Player Profile: Scott Nehaj – Grande Prairie Pirates

Scott Nehaj’s journey in fastpitch softball is a vivid tapestry woven with determination and a legacy of passion for the game. At 43, Scott stands in right field for the Grande Prairie Pirates this year, but his roots in the sport run much deeper, reaching back to his days as a wide-eyed 19-year-old playing part-time, while he juggled his love for baseball.

The transition from baseball to full-time fastpitch came naturally to Scott, as the echoes of his childhood, spent watching his father, Rob Nehaj, play at high levels, guided his path. It was in 1999, donning the jersey of the Poco Bombers, that Scott first tasted the thrill of fastpitch. The lessons learned from his father, who was a beacon of dedication and sportsmanship, have since been the cornerstone of Scott’s approach to the game.

Rob’s influence is evident in Scott’s philosophy on the essential skills for a fastpitch player. Resilience, the ability to bounce back quickly from setbacks, and learning from mistakes are traits that Scott champions. These are not just skills but life lessons that he has ingrained in his practice routine and his approach to the game.

Amidst the many memories Scott has collected over the years, including being named ISC First Team All World Player in last year’s World Tournament, his favorite fastpitch moment remains a chapter yet to be concluded. With the 2024 Surrey ISC Men’s Tournament approaching, he feels the best is still to come, especially as it marks the ISC’s return to British Columbia after many years. The anticipation of playing on the last day of the tournament, with the support of local fans, is a prospect Scott relishes.

The sport of fastpitch has been generous to Scott, giving him a treasure trove of memories and friendships that he holds dear. It’s a sport that has taken him on an incredible journey of camaraderie and competition.

To the young players looking to make their mark in fastpitch, Scott offers a simple yet profound piece of advice: never allow yourself to be outworked. It’s a creed that has served him well throughout his career and one that underscores the ethos of fastpitch – a game where hard work, tenacity, and heart are the keys to success.

As Scott prepares to take the field for the Grande Prairie Pirates, his story is a beacon for the fastpitch community, exemplifying that the love for the game and the drive to excel can turn dreams into legacies.

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