Short Hops is a new, weekly look at news and information that is of interest to the Canadian baseball community from the pros to the local sandlots!
Baseball Canada partners with Canadian Women & Sport – Baseball Canada and Canadian Women & Sport collaborated on an awareness initiative earlier this week regarding the lack of high level opportunities for female baseball players in Canada and around the world. Female baseball players in Canada can aspire to represent their province at one of three Baseball Canada national championships each summer and for select players, an opportunity to represent Canada with the Women’s National Team. Beyond that, athletes have little opportunity to advance in the sport at major, multi-sport events like the Olympics, Pan Am Games and Canada Games. For more info on how you can join us in supporting women athletes, visit https://yourrole.womenandsport.ca.
The amazing Dr. Melissa Armstrong – A key member of the Women’s National Team program from 2007-2016 as a right-handed pitcher, Melissa Armstrong’s story extends far beyond the baseball field and is nothing short of remarkable. Melissa’s passion for baseball is equally matched by her passion for learning which has seen the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan native attain a Bachelor of Arts from University of Saskatchewan, a Masters of Arts from Oxford and a PhD in South African history from Ottawa’s Carleton University. As impressive as that is, while also being a high performance athlete, Melissa just completed Medical School and is about to enter her residency. Oh ya, she also wrote a book and became a published author while doing so. Melissa wrote about this experience earlier this week for the University of Saskatchewan. Read it here.
Best wishes, Tyler! – London, Onatrio native Tyler Gillies is a former pitcher with the UBC Thunderbird baseball program and a current prospect in the Milwaukee Brewers’ organization. There is more to his story though. After being diagnosed with cancer following the 2019 season, his first in the Brewers organization, Gillies completed chemotherapy treatment last spring before undergoing a successful bone marrow transplant earlier this month. Gillies is now on the road to recovery as he prepares for the 2021 season. After ending a four-year career (2014-2017) with UBC, Gillies took a winding route to affiliated baseball first pitching for the CanAm League’s Québec Capitales during the 2017 season before pitching for the Intercounty Baseball League’s Brantford Red Sox in 2018. Gillies impressed the Brewers over the winter of 2019 and they swooped in and signed him where he pitched later that year at Single-A Wisconsin to a 3.17 ERA over 54 innings out of the bullpen. The fact that Gillies beat cancer should surprise no one who’s close to him.
#WalkerHOF - Any reason to look at the amazing big league career of Maple Ridge, BC’s Larry Walker is a good one in our books but none more this week than the fact that the former National League MVP was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame one year ago! COVID-19 postponed the 2020 ceremony slated for Cooperstown, Nee York when Walker was supposed to be formally inducted alongside Derek Jeter but here’s hoping that the duo will have that opportunity in 2021!
#TBJ Winter Week Challenger Baseball Jamboree! - On Saturday, February 6, 2021 the Toronto Blue Jays and Jays Care Foundation are hosting a Virtual Challenger Baseball Winter Jamboree! Don’t miss out: REGISTER TODAY if you and your family are eligible!
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