MUNICH — (MunichNOW Sport) — We have been happy spectators at several recent Munich-Haar Disciple baseball games at their home park in Haar. It is just a great family atmosphere at these games with kids, parents, hamburgers, fries, fun music, well-played baseball, and an enthusiastic crowd!
We were able to spend a few minutes with Tom Wolf, the Disciples press guy, on how the season is going and the need for coaches and umpires.
MunichNOW: Hi Tom and nice to see you again – the Disciples had a pretty good series over last days with the wins against the Stuttgart Reds and the Ulm Falcons. Not to forget the amazing came back with the 9th Inning victory against Heidenheim. Nice going!
MN: Give us an update. How is it going with the team this year? You are in third place in the league we see.
Tom Wolf: So far we are quite satisfied with the season. We had a difficult start and there have been many rumors about the quality of our team this season since we had some experienced players leaving. But I guess the team gave the right answer on the field!
MN: We recently posted a story on Ryan Bollinger, a former pitcher with the Disciples. Looks like his career is going well!
TW: We are very happy for Ryan. He is an outstanding player and a great person. We all miss him, but we keep our fingers crossed that he makes it into the MLB. And based on the recent news, he seems to be very close to this dream.
MN: The last time we talked, you mentioned that the team organization is looking for coaches and umpires for both the softball and baseball teams. Tell us more…
TW: Oh yes. We are always searching for volunteers that are willing to support us as coaches, umpires or scorers. As we are one of the biggest baseball and softball clubs in Germany, we have teams playing in almost every league. As such, during weekends in the season when many teams are playing at the same time, we are getting close to our limits with regards to umpires and scorers. So we’d really appreciate to find some new volunteers here.
MN: What are the specific requirements for the positions? Are there courses and qualifications that need to be completed?
TW: I guess it is perfect when you love the game and if you are ok with spending a few weekend days between April and October in an active role at the ballpark. The umpire and scorer courses each take between one and two weekends, depending on the level. The level is important, as higher level of education qualifies for higher leagues.
All associated costs are covered by the club. In return we just ask 4-6 games per year, which means in general 2-3 days as most of the games are double headers. With regards to coaching support we are actively searching for a youth coach for our Toss Ball Team.
MN: Are these paid positions or volunteer? What about equipment and travel expenses?
TW: We do have umpire equipment. So no need to buy anything. But based on my experience most umpires prefer to have their own uniform. Umpires get between €20 and €30 per game plus approx. 30 cent/km travel expenses. Scorers get between €15 and €25 per game. In youth leagues it is purely volunteer support. Our coaches are also working voluntarily. But all umpires, scorers and coaches do get a free membership in our club.
MN: Any language requirements?
TW: I guess basic German language skills in speaking and reading would be helpful.
MN: If someone is interested, are you the guy to see?
TW: Yes, I’m the one. In case of interest or any other questions around the disciples, please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MN: OK – back to the team. What are your biggest challenges going forward in the effort to get into the play-offs?
TW: I think when we eliminate our errors in the defense and get more constant at hitting, everything is possible.
MN: Last year the Disciples made it to the semi-final. And you were very close. Do you think you can make it to the final this year?
TW: Heidenheim and Bonn are really strong again this year. In addition we have again a new modus this year. In the Top 4 round the best 4 teams play against each other again and only the first and second will make it to the semi-final against the two top teams from the north. So no quarter finals this year.
MN: OK, sounds like at least 6 more home games. Which is a good thing as you seemed to be not that happy with the schedule this year, right?
TW: Absolutely. We had almost all our home games in April. We were really lucky with the weather, but if you have a game every other week, the fans select which games they watch. In addition it puts a real burden on all the volunteers and players as there was no free weekend for almost 6 weeks. This was anything but optimal.
MN: Coming back to your team. We checked the roster and see there are Americans, one Canadian, and one Brit on the team. Does the team operate in English or is it a mix?
TW: Don’t forget our Spanish speaking guys. It’s a mix of everything, but in fact they all speak one language very well. And that is baseball.
MN: And we love the Disciples for that! Thanks, Tom. We will get the umpire and coaching story out there and look forward to some more interviews, maybe with one of your foreign players like Will?
If you go: