A player for the Brisbane Broncos for many years, former forward Tonie Carroll is plying his trade in another sport that he loves, since his retirement from rugby league. Baseball.
Playing for the Pine Hills Lightning, a team in the Queensland Majors competition, Carroll got off to a successful start with his new club – and is a former under-18 Queensland representative in baseball.
With baseball another love for Carroll apart from rugby league, the former Test and Origin forward is prepared to give baseball a red-hot go, and is serious about playing it.
“It was only due to the call from the Broncos when I was 18 that I gave baseball away, it has always been in the back of my mind to play again,” he said.
“Once I had hung up the footy boots I wanted to put on the baseball cleats.
“I am not going into this half-arsed. It is either 100 per cent or nothin
g, I will put the same effort into baseball as I did in my rugby league career.
Paul Gonzalez, who is the CEO of the Brisbane Bandits, said that he and Deputy Commissioner Kim Jessop were lucky enough to watch Carroll at his first batting practice, and suffice to say, the duo were impressed with what they saw from him.
“The man is an athlete of tremendous ability, strength and power, we will give him all the help he needs to succeed,” Jessop said.
Carroll's first game, that was played on Friday night ended successfully for his team, with his side winning 13-7 over the Redcliffe Padres.
Bob Nilsson, the Lightning coach, said that whilst the contest deteriorated to begin with, signs were positive when it came to Carroll in his debut outing.
“The score was 12-0 after two innings so it was a hard to get a read on him (Carroll),” he said.
“He'll be playing both games this weekend. We'll lose players to the Bandits. He'll move in to cover for them.”