As we get closer to the European Championship Qualifier Tournament in Zurich, members of the Irish Junior National Baseball Team are working hard to prepare.
However, with players scattered across Ireland and the United States, it can be a challenge to practice as a team. And when you consider that the coaching staff consists of coaches from Rhode Island, Florida, New York, and New Jersey, you can start to understand the massive logistical challenge that is facing this team.
Thanks to email, video, and social media, the coaching staff is able to keep track of each player’s progress. We have also relied on the scouting expertise of a network of high school and college coaches to see players during their high school and summer baseball seasons, to get an idea of how each player is performing.
Video From the First Informal Workout of the Irish Junior National Baseball Team
On April 1, 2017, a group of players from NY, CT, and NH gathered at Hardball Training Center in Elmsford, NY to meet each other and get some swings and ground balls. Although the coaching staff had already seen videos and scouting reports on many of the players, this informal workout gave some players and coaches an opportunity to put names to faces. Here is a short video from the first workout:
Irish Pitchers Workout in New York
Pitchers Mark Neville and Joe Coffey both live in Woodlawn — the center of Irish culture in New York City. Both Mark and Joe were recently at Hardball Training Center in Elmsford, NY, to get some throwing in before they fly to Zurich, Switzerland.
Our coaching staff filmed some of their session on a cell phone and sent the video to all of the coaches. Of course, we also uploaded a few clips to social media to keep the fans apprised of the team’s progress!
Irish Pitcher Brendan Eaton Throws in Maine
Meanwhile, Brendan Eaton — who plays infield, outfield, and pitches — was throwing off a mound at Strike Three in Elliot, Maine. Brendan’s dad was able to supply us with some cell phone video of Brendan’s session and that video was shared with the coaching staff and some of it also made its way to our Irish Baseball Fans Facebook Page: