the 5th, with one out, Klouter OF Octavio Orona and Catcher Landel got on base after consecutive errors by the Capitals, and moved to second and third. Then, with his parents Marco and Lori Cooper looking on, Klouter OF Marco Cooper banged an 0-2 pitch into right field to drive in Orona and Landel to bring the Klouters within one run. The Capitals once again escaped, and got the second out when catcher Hoan quickly scrambled and picked up a Kosta Cooper bunt and fire to first on time, on a play in which elder brother Kosta Cooper successfully sacrificed to move his little brother Marco to third base. Second sacker Reidy then smashed a line shot to right field, but the Capitals slick RF "Rabbit" Thinh got a fine jump and glided in with an outstretched glove to corral the ball backhanded just before it hit the ground, and the Capitals once again robbed the hard-luck "Geo" of a hit.
In the bottom of the 5th, the Capitals answered the Klouter rally. CF "Lefty" Tong Hai crowded the plate and took one for the team, then stole second and third base. 2B Pham Phu An then looped a two strike pitch over the first baseman's head into no-man's land to drive in Tong Hai to score an insurance run and move the lead to 4-2. On the play, Klouter RF Parker "Pork Chop" Sand made a rare outfield assist to first base by quickly fielding the ball in short right and astutely firing a frozen rope to his older brother Connor at first base to beat Phu An to first to the astonishment of the the Hanoi crowd, which included their father Jon Sand and grandfather Loren Sand.
The Capitals continued to try to re-extend their lead as Ben Treutler then hit a long shot to left field again on an 0-2 pitch, once more within a few feet of the fence in nearly the same exact spot he hit the ball in the first inning, to record his second double of the game. Ben then stole third and led off, hoping to pad the Capital's 2-run lead. Then, there was a wild pitch, and Ben took off toward home to try to score another insurance run. Catcher JoJo Landel instantly discarded his mask and scrambled back to the backstop wall to run down the wild pitch. Landel lerched at the ball that had come to a stop against the backstop, pressed his hand down onto the ball, swiveled, and blindly made a pinpoint flip from the backstop wall into the vicinity of the batter's box on the third base side of home plate. Lightning quick Klouter reliever George "Geo" Reidy, a six-state Pitch, Hit & Run Finalist from the Northwest Region of the USA, charged in and seemingly from out of nowhere took flight about five feet from home plate, laid out forward as if he was doing a full gainer, and stretched out his glove to the third base side of home plate to all in one motion simultaneously snare the flip from Landel, block the plate and try to tag Ben who tried for naught to slide, scramble and crawl to the plate under, over and around the sprawled out Geo. Ben and Geo looked up from a tangle of arms and legs. The Japanese home plate umpire Mr. Miyake stayed stooped over home plate motionless and paused for a long moment, removed his mask, then roared: "He's OUT!"
Capitals RF Thinh and 3B Tuan Anh then walked, to set the table for clean up hitter C Lam Nguyen Khai Hoan, the MVP of the Vietnam Baseball Classic in Vinh Phuc who hit the game-winning grand slam in the Championship Game against Indonesia in January, 2011. Once again, Hoan delivered the big blow with a long two-out fly ball hit over the heads of the outfielders to score Thinh and Tuan Anh. CF Octavio Orona chased down the ball near the centerfield fence an hit relay man Connor Sand who had moved to SS. C-Man then fired a strike to new second baseman Kosta Cooper to gun down Hoan at second base when he tried to stretch his hit into a double, but only after Thinh and Tuan Anh had crossed the plate as they were running on the fly ball.
In the top of the 6th, after Klouter SS Nguyen Kha Duy made a fine play to snare a scalding line drive off the bat of Klouter Henry "Hammer" Pratt, the Klouters attemped to rally, with 1B Conner Sand singling off Ben. 11-year old Capitals LF Tran Trung Hieu, the team's long toss champion, then came in to close the game and displayed excellent command when he promptly struck out one Klouter and induced another batter to ground to first baseman Nguyen Duc Huy to end the game.
Capitals C Lam Nguyen Khai Hoan, played an outstanding game, allowing no passed balls and throwing out two runners at second base. Both pinch runners used by the Capitals, Phan Duc Tri and Do Quang Hieu each successfully stole a base.
The Capitals were coached by Tom Treutler, Pham Ngoc Phu and Dang Quyet Chien, and managed by Nguyen Ngoc Thuy. Bui Thu Giang and Phan Thanh Thuy were the Hanoi team moms. Head Coach Phil Rognier of the the Klouters was assisted by assistant coaches Jeff Pratt, Ken Reidy, Jon Sand, Loren Sand, Marco Cooper, and Andy Boes, as well as team moms Carolyn Landel and Lori Cooper.
Following the historic game, Microsoft and the FirstSwing Foundation also combined with the Hanoi Youth Baseball Club to organize a Pitch, Hit & Run contest for over 200 Hanoi youngsters that was run by the players and coaches from the game.
Hanoi Capitals founder and coach Tom Treutler commented: "The game today shows how far baseball has come here in just two years. I am proud of these kids - they have worked hard for this against a lot of odds, and deserve some success. The support and encouragement of Coach Phil and Microsoft has been critical to create a baseball movement here in Vietnam. I thank the young Klouter players and their parents for traveling so far for this event. When the Klouter kids grow up, they will realize they were really part of something special, and played a historic role in getting baseball going in Vietnam. Through Coach Phil's programs, our players have learned a lot of valuable life lessons that will help them in whatever they end up doing in the future, and they have learned real teamwork."
In the days leading up to the game, the Klouter players and coaches visited several local Hanoi elementary and junior high schools to introduce baseball to more than 3,000 Vietnamese children. On World Autism Day (the day before the game), the Klouter baseball "ambassadors" joined with local families of autistic kids in a 5,000 person March for Autistic Children in Vietnam.
Link to Box Score (At Bottom of Page)
USA - VIETNAM BASEBALL CHALLENGE - 3 APRIL 2011
The 1st Annual USA - Vietnam Baseball Challenge will take place on 3 April 2011 at the National Sports Complex in My Dinh, Hanoi. The game will feature the U-12 Hanoi Capitals and the U-12 Seattle Klouters, who are traveling from the USA for the game. The Klouters are coached by Phil Rognier, the Director for the First Swing Foundation, who has supported Vietnam baseball over the last few years.
Giants Best A's in Tight Game
LHP Nguyen Tong hai struck out 6 batters for the Giants, and Nguyen Duc Tri got the win in relief. 2B/RF Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh scored two runs, and SS Nguyen Kha Duy recorded two hits for the Giants. In Sunday's double header, fireballer Tong Hai struck out 10 batters over 4 innings of work.
Box Score from Game
Cubs Top Giants in Extra Innings
Pictured: C Lam Nguyen Khai Hoan, who hit the game-tying home run.
Box Score from Game
PRACTICE SCHEDULE FOR SPRING 2011
7:00 - 8:30: Red River (U-12) and U-8 and U-10;
Every Sunday at My Dinh Sports Complex:
7:00 - 8:30: Red River (U-12) and Hanoi U-8 and Hanoi U-10;
8:30 - 10:00: Capitals (U-12) and Hanoi U-14
5 March 2011: (at UNIS)
3:00 (Hanoi U-10 vs. UNIS U-10)
4:15 (Red River U-12 vs UNIS U-12)
6 March 2011: (at My Dinh Sports Complex)
8:00 (Hanoi U-10 vs Japan School U-10)
9:30 (U-12 Capitals vs Japan School U-12)
Hanoi Capitals Win Vietnam Baseball Classic
The Hanoi Capitals won the Bronco (U-12) Division of the Vietnam Baseball Classic held in Vinh Yen from 13-16 January with a 14-8 victory over Indonesia Prambors, one of the top baseball clubs in Jakarta. The Capitals had to win two games on the final day to win the championship. In an afternoon elimination game, the Capitals defeated the Japan School of Hanoi 13-1 behind 3 innings of no-hit pitching by starting pitcher Tran Trung Hieu.
