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Girls baseball returns to Summer Games


It didn't take Josh Kelly long to make a reference to the infamous Jimmy Duggan quote, "There's no crying in Baseball," when discussing the reintroduction of girls baseball to the Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games.

However, the baseball coach for the Central entry out of Grand Falls-Windsor was far more understanding and focused on his squad than the Tom Hanks character was in the early going of 1992 film "A League of Their Own."

In fact, Kelly, a baseball player himself, is as impressed as Duggan turned out to be with the caliber of girls baseball on display at the Richard H. Parsons Memorial Field in Seal Cove.

Like many players, Kelly grew up coaching in the minor program in his hometown as summer employment. He remains a vital cog of the system, that now has more than 70 girls in it, as the associate head coach for Grand Falls-Windsor Minor Baseball.

The last time anyone can remember girls baseball being a sport at the Summer Games was in 2000.

Girls baseball is part of the 2016 Summer Games because of the strength of girls programs across the province, such as the one in Grand Falls-Windsor. Without this influx of talent, and more in western Newfoundland places like Corner Brook and Pasadena, the regions of the province would not be able to field such a competition.

While there are certainly some local coaches to credit for the interest, Kelly believes the success of Canada's lone Major League Baseball team - Toronto Blue Jays -  in recent years has the girls excited about the game too.

However, when the teams hit the field, it is not girls baseball being played. It is just baseball, and these teams know how to play the game, according to the coach.

"I bet this girls team can take a couple of the guys teams for a run," he said. "They are starting to love it."

In 2016, there are many examples of equal opportunity in today's world, and the same is true for the sporting community, says Kelly. Girls baseball has a rightful place in the Summer Games.

"I think it is awesome," he said. "It is the first time they are doing it, and I hope it goes on forever."

He's not alone in that sentiment. He has a young rising star on his squad, who is also a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador 2016 16U Bantam Girls team, in Rebecca Goodyear.

"This is really fun," she said. "It is an honour to play. You get to meet new people, and you get to play baseball against the girls you have played against in other tournaments in the year."

To be part of the Summer Games is something she cherishes. If there are tears, they are happy ones.

 

cory.hurley@tc.tc

Twitter: @TC_CoryHurley

 

However, the baseball coach for the Central entry out of Grand Falls-Windsor was far more understanding and focused on his squad than the Tom Hanks character was in the early going of 1992 film "A League of Their Own."

In fact, Kelly, a baseball player himself, is as impressed as Duggan turned out to be with the caliber of girls baseball on display at the Richard H. Parsons Memorial Field in Seal Cove.

Like many players, Kelly grew up coaching in the minor program in his hometown as summer employment. He remains a vital cog of the system, that now has more than 70 girls in it, as the associate head coach for Grand Falls-Windsor Minor Baseball.

The last time anyone can remember girls baseball being a sport at the Summer Games was in 2000.

Girls baseball is part of the 2016 Summer Games because of the strength of girls programs across the province, such as the one in Grand Falls-Windsor. Without this influx of talent, and more in western Newfoundland places like Corner Brook and Pasadena, the regions of the province would not be able to field such a competition.

While there are certainly some local coaches to credit for the interest, Kelly believes the success of Canada's lone Major League Baseball team - Toronto Blue Jays -  in recent years has the girls excited about the game too.

However, when the teams hit the field, it is not girls baseball being played. It is just baseball, and these teams know how to play the game, according to the coach.

"I bet this girls team can take a couple of the guys teams for a run," he said. "They are starting to love it."

In 2016, there are many examples of equal opportunity in today's world, and the same is true for the sporting community, says Kelly. Girls baseball has a rightful place in the Summer Games.

"I think it is awesome," he said. "It is the first time they are doing it, and I hope it goes on forever."

He's not alone in that sentiment. He has a young rising star on his squad, who is also a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador 2016 16U Bantam Girls team, in Rebecca Goodyear.

"This is really fun," she said. "It is an honour to play. You get to meet new people, and you get to play baseball against the girls you have played against in other tournaments in the year."

To be part of the Summer Games is something she cherishes. If there are tears, they are happy ones.

 

cory.hurley@tc.tc

Twitter: @TC_CoryHurley

 

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