Surrey’s Eccles to pitch for Victoria Harbourcats

Elgin Park Secondary graduate will be the first woman to pitch in West Coast League

Surrey’s Claire Eccles will pitch for the Victoria Harbourcats of the West Coast League this summer. (Photo: Baseball Canada)

After two seasons playing outfield for the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, Claire Eccles is a few weeks away from making baseball history.

The 19-year-old left-hander from Surrey will pitch for the Victoria Harbourcats in the upcoming West Coast League season. Eccles will become the first woman to play in the WCL, a league made up primarily of university players, some of whom have been drafted by Major League Baseball teams.

“I’ve been playing baseball for a long time and have been a pitcher for my entire career so when I switched to softball it just wasn’t the same,” said Eccles, who has been with Baseball Canada’s national women’s team for the past four years. “I’m very excited. Victoria is really behind this team and I’m lucky to play for such a great organization as the Harbourcats.”

Eccles isn’t going to be able to throw as fast as her male rivals, but her knuckleball and curveball pitches are very effective, said Harbourcats general manager Brad Norris-Jones.

“If we strictly went on her velocity, I don’t think she could compete at this level,” he told Canadian Press. “But her knuckleball definitely competes at this level. That’s what we were very excited about.”

“I’m obviously not going to be the fastest pitcher in the league,” said Eccles. “But I have some good off-speed pitches that will keep hitters on their toes.”

rick.kupchuk@surreynowleader.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Politicians want Surrey’s Civic Distinction Awards done ‘virtually,’ not postponed

City staff recommended they be put off to the fall of 2021 because of the pandemic

Illegal suite a concern for Cloverdale man

Despite a City-issued stop-work order, construction continues

Two new recycling trucks on the way for White Rock

Council approves higher cost to reduce operations yard problems

Surrey Mounties need help to find missing woman

Hasheena Mundie, 25, was last seen at about 4:20 pm on August 4, in the 16700-block of 61 Avenue

Volunteers counted 644 homeless people in Surrey over 24 hours in March

Data collected helps governments and community agencies help the homeless

BREAKING: Reported stabbing in Harrison Hot Springs

Police chase ran through Agassiz, witnesses say

B.C. conservation officers free not-so-wily coyote

Poor pup was found with a glass jar stuck on its head in Maple Ridge

Fraser Valley Bandits clinch first round bye with win

Bandits defeat Guelph 84-70, advance to the CEBL semifinals on Saturday

B.C. doctors, dentists call on province for mandatory mask rule

Open letter says masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, public transportation or in crowds

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Maple Ridge firefighting camp empowers young women

Camp Ignite to take place at Justice Institute on Sunday, Aug. 9

Facebook launches its new TikTok clone, Instagram Reels

Facebook has a long tradition of cloning competitive services

B.C. Appeal Court prevents Victoria woman from using the term ‘death midwife’ in her job

Pashta MaryMoon claimed she had been providing “death-care services” for more than 40 years

Most Read