Courtesy of Canadian Baseball Network
The Canadian Baseball Network has re-launched.
"At first I thought I was being invited to a lunch," said co-founder Bob Elliott (Kingston, ON). "Seriously, we have a serious upgrade with this site, which we hope baseball fans from coast to coast will enjoy."
Elliott's annual list of top Canadians eligible for the June draft, the backbone of the site, has been around since 1995 in one form or another. Now, the Canadian Baseball Network site (www.CanadianBaseballNetwork.com ) enters a new world with the same mission statement as always: to promote Canadian baseball from coast to coast.
From Marty Lehn's Big League Experience camp in Oliver, B.C. -- where Blue Jays' newcomer Brett Lawrie (Langley, BC) first attended camps -- to former Los Angeles Dodgers farmhand Frank Humber, of Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, who is still involved in his mid 40s and of course the other eight provinces in between.
There was a time a few months ago when it looked as if the site had reached the end of the line. That's when Mike O'Connor, co-founder of Wind Mobile, came to the over the hill to the rescue. Wind Mobile recognized the site was one which reaches players on the grassroots level, an issue the new mobile phone company believes in greatly.
Reporting on Canadian ball players from coast to coast is nothing new.
What is new is our multimedia approach. Like our new scoreboard provided by Pointstreak which will provide the latest scores, not to mention in-game live box scores, from the BC Premier League to the Western Major League, to the Winnipeg Goldeyes, to the Thunder Bay Border Cats of the Northwoods League to Les Quebec Capitals of the Can-Am League, the Baseball Canada National Championships and other places, independent or college summer leagues ... anywhere Canadians can be found in cleats, that Pointstreak has a contract with.
Players will be able to customize their own baseball cards and post pitching and hitting videos as we move down the road.
The old Canadian Baseball Network site was mostly for digesting and reading material, shoppers can be busy too. The new site will feature Sports NRG holograms, Myo-Med all-natural pain cream, which is endorsed by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Exfuze, including the Zilla energy product, perfect for baseball.
More writers than ever: each one handpicked, have been assembled.
The jewel of course is Baseball America founder Allan Simpson (Kelowna, BC), now of the Perfect Game scouting service, who will be inducted to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys, June 18.
"We're looking for writers in each and every province to tell us what's going on whether it's the provincial championships, a college player doing well at school or in the minors, a human interest story, if it's baseball and you have the urge to take pen in hand, let us know," said Elliott (firstname.lastname@example.org ). "We are still looking for writers in Manitoba, Quebec and all of the Maritime Provinces.
This isn't the time to sit back and say 'how come we're overlooked?'
It's the time to step forward for baseball in your province, if you want to write drop us a line, you are probably better than me"
As well as all of new features, standards which made this site the must read for Canadian baseball fans and players for the previous 15 years, like:
The annual master Canadians in college list, headed for over 700 players as usual, while the number of Canadians playing college hockey is around 550. (Try that trivia question out next time you walk into a peewee rink).
The weekly Canadians in the minors list, over 100 in 2010, compared to 55 in 1995.
The annual All-Canadian college team, playing south of the border.
The annual most influential Canadians in baseball top 100.
And of course, the annual top Canadians eligible for the Major League Baseball draft list.
Elliott said there a couple of moments which illustrate where the site ranks within the baseball community. Years ago the draft list appeared on MLB.Canada site. Due to complaints from the commissioner’s office in New York it was bumped to a SLAM! Sports site roughly Dec.15. On the first work day after New Year's Day Elliott received six calls and emails from scouts and agents. All asked the same question:
"Where the heck is your draft list?"
Another "hey-we-have-arrived" moment came last year looking at the Canadians on the Perfect Game rankings a year ago. After name, position, hometown, height, weight, team, college commitment was another narrow column listed with the header CDN and a bunch of numbers underneath: 1, 4, 2, 9, 12, etc. CDN? What on earth could CDN stand for? Then the light went on: The Canadian Baseball Network…and where each player was ranked.
Players like Adam Loewen (Surrey, BC), Jeff Francis (North Delta, BC), Phillippe Aumont (Gatineau, QC) and Justin Morneau (New Westminster, BC) did not need help when it came to exposure leading up to the draft. Others do and the list achieves that goal.