HARD work and persistence will pay off for the Shoalhaven Mariners tomorrow with the official opening of their new baseball facility.
The Mariners now have its own ‘field of dreams’ at Ison Park, South Nowra and will play the Berkeley Eagles in three grades.
A special event will be held just before the first grade match, at 1.45pm, to mark the opening of the facility.
Long standing player and committee member, Michael Taylor, just can’t wait for the action to start.
“This is just beyond belief and it’s so great to see that all our work over all those years has paid off,” he said.
Mr Taylor, his wife Suzanne and son Aaron were part of the club when it started way back in 2005.
The Taylors used to drive around the region looking for venues to play on.
What they found was many other grounds either had a cricket pitch in the middle or football posts.
The only other option was to get a facility built – enter Shoalhaven City Council.
Mr Taylor said he would, on behalf of the club, like to thank council for its efforts.
“What we have here took other clubs in the Illawarra decades to get,” he said.
Mr Taylor has been involved with the sport since a child and has seen many baseball fields.
He rates the local field highly.
“I would give it a nine out of 10,” he said.
A few little improvements here and there and the local field of dreams would get 10 out of 10.
Come tomorrow Mr Taylor hopes the Mariners can beat the Eagles.
“Berkeley is one of the competition’s powerhouses,” he said.
First grade has hit form and last weekend beat the premier the Western Suburbs Cardinals.
Second grade has had a solid year while the third grade team is one of the teams to beat.
“We will match the Eagles in the lower grades,” Mr Taylor said.
The Mariners, in all grades, will be at home for the next five matches and could be set to make a charge up the ladder.
The club would also like to thank the Veolia Mulwaree Trust, NSW State Government and local businesses for their support.