In the final, a rematch vs the Indonesia Prambors (who had previously beat Vietnam 8-7 in a seasaw game on a walk off hit by Prambors 1B Rizky in pool play), Indonesia jumped to an early 7-3 lead, taking advantage of a number of Vietnam errors, and excellent pitching by Wiga. With Vietnam trailing 7-4 in the 5th inning, Vietnam's bats came to life as the top of the order, Ben Treutler, "Rabbit" Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh, and Nguyen Tuan Anh all singled with one out. Catcher Lam Nguyen Khai Hoan, the tournament MVP, then cleared the bases with a long double and raced home on an overthrow to give Vietnam 8-7 lead.
Diminuitive Vietnam Second Baseman Do Quang Hieu then took the mound in the bottom of the 5th inning to try to thwart a bases loaded, no out rally by the Prambors with Vietnam leading 9-7. Hieu induced a double play that began with a diving over the shoulder circus catch in foul territory by Vietnam 1B Nguyen Duc Huy who then quickly got back on his feet and astutely raced to 1st base to double off the Prambors runner. Quang Hieu then struck out Prambors slugger Radja (second in Home Run Derby) swinging on a letter high fastball. Quang Hieu then held the Prambors to just one more run in the next inning.
Vietnam LHP Nguyen Tong Hai went 2-2, and was the winning pitcher in relief. The Prambors lost several opportunities to break the game open, leaving the bases loaded in the 3rd, 4th and 5th innings. Tong Hai made a charging shoestring catch in left field in the 3rd inning that prevented the Prambors from adding to their lead. In the 4th inning, SS "Rabbit" Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh, who won the base running contest in the skills competition, made a diving snare of a line shot up the middle to once again prevent the Prambors from breaking the game open. Vietnam 3B Tran Trung Hieu went 3-3. Vietnam starting pitcher Ben Treutler, who posted a 2-0 record in the tournament, scored 3 runs, including a steal of home, and played 5 positions (Pitcher, 3rd base, 2nd base, first base and centerfield) over the course of the 3-hour marathon game.
Indonesian pitcher Wiga played an outstanding game and was voted Outstanding Pitcher of the Tournament, holding down the Vietnam bats for the first few innings and stopping Vietnam's running game. Prambors LF Putri went 3-3 and scored 2 runs. Prambers CF Haryo also went 3-3 in the game, while RF Raken and P Wiga each had a pair of hits for the Prambors. All agreed that the Prambors/Vietnam match ups were the most exciting games of the tournament, and this promises to be a strong rivalry in the coming years.
Vietnam coach Loc Tieu said: "I'm real proud of these boys. They have come a long ways after only playing baseball for two years. Prambors played a great game and is a tough team with good coaching. They had us on the ropes, but we had a little more pitching depth." The Capitals scored 57 runs in the five-game tournament, and only allowed 20 runs. The Capitals hit .564 as a team and stole 42 bases while only striking out 10 times in 5 games. SS Quoc Thinh paced Vietnam with a .727 batting average, 10 runs scored and 10 RBIs. P-3B Ben Treutler hit .667, stole 10 bases and scored 10 runs. C Khai Hoan hit .600 and drove in 9 runs.
UNIS Red Sox player Hoang Barnett hit the lone home run over the fence in the tournament, after going yard vs the Japan School, and was a finalist in the home run derby. Indonesia catcher Senayan's Arbyan turned in a great tournament, winning the Gold Glove award and the Louisville Slugger Home Run Derby. Radja, the Indonesia Prambors' slugger, finished second in the home run derby. Senayan's Mikhail also finished second in the baserunning contest, just behind Vietnam shortstop Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh. Vietnam won the around the horn contest (three revolutions in 24.9 seconds), with Japan School of Hanoi finishing second with an excellent time of 28.5 seconds.
Vietnam to Host 2012 Bronco (U-12) Asia Pacific Championships
At the 2011 Asia Pacific Zone Pony Baseball Annual Meeting, Vietnam was awarded the right to host the 2012 Asia Pacific Zone Bronco Division (U-12) Championships in late July 2012. The tournament is expected to include teams from Indonesia, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Hong Kong, Russia and other countries.
It is anticipated that the event will be held in the South Central Coast resort city of Nha Trang, Vietnam.
The winner of the tournament will advance to the Bronco Division World Series in Monterey, California.
Link to Website for Vietnam Baseball Classic (13-16 Jan. 2011)
Linek to Vietnam Baseball Classic Website
Louisville Slugger to Sponsor Home Run Derby at Millenium Classic
U-11 Team Tops U-12 Team
The U-10 Tigers topped the U-11 Devil Rays by a score of 3-1. Duc Nguyen and Thanh Long pitched well for the U-10 Tigers. Thai Tudhope and Do Quang Hieu caught pop-ups for the U-11 Devil Rays.
VIETNAM VS JAPAN AND TAIWAN PONY GAMES HIGHLIGHT VIDEO
LINK TO GAME HIGHLIGHTS!
Link to Japan and Taiwan Game Highlights
Hanoi Youth Baseball Club Officially Established
HYBC is starting its Pony Fall Season, and practices times are set as follows:
U-10: Wednesday at 6:30 PM and Saturday at 7:00 AM
U-12: Friday at 6:30 PM and Sunday at 7:00 AM
All practices are held at Chu Van An High School Field, No. 10 Thuy Khue Street.
HANOI TO HOST 2011 PONY MUSTANG (U-10) ASIA PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIPS
Confirmed countries entering the tournament are Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam. The winner of the tournament will automatically advance to the Pony Mustang World Series to be held in Texas in August, 2011. Following its fall season, the Hanoi Pony League will select a local Pony Mustang All-Star team to represent Vietnam in the tournament.
Coinciding with the Mustang tournament, Hanoi Pony Baseball will host an open U-12 tournament, the "Hanoi Millenium Classic."
Pictured above: 2010 Pony Mustang World Series Champions: W.S. Hart Pony of Santa Clarita, CA, who defeated Puerto Rico in the championship game by a score of 10-6.
SIGNUPS FOR FALL SEASON
We will play U-14 (born between 1 May 1996 and 30 April 1998), U-12 (born 1/5/1998 - 30/4/2000) and U-10 Division (born 1/5/2000 - 30/4/2002) league schedules, and have a playoff tournament in December. U-10 will be coach pitch for the first 6 weeks. Pony Baseball rules will apply to all games.
U-10 players will be eligible to be selected to the Vietnam national team that will represent Vietnam in the U-10 (Mustang Division) Asia Pacific Zone Championships to be held in Hanoi in mid-January of 2011 to coincide with the Asia Pacific Zone Pony Baseball Annual Summit to be held in Hanoi on 15-16 January 2010. The winner of this tournament will represent the Asia Pacific Zone in the Pony Mustang World Series in Texas, USA in July, 2011.
Players in the U-12 division will be eligible to play in the Hanoi Millenium Classic to be held in Hanoi, also in January, 2011 to celebrate the 1,000th Anniversary of Hanoi, and will be eligible to be selected to the Vietnam national Pony team to compete in the U-12 (Bronco Division) Asia Pacific Zone Tournament to be held in July of 2011 in one of the Asian Pony Baseball member countries. Teams from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Singapore are expected to participate in the Hanoi tournaments.
Players will also be eligible to play in friendly games against the UN School of Hanoi (UNIS) and the Japan School of Hanoi, and will be eligible to participate in the various camps organized by Hanoi Pony Baseball (in the past, coaches from MLB and well known youth coaches from the US have visited Hanoi to work with our kids).
The fee for the fall season is VND 1.500.000 (US$75.00) for the three month season.
For a registration form or questions, please email Thuy Nguyen at firstname.lastname@example.org Parents may register their children at Chu Van An Field (10 Thuy Khue) on Wednesday or Friday nights from 18:30 - 20:00 or on Saturday mornings from 07:00 - 08:30.
USTSA Website Tribute to Vietnam Team
USTSA Website Vietnam Team Tribute
Hanoi Capitals Return to Hanoi
Pictured above: Vietnam and Korea National U-12 teams in Indonesia.
Some highlights of the trip included:
1. Close loss to Tung Yuen School Team of Taipei, the top baseball school team in Taipei. Hanoi lost only by a score of 12-8, after pulling within 8-6 in the 4th inning after a 2 run home run by SS Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh (6th grade, Nguyen Truong To Middle School). The guys could taste victory in that one.
2. Fellowship with old friends from the Klouters, including Hanoi baseball supporter and mentor coach Phil Rognier, coach Jeff Pratt and the other coaches, the Landels, CT, Henry, JoJo, Beau and other players and parents as the team finished its trip at baseball camp in Seattle. An amazing three day camp culminating in a friendship game in Seattle with the Klouters! The players got to stay with U.S. families in Seattle, and make some great friends and experience.
3. Emotional pre-game festivities at the Friendship Game with Garden Grove Pony -- maybe the first time youth teams from the US and Vietnam have met in a long time. The Hanoi Pony players presented a US$ 200 donation to the fund for the 3 and 5-year old Zickefroose boys of Anaheim, two recently orphaned kids in the area (Dad shot their mother, then committed suicide after shooting at the kids, hitting the 3 year old). GGPB contributed $500 and a lifetime PONY membership. Hanoi Pony pulled within 8-4 after 4 innings, but then succumbed to fall 19-5. No one will ever forget the first run scored by Nguyen Phan Anh (9-year old, Hanoi Academy). Maybe a record for press and TV cameras at a youth game. Many local Vietnamese from Little Saigon came out to cheer on the Hanoi team, and even followed on to San Diego to watch the boys. Tim Jacobson and Chris Cooper of GGPB also presented our team with new MLB-quality uniforms and equipment bags. Rick Sanchez, representative of PONY in Orange County presented the boys with official PONY Bronco-11 Medals.
3. RF Nguyen Kha Duy's amazing catch in the 1st inning of the Friendship Game in Garden Grove -- after that, as well as after SS Thinh's solid line shot single in the top of the 1st, told the U.S. crowd knew that Vietnam could play.
4. 10-year old Phan Duc Tri (6th grade, SIS School), catching 3 fly balls in the outfield in the friendship game vs. Garden Grove Pony Baseball, including one that probably robbed the Garden Grove cleanup hitter of a sure HR.
5. 11-year old pitcher Nguyen Tuan Anh hitting 63 MPH on the gun in the Pony championships, and improving into a solid pitcher with every game.
6. 10-year old Ngo Hoang Hieu (5th grade, Doan Thi Diem) laying down a perfect bunt single vs. the Japan National U-12 Team.
7. 9-year old Nguyen Phan Anh scoring Vietnam baseball's first ever run in the U.S, in the 4th inning vs. Garden Grove Pony.
8. 10-year old Tran Trung Hieu (5th grade, Doan Thi Diem School)'s web gem spear of a line drive at 3B in the USTSA World Series in San Diego.
9. 11-year old Ben Nguyen Treutler (6th grade, Doan Thi Diem) going 5-6 at the plate in the first 3 games of the USTSA World Series. Tran Trung Hieu and Pham Quoc Minh's back to back long bombs vs the Japan National Team (225+ feet!), but both caught be an amazing rightfielder who back-tracked about 50 feet to make the catches(was that the next Ichiro????)
10. Ngo Hoang Hieu's great fly ball catch off the Asia-Pacific champion Taiwan team shown on national TV in Taiwan. Vietnam's team played in front of 2,000 fans at Taiwan Youth Stadium, including many Vietnamese people living in Taiwan who came to cheer on the team from their homeland. Who will ever forget the scene of 20 Vietnamese caretakers (nurses) pushing their elderly U80 Taiwanese charges out to the field to watch a Vietnam - Taiwan baseball game!!! Or, the old Vietnamese lady living in Taipei for 10 years that bought ice cream for the team.
11. Hanoi players meeting baseball legends Troy Percival (all-star Angels closer) and Brett Boone (all-star Mariners 2B) in San Diego, and posing for pictures.
12. Leading three games in the USTSA World Series before falling behind (we started every game off with a lead in the first, but could not hold on!). We didn't finish last in this tournament (29th out of 30 teams), and even ended up ranked 60th in the USTSA national rankings for the US, because we went in this tournament against the toughest teams in California. That's ok for our first try.
13. C Pham Quoc Minh (7th grade, Giang Vo Middle School), representing Vietnam in the home run derby in Indonesia, coming within a few feet of hitting a long home run over the fence.
14. SS Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh and 2B Do Quang Hieu (5th grade, Doan Thi Diem) combining for two double plays vs Singapore National U-12 team.
15. Pinch Runner Pham Phu An (Alfred E. Nobel Middle School) streaking home for the first run vs. Indonesia National Team.
16. Nguyen Duc Huy's (5th grade, Nam Thanh Cong)unassisted double play at 1st base vs. Taiwan champion national team, and consistent play at 1st throughout the tournament. Duc Huy only pitched once, but had a perfect outing against Hong Kong in Indonesia, getting out all the batters he faced.
17. A 7-1 loss to the Hong Kong National U-12 Pony Team in Taiwan, in which it was a tight game into the late innings. Ben Nguyen Treutler (6th grade, Doan Thi Diem Middle School) pitched a complete game using only 59 pitches over 7 innings, only giving up only two earned runs (the rest came off errors).
18. Nguyen Dac Quang Vinh's (6th grade, Hanoi Academy) back-peddaling circus catch of a fly ball vs New Zealand National team in Indonesia.
19. C Lam Nguyen Khai Hoan's (6th grade, Doan Thi Diem) triple vs Hong Kong National Pony team, and excellent catching throughout the tournament.
20. New teammate, 10-year old pitching phenom Boomer Hoang Tieu of Irvine, California from the O.C. Nitro Travel Team joining his homeland's team the Hanoi Capitals to share his great pitching skills during the San Diego tournament. The boys got a new teammate and friend in Boomer.
21. Vietnam team performing "Trong Com" at the culture night in Indonesia for all the other teams to see and hear.
22. 10-year old left-handed fireballer Nguyen Tong Hai (5th grade, SIS School) throwing 2 2/3 scoreless innings vs. New Zealand 12-year old national team. He also had an excellent bunt single vs. Philippines, and pitched well in San Diego, despite being one of the youngest players in the tournament.
23. Great fun at the Mariners game to cheer on our idol, Ichiro!
24. Lots of hot dogs, hamburgers, and some instant noodles along the way.
25. Last but not least, Coach Loc, Boomer, Hamy and Stinky -- the Vietnamese baseball family from Orange County who adopted our team and helped so much. Coach Loc, an experienced coach in Orange County, gave the team and coaches a lot of useful tips and helped coach from the dugout during the games in San Diego. Coach Loc appeared out of nowhere at the Friendship Game in Garden Grove with trophies for every one of our players, and two huge duffel bags of uniforms for the team.
26. An incredible baseball clinic by super coach Pat Davis (coach of 1999 Pony Mustang World Series Champs)of Garden Grove, and his outstanding baseball player son James Davis of Santa Ana College.
27. Fun and learning at the U-14 championships in Santee California, where the kids learned a lot from the So Cal National Travel Team, including their coaches and U-14 phenom Tyler Alamo.
28. Taking the city bus to batting practice at Home Run Park batting cages in Anaheim, then having to walk back three miles to the hotel with our gear, as bus service stopped. Going to the top of the 101 story building in Taipei and a day off at Disneyland.
29. One 12-year old boy born in Hanoi, but now living in New York, flew all the way to San Diego to cheer on the team, and brought the team a bunch of gear he collected from his youth team for the boys to bring back to Vietnam -- thanks Jack and Tim!
30. The smile on everyone we met's faces when they got a Vietnam baseball pin -- we gave away 1,000 smiles on this trip, and we still didn't have enough for everyone.
Thanks to all the coaches, parents, grandparents, and friends who made the trip possible, especially the team moms (Giang, Lan, Thuy . . . ), and coach Thuy, coaches Phu and Chien, sponsor SSI Corporation, sponsor Song Da Corporation, coaches Phil and Jeff, Carolyn and Hans, all Klouter host parents, Ben's grandparents, Me Hoa, Hank and chi Ut, Coach Loc and Hamy, Rick and Joe at USTSA. Tim and Jack. Chu Tien and chi Dung. Rick Sanchez from Pony in OC. Tim Jacobson, Chris Cooper, and all the coaches at Garden Grove Pony. Pat Davis and his son James. Michelle (student host in Taiwan), Vita and Be (student hosts in Indonesia). Anderson, Soto, and The Show, and Microsoft and the Mariners for the generosity. Ryan and Tony from the newspapers.
