OTTAWA – Terry McKaig is no stranger to international baseball.
The Manager of the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds has taken the helm for Team Canada twice before at the collegiate level. He has been at the 2004 and 2008 FISU World University Championship.
This time around, McKaig will be in charge of Team Canada at the 2009 World Baseball Challenge, which will take place from July 16-26 in Prince George, British Columbia.
“When the organizing committee approached Baseball Canada and Jim (Baba) about fielding Team Canada for the tournament, since the U.S. is taking their collegiate team, Jim said we should do the same and then he approached me to see if I was interested in taking this on,” says McKaig.
The eight team tournament will feature teams from all over the world. National teams such as Canada, USA, Germany and the Bahamas will participate, as well as club teams such as the host Prince George Axemen, Reno Astros (USA), Beijing Tigers (China) and Team British Columbia.
McKaig sees this tournament as the perfect evaluation tool going forward into the 2010 FISU Championship.
“Considering that this is the off-year for the World University Championship, it makes perfect sense to use this tournament as a sort of stepping stone for the players, where even in the off-year you’ve got these players representing their country and building toward something.”
Team Canada will have a four-day training camp in Vancouver prior to the tournament, including a pair of exhibition games, tentatively scheduled against the Beijing Tigers. Now the only thing missing is his team.
McKaig now has a little over a month to put together a roster for this tournament. He constantly scouts and evaluates Canadian collegiate players, whether they are playing in the United States or Canada to find what he’s looking for.
“We’ve got a pretty big hit-list of kids, from guys who have played on the 2008 FISU team. But we track all the college players.”
And with that, Coach McKaig is looking for some players to fill his roster. All freshman, sophomore and junior Canadian collegiate players who are playing at any level of college baseball in the United States and Canada and who are interested in playing for Team Canada can contact Terry McKaig at firstname.lastname@example.org.