Local in SA baseball team

2016-02-09 06:00
Dean Jacobs (24) from Retreat has jetted off to Australia to represent South Africa in the World Baseball Classic qualifier.

Dean Jacobs (24) from Retreat has jetted off to Australia to represent South Africa in the World Baseball Classic qualifier.

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Dean Jacobs (24) from Retreat is over the moon that he will be representing South Africa at the World Baseball Classic qualifier in Australia.

Jacobs, who plays for Silvertree, flew with his national team mates on Thursday. He will be away for 11 days.

Filled with excitement he described this opportunity to People’s Post as a scarce one. He says he feels honoured to represent his country.

“I am super stoked that I have been granted the opportunity to play abroad, mainly because it has always been my dream. To represent SA at a World Baseball Classic qualifier is an opportunity that is as scarce as hen’s teeth.

“Baseball is not like rugby, cricket and soccer that are well resourced and structured so they can send many representatives each year. Baseball sends only a handful, so I know that I’m blessed and highly favoured,” he says.

He was selected based on his seasonal statistics for the last couple of seasons as well his performance at the annual interprovincial tournaments. Several medals to his name speak volumes of what a great sportsman he is. He has accumulated many medals at club and provincial level and at a SA schools junior tournament.

In the 35 years of the club’s existence, Jacobs is the first player to have reached this level.

Jacobs started playing at the age of nine.

Jacobs’s mother Sandy says the coach took a chance to reach out, not knowing that it would turn out to be the sport that he loves the most.

“He came home that evening and he told me that he has to go to the field in the morning to play his first baseball game at Stephen Reagan sports fields in Mitchell’s Plain. That’s how he started playing the beautiful game, having started in the u.10 league,” she says.

“He loves this sport. There is an indescribable affinity or bond with the game. The game is a high priority for him but it never overshadowed the relationships with friends and family along the way.

“I’m super proud to see him realise such a big dream. It’s always exciting for a parent to see your child win. It’s also very good to know that my support along the way was my way of being a part of this,” she says.

Seeing her son achieve so much in the sport he loves warms her heart.

“It was always tough to keep up with the needs of equipment and baseball attire. Even if he had no cleats, which at some stage we could not afford, the situation never stopped him from playing. He would make a plan for a loan of cleats.

I’m really grateful for the help and look where he is today. I’m wishing him and the team well,” she says.

Ward councillor Kevin Southgate says local communities have always struggled because of poor facilities but Jacobs’s achievement has shown that with the right attitude and resolve to succeed anything is possible.

“I trust that other young people will be inspired by Dean’s success and grasp the opportunities that sport affords them to develop and to achieve their dreams,” he says.

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