NMJC Host to Canadian Baseball Spring Training
3/23/2007 3:31:27 p.m. - Hobbs, NM. Two Canadian baseball teams, the Pirates and the Junior Pirates, traveled to Hobbs this past week from Vancouver Island to make the New Mexico Junior College Thunderbird Baseball Field the site of their spring training.
"The weather back home has not allowed us to practice outside yet, and our season starts very soon," explained Brad Weinmeyer, Pirates Head Coach and former NMJC baseball player. "We were looking for a place to get in some practice, and I knew what to expect in Hobbs since I used to play baseball here at NMJC. I gave Coach B [Birmingham] a phone call, and he said what was theirs, was ours to use."
That phone call set in motion the trip, which included a fairy ride from Vancouver Island to Seattle, Washington, a plane trip from Seattle to Dallas, and a bus ride from Dallas to Hobbs, for the thirty-one 14- to 16-year-old Junior Pirates and the 16- to 18-year-old Pirates, who are considered to be Canada's best U-18 baseball club.
"The trip and training have gone so well, that we would like to continue to come back and utilize NMJC's facilities every year for spring training," explained General Manager Gary Diamond. "The people, who are what makes a town, of Hobbs are fantastic. We can't believe the hospitality that's been shown to us."
Players Brandon Dean and Jordan Rogers both agree, "This trip has been great, because we've all bonded together, which makes us practice and play better." For Rogers, this was the first time he'd seen a "good" college team play.
"For many of our players, this will be a trip they never forget. They have been on the field all day, they've seen a college facility and the caliber of college players, and from this, they walk away with a first-class experience," Weinmeyer stated.