New Zealand adds 2x world champion Patrick Shannon to coaching staff for WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup 2022

The former catcher will join Mark Sorenson’s staff as Black Sox battery coach and will take charge of the team’s pitchers and catchers through to the next World Cup.

Former catcher Patrick Shannon has been appointed as the battery coach of New Zealand's Men’s National Softball Team, the Black Sox. Shannon will join Mark Sorenson’s staff for the next WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup, which will be be held in Auckland, New Zealand in February 2022.

Shannon replaces his former Black Sox teammate Jim Wana, who has stepped down due to personal commitments, and will take charge of the team’s pitchers and catchers through to the next Softball World Cup.

"Paddy is a proven winner with a track record of building strong relationships and getting the best out of the pitchers that he worked with,’’ Sorenson told New Zealand media outlet Stuff. “Like Jim before him, he brings a wealth of knowledge about the game, suffers no fools and sets high standards. He will be a great addition to our coaching staff, and we look forward to his experience and input.”

Shannon, a two-time world champion with the Black Sox, is remembered for his unorthodox stance, but also for his power and clutch hitting ability. The Auckland-native homered in two different Men’s Softball World Championship finals, both in the second inning of the game to tie the score and set up New Zealand’s come from behind victories on home soil.

In the 2004 Men’s Softball World Championship played in Christchurch, he hit a two-run monster shot off Canadian pitcher Gerald Muizelaar to tie the score at 3-3, leading his team to a come-from-behind, 9-5 victory to clinch New Zealand’s fifth-ever softball world title.

The catcher did it again in 2013 against Venezuela, this time in Auckland’s Rosedale Park to reclaim the world title. Shannon hit a solo, opposite-field field home run off lefty Erik Urbaneja to tie the game 1-1. New Zealand would win the game 4-1, thanks to a three-run shot by Rhys Casley.

The Black Sox will hold a training camp in mid-January to restart their preparation on the road to the 2022 WBSC Men's Softball World Cup.