Portland Pickles left-hander Josh Hendrickson moved 10,000 miles from his home in Perth, Australia to play baseball in America.
Before moving to the states, Hendrickson got the opportunity to represent his country in the Under 23 division of the Baseball World Cup. The team had three college freshmen and the rest had all played some form of professional baseball in Australia or the States. They faced Japan in the final, who ended up winning the championship. Japan’s roster was loaded with players from the countries Nippon Professional Baseball league. That tournament was something special for Hendrickson. “To hear your national anthem in a different country, while representing your own country and having Australia written across your chest, it’s an amazing feeling,” he said. It wasn’t just the opponents that were impressive. The coaching staff of the World Cup helped Hendrickson progress. “The coaches were on a whole other level,” he said. “They really know what they’re doing. Just being around them, even if you weren’t playing, you were improving.”
The Australia Under 23 Baseball World Cup team tied the record for the farthest Australia has made it in an international competition. The only other time was when Australia came away with a silver medal in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
This season with the Portland Pickles, Hendrickson has gone 8-1 with a 2.83.
After getting to play in numerous tournaments and competitions for Australia, Hendrickson packed up and settled in Texas at Ranger College. Some videos of him were sent to the coach and he was offered a scholarship to play. Next year, he is going to Barton Community College in Kansas, but he has already received many offers for his junior year at Division 1 schools including San Diego and Hawaii. “I still have another year of junior college baseball to get through first which I’m excited for and then we’ll see where I end up after that,” he said.
His hopes after that are to get drafted. “I think that’s every little kids’ dream when they first start playing baseball,” Hendrickson said.” They see guys on TV and want to be that guy.”