When six-year-old Stephen Pearson played his first season of T Ball with the Shoalhaven Mariners in 2010 he was the kid who drove the coaches crazy.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
At the end of this month in his 14th year of playing Baseball, 19 year old Pearson becomes the first ever Shoalhaven Mariners Junior player to make the leap across the world to play College baseball, where he will study Exercise Science at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, New York.
"To play college baseball is something that I have been dreaming of and working towards for years," Pearson said.
"With the guidance of Lynn Spence from Australian USA College Pathway, the offer came in from Wave Head Coach Brian Dowd at the start of 2023.
The Baseball program at Kingsborough is doing great things and I can't wait to get over there to start working with him and the team."
Coach Dowd said he was thrilled to welcome Pearson to the Wave family this autumn.
"We expect Stephen to make an immediate impact not just physically on the field, but culturally as well. We are excited to have our first Australian born players become a part of our program," Coach Dowd said.
"We believe that the diversity of our team is a key factor in our success as a program.
"Stephen will add to that dynamic and help our program grow towards the vision we aspire to realize, as a perennial national powerhouse in the United States."
Pearson spent the first four months of this year living in Calvert City, Kentucky at the Lake Area Post Graduate Baseball Academy working on his skills with Coach Bryce Wilz.
Pearson played alongside teammates from the USA, Canada, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
"I learned a lot playing and training with Lake Area. It gave me my first taste of living in a dorm, and I was able to live and breathe Baseball and train every day," Pearson said.
Coach Wilz praised Pearson after seeing his on-field ability over the last few months.
"First day Stephen got here he set a positive example. Extremely hard worker, and an outstanding teammate. Gonna miss him moving forward with his career," coach Wilz said.
Pearson returned to Australia in May and has been working in maintenance at Nowra Anglican College, the school from where he graduated in 2022.
At the end of term 2 Pearson was inducted into the Nowra Anglican College Sports Hall of Fame.
"I am so fortunate that I have been able to work at my old school, and I thank school principal Lorrae Sampson for the opportunity. I feel privileged to be inducted into the NAC Hall of Fame."
He's kept up his playing ability with first grade appearances for the Dapto Chiefs in the Illawarra League on Saturdays as well as contesting the 2nd and 3rd grade competitions for the University of NSW in the Sydney Winter League on Sundays.
This weekend he lines up alongside his 22-year-old brother Andrew to play for the Illawarra at the NSW Country Baseball Championships in Blacktown.
"Playing back in Australia, the thing I've looked forward to the most is playing alongside my brother this weekend," Pearson said.
"Andrew, my parents and my whole family have been great support and I would not have been able to achieve so much without them."
Shoalhaven Mariners' former junior development officer Michael Taylor said he had watched Pearson's career blossom since its early days.
"I'm so proud to see Stephen the once-pesky six-year-old t-baller go on to enjoy his baseball with his 'do the hard work' attitude," Mr Taylor said.
"It is these attributes that will make Stephen a fine college player at Kingsborough."
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.