San Diego U-11 World Series Photos of Hanoi Capitals In Action
Pictured above: Vietnam pitcher Nguyen Ben Treutler (6th grade, Doan Thi Diem School).
Radio Interview of Hanoi Youth Baseball League Chairwoman Ngoc Thuy
Pictured above are the Hanoi Capitals and the Riverside SWAT (coached by MLB All-Star Troy Percival), at the USTSA U-11 World Series in San Diego.
Here is a link to the article and interview:
Link to VOA Article and Audio Interview
Hanoi Pony Baseball Attends Baseball Camp in Seattle
Pictured above: Hanoi player Pham Phu An signals "two outs already!"
Vietnamese baseball team visits Everett for camp and friendly competition
By Mike Cane, Herald Writer
EVERETT -- At the command of instructor Phil Rognier, a dozen young baseball players assume the "dying cockroach position." Flat on their backs. Hands and feet in the air.
When Rognier barks, "Go!" the players scramble to their feet and sprint from the left-field grass toward center field. Rognier watches closely, monitoring the kids' effort in a conditioning drill Wednesday at the pristine Phil Johnson Ballfields.
At first glance, it looks like any other sun-soaked summer baseball camp. Five dozen kids ages 8 to 12 hustling through conditioning drills, playing catch, and listening to Rognier's passionate speech about the virtues of baseball and its valuable life lessons.
"Coach Phil's lectures, they help us a lot," 12-year-old Ben Nguyen Treutler said. "He tells us about our spirit -- that we always need to hustle and try our best."
This camp, though, is different: Treutler and his 14 teammates on the Hanoi Youth Baseball Club traveled from Vietnam to learn from Rognier.
Close to wrapping up a 34-day trip that started in Indonesia, the Hanoi Capitals are participating in the FirstSwing baseball camp with 45 local players. It's part of the Baseball Connect program created by Rognier, executive director of the non-profit FirstSwing Foundation.
Rognier, 67, of Medina, has coached FirstSwing camps in Everett for seven years. This is the first time he's welcomed Vietnamese players. The bond formed a few years ago when Rognier received an e-mail inviting him to help develop a baseball program in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.
Since then, Rognier has twice traveled to Vietnam, where he used Baseball Connect -- with financial support from Microsoft -- to teach the sport to kids ages 4 to 18. Most of them had never played baseball, which is not popular or even accessible in Vietnam. "There's nowhere to play in Hanoi," Rognier said.
Soccer is the dominant sport, he said. At his baseball camps in Vietnam, Rognier taught basic skills to children on dirt fields primarily used for soccer.
Those conditions are a far cry from the picture-perfect facilities at Phil Johnson Ballfields. After practicing there three days this week, including today, the Hanoi Capitals will play a friendship game against a local team, the Klouters, at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Treutler, a Hanoi infielder, said he is looking forward to the contest.
"This has been a really great experience for our team," he said. "We had never been to the United States and thought that we would never (be here).
"And guess what? Because of a new sport, we can be here. We hope that baseball will become a big sport in Vietnam."
Although most of the Vietnamese players had never been to the U.S., they speak English. Many of them have played baseball two years or less.
"They're very good kids. They're not elite in terms of baseball, but they're elite children," Rognier said.
They enthusiastically soaked up Rognier's lessons.
"It's the basic (baseball) skills that any of the American kids would know (but) we don't," said Phu Ngoc Pham, who helps coach Hanoi and has an 11-year-old son, Phu An Pham, on the team.
The Vietnamese players also are getting a taste of American life. In addition to staying with host families in Everett, Edmonds and Bellevue, they attended an Everett AquaSox game Wednesday and are scheduled to watch the Seattle Mariners tonight at Safeco Field. It will be their first time watching a big-league game in person.
After beginning their long journey early last month with games in Indonesia and Taiwan, the Capitals played in Garden Grove, Calif., and San Diego, and took a trip to Disneyland.
Saturday's international friendship game is the final contest of Hanoi's trip. The Capitals fly home early Monday. Chris Tanner of Edmonds will miss them. The 15-year-old volunteered this week at the FirstSwing camp. He met most of the Hanoi youngsters in April when he and three other Klouter players spent a week assisting Rognier in Vietnam.
"We were only there for a week but we got really tight with these guys," Tanner said. "We jelled really well."
American kids befriending Vietnamese kids because of baseball -- it's just the first step in Rognier's ambitious mission.
"It's just about goodwill," he said. "We call the program 'Baseball Connect' because we connect with the world.
"If the kids get together," he added, "maybe we can end some of this political strife."
See them play
The Hanoi Capitals baseball team plays the local Klouter squad at 10 a.m. Saturday at Phil Johnson Ballfields in Everett (400 W. Sievers-Duecy Blvd.). The youth event is part of the Baseball Connect program, created by Klouter coach Phil Rognier's nonprofit FirstSwing Foundation. For more information, visit firstswingbaseball.org and klouter.org.
L.A. Times: United In Their Love for Baseball
United in their love for baseball
The Hanoi Capitols, a youth team, is the first Vietnamese baseball squad to visit the U.S.
August 02, 2010|By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Bonita, Ca. — Tran Trung Hieu, third baseman for the Hanoi Capitols, faked a bunt to unnerve the pitcher. It worked.
The San Diego Hustle pitcher threw the ball in the dirt for ball-one. On the next pitch he took a little off his fastball to make sure it was in the strike zone.
Hieu, 10, smashed it clean — the distinctive sound of a bat hitting a ball signaling a hit in any language. As the ball rocketed into left-field, Hieu raced to first.
In the dugout, the rest of the Capitols broke into a cheer, the Vietnamese equivalent of "go, go, go, hitting, hitting, hitting."
It was a moment of sports diplomacy— two groups of boys separated by language, culture and food but united in their love for an American game that only recently has been exported to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
The Capitols, the first Vietnamese baseball team to visit America, are here for the United States Travel Sports Assn. World Series — 200-plus teams in eight divisions playing at several venues in San Diego County. The Capitols are in a division for players ages 11 and younger — the only foreign entry.
The Capitols' organizer is Tom Treutler, an American attorney who lives in Hanoi and is married to a Vietnamese woman. He arranged for the trip and helped pay for it, along with financial support from a Vietnam-based securities firm. His 12-year-old son, Ben, is on the team.
"Our team is new," Ben said. "We feel good and strong. We just need experience, we've got to play smarter."
The Capitols have yet to win a game, neither in San Diego nor in the tournaments in Indonesia and Taiwan where they played on their way to the U.S.
Many of the American players have been playing baseball since their tee-ball days and have had the advantage of neighborhood batting cages, expensive equipment and expert coaching. Most of the Capitols have been playing baseball for about a year, some only for months.
Former big-league pitcher (and four-time All-Star) Troy Percival is the coach of the Riverside S.W.A.T. team that routed the Capitols at Little Padres Field on Thursday. He said it was a learning moment for his players to see the energy of their Vietnamese competitors.
"I told our kids that they should feel lucky for all the advantages they have in this country," he said.
Hanoi Pony Baseball Donates to Anaheim Family Justice Foundation
Before its game against the Garden Grove Pony League on 24 July 2010, the Hanoi Pony League players and coaches presented US$ 200 to the Anaheim Family Justice Foundation to support the 3-year old and 5-year old Zickefoose brothers of Anaheim. In June 2010, the boys' father fatally shot their mother, and then shot and injured the 3-year old little brother before committing suicide. The 5-year old big brother was shot at by the dad, but was fortunately not hit. A fund for the boys has been set up through the Anaheim Family Justice Foundation. Garden Grove Pony Baseball has contributed $500 for the boys, and agreed to grant the boys a lifetime membership to Pony Baseball.
Historic First Vietnam Baseball Game in U.S. Broadcast on Internet
Pictured above: For the love of the game -- after their final game in the USTSA U-11 World Series was over, the Hanoi Capitals play a game for fun in a vacant field behind their hotel in Chula Vista, California -- they didn't want it to end.
