Five local players will be participating in the first inaugural International Baseball Challenge (IBC) coming to Oil City Stadium July 15-22, 2018.
Adam Panayotovich (Mt. Carmel H.S.), Christian Bokich (Hinsdale Central H.S.), Cal Djuraskovic (Bishop Noll H.S.), Daniel Balich (Hanover Central H.S.), and Conner Tomasic (Lake Central H.S.) were selected to represent Team Serbia in this year’s first inaugural event.
The IBC is a three day, four team round robin international baseball tournament that will be followed by a two day seeded semi-finals and finals game. Serbia, Slovakia, Croatia and the North American Team have formally accepted this year’s invitation.
The IBC is a global opportunity for smaller scale national baseball teams to participate on an international level. The goal of the IBC is to grow and promote the international game of baseball as well as to give back to those who are less fortunate.
George Grkinich is the visionary for the IBC, and the owner of Keegan Sports Group (KSG), based in Denver Colorado. He is an East Chicago native.
“I am a proud son of immigrant parents who came to Northwest Indiana for an opportunity to provide a better life for their children. Growing up with Serbs, Croatians, Slovaks, and African Americans was truly a blessing. Sports is the common bond that I had with every group,” Grkinich said.
When asked how Oil City Stadium was selected, he said that there are over one million Serbians, Croatians and Slovakians in the Chicagoland area, which made Oil City Stadium the ideal location for the first inaugural event.
“In addition, we have received phenomenal support from Mayor Stahura and his team at City Hall,” he said. “Through our partnership with the Mayor and his team we hope for the IBC to become a yearly event at Oil City Stadium.”
Adam Panayotovich played in the minor league organization for the White Sox from 2015-2017.
“I am beyond humbled to play for the Serbian National Baseball Team. It is such an honor to represent the country that made such an impact on my family’s livelihood. It is one thing to represent the team that you grew up idolizing (Chicago White Sox), but it is another to represent the country where your ancestors lived,” Adam said. “Being an American-Serb I cannot wait to get into the clubhouse and learn from those players who have been part of this team and organization. I look forward to playing in the IBC tournament this year in Whiting, and hopefully can participate for many years to come.”
Look for more information about the local players each month leading up to the event!
More information regarding the tournament can be found at www.internationalbaseballchallenge.com. Tickets can be purchased through the IBC website, at ibc.ticketleap.com, or via the Whiting site at www.whitingindiana.com.
Whiting, Indiana –
Whiting, Indiana –