Monday, May 13, 2013

Q&A with Pat Ahearne

Questions and answers with Pat Ahearne (pictured above) a former Major League Baseball pitcher and now a coach. Ahearne has played baseball in professional leagues all over the world including the Australian Baseball League.

1. (NH) Having played close to 20 years of professional baseball what do you consider to be your top five career highlights?
(PA) Top 5 Career Highlights:
1. Winning the College World Series
2. Pitching for 7 seasons in Venezuela
3. The last 15 or so games with the 2002 Toledo Mud Hens - we came back from behind to win our division and team mates said it was a speech I said which helped inspire them to win.
4. The Championship with the Melbourne Reds
5. A no-hitter I pitched in High School.

2. (NH) You are the only American import with MLB experience to have played in both versions of the Australian Baseball League and having experienced both what are some differences you noticed between the two?
(PA) Wood Bats for everybody. Also the quality of players has improved as have the stadiums. Hopefully, it will continue to grow and the quality of the league and Australian players will grow.

3. (NH) What are some of your favourite highlights from playing in the ABL?
(PA) It was the first time I played on teams with players from one place since High School so I really enjoyed the camaraderie of players mostly from Adelaide or from Melbourne or from Perth. Each team I played on kept together pretty well. Of course, the Championship with the Reds was great as was the season I was able to win the Pitcher of the Year with Perth. Off the field, it was a blast playing the golf courses around Melbourne - Royal Melbourne, Kingston Heath and some others. And probably the best part was the people I met while playing there. I made some good friendships with my fellow players and people I met in Australia. I would go back anytime...

4. (NH) As you have experienced baseball in elite and developing markets what initiatives could MLB carry out to help further cultivate the sport in newer markets?  
(PA) I spent the last 4 years in the Czech Republic, for baseball, with a team in the Czech Extraliga and with the Junior and Senior National Teams. Seeing these developing markets and how baseball is in other parts of the world, there are two initiatives which would benefit the game. First, there must be an attempt by players and coaches to understand something about the culture of the country. Second, there must be an intensive program to train coaches. If there are qualified coaches who will train other local coaches that will be highly beneficial. These trainers must also have a good understanding of the culture of the country so things will go much more efficiently and the overall experience will be greater. It can be described as baseball diplomacy. Each country where I have played, the culture of the country is reflected in how they play baseball.

For expert baseball coaching check out Ahearne's range of services on The Way of Baseball.

Please refer to these links to purchase a copy of my baseball themed books Aussies in the Majors cheapest seller, Boomerang Baseball cheapest seller and The American Dream: From Perth to Sacramento cheapest seller

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