Operations Manager - Ben Foster
But for the Newcastle native the baseball love-affair began decades earlier when, as 3-year-old, a trip to Yankee Stadium and the pageantry of baseball's legendary Cathedral, soon left an immutable passion for the game on the impressionable toddler.
As a player, Foster captained the 2006 Queensland Rams Claxton Shield Championship side, tried his hand at all nine positions and had a stint in professional baseball in the United States. But Ben's contributions to the sport's development in Australia go beyond the foul poles.
Immediately preceding his current post, Ben served for four years as the Australian Baseball Federation's (ABF) National Programs Coordinator, Baseball Operations. Dedicated to furthering the efforts of the Green and Gold on the global stage, Foster helped steer Australian National team operations from 2006 to 2009; including two World Baseball Classics, IBAF Senior World Cups and IBAF Women's World Cups. In addition, Ben coordinated four trips to the IBAF Junior World Championships and Cal Ripken World Series.
Ever committed to developing future Australian baseball talent, he also has managed four instalments of the Major League Baseball Australian Academy Program, a world class annual training program that brings the most promising junior talent from around the country to the Gold Coast to benefit from coaching from former Big League players and Australian baseball royalty.
As a former media liaison for the ABF, Ben has helped to spearhead the ABF's international efforts, especially in Japan, including several international tours by Japanese teams and the establishment of an elite athlete pathway with the Shikoku Island League.
A proud twenty-year member of the Surfers Paradise Baseball Club, Ben was privileged to play four seasons in the former ABL (1996-1999), and forever holds dear the unique honour of catching the league's final pitch en route to a championship with the Gold Coast Cougars in February 1999. Foster was a key component of the Queensland Rams in the Claxton Shield (2002-2006) and was also named to the 2001 National Senior Team during the IBLA season and toured with the 2001 IBAF World Cup team (Taiwan).
Ben's other highlights include several national junior teams (u/17, Australian Schoolboys and u/19) and culminated in a brief but memorable tenure playing professionally in America, with the Chicago based Independent League team the Cook County Cheetahs from 1998 to 2000.
In contrast to a lifetime dominated by the sport he loves, Ben also lived and worked in New York City, where he helped launch and manage a restaurant in Manhattan's West Village from 2002 to 2003. His studies focused on the written word, in both English and Spanish, as he pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Griffith University. Although his early life in NSW sees Foster count himself as an avid "Blue" supporter, he has resided on the Gold Coast since 1990 - where he continues to make his home with wife, Alice Bain.