Abbotsford’s pink-haired pitching prodigy is continuing to turn heads in the baseball world.
Raine Padgham, 13, who the Abbotsford News first featured in 2017, has attracted local, national and international attention this year, and it seems like 2019 is set to be a big one for the local talent.
Padgham heads to Compton, Calif., this weekend for the Trailblazer Series presented by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball.
She is one of 96 amateur ball players invited to the event, which will provide training, instruction, games and educational opportunities led by both current and former USA Baseball women’s national team players.
The Trailblazer Series, which began in 2017, is one of the biggest annual gatherings for female baseball talent in North America. The series runs from April 11 to 14.
Padgham also participated at the 10th annual Girls Baseball Development Camp put on by the Team Canada women’s national team in February.
She managed to impress Team Canada officials at that camp, as she recently found out that she had earned a spot on the Team Canada prospect team at the Senior Women’s Invitational Championships hosted by Baseball Canada in Okotoks, Alta., from July 4 to 7.
She will be playing against women ranging in age from 17 to 35 at that tournament.
Another more recent opportunity for Padgham was an invitation to the 2019 Girls Baseball Breakthrough Series, which runs June 14 to 18 in Florida. That camp is for girls aged 14 to 18, and is hosted by MLB and USA Baseball.
This is the first year for that series, which focuses on developing the players, on and off the field, by providing elite instruction, competitive play, video coverage, seminars and mentorship, all while exposing players to U.S. National Team scouts and collegiate recruiters.
Participants will also have the opportunity to hear from and interact with some of the highest-ranking and most-experienced women throughout baseball, as well as receive instruction from a coaching staff consisting of current and former members of the U.S. Women’s National Team.
On top of all the invites, Padgham has also become the first-ever girl to be named to the Fraser Valley Cardinals bantam team. The U15 club opens the British Columbia Bantam Premier Baseball League season on April 20.
For more on that team, visit fvbaseball.ca.
Video (from 2017) of Padgham showing off her stuff: