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Germany Baseball Road Trip

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Day 1 Saturday Left the USA for historic Germany!
Day 2 SundayArrived in Frankfurt and checked into our team hotel. Afterwards early arrivers explored Frankfurt and took the historic river cruise.
Day 3 Monday Sightseeing in Wiesbaden included the Spa quarter, Kurpark, Roman Bath, Palace Place, "Neroberg" hill with the Greek Chapel, Biebrich Palace and Fasanerie.   Afternoon game #1 versus the Mainz Athletics #3 team.
Day 4 Tuesday

Sightseeing in Mainz included  the Cathedral, Palace, Old Town, St.Stephan church with the Chagall-window, "Roemersteine", and Gutenberg Place. Game #2 vs the Mainz Athletics #2 team.

Day 5 Wednesday

Visited the Roemer market place in Frankfurt, the Old Cathedral, Pauls Church, the Hauptwache main watch tower, the Old Opera House, and the Sachsenhausen historical quarter.  Game #3 versus the Mainz Athletics #1 team.

Day 6 Thursday A trip to picturesque Heidelberg's old town and famous medieval Palace, then to Karl Theodore Bridge. For game #4 we mixed teams with the Athletics and played a spirited 6-5 game.
Day 7 FridayTraveled from Frankfurt to Munich in the morning.  After lunch we spent the afternoon sightseeing at BMW Museum, Marien-Place square, Stachus, Old Town-Hall, New Town-hall, Peters-Church, Victualien-Market, Asam Church, "Hofbräuhaus", the Women-Church Cathedral, and Odeons Place with the Theatiner Church. We ended the evening with dinner in town at the famous Hacker-Pschorr Brewery.
Day 8 Saturday After a morning off, we played a noon game #5 versus the Dachau Tigers where we were victorious 16-9. After the game we paid a short visit to the nearby somber Dachau concentration camp.  In the evening,  we had our farewell banquet at Hofbrauhaus Am Platzian German beer garden.
Day 9 SundayWe returned home to the USA victorious!

 


 
Since the days of the Romans, Wiesbaden has been famed for the healing effects of its 26 hot springs making it the ultimate spa town.  Mike Wiesen and Chuck Friedman partake of the hot springs foundation during our walking tour of the city.


  
Our group gathers around the fountain on the square outside of Market church near the Wilhelmstrasse area of shops and cafes.


    
After visiting the Russian Orthodox Church of St Elizabeth built in 1855, we rode the Nerobergbahn funicular down the hill into Wiesbadden.



Biebrich Palace is situated picturesquely facing the Rhine River. This three-wing baroque building served the Dukes of Nassau as their residence from 1744 to 1866, but it is now the home of the Hesse film archives.



The entrance to the Mainz Athletics Stadium, one of the finest baseball fields in Germany.


  
Our First game was against the Mainz Athletics #3 team.  The Athletics were our hosts for our first four games in Germany and were great players and sportsman.  After each game we dined at their stadium each night sampling traditional German fare. Mighty Dave Kelpin Bats with a runner on.


  
Alex Vlielander at bat awaits his pitch while the pitcher checks our runner at 2nd not realizing his next pitch is going to be a gopher ball.  The next inning, Charlie Hildebrandt gets ready to deliver his hook.



Our left side defense of Chuck Freedman and Mike Radey warm up between innings while thinking about the post game dinner.



We visited Mainz, the capital of the region during the Holy Roman Empire.  Mainz was a Roman fort city which commanded the west bank of the Rhine and formed part of the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire. During Roman and medieval times, Mainz built several beautiful churches and cathedrals.


  
On our way to see the Gutenberg Museum, we strolled through the open air market in Mainz.  Mainz is famous for its university, Roman heritage, Romanesque cathedral and Gutenberg printing press.



The Guttenberg Museum contains reconstructions of print shops and Gutenberg's hand press and  an exhibition of incunabula with the first two Gutenberg bibles on display to the public.  Well, at least one is after Dave Kelpin bought the other one.


