In preparation for Baseball Canada’s upcoming national teams awards banquet and fundraiser, Baseball Canada.ca caught up with 2004 Olympic team member Rob Ducey, who will be in attendance at this weekend’s event. To read more about Ducey, simply follow below.
BC: How fun will it be to attend the banquet and reunite with so many familiar faces?
Ducey: Getting together with the group assembled by Baseball Canada is always a pleasure. We developed some great friendships and that was a true team we played on (at the Olympics in Athens).
BC: As a former player of the Montreal Expos and someone who played for both Canadian MLB teams, how disappointing was it to see the departure of the Expos to Washington, D.C.?
Ducey: Unfortunately, with the way the baseball business is, it didn’t make business sense to stay in Montreal. The Expos had been there for as long as I can remember. I know that players both home and away enjoyed playing in Montreal.
BC: Last year, in addition to playing for Team Canada at the Olympics, you served as a coach for the AA-Harrisburg Senators in the Expos’ farm system. What will you be doing this season?
Ducey: I will be serving as the manager of the New York Yankees’ Extended Spring League team as well as the hitting coach for the Yankees’ New York-Penn League team (A-Staten Island Yankees). I will be working with a lot of first-year players and will be 35 minutes from my home for much of the summer. It will be a pretty good experience for me.
BC: How much do you wish to work at the major-league level?
Ducey: That’s absolutely what I’m going to do. No one wants to be in the minors for the rest of their career. Eventually, whether it’s as a coach or in the front office, you set your goal to be in the major leagues.
BC: With all that’s taken place in world affairs recently, how humbling is it to have the privileges you’ve enjoyed thanks to a career in baseball?
Ducey: From my family to my life experiences to material things I have gained, it’s all because of baseball. Baseball has done more for me than possibly any career move I could have made. As the saying goes, “Baseball has been very good to me.” Professional baseball has been part of my life for over half of my life. I owe a lot not only to the community but also to the game (of baseball).
Rob Ducey lives in Tarpon Springs, Fla., with his wife Yanitza and their sons Thomas (14) and Aaron (11) and their daughter Jenaka (5).