TAMWORTH Baseball Association’s new season is about to start with the help of another sport.
Cricket has long been a close bedfellow with baseball.
Former Australian captains Ian Chappell and Allan Border both honed their cricketing skills by playing baseball in the off-season.
And the advent of US baseball coach Mike Young as an Australian fielding coach helped the Australian side dominate in Test and One Day spheres for a number of years.
And that’s what Tamworth Baseball Association officials are hoping might happen in the local competition.
Or rather they’re hoping more cricketers might, now they have finished their summer cricket seasons, jump across to baseball.
Already some of the best cricketers have done so. North Tamworth Redbacks pair Mitch and Joey Holt have been playing baseball all their young lives.
In recent years Simon Norvill, player of the match in the recent first grade grand final and state Under 17 cricketer James Psarakis have used the baseball diamond as a favourite off-season tool to develop their cricketing games.
TBA president John Warren wants to encourage more cricketers to play baseball in the TBA’s winter competitions.
“It’s been great for the Australian cricket team,” Warren said.
“Mike Young taught them all how to throw. And hitting a baseball is one of the hardest things to do in sport.”
Norvs has been playing the last couple of years and is a very dangerous hitter. The young blokes, like Jimmie (Psarakis) and the Holts have all improved their cricket by playing baseball.” He said the new TBA competition started May 3 but “we will have a few trials before then”.
“We’ve got four first grade teams this year, two from Warriors, Knights and Cougars. Warriors train here Tuesdays, Cougars Wednesdays and Knights Thursdays. This year Gunnedah will play for the Knights second grade side. Hopefully a few of them will filter into first grade. And if Knights have all the players they reckon might be coming back they will be pretty strong.”