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Jordan McArdle gives Adelaide baseball plenty of bite

Jordan McArdle grew up surrounded by baseball. Now, he represents his home state with the Adelaide Bite and has had experience playing in the United States. He went One on One with Jack Hudson to talk about his journey.

Photo: Ryan Schembri – SMP Images / ABL Media]

Jack Hudson: Take us back to the start. How did you get into baseball?

Jordan McArdle: My old man played club baseball down here in Adelaide with the Sturt Baseball Club, and a little bit at Goodwood.

I grew up at Sturt watching him play.

JH: Baseball isn’t a common sport to play in Australia, did you ever play any other sports when you were younger?

JM: I played a fair few sports; majority were Aussie Rules and a little bit of cricket.

I stopped that around year six or seven because I started playing baseball.

I did a little bit of soccer in primary school because I wasn’t old enough for Aussie Rules yet, but Aussie Rules and baseball were the main two.

JH: How did you go with the differences between cricket and baseball?

JM: I was a bit bigger than everyone else, it wasn’t too bad.

Because I was a bit more mature I was able to whack the ball as hard as I could and I got lucky most of the time.

It was good when they gave me a full toss, they went far.

JH: You played your juniors at Sturt. What was that like?

JM: It was great, my dad was my coach for my whole way through juniors.

We had a really good young group of players who were the core, along with West Torrens, in all the state teams.

Last week we were lucky enough to win the division one grand final, we played very well.

Photo: Ryan Schembri – SMP Images / ABL Media

JH: How did you go in the grand final?

JM: I did alright, we won the first two games and I got the MVP, so that was great.

JH: With the Adelaide Bite, how’d you manage to get your start there?

JM: I was lucky enough, when I was about 15 or 16, (former Adelaide manager) Brooke Knight and Chris Adams and Steve Mintz got me out to surround the team and working with the team.

I did all the game day, I sat on the bench but I wasn’t able to play until I was late 17 or 18.

I was around two or three years before I played, so that definitely helped me mature and when I got to play I felt ready and I had been around it for a few years.

JH: What’s it like being able to represent your home state in a national baseball league?

JM: It’s awesome, it’s a great feeling.

In my first year, we made the play-offs, that was great fun…obviously the last few years haven’t been the best.

Last year was a big step forward, and I think with the young talent and the core we have, I think we’re going to have some big things in Adelaide very soon.

JH: You spent some time in America in Arizona. What was that like?

JM: That was great fun.

My time there is done now, but I learned lots of things.

It was great to get away, it helped me mature as an athlete and as a person.

There were great life lessons and you learned a lot about baseball too.

JH: What were some of those life lessons and things you learned about baseball?

JM: Leaving home as a fresh out of high school 18-year-old kid and mum and dad had done everything for me.

I had to learn how to do things myself and look after myself.

What’s good and what’s bad for your body and in life.

Photo: Ryan Schembri – SMP Images / ABL Media

JH: You mentioned your mum, who passed away not too long ago. You have a tribute for her on your arm, tell us a bit about it?

JM: On my forearm, when my diagnosed with cancer, we decided to get a tattoo together.

It says ‘ohana’ which means family in Hawaiian, I have an infinity sign underneath and she got a love heart.

My sister will get that too when she’s old enough.

It’s something I’ll cherish forever.

JH: With the rotation between Australia and America, how did you find the differences in competition?

JM: The league I played in in America was more filled with young, raw athletes.

They have many talents that haven’t finessed or excelled yet.

The pitchers threw really hard, they had a lot of power and I swung and missed a lot.

When I come back to the Adelaide Bite, there’s a mixture of mature and experienced people.

You definitely learn different things in both competitions.

JH: What’s the dream for you moving forward?

JM: Obviously my dream is still with the Bite, I’d love to win a championship with them.

I want to make my debut with the national team at the Olympics.

I’d love to make the major leagues as well, which everyone who plays baseball dreams of.

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Jack grew up in Gawler, South Australia – just 45 minutes north of Adelaide – and has a passion for all things football and soccer. Jack has worked in the media for more than four years, and hosts his own sports show on Barossa radio station BBBfm. He previously played football for Elizabeth, South Gawler, Gawler Central and at junior level with Central District, and is a die-hard Port Adelaide fan.