Linger caps big year with Mexico world titles berth
By GEOFF HALLMANN
TALENTED Under-16 Far North Coast baseballer, James Linger, has capped a sensational 12 months with selection in the Australian AA team to compete in the 2005 Youth World Championships.
The titles will be held in Mexico.
Linger, who plays for Norths in the Rex Airlines-Far North Coast Baseball League, provided a pivotal role in the Far North Coast team during last year's State Championships in Ipswich.
His performance with the bat and ball caught the eye of Queensland selectors and he found himself with his first cap in the State side, competing in Lismore in the AA National Championships in January.
While originally selected as a short-stop/second baseman, Linger's talent and an opportunistic injury to a fellow State team member during the warm-up games led him to be placed in the role of centre-fielder ... the same position his father had filled throughout his career in the Australian Baseball League, Claxton Shield and onAustralian duty.
Linger led the batting at the Australian Championships with 0.636 and an errorless performance in the field.
His efforts were rewarded by his State when he was named Queensland Junior Player of the Year.
His performances did not fail to catch the eye of the Australian selectors, and in July he was invited to attend the Major League Baseball Australian Academy Program where he has spent the past month honing his skills in a combination of training and games against the best baseballers in Australia.
Linger's achievements are made even more remarkable by the fact that he resides in Grafton and has had to commute to games in Lismore and the Gold Coast.
His parents, Mark and Madeline Linger, were ecstatic over his selection and enjoyed the news as a reward not only for James' hard work, but for their time, expense and effort in ensuring he was able to meet the incredible demands that came with representative selection.