Gabriolan swinging big in Nanaimo
For 15-year-old David Cosbey, there’s no better way to spend a few hours than out in the ballpark.
“When everything is working and you’re making the plays, it just feels awesome,” said the Nanaimo Pirates Bantam AAA right-fielder.
“It’s the best feeling in the world, running to the fence and catching the ball, or you hit a double in the gap and score a run for the team.”
Two years ago, Pirates coach George Kelly encouraged David to play in Nanaimo. With David’s natural speed, George knew he could be honed into a solid player.
“He gets good jumps. He reacts fast to where the ball’s going, so in another two years his smoothness will just keep improving.... He’s got the full potential to be a ball player because he’s so strong and so big and so fast.”
The lone Gabriolan on the team – David’s teammates call him Gabe – he’s also the team’s morale booster.
“The kids really like him,” said George. “He’s a positive kid. He’s emotionally mature.”
“It’s better to be happy ... than to get down on yourself and then everybody else gets down,” said David, who would like to play professionally.
It’s somewhat miraculous that David is playing competitive sports at all – he has had five concussions.
This year the Pirates went 21-21 – a major improvement from Nanaimo’s last record of 1-38.
David, who’s never been caught stealing, has been a major contributor to the team’s success, said George.
The Pirates went into the provincials as the eighth-seeded team. They eliminated the fourth- and fifth-seeded teams before eventually losing in the semifinals. David was errorless in the field and hit an RBI up the middle against Ridge Meadows to score the runner at second.
David’s dad Tim said he wanted to make sure David’s Gabriola sponsor, Gabriola Automotive, got a big thank you.
“Because it cost around $3,000 per kid to be on the team, the kids were trying to find businesses who would sponsor them and Bill Beaty at Gabriola Automotive was the guy who stepped up for us and made a pretty sizeable contribution. We thank him very much.”