Baseball Takes Brown Around the World
A senior outfielder for the K-State baseball team, Brown's most recent adventure was a trip to Taiwan for the U21 Baseball World Cup with the New Zealand national team earlier this fall.
"It's another world over there," said Brown. "There are so many different people; it's just a totally different culture. I think it was good seeing another part of the world and get out of Kansas for a little bit."
While last month Brown enjoyed soaking up the exciting, different culture, it wasn't his first time in Taiwan. He was in the country two years ago for the World Baseball Classic qualifiers - his first time competing with New Zealand.
Brown grew up in North Bend, Washington, went to Mount Si High School, and though he had only visited his dad Grant's native country of New Zealand a few times, it wasn't until he was in college that he began competing with its national team.
"All of this just kind of fell in my lap," Brown explained when asked about how he got involved with baseball in New Zealand. "When I was at (Bellevue Community College) in Seattle, I had a teammate who was from New Zealand. Baseball isn't very big down in New Zealand, so they're really trying to build it. The guy who runs it all has been doing it for about five years and he's put a lot of money and effort into getting baseball bigger in New Zealand."
He said he talked to his friend, contacted the New Zealand manager, Chris Woodward--who is a 12-year Major League Baseball veteran and current Seattle Mariners first base coach--and, after sending in film and going over his eligibility, he quickly became a member of the team.
"I just had to have a direct parent who was born in New Zealand for the World Baseball Classic, and then for the U21 Baseball World Cup, I actually had to get citizenship," continued Brown. "So I have dual citizenship right now, and that's kind of cool."
The U21 Baseball World Cup took place in stadiums around the city of Taichung, Taiwan, from Nov. 7 to Nov. 16, and featured 12 different national teams.
From a baseball perspective, Brown said while the game in Asia has its differences, the environment during a game is its own breed.
"The fans are totally different," Brown said with a smile. "It's a lot like a soccer game. They have all these drums and trumpets and different chants, so a lot of the times you can't even hear yourself talk. It goes all game long. Baseball is huge over there."
Though New Zealand went 1-4 at the U21 Baseball World Cup, and lost to eventual World Cup champions Chinese Taipei as well as Italy, Czech Republic and Venezuela, the team played in four different stadiums, beat Mexico, 9-5, and left with an experience it won't soon forget.
"Just seeing another part of the world and learning their culture a bit, I think that was what I got out of it the most," said Brown. "Meeting different people and seeing different things, I think for anyone if they get the chance to get out of the country and see different places, it's beneficial."
An exciting experience off the field and a learning experience on it, Brown, now back in Manhattan, said having the opportunity to compete abroad will only help him as he continues to compete with K-State.
"It's always great playing somewhere else," said Brown, who played in every game for New Zealand during the U21 tournament. "We're playing fall ball here, so that can get monotonous. It was great switching up and playing in another country. Seeing where you stack up in the world, at that age level, it was cool to see that I'm not that much different than the guys over in Taiwan or in Korea."
Baseball Season Tickets on Sale Now
After setting attendance records at Tointon Family Stadium in 2014, season tickets for the upcoming 2015 K-State baseball season are on sale now. The 29-game home schedule starts on February 27 and features opponents such as Creighton, Missouri State, Nebraska, Wichita State, TCU, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and West Virginia.
Season ticket prices are unchanged from last season, with affordable options starting around $2 per game. Cat Cushion tickets are available for $100 for adults, $75 for K-State faculty and staff and $50 for those that purchase four or more.
For complete ticket options and how to get your 2015 Wildcat baseball tickets, please click here.Second Half Shooting Carries K-State to 73-53 Win
K-State men's basketball connected on a season-high 70 percent from the field in the second half, as the Wildcats racked up their fifth straight win at home with a 73-53 victory over Savannah State on Sunday before 12,266 at Bramlage Coliseum.
The win also extended K-State's streak of consecutive home wins in December to 38. The Wildcats are now a perfect 5-0 when scoring 70 or more points this season, and 33-7 all-time under head coach Bruce Weber. In addition, the squad moved to 30-3 under Weber when holding an opponent to 60 points or less.
For quotes, stats, notes and more on yesterday's men's basketball game, please click here.Women's basketball Extends Home Win Streak to Six
Trailing by 13 points early in the second half, Kansas State outscored Oral Roberts 35-16 in the final 16:01 of the half to come back to win 53-47 on Sunday afternoon at Bramlage Coliseum.
To read more on women's basketball win over Oral Roberts, please click here.