Popularity of baseball on the rise

NZ may have won a string
of world titles in softball, but baseball could soon prove
to be the more popular. Numbers taking up the sport
have increased rapidly in the past three years, as the chance to make a fulltime
career from the game improve. The NZ U18 Baseball side
is currently preparing for an international tournament, and as Raniera Harrison found out
it has several Maori in its ranks. Maori are starting to gravitate
towards this game. The sport is much like softball, you have a bat, ball and gloves, but on the world stage,
there’s no comparison. Thompson, and U18 player Jimmy Boyce
have both gained scholarships. They’ve been playing the sport
since they were young and they hope to promote the game
to their younger peers. This New Zealand U18 side
will take on Australia and Guam over the weekend at the Under 18 Oceania
Baseball Championships in Auckland. But they’re not only out
to impress the other teams; scouts from overseas are present, looking to give our young talent
a shot at the big league. And according to Paewai, himself a former MLB player
for the San Diego Padres, it’s no wonder the scouts
are at our doorstep. Something these young baseballers will be looking to
replicate this weekend, to give them entry
to the world champs in Japan later this year and most certainly
get seen by the scouts. Raniera Harrison, Te Karere.

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