2008 Provincial Preview: New Brunswick

  • January 29, 2008

The summer is quickly approaching and Baseball New Brunswick is getting ready for another season of exciting baseball in the province.  For New Brunswick, the lead up starts in the schools. “The Winterball program has been huge for us,” says Jason Dickson, Executive Director of Baseball NB. “Getting the Physical Education teachers on board was key and now that they’re understanding the LTAD program (Long Term Athlete Development) which matches a lot of the ideals that they want to incorporate, the Winterball program fits into their class format and allows us to encourage kids to play baseball.” In New Brunswick, there are more kids registering to play baseball in the southern part of the province compared to the north.  A factor being that the three major metropolitan areas of the province, Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton, are in the south. But along with Winterball, Baseball NB is planning a Baseball Caravan with the focus of hitting the northern communities and trying to increase the numbers. “Our high performance coaches, coaches who deal with grass roots, our women’s baseball committee, officials committee and our coaching coordinators would all be involved and we would hit some major spots in the province,” explains Dickson. “This is a big push for recruiting and whoever comes out to any of our presentations, we will have people handling any and all aspects that anyone would like to get involved with whether it is coaching, officiating or scorekeeping.” The biggest efforts for recruitment in New Brunswick happens during the winter and spring months and like all the other provincial associations, Baseball NB is always on the lookout for more volunteers. “We always stay active in communities as far as recruiting volunteers and seeing at what level they would like to be involved and creating a good environment for them,” says Dickson, “and we also make sure that our coaches are certified with the NCCP (National Coaching Certification Program).” As Executive Director, Dickson coordinates most of the initiatives for Baseball NB, but he’s more than simply a coordinator.  He himself tours the province and gives presentations and demonstrations, particularly for Winterball.  As a former Major League Baseball player, he uses that status to help with the presentations. “I like doing this because it gives you an opportunity to add some character to the program and talk to the kids about staying in school and other things.” All those efforts lead into the summer where the coordination of registration, certification and organizing tournaments takes place, which is pretty much the status quo for Dickson. “Going into the summer, it’s business as usual.”

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Invitational Tournament in Italy Now Accepting Applications

  • January 23, 2008

OTTAWA, ON – Canadian baseball team at the age levels of 9-12 and 13-16 are invited to apply for the 24th Junior International Baseball Tournament of Sala Baganza in Sala Baganza, Italy. The tournament, organized by the Sala Baganza Baseball Club, will take place from the 6-10 August, 2008.  A team must consist of no more than 16 members (14 players, 2 coaches) and must apply for the ragazzi division, which is for palyers aged 9-12, or the cadetti division, which is for players aged 13-16. The registration cost is 200 EUR (approx. $300 CDN) with an additional 200 EUR for a security deposit in case of damages or for a team that would be a no show at the tournament.  The deposit will be refunded at the end of the tournament.  Accommodations and meals are included, but travel costs are at the expense of the teams.  All costs are only to be paid after notification of a successful application. The deadline to apply to participate in the tournament is April 15, 2008 and you must specify if you are applying for the ragazzi division, the cadetti division or both.  Teams will be notified of a successful application by April 30, 2008. To apply to participate in the tournament or for more information, send an e-mail to torneo@salabaganzabc.com.  For more information on the Sala Baganza Baseball Club, visit their website at www.salabaganzabc.com.

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Remaining Auction Items from Baseball Canada’s National Teams Awards Banquet and Fundraiser are Up for Grabs

  • January 17, 2008

OTTAWA, ON – The Baseball Canada National Teams Awards Banquet and Fundraiser auction was once again a complete success.  However, there are still some items remaining and Baseball Canada wants to give you a second chance to win Starting now until 4 pm EST on Thursday, January 31, bids will be taken on all remaining items which include four tickets to a University of Michigan Wolverines football game in Ann Arbor. This is only a peek into the extraordinary items that still remain.  Click here to see the complete list of auction items.  To bid, please send an e-mail with your name, item number, bid and phone number with subject line “gala auction” to media@baseball.ca. Bids will be updated once daily at 4 pm EST.  Auction winners will be notified on Friday, February 1.  Shipping charges will apply.

