Splott Albion's Blue Sox's Womans Baseball Team. Image Credit: Jess Mardon

TV star Susan Calman slugs it out with women’s baseball team in Splott

Calman’s upcoming TV show for Channel 5 means a lot for the sport in Wales, say players

A WOMEN’S baseball team in Splott has unearthed a diamond new player who they hope will bring some new fans to the sport.

Splott Albion’s Blue Sox’s Woman’s baseball team – formerly known as Splott Sluggers – return for the 2023 season with a new name, new team and a new attitude.

This uniquely American sport with an unlikely but notable history in Cardiff caught the eye of comedian and broadcaster Susan Calman.

Susan Calman with the Splott team. Image credit: Jess Mardon

Scottish comedian Calman, along with a Channel 5 film crew, came to capture the Splott squad for her new show Grand Day Out.

Despite the rain – and learning to dodge the boom mic while playing – Calman enjoyed herself and showed great skill.

Blue Sox captain, Carly Davies, said: “She was really good at playing. We bowled first and she just smashed it.”

Team member Stacey Delacruz added: “She really enjoyed. She wanted to play for longer, but she had more filming to do.”

The team is set to appear on TV screens across the nation in May, but the national coverage for the sport means more to them than any limelight that may come with it.

Davies, said: “It’s a deprived area so this opportunity will be positive for us all. It’s not just good for the club, it’s good for the whole of women’s baseball.”

Rebecca Parsons, who has played for the club for six years, said: “It’s going to help keep the sport alive. It will be great for younger girls in the area to see, so they can feel encouraged to get involved.”

For this group of women though, the Blue Sox is more than a sports team – it’s a family that supports one another through difficult times.

“It’s the bond that we have. It makes us special. You don’t really see it in other teams,” said Blue Sox player Nicole Wheeler.

Delacruz said: “It’s been good for my mental health, it really helped me through a bad breakup.”

Davies, said: “There’s nothing like being in the game after a bad day at work, playing with your friends and hearing the cheers when you hit that ball – it’s just amazing.”

The history of women’s baseball in Wales

Baseball was once one of Wales’ most popular sports, drawing huge crowds to weekly matches across Cardiff and South Wales, but in recent years the sport has been in decline.

At its height in 1929, the Cardiff and District League had 37 teams, with 19 of them being from Splott and Grangetown.

In 2015, an England and Wales international women’s match was cancelled for the first time in 70 years.

Davies said: “Baseball used to be quite big in Cardiff and did die down for a long time but it’s good to see its return. We have big hopes for the future.”

‘We want to solidify ourselves as a strong side’

Women’s teams in the area, such as Grange Albion, are also returning after disbanding.

Their Splott rivals see the return of other clubs as motivation. They want to be strong contenders for the 2nd Division of the Welsh Ladies Baseball Union league in May.

Susan Coleman with Splott Albion’s Blue Sox’s Womans Baseball Team. Image Credit: Jess Mardon

Delacruz said: “We want to solidify ourselves as a strong side. We want to earn some respect in the league.”

Davies added: “Grange Albion’s comeback is amazing, and they will be big competition in the league – but we will give them a big show.

“We have trained throughout the winter and gelled so well as a new team, so we are hoping for great things.”

They hope they will soon be able to create men’s and youth squads within the club.

“If we have anything to do with it, we will have a women’s team, a men’s team, and youth teams. We want to keep women on the field,” said team captain Davies.

“The beauty of baseball is that you have players in their 50s and 60s and they are amazing at the sport as well. It’s for a variety of people.”

  • Splott Albion’s Blue Sox’s Womans Baseball team train every Tuesday and Thursday from 6pm until 8pm. For more information click here