Pitcher brings pas­sion and ex­pe­ri­ence

Hamilton Press - - OUT & ABOUT - ANDREWVOERMAN

Ques­tion: How does a Cana­dian pitcher end up play­ing base­ball in Hamil­ton?

An­swer: Be­cause his love for the game knows no bounds.

Nick Fog­a­rty has joined the Hamil­ton Raiders for the sum­mer, and their sec­ond sea­son play­ing in the Auck­land league, and the hope is he will give the team a much-needed dose of ex­pe­ri­ence.

The 26-year-old be­gan play­ing when he was five, and from there pro­gressed through the ranks in Canada, un­til even­tu­ally, as he en­tered his fi­nal year of high school, Ma­jor League Base­ball’s Mil­wau­kee Brew­ers showed some in­ter­est in him.

‘‘For a kid who’s been play­ing his whole life, that’s like a dream come true, al­most,’’ said Fog­a­rty.

‘‘I spent that whole off-sea­son get­ting ready, so in the sum­mer I could im­press and get drafted.

‘‘They ended up draft­ing me in the 40th round, and said we’ll fol­low you over the sum­mer, and then we’ll fig­ure out what could hap­pen and I ac­tu­ally ended up hav­ing a year-end­ing el­bow in­jury two weeks after that.’’

Fog­a­rty had to have surgery, which kept him out of the game for a year and de­railed his MLB dream, and after re­cov­er­ing, he headed south and spent four years play­ing col­lege base­ball in the United States.

After that, he re­turned to Canada, where he played in var­i­ous leagues, and he then took up an op­por­tu­nity to play in Aus­tralia, where he tried to get res­i­dency, but was de­nied.

At that point, he and his girl­friend were left at a loss as to what to do, when a room­mate of Fog­a­rty’s who shared a mu­tual friend with Raiders coach Richard Tuhoro put them in touch.

‘‘[Richard said]: Come to Hamil­ton, we’ve got a team, you can play’,’’ said Fog­a­rty.

‘‘I was like al­right, so I booked a flight, and here I am.’’

Tuhoro is hop­ing Fog­a­rty’s ex­pe­ri­ence will rub off on his new team­mates at the Raiders, and it’s a safe bet his pas­sion for the game will be passed on as well.

‘‘Peo­ple ask me all that time - what is it with base­ball?,’’ said Fog­a­rty.

‘‘I just love every­thing there is about it. It’s not just play­ing - it’s every­thing.

‘‘It’s putting the uni­form on, it’s get­ting a glove, it’s see­ing new base­balls, ev­ery as­pect of it is so much fun to me.

‘‘There’s just some­thing about it that makes me want to play all the time.’’

Nick Fog­a­rty is at home on a pitch­ing mound, like this one at Resthills Park. Nick Fog­a­rty

Nick Fog­a­rty has joined the Hamil­ton Raiders for the sum­mer.

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