YOUNG WAVERLEY BASEBALL STAR SIGNS WITH SAN DIEGO PADRES
JARRYD Dale signs with Padres
FROM the time he first made his way down to Napier Park to play T-Ball at Waverley Baseball Club with his elder brothers, Jarryd Dale has always dreamed of becoming a professional baseball.
Fast-forward a decade and a host of accolades at State and National level later and that dream is now a reality.
Dale, a Year 11 student at McKinnon Secondary College, signed a professional contract with San Diego Padres late on Sunday night.
Really, for those who have watched Dale progress as he’s played at Waverley, Melbourne Aces, Victoria and Australia, it comes as no surprise on a raft of levels.
Firstly, Dale is the youngest son of Australian baseball legend Phil, who played in the minor leagues for the Cincinnati Reds organisation, managed Waverley Reds to the inaugural Australian Baseball League premiership, set pitching records that still remain 30 years later, coached the Australian team at the World Baseball Classic, manages Waverley and is now the current Eastern Rim scouting manager for the Atlanta Braves.
The 16-year-old’s elder brother Ryan is playing professionally in the Kansas City Royals organisation and another brother Tyler plays for the Waverley Baseball Club.
Dale’s signing is a remarkable achievement for the Waverley Baseball Club, which last season saw James Beresford, a T-Ball graduate from Napier Park, become just the 33rd Australian to play Major League Baseball.
For a small suburban club in Glen Waverley, no other club in Australia can boast to be a better breeding ground for aspiring baseballers.
Apart from the Dale brothers, Waverley Baseball Club also boasts Jon Kennedy, a cousin of the Dales, who is playing in the Atlanta Braves minor league organisation; Matt Beattie, who signed a professional contract with the Detroit Tigers earlier this year, and Allan De San Miguel plays in the Royals’ minor leagues.
It underpins the coaching development, tuition and knowledge at Waverley.
“I’m pretty excited,” enthused Dale after signing his professional contract in early July.
“It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid playing T-ball. Ever since I started playing baseball that’s all I’ve wanted to do.”
While San Diego Padres beat out as many as 15 MLB clubs in a bid to sign the highly talented short stop who also swings a prodigious bat, Dale always thought he would end up a Padre.
“They’ve always showed plenty of interest in me,” Dale said.
Dale said his Mum Ingrid, brothers and father had been most supportive in the formative part of his baseball journey.
“They support me, give me advice,” Dale said. “They just tell me to keep doing my job, try my hardest and take each day as it comes.”
Dale heads to the States next week to train at the Padres’ spring training complex in Peoria, Arizona, as an introductory exercise to what lies ahead.
It promises to be a hectic schedule in the coming months for Dale as he’s expected to be a member of the Australian team at the World Under 18 Championships in Thunder Bay, Canada in September.
Dale will begin his professional career in the Padres’ minor leagues next year.