Take a bow Tiny, Maxim, Mitch, Nick, Sebastian, Phil, Hans, Ciaran, Jakob, Lukas, Diego and Matthias. Because cometh the hour – Sunday 15 September – and these anointed 12 from Gladsaxe, this band of brothers, came together as one to cap an undefeated season by lifting the Under-12s Softball National Championship.
For the Gladsaxe Softball and Baseball Klub’s under-12s, their 6-2 defeat of the Stenløse Bulls was the crowning moment of a season they will never forget. And for their coach, Kurt vom Scheidt, a New Yorker who many of our readers might remembers as the winner of Mr Movember 2011, it was vindication for the hundreds of hours he has dedicated to coaching his disciples – a team that tends to be 50 percent Danish, 50 percent foreign.
Following the victory, Vom Scheidt was full of praise for his charges, singling out the team’s shortstop, Alexander ‘Tiny’ Varey as the game’s MVP. Batting, he was three for three, and fielding, he was involved in 60 percent of the opponent’s outs.
But despite the success, Vom Scheidt is taking nothing for granted about the future of the team, which will start its 2014 season with the National Indoor Championship in January and February and constantly needs new blood to flourish.
“We didn’t manage to get any new kids to sign up on the back of the Copenhagen Post’s Children’s Festival,” revealed Vom Scheidt. It wasn’t due to a lack of interest. Many present demonstrated they had the sufficient hand-eye co-ordination, but in the end they didn’t join.
“So we’re hoping our victory, and the positive press that comes with it, might help us get some more players. After all, it’s a chance for new joiners to come on board to join a winning team.”
However, there is more to playing softball than winning, contends Vom Scheidt. Its virtues as a team sport make it really stand out.
“Softball is a fantastic game that encourages individual achievement, but never ahead of the team,” he told The Copenhagen Post last June. “It’s like any sport: it’s healthy and it prepares you for what you need to do later in life. It helps us to recognise our strengths and weaknesses and learn to get along together.”
One example of the team spirit is that batters will often ‘sacrifice’ a big slog to make sure one of their teammates advances to the next base. Vom Scheidt says this play normally results in the batter getting out for the sake of a teammate.
“This is part of the DNA of the game and just exemplifies the fact that no one player is above the team and that everybody must always do their part for the team to perform optimally,” he said. “A solid lesson and foundation for life I think.”
Gladsaxe Softball and Baseball Klub operates under-12s, under-15s and under-19s softball teams, and the emphasis is very much on rotating the players to enable all the players to get a fair go. There are also ladies and men’s teams, and on Friday nights, a social slow-pitch competition. The club has all the necessary gear, including bats, helmets and gloves, and anyone interested can come along to training at Isbanevej, close to Gladsaxe Stadion, up to three times before they commit to playing for the whole season. Training on Tuesday and Wednesday from 16:15-18:00