Flynn builds a team

Bethlehem grad turns New Zealand into baseball power

To help him turn things around, Flynn brought in some major league help in the form of former Major League Baseball players Darrell Evans, Jay Bell and Steve Kline, as well as current Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Chris Woodward.

“(It was) a world class coaching staff, and one that rivaled any of the other 27 national teams in the World Baseball Classic,” said Flynn.

Flynn knows how to turn countries on to the sport he grew up playing in Delmar. He did the same thing for Guam at the start of the millennium.

“Guam was a huge training ground for me in terms of real world knowledge,” said Flynn. “I started by playing on the island in what was a surprisingly strong local league. We played in an old stadium right on the ocean, waves crashing not far from the outfield wall every night. (It was a) beautiful place to play.

“When I saw how strong the talent was there and when I knew I’d be there for a while, I took over the (national) program and we actually came within three wins of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. We wound up losing three heartbreaking games in South Africa in 1999, but those years of experience in building a very competitive baseball program on a national level taught me many of the lessons that have assisted me elsewhere and now in New Zealand,” he added.

Guam was one of many stops for Flynn after graduating from The College of Saint Rose in 1993. He estimates that he’s lived in or visited more than 80 countries over the last two decades, with the last four years being spent in New Zealand.

“New Zealand is a beautiful country -- one of the most beautiful,” said Flynn. “We are very happy here and feel fortunate to be doing well in a nation with such a high standard of living and quality of life. My wife (a native of Palau) misses her family a great deal, but I’m so vested in my work that I rarely think of Delmar or my past. Perhaps that’s not always a good thing, but it’s who I am; once I’m hooked into something, I have to be dragged away, kicking and screaming.”

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