On June 30, we wrote about baseball player Brett Rosen, who had just completed his freshman year at Muhlenberg, qualifying to play for the British national team. Here’s a follow-up on how he did:
After playing hundreds of games during his baseball career, Brett Rosen has grown accustomed to the normal routine of standing along the base line for the playing of the “Star-Spangled Banner” before first pitch.
So when that routine was thrown for a loop before one of his games this past summer, it took his mind a couple moments to remember just what jersey he was wearing.
Rosen spent part of the summer playing for Team Great Britain in the European Championship qualifying tournament in Tel Aviv, Israel. And according to Muhlenberg sophomore, it wasn’t until he heard something other than that familiar tune that he truly felt the magnitude of the moment.
“The overall experience of playing in an international competition was mind-blowing,” the catcher said. “It was surreal suiting up for, and representing, Great Britain. Honestly, it didn’t really hit me until they played ‘God Save the Queen’ before our first game. That was an incredible feeling.”
While he was born in the United States, Rosen’s mother was born in England, giving him dual citizenship. His brother, AJ, has competed for team Great Britain at the past two Winter Olympics.
Brett Rosen saw action in two games, both wins, to help Great Britain win the qualifier with a 4-1 record and advance to next summer’s European Championships in the Netherlands.
Rosen’s best game was against Georgia when he went 2-for-4 at the plate with a double and a stolen base in an 8-7 win. He also caught all nine innings in an 8-6 win over Israel and finished the tournament with a .286 batting average.
The trip was also Rosen’s first time traveling the world alone, so when he wasn’t playing he used the opportunity to take in a lot of Israel’s ancient history.
“Tel Aviv was beautiful,” he said. “But Jerusalem was truly amazing. It was the best part of the trip. Our entire team was led all over the city on a tour. We got to see all the holy sites and the history behind them. That was very fascinating.”
One of the youngest members on the squad, Rosen said it did not take long to grow accustomed to his new teammates and international competition.
The team was comprised mostly of Canadians, Australians and Americans with British heritage. But while the players’ backgrounds may have differed drastically, Rosen said they all shared one common passion that brought them all together: baseball.
“It was great bonding with everyone, especially since so many of my teammates are from all over the world,” Rosen said. “One was from Calgary and another was from Australia; it was great getting to talk about our cultures.
“It also helped on the field because many of my teammates have been on the team for awhile and play professionally in leagues all over the world. I was able to learn a lot from their veteran knowledge.”
Rosen said the style of play did not differ much from the one he plays at Muhlenberg. But one big difference he did note was the passion of the fans.
While American baseball fans tend to be more laid back from pitch-to-pitch, Rosen said the crowds in Tel Aviv were loud and rowdy the entire game, especially during Great Britain’s three games with the host Israeli team, including the final.
But that just made winning the qualifier even more special, he said, adding he hopes his team can achieve similar success at next summer’s championship tournament.
“The atmosphere was definitely much more hostile,” he said. “I think this definitely made me a better player and should help during this college season.
“I can’t wait to go to Holland next summer to try to win the European Championship.”
pictures courtesy British Baseball Federation