The historic first ever baseball game between a Vietnamese baseball team (Hanoi Pony League) and a U.S. team (Garden Grove Pony) was broadcast on the world wide web on Preps Radio Network. Link to Preps Radio Network Press Release
Photos of Garden Grove Friendship Game
Pictured above: Nguyen Kha Duy congratulated by teammates after scoring a run vs Garden Grove Pony.
OC Register: Garden Grove hosts historic game between U.S., Vietnam
OC Register Article Link
Pictured above: A Garden Grove runner hurries to first and Ben Nguyen Treutler digs the throw out of the dirt.
On Sunday, the Capitals took to the field against the Garden Grove PONY Bronco 11-and-under All-Star team at West Haven Park in Garden Grove. In front of a crowd that included family, community members and interested spectators, the two teams played the first PONY baseball game between Vietnam and the United States.
It was an event that took seven years in the making.
Ben Treutler played baseball in Garden Grove at age 5 but moved to Vietnam with his family.
He returned on Saturday as the starting pitcher of a 15-player team from Hanoi coached and supported by his mother and father, Thomas Treutler.
"These are kind of my old teammates," Ben said. "We improved a lot. Most of our games we've lost by a lot, but this has been our closest game to date."
For most of the players on the Vietnamese team, it was their first time to the U.S., and they were awed by the well-manicured fields and hospitality that welcomed them. Amped by the supplies of Coke, Skittles and M&M's in their dugout, they cheered wildly when Phan scored their first run, despite already being down by eight.
Coach Thomas Treutler, who helped organize some of the first Vietnamese baseball leagues, felt the game was a learning experience as well as a pioneering trip.
"We've learned a lot from the players and Garden Grove coaches," he said after the game, which ended 19-5. "We're never going to forget this, that's for sure. You can just see the smiles on the kids' faces."
The Vietnamese players weren't the only ones who were excited. Garden Grove coach Paul Escobar noted that the boys were "more nervous than before any All-Star game," which was confirmed by catcher Hunter Cooper.
"We were a little nervous, but we settled in after the first couple of innings," Cooper said.
Still, both teams provided an intriguing spectacle that pleased fans that had come from all over Orange County. Irvine resident Loc Tieu, who "lives and eats baseball," came to the States in 1983 from Vietnam.
"It looks better than we expected," he said. "They're hanging in there, just give them three or four more years.
You know how exciting it is to see a (Vietnam team) play? For them to never play and then pick up a glove, that's amazing."
For the most part, the Vietnamese team, while unpolished, exhibited the raw skills needed for success. They were adept at catching and fielding, and according to Treutler, will need to improve their pitching and hitting to make the next big step.
The team from Hanoi will travel to San Diego for a tournament on Tuesday, but not before making a stop at Disneyland. With big dreams and even bigger smiles, they remained optimistic.
"I think we can win some games in the tournament," said Quoc Minh Pham, before joining his teammates to celebrate their fifth and final run.
OC Register: Man returns to O.C. with Vietnamese baseball team
OC Register Article Link
When Thomas Treutler and his family made their decision to permanently move back to Vietnam, he looked out across a baseball field for what would be the last time in a long time.
Shifting his eyes from the outfield grass, he watched his son Ben, then 5, run the bases in his Garden Grove PONY baseball game.
A resident of Santa Ana, Treutler had decided to pack up the family and make the long trip back to his wife's homeland and son's country of birth for work. But in the process, he knew they would be leaving some things behind: afternoons behind local high school dugouts, nights at the Big A and weekends spent watching Ben develop as a ballplayer.
Seven years later, the sacrifice doesn't seem too bad.
On Sunday, Treutler will make his return to Garden Grove with a team of 15 Vietnamese All-Stars, who will play against the Garden Grove Pony Bronco 11U All-Star team at 2 p.m. at West Haven Park. For the first PONY-organized team ever in Vietnam, the game will be the opener of a series of scheduled encounters on the West Coast, among them the United States Travel Sports Association World Series in San Diego.
According to Treutler, a lawyer based in Hanoi, the game may be the first that any organized Vietnamese team in any sport has played in the United States since the Fall of Saigon.
"Vietnam doesn't have a lot of team sports... this could be the first time any team has played against the U.S. in the U.S.," he said in a phone call from Hanoi.
Treutler and his team, the 11U Hanoi Capitals, have come a long way from the dirt fields of Northern Vietnam, where early games consisted of Wiffle balls and boys who were abound with enthusiasm, but lacking in experience.
In a land left behind by American forces in 1975, there are few hints of America's favorite pastime – no wooden bats or leather gloves and even fewer true baseball diamonds. The only popular sports involving balls are ones where they are kicked or hit with paddles and racquets. The only hints of baseball in the Communist-run country come from weekly broadcasts of Yankees games.
Two years ago, Treutler, during his son's 10th birthday party, decided to break out a bat and gloves after hearing that his son's friends had never seen real baseball equipment. What came next seemed only natural.
In a bustling city with little elbow room, Treutler went in search of a field – or simply an open space where the boys could stretch their legs and begin to learn the game. They finally settled at a field 30 minutes away where, in a stifling 105 degrees, they set up bases in rock-encrusted dirt.
"I organized six kids to play, and it just kept growing and growing," Treutler explained. "After about seven to eight months, we had about 20-something kids in a Little League."
Treutler began a process of acclimatizing the boys to a sport – a sport in which millions of Americans take lifetimes chasing perfection – in just a few months. He organized practices, then games with local international schools, and later, clinics.
"When I went to Vietnam they didn't have a clue... and they were very, very remedial in their skill sets," said Phil Rognier, a coach with the First Swing Foundation. First Swing, a nonprofit, has run baseball clinics from Morocco to the Far East.
"But they had passion," Rognier recalled.
It was passion that propelled the children to take up a foreign game, despite six days of school a week and mountains of homework. Treutler as well as coaches Dang Quyet Chien and Phu Ngoc Pham formed the first PONY League in Vietnam earlier this year, which consists of four teams, two under-12 teams and two under-10 teams.
The All-Star team comes as a handpicked bunch from the under-12's whose backgrounds range from poor to relatively wealthy. Much of the funding for the team comes from Treutler's own pocket as well as a sponsorship from SSI Securities, one of the largest security brokerage firms in Vietnam.
And while the team has played a flurry of tournaments in preparation, claiming their first international win against a team from Singapore in October, little will compare to their upcoming experience in the States with promise of fierce competition, Disneyland and, of course, their first Major League Baseball game – a Mariner's game when they visit Rognier's foundation in Washington.
"We're looking at this first as an honor for us to host a team from a different country," said Coach Paul Escobar of the Garden Grove All Star team. "It's an opportunity for our boys to get to meet some other kids who love the game as much as they do."
"They didn't tell us how important the game is," said Cooper Hunter, a 10-year-old catcher on the Garden Grove team. "I'm assuming it's pretty big."
Since organizing the boys' first baseball experience, Treutler has poured about $20,000 of his own money into equipment, travel expenses and tournament fees. But for the coach, who oftentimes has to double as umpire and scorekeeper in games in Vietnam, the investment has been well worth it. His mother, Susan Treutler called it his "magnificent obsession."
"When Tom graduated, I gave him a little poem that said, 'Go, make the world a better place,'" she said. "I think he is."
China Post: Article on Hanoi Pony League
The China Post featured an article on the Vietnam Pony Team
Vietnam to develop youth baseball: coach
Taipei, July 17 (CNA) Vietnam, where most children did not know what baseball was until two years ago, is keen to develop its youth baseball and use the sport as a tool to foster good relationships with other countries in the world, a Vietnamese youth baseball team's coach said Saturday.
"Baseball is new in Vietnam with only two years of history... but we hope to establish a senior national team to represent the country in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, " said Team Vietnam's American manager Thomas Treutler, at a press conference held on the sidelines of the Pony Baseball 2010 Asia-Pacific zone Bronco Tournament.
Pony Baseball is a U.S.-based, non-profit organization which is devoted to youth baseball and organizes tournaments for different age groups, including Pinto for players eight and-under, Mustang for players 10 and-under, Bronco for players 12 and-under, Pony for players 14 and-under, Colt for players 16 and-under and Palomino for players 19 and under.
