Former Amsterdam Mohawk Zak Colby enjoys his return to Amsterdam

AMSTERDAM – In 2012, Zak Colby was a key ingredient in the Amsterdam Mohawks’ championship season.

Splitting time between catcher and third base, the Hanford, Calif., native started 38 games and batted .375 as the Mohawks ran up a 35-12 season record.

Colby returned to Shuttleworth Park on Monday, only this time he was in the visitor’s dugout as a member of the Shikoku Island League All-Stars of the Nippon Baseball League in Japan.

“My agent took me over to Japan in 2013,” Colby said. “Everything is so much different. The ball is different and playing style is different, but once you get adjusted it is baseball all over again. I am enjoying it.”

The Shikoku Island League All-Stars won the exhibition game, 12-0, over the Mohawks.

Monday’s game, presented by glovemaker Swany Corporation of Johnstown, was part of a series for the team to promote professional baseball in Japan. Swany has its home headquarters in the Shikoku Islands. The league is one level below the Nippon Pro Baseball League, the Japan Major League.

Colby said he has had success so far this season.

“I have been seeing the ball pretty good but I haven’t been on the field in four or five days so we will see how it goes today,” he said.

In his time with the Mohawks, Colby had plenty of success including a pair of five-hit game and connected for three doubles in a game against the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs. He finished with 19 doubles, 25 RBIs and struck out only 14 times that season.

“Being back is kind of like a Godsend. It brings back a lot old memories,” Colby said. “It was the time of my life playing here.”

The All-Star team will continue to play in the United States over the next month.

“I knew I was going to come back but it is great to be back and play some pro ball here in the states for another month or so,” Colby said. “We are going to play a month in the Can-Am League, so I am going to enjoy that.”

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