Topic: Softball

Softball world champ winner returns to club nationals

By Moana Makapelu Lee
  • Wellington

One of the biggest names in men's softball is back at the New Zealand Men's Softball Club Nationals in Lower Hutt. Dodgers star Joel Evans, who lead the Black Sox to their seventh World Championship title last year.

Down by a 3-2 deficit against Australia in the finals, it was a match-winning grand slam home run that gave Joel Evans world-wide fame across the softball circles.

Evans says, "It was overwhelming really, the number of people that would talk to you and didn't even know you and all of a sudden they know you cause of softball."

Now back on home turf at the nationals with his Dodgers side, Evans is looking to share his skills with the next generation of ballers.

"It's the young fullas [sic] you know and they help us, they push us as well and we take them underneath our belt and go from there and bring them underneath our culture from a young age."

Since the World Series, Evans says he's taken on a fatherly role within the side. This year four junior Dodgers players will debut with the Junior Black Sox.

"They're all taller than me but I try to show them the way" laughs Evans.

It's expected that Evans will tour to the Czech Republic with the Black Sox in the lead up to the World Series to be hosted in Prague next year.

"Everyone wants to be the person in that position which is good and it's making the competition really solid as well."

The Black Sox have their first training camp later this year.