Red Deer Rigger Jaret Chatwoodtakes a chop at the ball during a recent game against the Ft. Sask. Athletics at Great Chief Park.

Red Deer Rigger Jaret Chatwoodtakes a chop at the ball during a recent game against the Ft. Sask. Athletics at Great Chief Park.

Take a swing Down Under

Without a job commitment for the winter, Jaret Chatwood figured it would be a perfect time to see some of the world. And to make his travels more interesting, the Red Deer Riggers veteran decided to play some baseball with the Melbourne Aces of the Australian Baseball League.

Without a job commitment for the winter, Jaret Chatwood figured it would be a perfect time to see some of the world.

And to make his travels more interesting, the Red Deer Riggers veteran decided to play some baseball with the Melbourne Aces of the Australian Baseball League.

“It’s something I’m excited about,” he said. “I didn’t have any kind of job I was interested in this year, so I felt it was a good opportunity in my life to travel and I took it.”

Chatwood had discussed playing in Australia with several of his teammates — Josh Edwards, and Dustin and Chad Northcott. He used their connections and when the offer came, he quickly accepted.

“I talked with the Northcott brothers and Josh and they said it was a great experience and something I’d enjoy. Everything I’m told is that the people are great and it will be a great experience,” said the 25-year-old, who has a teaching degree and worked in Airdrie last winter and Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School the year before.

“I still have (my degree) to fall back on and so I don’t have to worry about what I’ll do after coming back,” he said.

Chatwood leaves on Sept. 16, with the season running from October to March.

“It’s good that I get a month or so off after our season and then a month or so after coming back. It gives me some time off.”

Chatwood won’t be paid but does get a job, his airfare, housing and a car paid for.

“I’m going to be an assistant coach and work some odd jobs around the field,” he explained. “It’s good. It’s just part of the game.”

Chatwood is one of the more versatile players on the Riggers. He plays mainly at catcher and third base, but can play a number of the infield and outfield positions and can even pitch if needed.

“They were looking for a utility player (in Melbourne) and it worked out in that I can do the things they need.”

Chatwood, from Innisfail, grew up playing in the Red Deer Minor Baseball Association, mainly as an infielder and pitcher. He attended Colby College in Kansas as an infielder, but switched to catcher his second year. He then attended university in Montana and was a regular behind the plate.

“It’s worked out so I can play a number of positions.”

Chatwood is also one of the top hitters on the Riggers.

He doesn’t feel there will be much adjustment from the Sunburst Baseball League to the Australian League.

“From what I’ve been told, it’s about the same calibre,” he said. “I feel I won’t be blown away. This league prepares me as we’ve faced several guys who have played pro ball. We also faced (former pro) Mike Johnson, who pitched in the World Baseball Classic.”

Chatwood has been with the Riggers since graduating from midget and has seen his game continue to grow.

“Playing here has been good for me — I’ve grown into myself. I’m not so mental with myself and my game. I take it one game at a time and it’s worked out fine, all around.”

The Riggers have one of the premier senior teams in the country. They just won their second straight Sunburst Baseball League and provincial title and are competing at the nationals in St. John’s, N.L., this week. They’ll also compete in the 2015 nationals.

“We have a team that works well together,” said Chatwood. “It seems like every guy we add buys in and fits in.”

Chatwood has played in the Canadians before, but is looking forward to competing with his own team.

“It’s great to go to the nationals, no matter when, but going with your team and your buddies makes it special,” he said.

Then he can start concentrating on heading to Australia. Right now he can’t say how many years he may look to go south for the winter.

“No snow will be nice, but I understand if you go more than two years you need a professional visa. When I return, I’ll look at the jobs available and if nothing comes up, I’ll take it from there and see what happens.”

drode@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Erika Fetterly, owner of EFP Studios, recently launched the Let Them Have A Voice campaign. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta photographer’s campaign aims to give youths a voice

An Innisfail photographer is giving a platform to young central Albertans so… Continue reading

The Red Deer Rebels hosted the Medicine Hat Tigers in the first game of the shortened 2020-21 season on Friday. The two teams faced off again in Medicine Hat Saturday (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Red Deer Rebels fall to Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday

Tigers 7 Rebels 2 The Red Deer Rebels have lost two straight… Continue reading

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

More than 120,000 Albertans have signed up to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the first two days of appointment bookings. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta Health Services apologizes after seniors struggle to book vaccine appointments

The CEO and president of Alberta Health Services is apologizing after seniors… Continue reading

Red Deer’s Kyle Moore, 26, will be a houseguest on Season 9 of Big Brother Canada. (Photo courtesy Big Brother Canada)
Red Deer man will be a houseguest on Big Brother Canada

A Red Deer man will be a houseguest on the upcoming season… Continue reading

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped save a missing pet recently. The two dogs have more than 80,000 followers on Twitter. (Contributed photo)
WATCH: Red Deer science dogs help save lost pet

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped rescue a missing pet… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is condemning alleged vandalism at the… Continue reading

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Machin waits to appear at the Standing Committee on Finance on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. Executives who engage in so-called "vaccine tourism" show both an ethical disregard for those less fortunate and a surprising lack of business acumen, experts argue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine tourism is both unethical and bad for business, experts say

Executives who engage in so-called “vaccine tourism” show both an ethical disregard… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers' Jesse Puljujarvi (13) and Toronto Maple Leafs' Justin Holl (3) battle in front as goalie Jack Campbell (36) makes the save during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, February 27, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
No Matthews, no problem: Minus NHL goal leader, Maple Leafs blank Oilers 4-0

Leafs 4 Oilers 0 EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs knew even with… Continue reading

The Pornhub website is shown on a computer screen in Toronto on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Pornhub policies reveal legal gaps and lack of enforcement around exploitive videos

OTTAWA — Serena Fleites was in seventh grade when a sexually explicit… Continue reading

Sean Hoskin stands on a neighbourhood street in Halifax on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Hoskin was diagnosed with COVID-19 almost a year ago with symptoms that still persist. Some provinces have established programs to deal with long-term sufferers but Atlantic Canada, with relatively low numbers of patients, has yet to provide a resource to assist them. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
On East Coast, exhausted COVID-19 ‘long haulers’ hope specialized clinics will emerge

HALIFAX — On evenings when Sean Hoskin collapses into bed, heart pounding… Continue reading

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (30) stands in his crease as Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88), left to right, defenceman Rasmus Andersson (4), Matthew Tkachuk (19), Mikael Backlund (11) and Mark Giordano (5) celebrate a goal during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Calgary Flames beat Ottawa 6-3 to end Senators’ three-game win streak

Flames 6 Senators 3 OTTAWA — The Calgary Flames used a balanced… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough to cover the average pinky nail but is made up of more than 280 components and requires at least three manufacturing plants to produce. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
From science to syringe: COVID-19 vaccines are miracles of science and supply chains

OTTAWA — A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough… Continue reading

Most Read