Treutler, who has lived in soccer-crazy Vietnam for 18 years, said he started a weekly youth baseball program with his wife two years ago in Hanoi. Before long, children became interested in the sport and joined the program, which started out with six children and now has more than 70.
However, they had to practice on a soccer field because there was not a baseball field in Vietnam.
"And the field is rocky so the kids couldn't slide, " said Treutler, whose son Ben Nguyen Treutler is also on the team.
The trip to Taiwan, Treutler and the Vietnamese children's first, is like a dream come true, he said, adding that the children were amazed at the electric scoreboard, the dugout and the beautiful field after visiting the venue Youth Park Baseball Stadium Saturday.
"They could only see those things on the ESPN. Now they can play in a real ball park, " he said.
The Vietnamese government has shown its interest in supporting the development of baseball, said Treutler, who is now head of Pony Baseball Vietnam. His wife, who is Vietnamese, now heads the Vietnamese Baseball Association.
"We will try to build a baseball field in two years. And we will come back to this tournament every year. Hopefully, we will field a team for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, " he said.
With Taiwan's success in baseball and many direct flights between Taiwan and Hanoi, Taiwanese baseball coaches are welcomed to conduct clinics and provide help with Vietnam's development, Treutler said.
Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Hong Kong and the Philippines are participating in the seven-team tournament, which will be held from July 18-22 in the Youth Park Baseball Stadium in Taipei. The winner of the tourney will represent the Asia-Pacific zone in the World Series from Aug. 5-12 in Monterey, California.
Treutler and a coach from the Philippines both observed that Taiwan and Japan are favorites to win the tournament. (By Chris Wang) enditem/cs
Hanoi Pony Prepares for Trip to US
The team will then travel to Seattle to attend a baseball camp organized by the First Swing Foundation of Coach Phil Rognier.
Hanoi Pony Arrives in Taiwan for Asia Pacific Tournament
On Saturday, 17 July, the team played a friendly game against Tung Yuan School Team of Taipei, a school in Taipei that is famous for youth baseball. Taipei jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but Vietnam narrowed the score to 8-6, before Taipei added 4 runs in the 6th inning, and went on to win 12-6. Vietnam SS Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh blasted a two run inside the park home run that came within 20 feet of going over the fence.
On the 18th, Vietnam dropped its opener in the tournament to Indonesia, 15-5. Vietnam had pulled to within 6-4 in the 4th inning, but Indonesia snuffed out a key play when it successfully defended a double steal attempt by Vietnam in the bottom of the 4th. Ben Treutler pitched well, allowing just 3 hits over the first 3 innings.
Hanoi Youth Baseball Club Officially Established
Vietnam to Host 2011 Pony Baseball Asia Pacific Zone Meeting
MLB Coaches to Return to Capital City
Pony League Results: Red River 10, Capitals 8
The Capitals then tied the game when SS Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh (Rabbit) from Nguyen Truong To Middle School lofted a clutch Texas Leaguer into short right field to score two runs with two outs. Thinh barely legged out the hit after the Reds 2B Pham Phu An (VIP Elementary School) made a valiant effort to chase down the bloop hit. Thinh then stole 2nd and 3rd base, to move himself 70 feet away from scoring to give his team the lead. Then, Thinh tried a delay steal of home and nearly pulled it off, but was out at the plate on a close play when Reds Pitcher Do Quang Hieu (VIP Elementary School) alertly fired the ball to C Tran Trung Hieu (VIP Elementary School) with a perfect throw just in time.
Then in the bottom of the last inning, Reds C/P Pham Quoc Minh (Giang Vo Middle School) ended the drama by blasting a long walk off home run to left center scoring CF Nguyen Kha Duy (SIS School).
Highlights of the game: In the first inning, with Pham Quoc Minh on 3rd, the Reds successfully executed a safety squeeze when Ben Nguyen Treutler (Alfred E. Nobel Middle School) bunted to score Minh. Nguyen Kha Duy also hit a three run homer for the Reds. Nguyen Duc Huy (Nam Thanh Cong Elementary School), back from injury, pitched well for the Capitals, as did Nguyen Tuan Anh (Alfred Nobel Middle School).
After four games, Quoc Minh is leading the Hanoi Pony League with a whopping .778 batting average. He is also leading the league in hits with 7. Quoc Minh and Trung Hieu of the Reds are tied with Nguyen Tuan Anh of the Capitals for the league lead in RBIs with 5. Nguyen Kha Duy leads the league in runs scored with 7.
On the pitching side, after four games, Reds P Trung Hieu leads all pitchers with 8 strikeouts. Reds P Ben Nguyen Treutler leads all pitchers with a 3.00 ERA and an 0.67 WHIP.
Hanoi Capitals Top UNIS
In the U-10 game, SS Do Quang Hieu (VIP Elementary School) started off the game with a surprise bunt single. 3B Tran Trung Hieu (VIP Elementary School) ended the inning with a deep home run to CF to cap a 5-run first. Do Quang Hieu came on in relief with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the first and whiffed two UNIS batters to thwart the rally.
In the 2nd inning, with two out, Ngo Hoang Hieu (VIP Elementary School) and Nguyen Tuan Anh (SIS) drew walks to keep the inning alive, and Do Quang Hieu followed with another single to load the bases. C Nguyen Dac Quang Vinh (Hanoi Academy) then teed off on a 3-1 pitch to drive a triple into right center to empty the bases and give the Capitals an 8-3 lead. Phan Anh (Hanoi Academy) lead off the third with a single and scored to give the Hanoi Capitals an 11-5 lead. Pham Phu An (VIP Elementary) made many fine defensive plays, and Nguyen Duc Huy (Nam Thanh Cong Elementary) played a flawless game at first base. Nguyen Duc Tri (SIS) hit a home run in the second inning, in his first game against UNIS.
Vinh went 2-2 with 4 RBIs and scored 2 runs. Nguyen Kha Duy and Nguyen Duc Tri both went 2-2 with 2 RBIs and 2 runs. Do Quang Hieu went 2-2 with 2 runs. Nguyen Duc Huy went 1-1 with an RBI and a run.
In the U-12 game, the Hanoi pitchers controlled the game, with Pham Quoc Minh (Giang Vo Middle School) pitching a shutout first inning with three strikeouts, and Ben Nguyen Treutler (Alfred E. Nobel Middle School) pitching a shutout second inning. Nguyen Tuan Anh (Alfred E. Nobel Middle School) also did well coming into pitch with two strike outs in one inning. Lam Nguyen Khai Hoan (Alfred E. Nobel Middle School) also pitched well. Do Quang Hieu, playing up in the U-12 game made a fine play at second base spearing a line drive off a UNIS batter.
Hanoi Pony All Stars to Play in USTSA World Series in USA
The 11U tournament will be held at the Sweetwater Sports Complex just outside of San Diego. The Hanoi Pony all-star team is entered in the tournament as the "Hanoi Capitals". and will be composed of twelve 11U players selected from the Hanoi Pony League. The same players will also compete in the 2010 Asia Pacific Zone Pony Bronco Division Tournament held in Taipei from 17 July - 24 July, where participants include Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Russia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
List of U11 USTSA World Series Participants
RED RIVER TRUMPS CAPITALS 12-4
Reds 1B/C Pham Quoc Minh caught two pop ups for the Reds from his first base position, and added 2 RBIs on his 3-3 day at the plate. Reds C/1B Tran Trung Hieu added 3 RBIs on two hits. SS Do Quang Hieu, C/2B Ben Treutler, SS/LF Ngo Hoang Hieu and OF Nguyen Tuan Anh each added two hits for the Reds. 2B/RF Pham Phu An scored two runs. CF Nguyen Kha Duy and OF Do Dinh Manh each doubled for the Reds.
CAPITALS TAKE REMATCH VS. REDS 9-8
Capitals CF "Lefty" Tong Hai made his first pitching appearance in relief and struck out 4 Reds over two innings. He also did well from the plate, with two hits including a bunt single and two runs. C/RF Nguyen Dac Quang Vinh, 1B Nguyen Duc Huy, and 3B Nguyen Tuan Anh each had two hits for the Capitals. Nguyen Tuan Anh also pitched well in relief.
