Baseball is a two-way street for Newport Rams import Riley Barr.
As much as Barr takes from the game, he likes to put back in.
Barr knows how good the game has been to him, allowing him to travel from the US, meet new people and learn a few new things.
But Barr is just as important to his adopted baseball clubs, of which he has already played and starred in Canada, Germany and two stints in Australia, all before the age of 26.
“Travelling gives you a different perspective,” Barr said.
“The game is so big in the states, there’s always new stuff coming out, new ways to look at things, new ideas and it’s really great to be able to share that, but it’s also good to pick other people’s minds.
“There’s stuff I’ve learned being abroad that I wasn’t being taught in the states as well.”
Barr is more than willing to impart his knowledge on the young Newport players.
The Denver-born pitcher is also aware of letting the Rams coaches do their jobs.
“Being an import, you’re kind of the new guy and you don’t want to come in and act like your word is bond,” Barr said.
“You want to lead by example and once you have that respect established, start coaching up the kids and seeking out the ones that are curious.”
Barr has only been at Newport for a short time, but it already feels like its a second home.
He has settled in the Altona home of Rams member Paul Walshe, a fine example of a person who gives back to his community.
Walshe was named Baseball Victoria volunteer of the year this year and hosting import players is just one of his tasks.
While Barr has played for clubs in Toronto, Mainz and Perth, he reckons there is something special about being part of the Rams.
“The family aspect of the club is so amazing, it’s a huge community and they’re all just really helpful and eager to make the experience as good as it can be for me and the rest of the guys that play,” he said.
On the field, it has been a disappointing season so far for Newport in the Baseball Victoria summer league division 1.
The Rams are just 3-8 and coming off a 4-0 shut out loss to Geelong Baycats on Saturday.
Barr remains optimistic.
“It’s frustrating, but I’ve played on some really good ball clubs that have started off hot, you peak a little early and in the second half of the season you start dealing with a little bit of adversity and you might have injuries, and the season doesn’t end up as it looked like it might have been,” he said.
“The same can be said going the other way, I think it’s good that we’ve been able to deal with as much adversity in all these close games, we’ve never had a game where we’re absolutely defeated, but we’re starting to get our ducks in a row now.”
Newport will face Upwey Tigers in Thursday night baseball tomorrow night at the Melbourne Ballpark before turning its attention to Essendon away on Sunday.
In women’s division 1, Footscray went down 6-1 to Essendon in a second-versus-third showdown at the Footscray Baseball Club.
In men’s division 2, Williamstown Wolves cruised to a 10-0 win over Port Melbourne Mariners to maintain its spot atop the ladder.