The anticipation is beginning to mount as the 2012 Baseball Canada Cup quickly approaches.
The tournament which began in 1989 and is used to select players for Canada’s Junior National Team will begin play on August 8 at Labatt Memorial Park and Dan Pulham Memorial Field in London, Ontario.
This year’s tournament will have an all-star team from each of the 10 provinces made up mostly of 16 and 17 year-olds who will be eligible for the 2013 MLB draft. Some of the more notable names to have participated in the Canada Cup in the past are Brett Lawrie, Russell Martin, Jason Bay, Eric Gagne, Ryan Dempster, and Corie Coskie to name a few.
There have been several local players who have played in the Canada Cup as part of the Ontario Youth Team. In recent years there have been local names like Ryan Zimmer, Byron Reichstein, Trevor Barton and Mike Ambrose.
Former London Badger Jamie Romak who is playing this season for the Memphis Redbirds, the Triple-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals had this to say when asked about his Canada Cup experiences, “I played with Chris Robinson in 2001 on Team Ontario and the following year I played with Brock Kjeldgaard. I remember playing in Melville Saskatchewan at a really nice ballpark and having a lot of fans come out to our games. I was 15 my first year and it was the first time I really got to see the best players in the country that were similar in age. I can remember being nervous, the same way I still get before games and enjoying the camaraderie with my teammates from across the province. When I look back at it now I feel like that was probably the point in my life that I realized I wanted to be professional baseball player and that I could do it.”