WBSC Men's Softball World Cup 2022: To play on home soil, ‘very special’ for 2013 champion Jeremy Manley

WBSC Men's Softball World Cup 2022: To play on home soil, ‘very special’ for 2013 champion Jeremy Manley
09/05/2022
Manley, now a pitching coach for Ball State Cardinals college team in the US, cannot avoid talking about the 2013 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship, which was the last time the international men's softball premier event was staged in New Zealand.

On March 10 2013, Jeremy Manley pitched New Zealand to its sixth WBSC Men’s Softball world title by beating Venezuela in the World Championship Game, 4-1. The right hander tossed seven innings allowing one run, four hits and two walks, with six strikeouts.

Now, with the WBSC Men's Softball World Cup 2022 set to take place in New Zealand from 26 November to 4 December, Manley, a pitching coach for Ball State Cardinals college team in the US, cannot avoid talking about the 2013 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship, which was the last time the international men's softball premier event was staged in New Zealand.

“To be able to play in 2013, at home, in the World Cup, it was very special," Manley told Ball State Sports Link. "We’ve being being away a lot prior to that, and it would have the first time since 2004 that we would have the World Cup.” 

“It was a journey... Because it’s the national team, a representative team, you have to go as a unit, and you have to do a lot of things right for a long time. Once you have a chance, you got to make the best out of it.”  

And he took it, with an impressive 5-0 record for the tournament, with 54 strikeouts and 7 walks in 34.2 innings, including a complete-game effort in the final. “I don’t know if I could describe the feelings after the final out was made, but I could relive it pretty quickly just by closing my eyes.”

For Manley, softball in New Zealand is kind of unique, because the sport has a unique set of skills for an athlete. “Most of the people that play the game still play rugby and softball and they play hard,” he explains. “Softball back home is not ‘professional’, it’s more for the love, it’s a little more passion that comes with it.”

Asked about his start as a softball player, he said that New Zealand didn’t have baseball when he was a kid, only softball. And he has good memories, from being a bat boy “to play in the Manawatu with the wind coming in sideways with the rain, to Wellington to Hutt Valley... I can go back pretty quickly.”

Read More: WBSC Men's Softball World Cup History