Sandringham Baseball Club is pleased to announce that Peter Gehle will be joining the team for the 2018/19 season as our import player.
Gehle, a 6’6″ 240 pound left-handed pitcher, joins the Royals after a stint with St John in the New Brunswick League in Canada.
The 30-year-old southpaw was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 2010, playing in Rookie, AA, and independent leagues until 2016, where he then played in France. He then went to the Czech Republic in 2017 where he played with Sandy’s John Hussey, before playing in Canada this year. Currently playing for St John, he has an ERA of 2.30, and also can swing the bat, hitting 0.310.
We chatted to Peter recently as he prepared for his trip, and he told us how much he was looking forward to heading down under.
“I have always wanted to visit Australia. From the pictures I’ve seen it looks beautiful. I had the privilege of playing with John Hussey last year in the Czech Republic, so I got to hear a lot more about it.”
“I know Australia is world famous for how pretty it is. Since I was young I have wanted to see the Great Barrier Reef. There is a big sporting culture throughout the country, so I’m hoping I’ll get some insight on sports played here that aren’t as popular in the US.”
As for baseball in Australia, Peter admitted he didn’t know much about the scene down here. “I know that baseball has been around for a very long time here. Most of the big cities have state league teams that compete against each other. I’m hoping to get a lot more knowledge of it during my season!”
When here, Peter told us that he has a few things on his list to try try. “I’m going to have to try vegemite. Hussey tried to get me to have some all last season and I never did, so I need to rectify that. Also, it probably sounds very touristy but I want to pet a kangaroo and a koala. I had dreams of being a veterinarian when I was growing up along with playing baseball, but obviously it wasn’t possible to do both.”
Peter started his baseball career as a kid in Flagstaff, Arizona. “I started playing baseball at a very young age. I also played other sports, but baseball was my clear favourite. Ever since I was little my goal was to play professional baseball, so the biggest highlight of my career would be getting drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 2010.”
“My mom was very supportive. Because my hometown of Flagstaff gets very cold and snowy in the winter, she would take me to Phoenix every weekend to play. I would also have tournaments in Colorado that she would take me to. I tried to get a job during my high school summers, but my mom always said you have the rest of your life to work, focus on baseball.”
Peter didn’t initially specialise as a pitcher. “All through high school I played other positions when I wasn’t pitching, but I knew that pitching is what would help me further my career. There are a lot more possibilities if you can throw hard and you’re left handed.”
He can hit too he told us. “I would like to think I’m a very productive hitter. I wasn’t used in that role in college or my 6 seasons of professional ball in the States, but my last 2 seasons in Europe and this season in Canada has given me a lot of success at the plate.”
As for life after this season, Peter was not sure as yet where he would head. “That’s one of those questions where it’s difficult to have an answer. It is a little bit out of my hands, but I am still very much at the top of my game and offer a lot of experience to go with it. Going back to Canada seems like it will be an option, but I definitely plan to keep playing. It’s one of those things that you revisit when the time gets closer”
And life after baseball? “I was fortunate enough to be able to finish college a couple years ago while I was still playing. I got my degree in Health and Human Performance, so when I’m ready to retire from baseball, I would like to be a strength and conditioning coach or a pitching coach at the professional level.”
Peter arrives in Australia in 2 weeks, and will be joining training before our Round 3 game against Waverley. Peter will be staying with the Holten family, we thank them for hosting Peter for the season.
We welcome Peter to the club and encourage all Sandringham members to make him welcome!
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