At 15 years of age, Nathan Smith is pitching a promising innings in baseball. The Wyndham Vale resident has competed in 10 state baseball championships in the past five years and last month received a Mayoral Youth Award for his contributions to sport. As told to Charlene Macaulay.
What is your connection to the Wyndham area?
Nathan: I’ve been here my whole life.
Mum Christine: I came here when I was married and Nathan’s dad, Andrew, has lived here all his life. He was born at the old Werribee Hospital.
You’re in year 10 at Wyndham Central College. What are you hoping to do after high school?
Nathan: I’m doing VCAL, so hopefully I’ll become an electrician. It just seems like a cool, good job.
How did you get involved in baseball?
Nathan: Dad used to play baseball and softball, so when I was younger I just wanted to do a sport and he said, “Go down and try baseball”. So I tried it and I liked it. I was with Werribee [Giants Baseball Club], now I’m with Newport. This is my first season with Newport. I wanted to play under-16 state league instead of playing metro – it’s just better competition. I like pitching and I’m pretty good at it.
You’ve competed in 10 state championships in the past five years. What’s it like competing at state level?
Nathan: It’s pretty good. It’s better than competing at club level. You get to meet all different people and coaches.
You were one of 60 baseballers selected from an Australia-wide try out to attend a Major League Baseball invitational, where you received coaching from some of the industry’s best Australian and international coaches. What was that like?
Nathan: I went to Lismore in New South Wales for a week and there were Baseball Australia coaches. We had a game every day for five days and training for the rest of the day. It was pretty good to meet kids from out of the state and all of that … more competition, better competition, better players, better coaches.
What’s the ultimate dream for you baseball-wise?
Nathan: Just to go as far as I can.
Christine: Nathan just made the under-16 Victorian team.
Has there been a match that stands out in your mind?
Nathan: I played a game in winter that was pretty good – I pitched five no-hit innings.
If you could change anything about this area, what would it be?
Nathan: More sports stuff, probably more baseball – but that’s just me! In Wyndham, there’s only one baseball club, so you have to go to Essendon and Geelong and all around Victoria to get good competition.