OTTAWA - Baseball Canada today released its roster of nominated players and staff that will represent Canada at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing August 13-24.
The roster, consisting of 24 players, four coaches and four support staff members, will feature six returning players from the 2004 Olympic team that finished fourth in Athens.
"This is a tremendous time for Baseball Canada and we are very excited about our Olympic team," says Ray Carter, the association's president. "The Olympic Games are the pinnacle of competition and to represent our country this summer is a great honor we hold very dear."
"Selecting this team has been a challenging process, but we're anxious to get going and have high hopes for our team in Beijing," says Greg Hamilton, Baseball Canada's Director of National Teams.
A total of 15 players on the team and the entire coaching staff and three of the four support staff are returning together after participating in last March's Final Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Taichung, Taiwan, where Canada finished first in the eight-team tournament to claim one of three remaining berths to the Olympics.
This summer's Olympic team will be managed by Terry Puhl, who played 15 seasons in the majors and who led the Canadian team at the 2007 IBAF World Cup in Taipei, Taiwan and the Final Olympic Qualifier team in Taichung, Taiwan.
“We have a very good mix of experience and youth on this ball club,” says Puhl. “The World Cup and Qualifier was a chance to give our younger guys some invaluable international experience and I believe that this team is more than capable of winning a medal.”
Baseball Canada's Olympic team will convene in Toronto on July 28 to begin its Olympic training camp. The team will participate in a golf tournament which will be open to the media at Lionhead Golf & Country Club on July 29 at 8:30 am and will hold a practice open to the media on July 30 at Connorvale Park in Etobicoke from 3:00-6:30 pm.
The Canadian team will then participate in a pre-Olympic exhibition series from August 1-4 in Cary, North Carolina and Durham, North Carolina against the U.S. Olympic Team, followed by a pair of exhibition games against the Netherlands on August 9 and 10 in Beijing in preparation for the Summer Games, which will include the U.S., the Dutch, Cuba, China, Chinese Taipei, Japan and Korea in the baseball event.
2008 Olympic Games Schedule