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Baseball Canada National Teams Awards Banquet and Fundraiser Another Success

  • January 16, 2008

OTTAWA, ON - Baseball Canada held its sixth edition of the National Teams Awards Banquet and Fundraiser on January 12 at Toronto’s Renaissance Hotel at Rogers Center and the event was once again a complete success. "Once again, we were quite fortunate to celebrate Canadian Baseball excellence with so many committed alumni, MLB and Corporate Partners and Friends who have directly and indirectly contributed so much to the growth and development of our National Teams Program," says Greg Hamilton, Baseball Canada's Head Coach and Director of National Teams.  "Baseball excellence in Canada continues to impact the game on a global scale and as such we are honored to have the support of so many of our country's key contributors." Thanks to all those in attendance and with the help of donors and committed sponsors, the 2008 edition of the banquet was able to raise over $60,000 for Baseball Canada’s National Teams Program. Baseball Canada also recognized its past, present and future with the annual awards presentation. Larry Walker was honoured with Baseball Canada’s first Wall of Excellence Award, presented by David Vander Voet of RBC Wealth Management.  The numbers speak for themselves as Walker holds most Canadian Major League career records.  He tallied a .313 average with 383 homers, 1,311 RBI, 2,160 hits, 471 doubles, 230 stolen bases in 1,988 games.  He was the 1997 NL MVP, putting together arguably one of the best single seasons in Major League history.  He hit .366 with 49 homers, 130 RBI, 46 doubles, 33 stolen bases, .720 SLG in 153 games.  Justin Morneau, the 2006 AL MVP and Minnesota Twins first baseman, accepted the award on Larry’s behalf. Phillippe Aumont of Gatineau, QC earned the Junior National Team MVP award, presented by Al Schlazer of Disney’s Wide World of Sports, for his outstanding performance at the America’s World Junior Qualifier in Mexico.  Aumont did not allow a runner to reach base and amassed 10 strikeouts in only five innings of work.  His performance earned him a spot on the Senior National team which competed at the IBAF World Cup in Taiwan and he was just as effective, shutting down the WBC finalists from Cuba for two innings. Matt Rogelstad of New Westminster, B.C. was awarded the Stubby Clapp Award, presented by John Stacey of Mizuno Canada.  Rogelstad led his Potomac Nationals team with a .302 average during the season and he kept leading the way while with Canada at the IBAF World Cup in Taiwan, topping the team with a .484 average along with seven RBI, three doubles and three triples. Alumni Awards were presented to Ryan Dempster of Gibsons, B.C. and to Paul Spoljaric of Kelowna, B.C., presented by Larry Pearson of the L.J. Pearson Foundation.  Dempster was a member of the Junior National Team at the 1994 World Junior Baseball Championships and was also a MLB All-Star in 2000.  He has collected 85 saves over the past three seasons with the Chicago Cubs.  Spoljaric was a solid reliever during his Major League career.  He was also a member of the 2004 Olympic team which narrowly missed winning a medal. Paul Godfrey, President and CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays, was the recipient of a Special Recognition Award for his and the clubs’ continued support of the National Teams Program and baseball in Canada. The former politician and businessman was an integral part in bringing the Blue Jays to Toronto in 1977 and was a driving force behind the concept of the World Baseball Classic.  In 1999, he was made a member of the Order of Canada. A Special Achievement Award was given to Russell Martin of East York, ON, presented by Mike Port of the MLBPA, for his terrific season.  The award can be added to his mantel along side his Gold Glove Award, Silver Slugger Award and Tip O’Neill Award for top Canadian Baseball Player which all was awarded to him this past season.  His .293 average with 19 homers, 87 RBI, 32 doubles and 21 stolen bases in a league high 151 games among catchers earned him the starting spot for the National League at the MLB All-Star Game in San Francisco. And finally, a Special Recognition Award was presented to Jeff Francis of Delta, B.C., presented by Mike Port of the MLBPA.  Jeff became only the second Canadian pitcher to start a World Series game.  He also set career highs in numerous pitching categories including wins (17), games started (34), innings pitched (215 1/3) and strikeouts (165).  He was also instrumental in the Rockies streak of 21 wins in 22 games, including a Major League record tying seven straight wins to open the playoffs. The evening included check presentations from both Major League Baseball and the Toronto Blue Jays to Baseball Canada at a value of $100,000 and $15,000 respectively. “I can’t say enough about the support we’ve received from MLB and the Toronto Blue Jays,” said Baseball Canada Director General Jim Baba. “They continuously show a vested interest in promoting the sport in Canada, both at the grassroots level and at the elite level.” The festivities concluded with an auction with special auctioneer Ryan Dempster who gave away two packages of a trip for four to Chicago and tickets to Wrigley Field for any series during the 2008 season. The packages included airfare, hotel accommodations, meals, tour of the Cubs clubhouse, autographed jerseys form several members of the Cubs and also Justin Morneau and Russell Martin, pre-game batting practice with the team and a youngster to be bat boy for a game. The items were sold at $6,200 each. Baseball Canada would like to thank everybody who made the sixth annual National Teams Awards Banquet and Fundraiser a night to remember.

