Pitcher brings passion and experience
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.