14-Year Old Prospect Will Attend Summer Baseball Academy at Mercy College
Valhalla, NY – July 8, 2014 – 14-year old Liam Shier loves to play baseball, just like most American kids his age, but Liam isn’t from the United States. He lives in Ireland, a country where baseball is far from the national pastime.
Liam, who lives in County Meath, Ireland, will be practicing his baseball skills at the Hardball NY Summer Baseball Academy at Mercy College, on July 24 and 25, from 9am-2pm.
Liam’s participation in the camp is part of the Baseball United Foundation’s Player Exchange Program, which brings talented international youth baseball players to America, to help them learn the game through advanced instruction from professionals.
The Baseball United Foundation was created by Westchester County resident John Fitzgerald. Headquartered in Valhalla, the Foundation raises funds to develop the sport abroad. The non-profit has contributed to the development of Ireland’s first ballpark and regularly sends equipment and American coaches to Ireland to hold youth baseball clinics there.
Liam, who has been playing baseball since he was 9 years old, was selected to come to America by Baseball Ireland, the governing body of amateur baseball in Ireland. The Baseball United Foundation worked with Hardball NY to secure a spot for Liam at their annual summer baseball academy at Mercy College. Liam will be accompanied by his father, David Shier, who is also passionate about the sport.
“We think Liam will learn a lot while he’s here and the experience will be a benefit to his development as a baseball player as well as the development of baseball programs in Ireland,” explained Baseball United Foundation founder John Fitzgerald. “We hope to do more of these types of programs in the near future.”
The Hardball NY Baseball Academy is run by Hardball NY, a baseball training facility located in Elmsford, NY.
“The ongoing partnership between Hardball NY and the Baseball United Foundation is a win for everybody,” explained Hardball NY owner and former Mercy College head baseball coach Bill Sullivan. “This year, we collected hundreds of pounds of donated baseball equipment to ship over to Ireland. Bringing Liam over to America is the next step in the process.”
After spending a week of training in New York, Liam will return home to Ireland, where he plays shortstop for the Irish Youth National Team, to share the new skills he has learned.
“I’m very happy for the opportunity to improve my baseball skills in America,” explained Liam by phone from his family’s home in Ireland. “I hope to make new friends and learn some new baseball skills that I can teach to my friends and teammates here in Ireland.”
Baseball has been played in Ireland since the early 1990s. Today, over 500 youth and adult players participate in the sport, throughout Ireland. In addition, Ireland’s Youth and Adult National Teams participate in European competition.
About the Baseball United Foundation
The Baseball United Foundation is a 501c3 organization based in New York. The foundation assists teams, leagues, and players in countries where the game of baseball is relatively new. In January 2014, the foundation sent 1,000 lbs. of baseball equipment to Ireland, along with professional coaches, to conduct a series of baseball clinics for kids.
Contact: John Fitzgerald
Baseball United Foundation