CF Nguyen Kha Duy had two doubles for the Reds in a losing cause. SS Do Quang Hieu made several fine stops at shortstop for Red River, while infielder Ngo Hoang Hieu caught a high pop fly. CF/2B Pham Phu An and 1B/C Ben Treutler did not give up a hit in relief for the Reds.
HANOI PONY RECEIVES FORMAL INVITATION TO ASIA - PACIFIC TOURNAMENT IN TAIWAN
REDS TOP CAPITALS IN VIETNAM'S FIRST PONY GAME
Tran Trung Hieu (VIP School, 5th Grade) was the winning pitcher for the Reds. CF Nguyen Kha Duy (SIS School, 5th Grade) and SS Do Quang Hieu (VIP School, 5th Grade) each scored two runs for the Reds.
Prior to the game, a congratulatory message from PONY Baseball CEO and President Abraham Key was read to the players, parents and fans. Pony Baseball (http://www.pony.org), headquartered in Washington, PA, was founded 59 years ago. More than 450,000 youth play Pony Baseball throughout the world.
Coach Phil Rognier, Director of the First Swing Foundation (http://www.firstswingbaseball.org/) from the Seattle area threw out the first pitch to Capitals captain SS Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh (Nguyen Truong To Middle School, 6th Grade).
Prior to the game, a free baseball camp was held for 180 local kids by the First Swing Foundation, featuring 3 coaches (Phil Rognier, Jeff Pratt and Hans Landel) from the Klouter Tournament Team (http://www.klouter.org/) from the Seattle area and four of their youth players from the Klouter program (Chris "C.T." Tanner, Henry "The Hammer" Pratt, Beau Turner and Jordan "JoJo" Landel), as well as local Hanoi Pony Baseball coaches, who taught and demonstrated baseball skills to the local kids.
The young baseball "ambassadors" from the Klouter team were named honorary Hanoi Pony players for the day, and took part in the day's Pony game. The camp was sponsored by Microsoft, the First Swing Foundation and the Hanoi Youth Baseball League (Hanoi Pony Baseball).
The camp also featured the first ever Pitch, Hit and Run Contest held in Vietnam. Hanoi Pony players Ben Nguyen Treutler (892 Points, Alfred Nobel Middle School, 6th Grade) and Ngo Hoang Hieu (621 Points, VIP School, 5th Grade) won Vietnam's inaugural U-12 and U-10 Pitch, Hit and Run Competitions, respectively. HYBL Player "Kevin" Nguyen Tan Nguyen Khoi (Hanoi - Amsterdam Middle School, 8th Grade) won the U-14 Division with 897 Points. Pham Tuan Ky (Hanoi Academy, 2nd Grade) won the U-8 Division with 300 Points.
Highlights of the game included:
* Reds SS Do Quang Hieu was the only player recording two hits with a 2-2 outing and 2 runs scored, with 4 stolen bases. Shortstop Hieu also made a fine stop of a scalding short-hopper hit off the bat of Capital 1B/P Henry "The Hammer" Pratt in the 1st.
* Tran Trung Hieu of the Reds picked up the win on an efficient outing, and threw the first strikeout in Pony history in Vietnam in the second inning. Ben Nguyen Treutler (Alfred Nobel Middle School, 6th Grade) came on in relief and continued to hold down the Capitals, before closer Beau Turner (Seattle, WA) slammed the door getting 2 K's and allowing no hits in the final frame.
* Capitals RF Nguyen Dac Quang Vinh (Hanoi Academy, 5th Grade) caught two fly balls in rightfield. The first robbed Ben of home run in the first inning. The second was a snare of a Texas Leaguer also hit by Ben in the third inning that bounced off the First Baseman and the Center Fielder before settling in Vinh's glove. It was clear that Vinh had Ben's number on this day.
* Capitals CF "Lefty" Tong Hai (SIS, 5th Grade) wowed the home crowd when he suddenly fired a frozen rope to 1st base to nail an astonished Reds runner at first on what seemed like a routine single.
* C Jordan "JoJo" Landel (Seattle, WA) and C Pham Quoc Minh (Giang Vo Middle School, 7th Grade) played a pivotal role in the game behind the plate, as the Capitals were not able to reach 1st base on any dropped third strikes, and were controlled on the base paths. Early in the game, Quoc Minh also made a fine play in left field to cut off a sharp hit to left field by Capitals P/1B Nguyen Duc Huy (Nam Thanh Cong Middle School, 5th Grade) in the second inning preventing a sure extra base hit.
* Seattle-area fireballer Henry Pratt struck out 4 Reds in one inning after coming on in relief for the Capitals, a rare feat at any level. Two of the four players struck out reached first on a dropped third strike. "The Hammer" also made a number of fine plays at first base, including spearing a scorching line shot in the final frame.
* Capitals SS "The Rabbit" Nhu Ngoc Quoc Thinh made an outstanding play in the 1st when he back-hand speared a line shot off the bat of JoJo Landel in the 1st and ran to third to astutely double off a Reds runner.
* Reds CF/SS Nguyen Kha Duy scored two runs and had three stolen bases. Duy recorded the first hit in the history of Pony Baseball in Vietnam with a leadoff single off Nguyen Duc Huy in the first inning. Duy also recorded the first stolen base and first run in the history of Pony Baseball in Vietnam.
* Capitals 3B Nguyen Viet Anh (Chu Van An Middle School, 7th Grade) recorded a triple, and CF Tong Hai had a double for the Capitals.
* 3B Nguyen Tuan Anh (SIS, 5th Grade) subbing for another player of, coincidentally, the exact same name, Nguyen Tuan Anh (Alfred Nobel Middle School, 6th Grade) who was out ill, was Johnny on the Spot, when he got around on a Nguyen Duc Huy fastball and drilled a worm-burner that hugged the left field foul line and rolled all they way to the fence abutting West Lake to record the first home run in the history of Pony Baseball in Vietnam. The two run inside the park homer was a key turning point in the game.
* Capital Tran Gia Bach (Doan Thi Diem Middle School, 6th Grade), hit a home run to center field.
*Honorary Hanoi Pony players Jordan Landel, Beau Turner and Henry Pratt each recorded one hit in the first Pony game in Vietnam on the field which was 6,840 miles from their homes in the Seattle area! They traveled 18 hours by air to take part in the events.
*Honorary coaches included for Red River Reds: Head Coach Phil Rognier (Seattle Klouters), Asst. Coaches Hans Landel and Chris "C.T." Tanner (Seattle Klouters); for Capitals (Jeff Pratt, Seattle Klouters). Honorary team mom was Carolyn Landel (Seattle Klouters).
* Regular Coaches: Reds (Tom Treutler); Capitals (Pham Ngoc Phu).
* Coach Phil Rognier presented awards of thanks before the game to Hanoi Youth Baseball team moms Mrs. Giang, Ms. Thuy and Ms. Huong, as well as Hanoi Pony Baseball Director Nguyen Ngoc Thuy.
* The "Accidental Umpire": In a surprising coincidence, veteran umpire from Australia Mr. Lloyd was visiting from Australia and arrived in Vietnam the day before the game. He ran into the Seattle area players as they ate breakfast at their hotel prior to the game. The sight of four youth baseball players in uniform in Hanoi surprised Mr. Lloyd, and he followed the Seattle contingent to the game, where to his own surprise, he became the first umpire in Pony Baseball history in Vietnam, sparing Red River coach Tom Treutler of his usual "double duty" of being both coach and umpire. All coaches agreed that Mr. Lloyd called a great game.
* Many area coaches took part in the events of the day and helped in the camp and the game, including Mr. Arthur Graham of Hanoi Academy, Coaches Bui Hai and Nguyen Thanh Hoa of the Hanoi Baseball Club, as well as members of the FISHANU Baseball Club (Mr. Hung, Yen, Vickie and Nhung).
* The event was covered by many members of the press, and was featured on the 11 PM sports report on national TV.
* In July, 2010, Hanoi Pony Baseball will send a team to the Pony Baseball Asia-Pacific Zone Championships in Taiwan, where it will compete against teams from Japan, Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, China, Indonesia, Russia and Singapore. Today's game was the first game of the eight game 2010 Pony Baseball Spring Season in Vietnam.