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Thorman and Orr Return to Their Roots in Support of Winterball Program

  • January 14, 2008

OTTAWA, ON – Scott Thorman of the Atlanta Braves and fellow Canadian Major Leaguer Peter Orr of the Washington Nationals will launch the 2008 version of the nationwide Winterball Program at the Preston Public School in Cambridge, Ontario on Friday, January 18, 2008. Thorman and Orr, both Ontario natives, will return home to share their love of baseball by delivering Winterball equipment kits and materials, teaching skills of the game and answering questions from students. Winterball, supported by Sport Canada, Baseball Canada and Major League Baseball, is a Canadian school-based program that is now part of the physical education curriculum for schools throughout all 10 provinces.  In 2008, the program will be delivered to approximately 430 new schools across Canada reaching an estimated 80,000 students. (See Winterball fact sheet for more details) Both Thorman and Orr will be at Preston Public School in Cambridge, Ontario between 11:00 AM and 12:30 PM local time on Friday, January 18, 2008.  Also on hand to unveil the 2008 Winterball program will be Jim Baba, Director General of Baseball Canada, Greg Hamilton, Director of National Team of Baseball Canada and John Milton, Don McKnight and Mary-Ann Smith of Baseball Ontario. Baseball Canada invites all media to attend the event.  Please RSVP to confirm your attendance by contacting André Cormier at 613-748-5606 or by e-mail at media@baseball.ca.  Media seeking comment from event dignitaries, but are unable to attend, should also contact André Cormier.

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News Conference for Baseball Canada National Teams Awards Banquet and Fundraiser

  • January 09, 2008

OTTAWA, ON – Baseball Canada announces a news conference in connection with the National Team Awards Banquet and Fundraiser for Saturday, January 12th at the Aurora Room at the Renaissance Hotel at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario. Attending the news conference will be 2006 AL MVP Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins, 2007 World Series pitcher Jeff Francis of the Colorado Rockies, 2007 NL All-Star Russell Martin of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Adam Loewen of the Baltimore Orioles, Ryan Dempster of the Chicago Cubs, Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds, Peter Orr of the Washington Nationals, 2007 MLB First Round Draft pick Phillippe Aumont of the Seattle Mariners as well as other former and current National Team members. It all starts at 3:30 pm with opening statements from Baseball Canada President Ray Carter and Director of National Teams Greg Hamilton.  This will be followed by a scrum style answer and question period with those attending. For media interested in attending, please contact André Cormier, Manager of Media and Public Relations at (613) 748-5606, ext. 221 or via e-mail at media@baseball.ca.

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Auction Items for the National Teams Awards Banquet and Fundraiser are Revealed

  • January 09, 2008

OTTAWA, ON – The Baseball Canada National Teams Awards Banquet and Fundraiser is soon upon us, which means so is the banquet auction. The auction, which will offer at least 70 items, will start via on-line bidding on January 9, with the online portion of the auction closing at midnight January 11 and here is a preview of what Baseball Canada will be offering. 1.      Two tickets to the 2008 MLB All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium in New York on July 15, which will include tickets to the Home Run Derby on July 14 2.      Four tickets to a college football game featuring the University of Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor, Michigan and your choice of one of the following two games:              -          September 6th vs. the University of Miami-Ohio             -          October 25th vs. Michigan State University 3.      Two tickets to a college football game featuring the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish in South Bend, Indiana and your choice of one of the following two games:               -          September 27th vs. University of Purdue              -          October 4th vs. Stanford University 4.      One week vacation at a skiing and golfing paradise in Panorama, British Columbia at a luxurious five bedroom cabin to be redeemed at anytime during the year by the auction winner. This is only a glimpse into the extraordinary items that Baseball Canada will be offering at this year’s auction.  Click here to see the complete list of auction items.  To bid, please send an e-mail with your name, item number, bid and phone number with subject line “gala auction” to media@baseball.ca. Bids will be updated once daily at midnight EST.  Auction winners will be notified on Monday, January 14.

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Sport Canada

The mission of Sport Canada, a division of Canadian Heritage is to support the achievement of high performance excellence and the development of the Canadian sport system to strengthen the unique contribution that sport makes to Canadian identity, culture and society. Visit Sport Canada at: www.pch.gc.ca/sportcanada.


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Baseball Canada is pleased to introduce Shaped by Our Game, a new initiative on baseball.ca that will profile people who have used our sport to achieve success later in life. Baseball is a sport that provides great life lessons and teaches skills that are applicable for future success in life whether on the baseball field or not.

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Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD)

What is LTAD?

Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) is a systemic approach being developed and adopted by Baseball Canada to maximize a participant's potential and involvement in our sport. The LTAD framework aims to define optimal training, competition and recovery throughout an athlete's career to enable him / her to reach his / her full potential in baseball and as an athlete.