EDMONTON - Baseball Canada held its annual national awards banquet at the JW Marriott in Edmonton over the weekend in conjunction with Baseball Alberta.
Baseball Canada would like to congratulate the following award winners.
Baseball Canada Volunteer of the Year Award - REGAN L’HEUREUX (UNITY, SAKATCHEWAN)
A town of just 2500, Unity, Saskatchewan is anything but small when it comes to baseball and that’s largely due to the efforts of Regan L’Heureux. Regan’s passion for the game, his community and delivering top notch baseball experiences is second to none. In addition to his roles of president, coach and mentor to name a few, Regan has been the lead on several renovation projects for Unity baseball where at times he’s served as project foreman, general contractor, and full-time labourer. We’re thrilled to recognize his incredible dedication to this wonderful game behind the scenes
Lionel Ruhr Elite Coach of the Year Award - ASHLEY STEPHENSON (MISSISSAUGA, ON)
A summer for the ages, Ashley Stephenson’s coaching resume was unmatched in 2022. In July, she became the first woman to manage a Canadian national baseball team when she led the Women’s National Team at the Friendship Series in Thunder Bay to two wins against Team USA. She also coached Ontario entries at the Women’s Invitational and 16U Girls Championships and in August was a guest instructor of the Toronto Blue Jays at their Player Development Complex in Dunedin, Florida. Ashley also went above-and-beyond working Girls Baseball Camps for Baseball Ontario and in September became the first woman to coach the Blue Jays Academy Canadian Futures Showcase in Ottawa.
Dick Willis Memorial Award for Umpire of the Year - PHILIP MCGEE (NORTH BATTLEFORD, SASKATCHEWAN)
A native of New Brunswick, Philip McGee has a packed a lot into his time in Saskatchewan, growing as a dedicated umpire and positively impacting the umpiring community across the country. His recent accomplishments on the field include the 2022 Men’s National Championship along with the Blue Jays Canadian Futures Showcase where he was added to Baseball Canada’s High Performance International Pool. His work off the field is equally as impressive especially his role as Baseball Sask Umpire Committee’s Operations and Communications position which has led to a popular podcast meant to connect and educate umpires throughout the country. On or off the field, Philip is a dedicated official who works hard to make officiating better in Saskatchewan.
Lifetime Umpire Achievement Award - MITCH BALL (posthumously)
A friend, colleague, and valued member of the Canadian umpiring community, we lost a beloved member of our team in 2021. Mitch Ball was everything you wanted in an umpire: educated, firm but fair and someone who had the respect of players, coaches, and fellow umpires alike. His umpiring resume spoke for itself working numerous national championships including 3 of them as the home plate umpire for the gold medal game. A former winner of the Dick Willis Umpire of the Year Award, Mitch was dedicated to helping young umpires through his work with Baseball Alberta’s Umpires Committee. Most of all Mitch was an amazing friend who’s impact on others will be felt for a long time.
Ashley Stephenson Award Award - ALLI SCHRODER (FRUITVALE, BC)
Joining the Women’s National Team program at just 16 years old, Alli was forced into the spotlight pitching Canada to a bronze medal win over Team USA at the 2018 Women’s Baseball World Cup. Four years later at the Friendship Series in Thunder Bay, she assumed a leadership role on the squad and started two games on the mound including a convincing win over USA in the fifth game of the series. Earlier in the season, she represented Canada at the Australian Women’s Baseball Showcase where she clubbed three home runs and drove in 13 runs proving to be a threat on the mound and at the plate.
Women’s National Team MVP - ELLIE JESPERSEN (SPRUCE GROVE, AB)
A spark at the top of the Women’s National Teams batting order Ellie Jespersen solidified herself as one of the Women’s National Team’s top performers at the Friendship Series in Thunder Bay hitting.375 and recording hits in all five games. Her four runs scored at the Friendship Series led Team Canada. Following in the footsteps of fellow Albertan and long-time national team player Nicole Luchanski, Jespersen joined the national team program in 2019 and has quickly established herself as a key piece of the squad playing second base and hitting leadoff which bodes well for Team Canada for years to come.
Junior National Team MVP - MYLES NAYLOR (MISSISSAUGA, ON)
Following in the footsteps of his two older brother’s, Myles Naylor is the third Naylor brother to capture Junior National Team MVP honours. Holding down third baseball for Team Canada at the WBSC U18 World Cup, Myles led the squad hitting .471 in eight tournament games with a home run and 6 RBIs.
Province of the Year Award - BASEBALL MANITOBA
Now a 6-time winner of the Province of the Year Award since 1986, Baseball Manitoba scored first in the umpires category and program delivery while also ranking at the top in governance. Congratulations Baseball Manitoba.