Global Baseball Games: Pavel Chadim first Czech coach to join Team Europe staff. WBSC

The former ExtraLiga star outfielder became the first manager to lead the Czech Republic to the World Baseball Classic. He will serve as manager Marco Mazzieri's first base coach. "World baseball needs European baseball to be strong," he stressed.

Pavel Chadim will be the first Czech to coach on Team Europe's staff. He will be the first to serve as a coach. "It is a great honour for Czech baseball to be a part of this. In 2015 we only had one player [infielder Jakub Sladek] on the roster. Now we have a coach, and the staff is considering several Czech players. We will do our best to show that we belong at this level," he stated. 

He added: "It's great to see Europe working together. I'm so proud to see European countries coming together. I think world baseball needs European baseball. Baseball is strong in Asia and America. Europe needs to be that strong." 

Born in Brno, Czech Republic, in 1971, Chadim was a star outfielder in the Czech ExtraLiga. He started out with Technica Brno and was part of eight league-winning teams with Draci Brno. After managing the U-21 national team in 2012, he was appointed manager of the 2021 national team. 

Chadim also became the first manager to lead the Czech Republic to the World Baseball Classic last year, a tournament in which the Czechs enjoyed a special relationship with Japanese fans. "Well, our goal would have been to win, but you are right, we had a special relationship with the fans," he commented. 

"I think Japanese and Czech baseball have the same mentality. We both work hard, respect the teams we play and are not afraid to play anyone. I think the Japanese fans realised that and respected that," he stressed. 

The Czechs were already considered outsiders in qualifying, so making it to the main tournament was a huge achievement. "You know sports, sometimes you do everything you are supposed to do and get no result, sometimes things come together. During the qualifying tournament in Regensburg, we worked hard, we were brave enough, and we found good chemistry. We prepared well against 90-plus mile-per-hour fastballs, and our pitchers threw strikes consistently," said the Czech. 

The country is quite new to baseball. The national team made its international debut in 1990 at a B-Pool European Championship in Parma with a batting lineup dominated by left-handed batters, which was reportedly due to the recruitment of hockey players. 

Chadim explained how Czech baseball has developed since then. "Back then we worked on quantity. In 10 years, we started all the youth leagues. Seven years ago, we added development projects for pitchers, catchers and hitters. So, it was no miracle," he remarked. 

But despite all these improvements, which currently have the Czechs 15th in the WBSC/KONAMI Men's Baseball World Ranking, they're still looking for their first medal at the European level. "This is sport, you know. We were fifth in the European Championship when I was a player and we are still fifth now that I am the manager. Let's not forget that Great Britain and Israel rely on players developed in the United States. We don't like being fifth, we want to be at least third", he explained.

"Playing against Japan is always a celebration, I can't wait. I hope the fans in Osaka will see some great baseball. We've had a lot of Zoom meetings, and we'll have a lot more before we go to Japan. They are all great coaches. When you watch these teams play, you immediately respect their coaches, because the teams reflect their coaches. I attended the Austrian Convention with Mazzieri, and we also shared the experience of the Mountain Baseball Clinic in the Czech Republic. I'm looking forward to working with him again," Chadin concluded.