Excerpt from The Weekly Times, Wednesday 25 Sep 2019.
Outstanding Ryde Hawks baseball prospect Matthew Harris was the first $1,000 monthly winner of the 2019–2020 Ryde Sports Foundation Sports Star of the Year Award.
The emerging 12 year old pitcher caught the eye of talent scouts when he toured Japan earlier this year with the Australian Under 14 Junior Roos baseball team.
A versatile player with a strong work ethic, young Matthew was recognised for his achievements at a special presentation on Friday 14 June 2019 at 6pm at the Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club.
It has been a meteoric rise for Harris, a Year 7 student at Holy Cross College Ryde, who has shown a maturity in the baseball ranks that far belies his years.
Since pitching his first ball as an 8 year old with the Concord Comets Junior Baseball Club in 2015, talented Matthew has developed into a real find.
He went straight into live ball pitching in his first season with the Comets and quickly established himself as a representative player with Ryde Hawks—showing his wares in the 2017 Little League Minors State Tournament and the 2018 Little League Majors State Series.
Matthew shone for the all-conquering Comets that won the Little League Majors Under 12s competition undefeated last season—pitching superbly to steer his side to a 14-5 Grand Final victory over the Stealers.
In a career highlight, Matt also struck the final home run of the campaign with a sensational hit over right field before lining up for the Hawks at this year’s Little League Majors State Championship at North Sydney.
The hard working Harris experienced his biggest thrill in baseball back in March when he gained selection in the Australian Under 14 Junior Roosteam that traveled to Japan for a two week educational tour.
Matthew came back a stronger player after honing his skills against older Japanese opponents where he demonstrated his versatility as a pitcher, first baseman and outfielder.
He puts in long hours to improve his overall performance and has benefited tremendously while under the tutelage of former Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins pitcher Brad Thomas and Korean international Mun Hyeon Oh.
To further his baseball career Matthew has attended several training courses with the Sydney Blue Sox organisation and Next Gen.
Outside of his club and rep training Matthew receives private one on one coaching with Thomas and Oh and trains seven days a week to try and fulfill his dream of becoming a Major Baseball League pitcher.