From Little Leaguers to Champions in 9 Years
The Club started as the Garristown Gruffalos in 2009 as a Little League team. In 2012, the club relocated to Ashbourne and became the Ashbourne Giants. Games were played on field behind the Ashbourne Community Centre, the future site of the International Baseball Centre.
In 2014, the Club formed its first adult team in the B Division of the Irish Baseball League. In 2018, the Club took its next step forward in fielding a second adult team in the A Division of the Irish Baseball League.
The International Baseball Centre, the home of the Ashbourne Giants opened in 2015. The IBC is the finest baseball facility in Ireland and is the host field for the International Baseball Festival, an annual international baseball tournament. The crowning moment for the IBC was it being the host field for the European Baseball Championship Qualifying Tournament held in Ireland in 2018.
The Club’s philosophy is growth through player development.
Coach Pitch is our youngest group, for kids under 10. It teaches kids the basics of baseball in a fun, game filled environment. Our coaches use games to teach kids about base running, fielding situations and batting. We set up games with other teams and throw underhand to the batters.
The Little League program is the foundation of the club. Many club members started their careers as players or coaches on the Little League team.
Little League is for kids aged 9-12 and brings in more stable rules and mechanics to baseball. In Little League, kids start playing more specialised positions and pitchers and catchers are introduced. The field played on is a little bigger and the is a full league played in the early summer months every year.
As players graduate from Little League, they transition onto the Adult B team. (Unfortunately, there is no youth baseball in Ireland due to numbers) Young players develop as they train with players and coaches of the two Adult teams. The older players set an example for the younger players. The coaches make sure the young players play in situations designed to build confidence, not destroy it.
The Adult B team is also the place where new adult players join the club. Training with the experienced players on the team, their development is accelerated and become contributing members of the team quickly.
Core to the success is its coaching staff. Club president Sean Mitchell is also the former Manager of the Irish National Team. Jaime Cuevas, a former professional player, is manager of the A team. Trainings are run under their supervision with experienced players and nonmember playing members of the club running drills for all its teams.
2017 shows the success of the Club’s philosophy. The Club won both the Little League and Adult B Divisions of the Irish Baseball League. During the 2017 playoffs, the Adult team fielded 14 different players, all but 3 of which have spent the majority if not all of their playing careers with the Ashbourne Giants
2009 – Club Formation
2012 – Move to Ashbourne
2014 – Entry into Baseball Ireland’s Adult B Division
2014 – First youth trip to Alphen aan de Rijn for Alphians Baseball Classic
2015 – Opening of International Baseball Centre
2015- 1st annual Ashbourne International Baseball Festival
2015 – Ashbourne Giants win Baseball Ireland Little League
2016 – Ashbourne Giants win Baseball Ireland Little League
2017 – Ashbourne Giants win Baseball Ireland Little League
2017 – Ashbourne Giants win Baseball Ireland Adult B Division
2017 – Ashbourne Giants win Baseball Ireland B Division Championship
2018 – Ashbourne Giants form Baseball Ireland A Division team