Photos of the game can be found in the Photo Album Section of this website.
Link to Box Score (At Bottom of Page)
COACH PHIL ROGNIER TO VISIT HANOI PONY LEAGUE
This is Coach Phil's second trip to Vietnam, as he visited Vietnam last year under the auspices of the Baseball Connect Program sponsored by Microsoft. Coach Phil has authored several books on youth baseball, and brings a positive message to youth: "GAGPTH!" which stands for Get A Good Pitch to Hit -- i.e., make good choices in life.
More information on Coach Phil's programs can be found at thehttp://www.klouter.org website.
VIETNAM TO ENTER PONY BASEBALL 2010 ASIA PACIFIC ZONE TOURNAMENT IN TAIWAN
The Asia Pacific Zone Tournament champion will travel to the United States to compete in the 2010 Bronco Division World Series to be held in Monterey, California from 5 - 12 August 2010, and will compete against regional champions from the United States, the Carribean, and Mexico.
In 2009, Taiwan won the Asia Pacific Zone Pony Baseball title by defeating Japan 2-1 in extra innings. Simi Valley of California won the Bronco World Series in 2009. For further information on Vietnam's entry into the Pony Baseball Asia Pacific Tournament, please contact Thomas Treutler (email@example.com).
RED RIVER FALL TO CAPITALS
The Capitals were lead by CF Nguyen Kha Duy who went 3-4 with 3 runs and 2 RBI. SS Nhu Ngoc Thinh also went 3-4 and scored 3 runs, and had 1 RBI. Tong Hai and Nguyen Viet Anh each had two hits for the Capitals. Nguyen Tuan Anh was the winning pitcher in relief of Duc Huy, who also had a fine outing on the mound and scored two runs. Lam Nguyen Khai Hoan had a strong performance on the mound, and picked up the save. Tran Gia Bach drew two walks and played well at third base. Chu Bao Khanh scored two runs to help the Capitals. Nguyen Tuan Anh and Chu Bao Khanh made a big defensive play in the first inning catching a Red River runner in a run down between 3rd and home. Hoan and Duy combined on a fine play to pick off a Red River runner at second base.
Red River had several fine defensive plays, including a diving catch of a pop fly by SS Do Quang Hieu, and catches of towering pop ups by Pham Phu An, and 3B Hoang Hieu, who tracked down a high pop up in foul territory. Ben Treutler scored two runs for Red River, including a steal of home. Quoc Minh had a strong pitching outing in relief, and also banged out two singles. Rookie Duc Tri, who lead the Hanoi Little League in home runs, blasted a long triple to left center, and did well in his first pitching appearance. Trung Hieu also scored two runs. Ngo Hai Khoi continued to hit well with two singles and drew a walk on a 2-2 day. Nguyen Dac Quang Vinh and Nguyen Tuan Anh each were on the bases often and stole several bases. C Nguyen Dac Quang Vinh played a strong game behind the plate.
What is PONY Baseball?
In the summer of 1951, PONY Baseball began with the organization of the Pony League in Washington, PA. On June 8th, 6 managers participated in the first player "auction." More than 130 boys were purchased at that auction.
On June 18th the first regular season Pony Baseball game was played between the Redwings and the Chiefs with the Redwings winning in 7 innings. The game was played at Wash High field, with an estimated 800 people in attendance.
The original teams were named: the Bisons, the Chiefs, the Colonels, the Orioles, the Redwings and the Royals.
The first season ended with a match game between the season's
first and second half champions. The Orioles were the first half
champions and the Redwings were the second half champs. In
the best of 3 series, the Orioles came out on top winning
Pony Baseball's first championship.
The growth of Pony Baseball, primarily by word of mouth, was rapid. By the end of the second season, 1952, the original six teams in Washington were joined by 505 others in 106 leagues across the country. A national tournament was conducted, and the first Pony League World Series was held that year.
In 1952 the first Pony World Series was played sharing headlines
with the Korean War. It was an 8 game event over a 4 day period.
North Charleston, South Carolina won the first game, defeating a team from Hagerstown, Maryland; 3 to 1.
San Antonio, Texas became the first official Pony Baseball World Series winner by defeating Brockton, Massachusetts in the final game by a score of 2 to1.
Lew Hays, among the founders of the Pony League, was named
Commissioner of the new league when it was incorporated for
national organization in early 1953 and held that post until 1964
when he became president of PONY Baseball.
In 1953, John Laslo, long time mayor of Martin's Ferry, Ohio, visited with Hays and discussed organization of a league similar to Pony League for 15 and 16 year-old players. The purpose was to permit players in this age bracket to compete with players of like experience in their first years on the regulation diamond. Laslo guided the development of Colt League, and in late 1959, Pony League and Colt League were merged into a single organization.
Now nearly 30,000 teams, over 450,000 players, and 4,000 leagues make up Pony Baseball in almost 30 different countries.
P O N Y = Protect Our Nation's Youth
There are currently over 375 Major League Baseball players who are graduates of PONY Baseball. Mark McGuire, Tony Gwynn, Bobby Bonilla, Jeff Cirillo, Roger Clemens, Alex Fernandez, Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripkin Jr., Brett Saberhagen, Alex Rodriguez and J.T. Snow are just a few of the Major League players who have participated in PONY Baseball.
PONY Baseball is organized with two-year age brackets.
Shetland League - ages 5 and 6
Pinto League - ages 7 and 8
Mustang League - ages 9 and 10
Bronco League - ages 11 and 12
PONY League - ages 13 and 14
Colt League - ages 15 and 16
Palomino League - ages 17 and 18
For PONY Girls Softball, leagues are operated for fast pitch and slow pitch on an "and under" age concept.
Pinto League - age 8 and under
Mustang League - age 10 and under
Bronco League - age 12 and under
Pony League - age 14 and under
Colt League - age 16 and under
Palomino League - age 18 and under
CAPITALS EDGE RED RIVER IN PRACTICE GAME
The Capitals were lead by Tran Trung Hieu who went 2-3 with 5 RBIs. Trung Hieu also pitched two innings allowing just one run. Lam Nguyen Khai Hoan, who banged out 3 RBIs in a 4-4 day at the plate, was the winning pitcher, while Nguyen Tuan Anh took the loss for the Capitals. Ngo Hai Khoi had 3 RBIs for Red River, including a home run, and had a great catch in the outfield robbing Nguyen Kha Duy of an extra-base hit. Nguyen Tuan Anh also homered for Red River.
In a short practice game held on Sunday, March 14, Red River squeeked by the Capitals 3-2. Ben Nguyen Treutler went yard for Red River. Pitcher Tran Trung Hieu picked off a runner.
MLB ASIA BASEBALL DEVLOPMENT DIRECTOR RICK DELL VISITS HANOI
This was Coach Dell's second trip to work with this group of Hanoi youth players, following his visit in April 2009. Coach Dell provided the players and coaches with many valuable pointers on how to develop baseball skills in the areas of hitting, pitching, fielding and catching. Many thanks to Coach Dell for his support to our kids over the last couple years with coaches from the MLB Envoy Program.
VIETNAM JOINS PONY BASEBALL
Pony Website Article on Vietnam Induction to Pony Baseball
PONY BASEBALL ASIA - PACIFIC ZONE MEETING 2010
The annual board meeting, set Jan. 15-17, allows members of the PONY Asia-Pacific – Japan, Korea, China, Russia, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines – to plan activities for the year.
Baseball leaders from the 10 Asian countries will also be in town to grace the opening ceremonies of the 15th Tot Baseball Metro Schools Baseball and Softball League and will be in search for the site of the first PONY Baseball Training Center in Asia.
Also, the occasion coincides with the 35th anniversary of PONY Baseball/Softball in Asia which was established by Rodolfo “Totoy” Tingzon in 1975.
PONY Baseball produced many past and present baseball stars such as, Yumori Giants slugger Takahashi, Los Angeles Dodgers closing pitcher Ishii, MLB Hall of Famer Steve Garvey of the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees superstar and future Hall of Famer Alex Rodriguez and many others.
Philippine Star Article on Pony Asia Pacific Zone Meeting