Baseball may not be as bit a hit in New Zealand as it is in neighboring Australia, but Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius is doing his part to bridge the gap.
Per the Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), the economic growth agency for the Auckland region, Gregorius made a recent two-week trip to the country’s largest and most populous city. The board noted in a release that Gregorius “experienc[ed] everything from swimming in waterfalls, jumping off the southern hemisphere’s tallest structure, flying in seaplanes and even riding a horse for the first time.”
But he was also there as part of an initiative of Baseball New Zealand to promote and grow the sport, holding youth training clinics in between adventures.
The ATEED noted that “[h]is Auckland experiences included the SkyWalk and SkyJump at Auckland Sky Tower, learning how to shuck oysters with local celebrity chef Al Brown, taking a dip at the Kitekite Falls and walking along the black sand beaches of Auckland’s rugged west coast.”
“My trip in Auckland has been amazing,” said Gregorius in a statment. “I’ve got to see and experience a lot, and even learned some of the Maori way.”
The 26-year-old had his breakout season in 2016, swatting a career-best 32 doubles and 20 home runs and driving in 70 while slashing .276/.304/.447 and anchoring the defense with stellar play at short.