FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
Due to a generous gift by VU alum Bill Kaye, the Commodores will travel to Japan and Hong Kong during the Thanksgiving holidays and will face four of the top university baseball teams in Japan.
Kaye made a significant donation in the spring that will fund the trip as well as support the baseball facility renovation project.
“This was an occasion to make a powerful statement that Vanderbilt is moving ahead and that the program is continuing to develop and continuing to offer expanded opportunities,” said Kaye. “This was a chance to combine the educational and cultural opportunities in seeing a part of the world that most of these kids probably would not have seen as well as the opportunity to test their baseball skills against some of the best players in Japan.”
The players, coaches, staff and administrators will travel to Japan on Nov. 21 and will return on Nov. 29. During that time Vanderbilt will play Hosei University, Aoyama Gakuin University, Meiji University and Waseda University.
The Commodores will spend their off days touring historical and popular areas of Japan and will conclude the trip with two days in Hong Kong. The team will have the opportunity to tour Hong Kong by boat and dine at the world-famous China Club among other activities.
“Mr. Kaye’s generous donation will allow our baseball student-athletes a rare chance to travel overseas and experience the different cultures and countries, while also experiencing a different style of baseball,” said David Williams, Vanderbilt Vice-Chancellor for University Affairs and Student Athletics.
Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin has long been enamored with the way the Japanese have played baseball going back to his days working with USA Baseball and its National Team as an assistant in 2000, and as the head coach in 2006.
“The ability to tour and play in the Orient with our kids will be a lifetime experience that they won’t forget,” said Corbin. “We are fortunate to have a person in Bill Kaye who is passionate enough about our program to provide this unique opportunity for Vanderbilt and our baseball program. Our administration, the coaches and players are tremendously grateful to Bill for his magnanimous act of generosity.”
Hosei, Meiji and Waseda are part of the Tokyo Big6 Tokyo Baseball League, an intercollegiate baseball league that features six prominent universities in the Tokyo area. Before the establishment and subsequent growth of Japanese professional baseball, the Big6 League was widely considered the highest level of baseball in the country.
“Bill Kaye’s passion and enthusiasm for Vanderbilt baseball is inspirational to me,” said Christy Passmore, Executive Director of Athletics Development and the National Commodore Club. “To think of him sitting at his computer in Hong Kong at all hours tracking our Commodore baseball games speaks volumes about his commitment and dedication. Our players are about to take a trip they will never forget – it will make their worlds bigger, and for some, it could be life-changing.”
This is the fourth trip a Vanderbilt athletic team has made overseas this year. During the summer the lacrosse team toured Europe, the men’s golf team traveled to Scotland and the men’s basketball team played exhibition games in Australia.
“Part of what I would like to do with this gift is to encourage people to take the opportunity to do similar things for the athletic programs,” added Kaye.