  
The monument to St Boniface outside the Mainz Cathedral. Can't helping thing he just short armed a pitch if you look at his right arm.


  
Mike Radey shows his 1930 pitching motion while Alex shows his versatility playing 3rd base in our game against Athletics #2.


     
A younger team, we had our hands full with the Athletics but could hold our own as long as our starters held up.



Our fans were crazy enough to watch every game when they could have been off shopping and partying in town.



Frankfurt Cathedral, also known as St Bartholomew's, is the main church of Frankfurt. and was originally built as a parish church in 1235.


  
Sightseeing in Frankfurt included the recreated historic buildings on Romerberg Square where we had lunch at an outdoor cafe and watched the tourists go by.



Romer City Hall in Frankfurt in Romerberg Square in Old Frankfurt provided an array of photo ops.


  
The open air markets in old Frankfurt and the famous Frankfurt Opera Houses were among the many sights we took in.



  
Frankfurt contains many historic churches,  like St Paul's above, that afforded us a chance to pray for a victory.


  
Frankfurt Cathedral is a Roman Catholic Gothic church located in the center of Frankfurt and dedicated to Saint Bartholomew.  To most players, it will be remembered as being near the chocolate store.


 
Game 3 against the Athletics A under the watchful eye of head coach Ulli.  Here is a rare game photo of with no Athletics on base! Obviously this is the first pitch. 


  
Chuck winds up and delivers his blazing fastball to the unexpecting youth of Germany.


     
Heidelberg Castle sits high on Mount Konigstuhl overlooking the Neckar River.  As you can see, our group started talking pictures of everything once we hit town.


  
  
The panoramic views of the valley and medieval town from atop Heidelberg Castle were spectacular.


  
Parapets and medieval clock towers inside Heidelberg Castle where we toured all morning before heading down into town for lunch.


  
Heidelberg Castle has developed a reputation for its summer castle theatre festival first held in 1926 and still going strong. Today its the best loved outdoor theatre festival in southern Germany.  



Members of our group pose for a photo to commemorate our visit to Heidelberg Castle.


  
We stopped in the main square of old Heidelberg for lunch after descending from the castle, then it was free time to stroll the medieval streets or go shopping.


    
Market square contains another of Heidelberg's beautiful fountains alongside grand period houses and lots of cafes.


 
Old Bridge and the view across the river into Heidelberg's medieval town.   The town is also home to a world famous university and has an annual Christmas festival.

     
  
For our last game in Mainz, we decided to mix the teams so that our players could mix and mingle for the German players during the game.



Post game group photo of the Foreign Devils and the Mainz Athletics with everyone smiling after a fun game.


 
We visited the BMW Museum and BMW world headquarters on our sightseeing tour of Munich.  Much to our dismal, no free samples were given.


  
The sights and sounds of Old Munich included the town hall Glockenspiel on our walking tour through the medieval part of the City.

 
  
Marienplatz Square is one of the most beautiful in Germany and home to the new and old town halls.


 
Dinner and drinking at the Hacker Pschorr Beer Garden Restaurant after a day of sightseeing in Munich.
 

    
Game action versus the Dachau Tigers on a beautiful Saturday afternoon with an admiring crowd who are not just here for the free beer!


 
The Tigers runner takes a lead off first, but to no prevail as we went on to win 16-8.  Following the game we all pose for a team photo with the Tigers.



We had a great time playing the Tigers and hanging out with them after the game.  They have a great group of dedicated players and the opportunity to play against them was well worth the trip to Munich.


  
The Tigers field is built on a portion of the Dachau concentration camp, one of the first concentration camps built in Germany. We visited the camp, located on the grounds of an abandoned munitions factory, after our game.



Our farewell dinner was at the famous Hofbrauhaus House Beer Hall in the center of Munich that was originally built by Duke Maximilian I in 1598. In our short time in Germany we had played baseball, seen the sights, tasted all the traditional food and celebrated our trip in beer halls.



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