From Grassroots to No No....
James Paxton, a native of Ladner BC, astonished the baseball world on Tuesday May 8th and stymied the Toronto Blue Jays with a 5-0 complete game no hitter. Only the second one ever thrown by a Canadian, last happening in 1945 at the hands of Dick Fowler.
It was a statement, no doubt, in front of the only Canadian MLB home crowd in the league. A statement as to how far baseball programs in BC have come, a statement about the quality of programming offered in BC, a statement about how much hard work is put in every day by so many. By players, coaches, parents, volunteers…. in a sport that Canada is not known for, yet so very important to those who are involved.
James isn’t the only one to make a statement. Before his highlight reel game there were the likes of Larry Walker (Maple Ridge), Justin Morneau (New Westminister), Jason Bay (Trail), Michael Saunders (Victoria), Brett Lawrie (Langley), Ryan Dempster (Gibsons), Jeff Francis (North Delta), Ted Bowsfield (Vernon) and a surprisingly long list of others not mentioned…but no less accomplished.
It’s easy to lose sight of the foundation of all this talent in the bright lights of the Big Show hype, the place where all baseball players get their start, Grassroots Baseball. After all, it has to start somewhere, the hunger and passion for the game is rooted long before the hours and days are put in. Long before the ID Camps, long before the Showcases, the Draft, the contracts and the eventual accolades are won, the fire is lit.
It starts in the communities around BC, driven by the organizations powered by volunteers and supported by BC Baseball. As the hunger grows and the needs develop these communities continue to step up and work tirelessly to nurture our players desire to continue the pursuit of the game.
The value of the Grassroots movement should never be underestimated, it is the very soul of baseball and the most important part of what we do as BC Baseball, member associations, coaches, parents and players.
BC Baseball celebrates all of you, past stars, current stars and the future stars. We celebrate the hard work of everyone collectively nurturing the dream, but most of all we celebrate our Grassroots programming. It is the very genesis of the dream.