Making a pitch for younger generation

THE Arizona Diamondbacks and LA Dodgers might be making a major league baseball hit at the Sydney Cricket ground on the weekend but they are also helping the Tamworth Baseball Association fire up for their new season.

The TBA’s senior season starts May 3 while a new junior competition is also being trialled, said newly elected TBA president John Warren.

“We’re hoping to have six teams play over six to eight weeks from May 20,”  Warren said.

“It’s going to be for 10, 11 and 12 year-olds. We’ve had good support from the Australian Baseball Federation. They’ve given us starter packs for the kids, probably $150 worth of stuff in them. We’ll run the junior comp as a trial and it could develop from T Ball. we’ve deliberately left some flexibility with it.

“It’s a very exciting time for us. The junior comp is an exciting development. We have a good group of people all pulling together and dedicated to making it all happen.

“This is all about getting something going and organising and running it professionally.”

That runs hand in glove with the senior competition and all flows off the back of this weekend’s Major League spectacular at the SCG.

Warren, who started playing baseball as a 12-year-old in Tamworth, is even more keen these days as a 43-year-old father hoping to make both junior and senior competitions as good as he can.

“I’m ready to play now,” he said yesterday.

“I’ve been training since January. We’ve got four sides again in first grade (TBA), two Warriors sides, Cougars and the Knights are back with Gunnedah playing as their second grade side.

“We kick that all off May 3 and have a few trials before then.”

Warren is also just one of many Tamworth baseballers heading to the SCG for this weekend’s Diamondback-Dodgers game.

He has a heap of Dodgers gear as well.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

“It’s going to be unreal down there at the SCG under lights. They are so committed to this they have shipped 250 tons of special dirt from San Fransisco especially for it. It’s a very exciting time for baseball in Australia. It’s giving us a great opportunity to use it to promote the game out here.”

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