Wer eine außergewöhnliche Vorbereitung auf die Baseballsaison in Deutschland und Europa sucht, ist hier genau richtig.
"We seek to share the greatest story ever told through the greatest game ever played."
Es ist uns ein Anliegen, durch das großartigste Spiel, das je gespielt wurde, die großartigste Geschichte zu verbreiten, die je erzählt wurde.
Hinter diesem Satz verbirgt sich die Leidenschaft einer Handvoll deutscher und US-amerikanischer Baseballspieler und Softballspielerinnen, die seit 20 Jahren das Trainingslager Easterball an der italienischen Adria gestalten. Auch 2015 wird in der Woche vor Ostern wieder das Programm für „Körper, Seele und Geist“ angeboten, mit täglichen Trainings- und Spieleinheiten sowie Denkanstößen und Andachten.
Coaches & Staff
Ehemalige Profi-Spieler mit Coaching-Erfahrung von Clinics, Camps, High-School, College und Profi-Baseball stehen unter idealen Trainingsbedingungen für exzellente Fortbildung und Betreuung.
In der Vergangenheit waren auf den Baseballplätzen unter anderen die folgenden Coaches bei uns im Einsatz:
Tom Roy (S.F. Giants)
Mickey Weston (u.a. N.Y. Mets)
Bryan Hickerson (u.a. S.F. Giants)
Mike Davis (u.a. L.A. Dodgers)
Dan Naulty (World-Series-Sieger mit den N.Y. Yankees)
Sal Fasano (World-Series-Sieger mit den California Angels)
Die Coaches und Betreuer legen nicht zuletzt wegen ihres christlichen Hintergrunds alle großen Wert darauf, dass das Camp nicht erst mit dem Warm-Up beginnt und nicht mit dem Aufräumen der Bälle endet. Wir werden in Abendprogrammen oder auch abseits in persönlichen Gesprächen für Fragen, Anmerkungen, Gedankenaustausch, Kritik zur Verfügung stehen. Es ist uns wichtig, dass der Camper mit dem Gefühl nach Hause fährt, tatsächlich eine professionelle und gleichzeitig persönliche Betreuung erfahren zu haben. Traditionell beginnen wir deshalb auch den Trainingstag gemeinsam mit einem kurzen Feedback zum Vortag und einem mentalen Warmup.
Anreisetag ist Sonntag, die Abreise erfolgt am folgenden Samstag. Das Camp beginnt mit einem Abendessen bzw. einem Late-Snack, je nach Anreisezeitpunkt.
Im letzten Jahr waren folgende Trainer dabei:
Tony Graffanino - Baseball
Tony Graffanino was born in New York, on Long Island, and grew up in East Islip. He graduated from high school in 1990 and was drafted by the Atlanta Braves. Tony made it to the big leagues with the Braves in 1996. He played in parts of 13 Major League seasons, 11 full seasons, with Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City, Boston, Milwaukee, and Cleveland. 2009 was his last season. Tony has been involved with UPI outreaches and Bible studies since his Atlanta days, and he and his family took their first UPI trip to Mexico with Brian Hommel in November of 2009.
Tony came on staff with UPI full time on July 1st of 2011 and moved his family to Arizona. He currently resides on the northwest side of Phoenix, in Peoria, and leads Bible studies for current and former players in the Peoria, Glendale, and Scottsdale areas. Tony also does UPI international trips in Italy, Germany, Mexico, and soon to the Dominican Republic. He assists Brian Hommel in ministering to the tremendous amount of players, current and former, who call Phoenix home, or to those who have Spring Training, Extended Spring, Summer League, Instructional League, and or Fall League in Phoenix.
Tony is married to Nicole (1995) and they have to sons, A.J. (1997) and Nick (1999).
Nate Robertson - Baseball
born September 3, 1977 is a former professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball for the Florida Marlins, Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies.
MLB debut September 7, 2002, for the Florida Marlins.
Last MLB appearance September 8, 2010, for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Simon Gühring - Baseball
Simon Guehring joined the ministry of UPI in the spring of 2013. Born and raised in Germany, Simon grew up playing soccer and team handball. When he was 11 years old, he saw baseball for the first time, and it just so happens that he actually asked Jesus to take over his life on that very same day. Although Simon grew up in a Christian home, it took a Bible study led by Tom Roy to give his life to Christ.
Simon began playing baseball, and it took him only seven years of playing the game to sign a professional contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. He was only the third German player in history to sign with a Major League baseball team.
After two years in the United States, one season in the Netherlands, and four seasons in South Africa, Simon moved back to Germany and has been the German national team captain since 2004. He has participated in seven European Championships, three World Cups, and one World Baseball Classic qualifier.
Simon’s position with UPI includes building up UPI in Germany and throughout Europe by assisting in baseball clinics and outreaches as well as discipleship with Germans players. He also works along side of Sportler Ruft Sportler (Sportsmen to Sportsmen) and continues to help with the development of Easterball in Rimini, Italy.
Simon and his wife, Sarai, have been married since 2004. They have three children, Lilly (2008), Samuel (2010) and Jacob (2012).
Tom Roy - Baseball
Tom Roy is the President and Founder of UPI. After a very brief time in the S.F. Giants organization, Tom went on to a career in radio, taking his first job in West Virginia. Shortly after that he felt the call of God to pursue a college degree and enrolled at Grace College in Winona Lake, IN. Upon completion of that degree he took a head baseball coaching job at a local high school for 3 years. He continued in that profession, coaching also at the college level for 9 years.
In 1979 God put UPI on Tom and Carins hearts. In 1980 the ministry became a reality. Tom ministered to players thru chapels, in camps and clincs for 28 years. He has had the honor to serve Christ through UPI in many venues, including speaking and conducting clinics in over 60 countries.
Tom and Carin reside in Winona Lake, Indiana and have two daughters, Amy and Lindsay, and 6 grandchildren (Hannah, Luke, Faith, Tommy, Sam and Lainey).
In January of 2008 he assumed the role of President/Founder and now finds himself working with the Advancement of the ministry as well as staying in contact with “UPI alumni” and caring for ballplayers through counseling.
Brian Hommel - Baseball
Brian Hommel played baseball for the University of Louisville from 1991-1995 where he obtained a Criminal Justice Degree. He then played in the Milwaukee Brewers organization from 1995-1999 as a left-handed pitcher.
Brian currently lives in Gilbert, AZ with his wife, Kim and 3 girls, Abbey, Ellie and Selah. His duties with UPI include, setting up and leading Bible studies for the players who live in the Phoenix metro area during the off season as well leading 3 studies a week during Spring Training each year.
He is also involved in setting up outreaches in the U.S. during the season for the purpose of reaching the lost for Christ thru baseball. Brian is chaplain for the Arizona Diamondbacks and has been in that role for 4 years now. He has recently written a book, “Dropping the Fig Leaves”, which is available through UPI.
Bill Curtis - Baseball
Played at Grand Canyon University from 1997-99. Was the Conference and District Player of the Year in 1999. Drafted by the Angels in 1999 and played in that organization until 2002. Currently a Phys. Ed. teacher and varsity baseball coach at Forest Hills Eastern HS in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Teams have won 4 conference championships and 1 district championship. Has sent 20 players on to play collegiately. Has been doing international clinics with UPI for 12 years including Italy, Thailand, South Africa, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, and Vietnam. Wife of 15 years Angie. 4 year old daughter Callie and 7 month old son Jed.
Erica Ritter - Softball
I started playing fast pitch softball since I was six and started competitively playing at age ten. I played at Grand Canyon University for four years while completing my Bachelors in math education and then coached for two years while earning my Masters in educational leadership. I have coached for the past 5 years for the high school softball team where I teach math. I'm excited to be returning for Easterball for the fourth time!
Danielle Ritter - Softball
My name is Danielle and I was born and raised in Arizona. I followed in my sister's footsteps and started playing softball when I was 6 or 7 and began playing competitively at the age of 11. I attended a local community college where I played softball for two years, then transferred to a school in the state of West Virginia to continue playing softball and complete a bachelor's degree in Business Administration in 2010. This completed my fastpitch softball career as I transitioned into a full time Supply Chain career and recently graduated from Grand Canyon University with a Master's in Business Administration.