News and Announcements
Upon returning from the recetn Arizona trip BC Baseball received correspondence regarding this program….
We are very pleased with the way the program is working and see success for the next group of players coming up. Our son R.W. is tuned up and on the hunt for a College program in the fall. The practices every day were exactly what R.W. was hoping for and playing mostly double headers each day made perfect sense. 10 Games / 8 practices in 8 days was the perfect start to a season. It’s not a holiday it is Spring Training. Each coach brought their specialty and worked hands on with patience and sometimes the much needed guidance. Thanks.
We again wanted to thank you (Orville), Dave, Bill and Matt for the Arizona experience. Our son has a bounce in his step when he came back and that is in direct relation to how he was treated and the confidence staff developed in him. When coaches truly care about the player there is no goal unattainable. He needed exactly what the coaching staff provided and any poor PBL history was washed away and replaced with hope. Thanks from a very appreciative Mom and Dad. Nothing is better than seeing their child not only succeed, but smile doing it. Thanks.
Z.B. had a great experience in Tucson. He gave it a 10/10! One of the best baseball trips he has ever been on. So, kudos to you!!
Just wanting to say that our son, N.Y., had a great time in Arizona! What a great experience for these young boys, playing against college guys and men is pretty impressive! The boys loved the tour of the university and were quite impressed.
Thank you for the opportunity for these boys,
They were called Los Bachateros and their roster included at least seven ex-pros. One of their pitchers, Carlos Martinez, fired bullets from a classic See How Easily you Can Throw Hard delivery. And he definitely threw hard, spitting out fastballs bordering on 90 mph like a machine gun. He had the rhythm of Gene Kelly dancing and the power of Marshawn Lynch slashing through a hole off tackle.
And this was the opening game for the B.C. 18U Elites in Tucson.
Martinez, who began as a shortstop in the Colorado Rockies organization, played six years as a pro, converting into a pitcher late in his career. Los Bachateros GM Nicholas Saint-Hilarie says Carlos signed for almost a million dollars. And he was only one of the potent weapons in the Los Bachateros arsenal.
Still, the 18U’s held their own, putting some good swings on the ball against great pitching even though this was spring training and their first trip to the plate in game conditions.
Los Bachateros are not only outstanding athletes but very gracious, honouring the dignity of the Latino familia culture. When the doubleheader was in the books they insisted on a group picture and kept wishing our young men good luck, a great way to kick off the week in Arizona.
This B.C. team was so young it often seemed more like 16U against the world, competing with Junior College players three, four and even five years older, definitely a monumental challenge.
After a rocky start against a couple of JC’s, things did a 180 on Tuesday when Brendan Fee took to the hill. The right hander tossed four brilliant innings against Marian University of Wisconsin, showing good command of his fastball and a tight curveball. Brendan was in charge throughout and only left because of pitch count. His solid performance set the tone for the whole day.
Jayden Marsh finished the doubleheader by dominating Concordia, another Wisconsin JC, for three plus innings in a game we eventually lost 5-2. Think about that. Jayden is 15 and he handcuffed 18 and 19-year-old college hitters with an explosive delivery, a blue chip fastball, and a nasty breaking ball. Overall Jayden threw eight exceptional and professional innings in Arizona in three appearances.
A JC coach went out of his way to watch both ends of that DH and came away impressed. “Your pitchers were outstanding,” he said the next day during a half hour we spent talking baseball. “You guys are doing it right.”
He also took special note of lead-off hitter Gus Wilson, who was hampered by a leg injury but didn’t miss a beat. Gus has a fluid swing with classic rotation and extension, a competitive spirit, and he’s unstoppable. He made consistent contact in virtually every at bat and crushed one fastball over the left fielder’s head for a double.
Jayden and Gus are two of five players from Jordan Blundell’s Nanaimo team who were in Tucson. All five are still only 15 years old. That includes versatile Dylan Kirby, who caught, played short and even pitched two frames, and Nicholas Yu and Bryce Casorzo, who both showed emerging power at the plate and seemed to improve by leaps and bounds.
It went like that.
Ryan West, one of the best prospects in B.C. Minor, was an ironman, catching five games and playing solid third base. Ryan showcased his picture swing and, to top it off, he took to the mound twice with fastball command, a sharp curveball and a snakey change-up.
Zach Bessler and Jeevan Hayre both got off to slow starts on the hill, which was expected for all our pitchers considering their first appearance of the spring was against JC hitters swinging metal. But Zach and Jeevan, who developed a biting cutter, both bounced back with a vengeance, posting exceptionally strong performances in our last game in Tucson. They also showed promise of being outstanding hitters.
Will Beh battled on the hill and swung the bat well and Connor Stockli overcame a sore hip to get some good AB’s and throw well. Matt Greer, Liam Andrews and Owen Barry all had promising at bats against strong pitching, which will help them in the future. And Joseph Okrafta arrived late but was on base a lot and had one exceptionally good AB where he hung in with two strikes.
Overall the Midgets had some defensive road bumps, mostly due to the inexperience of a very young team. But the pitchers never let that stop them. And the hitters took some great cuts, which was surprising for their first time out of the gate with a limited amount of BP compared to JC teams who have been hitting steadily for three months.
Consider this. The 18U’s were essentially puppies tackling Big Dogs as much as five years older. And the Big Dogs were wielding metal sticks while B.C. hit with wood. Metal is a huge advantage, like brass knuckles against bare hands.
But over and over coaches and spectators said how much they respected our guys for battling and showing class against JC athletes. “It was really fun watching your boys compete against some of the older teams,” said Randy Jacob, one of the tournament organizers, “especially when they played Los Bachateros.”
In fact, the kids grew faster than a colt in Kentucky. And they came home knowing they had some very good swings against a million dollar Dominican pitcher with a remarkably smooth and dynamic delivery who cut it loose like he was still firing in pro baseball.
That kind of experience is invaluable and can’t be bought. It has to be earned. And our young men earned it.
—Dave Empey, head coach, 18U Development
The BC Baseball 18U Elite Spring Training trip in Tucson, Arizona is proving to be a great learning and competitive experience for the players as in addition to the daily practices they have already played 7 games against colleges from around the US.
After arriving on Mar 14 the team got right after it, practicing that night and again the next morning before playing their first games on Sunday, Mar 15, a double header under the lights versus Los Bachalearos, a Dominican men’s team from Tucson which included 7 former pro players. The BC pitchers, most playing in their first live games of the season, struggled with nerves and control, but the team overall got aggressive with the bats and played decent defence to make the games competitive.
The next day saw another morning practice at Pima College prior to games versus Mount Marty College, and University of Wisconsin-Superior. Again the team came out swinging the bats, being aggressive and scoring the first run in each game, but again BC pitching and fielding proved to be the downfall as more pitchers saw their first game action of the year.
By Tuesday, Mar 17 the effect of the daily practices and game experience kicked in as pitchers and hitters were outstanding in games versus Marian University and Concordia University – Wisconsin. BC pitchers were now throwing strikes and impressing coaches while the hitters were showing the effect of daily batting practice and seeing live pitching by timing up pitchers and squaring balls up.
Wednesday Mar 18 BC played Minnesota State – Fergus Falls before having their second game of the day rained out. Again pitching was outstanding while fielding proved challenging. Thursday saw the team practice in the morning before a tour of the University of Arizona including the McHale Center where the basketball team plays. The players were impressed by the amazing campus, and after the tour stayed in the university district to eat and watch March Madness in the campus atmosphere. Friday and Saturday, Mar 20 and 21 will again see the team practice daily while playing single games versus Williston State College on Friday and Carleton College on Saturday, before heading home on Sunday, Mar 22.
Overall, the heightened competition, game reps, and extra practices are helping to set up the players for this coming season, show them where they need to keep improving, and what it takes to compete at the next level.
by Bob Elliott+ on March 15, 2015
By Bob Elliott
LANGLEY, BC _ There were a million stories and almost as many sites during the internet era.
Richard Todd was one of those dreamers.
Battling word press.
Putting up pitching, hitting and practice drills.
Clearing up questions.
Scouring all the resources he could find to help promote the game of baseball.
A funny thing happened while Todd was spending all those hours banging away at his machine.
His site — WebBall Baseball’s Resource Center — grew and grew.
It grew to the point where he was mentioned in USA Today Baseball Weekly.
He even hobnobbed with the rich folks at Forbes.com.
Yet, he never knew for sure.
That is until the annual BC Minor awards banquet at the Langley Events Centre.
Todd was one of three men presented with Roll of Honour awards.
“I’ve done things here and I didn’t even realize what I’d done or that anyone around here was paying attention,” Todd told the crowd when the applause finally quieted down.
Todd’s site, which covers all ages, helps coaches plan practice and athletes improve.
WebBall was founded in 1996 to help his own team and by 1999 it became a business,
WebBall reaches baseball people in at least a dozen countries, but most of its followers are south of the border.
Like so many, Todd’s passion was passed down from his father, also named Richard from watching the Montreal Expos early years at Jarry Park.
An active coach for 25 years he also served on the BC Baseball board.
Little did Todd know he was a leader, a baseball leader, touching lives … spreading lollipops, and touching people he wasn’t even aware of … as Drew Dudley speaks about in this clip.Speakers: The clinicians and presenters at the coaches’ clinic and talking to high performance players were: Former Blue Jays Lloyd Moseby and Rance Mulliniks were teaching and instructing, along with former Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Reggie Smith, Baseball Canada’s director of national teams Greg Hamilton, Chicago’s Peter Caliendo of USA Baseball; Ron Davini of Tempe, Az., former Team USA Coach; Seattle’s Pete Wilkinson; Rick Johnston of The Baseball Zone in Mississauga; Randy Town, a college coach in California and born in Vancouver; Marty Lehn former team Canada coach, who runs Big League Experience camp in Canada; Vancouver’s Matt Holtzman and Dave Empey, who coached the likes of Ryan Dempster, James Paxton and Simon Pond were on the roster major domo Mike Kelly rounded up. Best speaker: Impossible to tell, but we did hear Hamilton speak to coaches and he was outstanding. Meanwhile Johnston was impressive working with Smith, the former Dodgers hitting coach invited him to Los Angeles for a few days this summer.
Best story: Smith told of playing for the 1974 St. Louis Cardinals. St. Louis and the Pittsburgh Pirates entered the next-to-last day of the season tied for first place with 86-74 records.
“We had Bob Gibson on the mound and Al Hrabosky warming in the bullpen and a 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth,” Smith told the crowd as MC (Hammer) Rob Fai asked the questions.
Willie Davis singled with two out and stole second to bring up Mike Jorgenson and he “homered into the pool beyond the right field fence.” Dale Murray recorded the save.
But the Cards were not eliminated yet. The next night in Montreal the Cards-Expos game was rained out. So, the Cards gathered in the lobby to the Queen Elizabeth Hotel and made phone calls to Pittsburgh and had phones placed beside radios.
They took turns standing in the bank of four phone booths listening to the Pirates game on KDKA from Three Rivers Stadium and relaying the messages to teammates like Ted Simmons, Joe Torre, Ted Sizemore, Mike Tyson, Ken Reitz, Lou Brock, Bake McBride, Tim McCarver, Lynn McGlothen, John Curtis, Alan Foster, Sonny Siebert, Bob Forsch and others.
This was a tad before the internet era kiddies.
Players put coins into the phones to keep the lines open.
The Cubs were leading 4-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth.
“Lead-off walk to Richie Zisk,” said one listener.
“Miguel Dilone, pinch running,”
said one listener.
“Miguel Dilone, pinch running,” said another.
“Manny Sanguillen walked — how can they walk Manny Sanguillen?” came the next report … with editorial content.
“They bunted ‘em over, one out second and third,” was next.
“Dave Parker pinch hits and grounded out … runs scores … it’s OK … two out.”
“Bob Robertson not hitting … strike three … he struck him out …”
“Hold on a second … dropped third strike. Steve Swisher didn’t catch the ball … Tie game.”
“Rennie Stennett ground outs … we’re going to extras.”
And in the 10th the Cubs went down in order and in the bottom half, Al Oliver hit a one-out triple off Ken Frailing. The Cubs walked the bases loaded intentionally and with two out Sanguillen singled home Oliver.
Game over … season over for the Cardinals.
Best line: Rance Mulliniks discussing a former opponent who wasn’t a very good player … “Aw he couldn’t play dead in a Western.”
Second best line: MC Ron Fai noticing Mike Kelly approaching wearing a checker board sweater “I think that the tarp from Nat Bailey is missing.”Others Lloyd Moseby on former teammate George Bell: “George would give you the shirt off his back … mind you it would be an old shirt.”
Fai after BC president Mike Sarai made the welcome remarks: “The last banquet I was at after the opening remarks the speaker torched Rogers Communications.”
Moseby on his son Lydell Moseby, who played at Bluefield last season: “It’s nerve wracking, I feel like I am 112 years old. I’m pulling for him. It would be my dream come true, it’s all about the kids.”
Moseby on choosing baseball over hoops: “I liked basketball, after I was drafted I chose the money. I was drafted in 1978 and was sent to Medicine Hat. The next year I went to spring training — I thought I was going to make the team. I was 19. I stayed at Dunedin, the next year played 37 games at Syracuse and was in the majors.”
Moseby on the pressure of playing in the majors: “Pressure? Pressure was growing up in Oakland and staying away from the police.”
Mulliniks on the use of advanced sabermetrics in use in the majors today: “What the heck is sabermetrics? For me, playing the game was the thing.Roll of honor awards Joining Richard Todd were …
Warren Karsgaard, Richmond City.
Involved in the game for 43 years with stops in Dunbar, Richmond and the LMDA. With 22 years in the LMBA he is a founder, player and manager to this day. He spent many years until 2011 as a board member with Richmond City.
Vince and Maurice Restoule, Burnaby Minor.
For almost 30 years after moving west from Scarborough the pair have been involved, playing two seasons, then beginning coaching as teenagers and they have been coaching ever since. Besides coaching they have been involved running concessions, fund raising, managing, tournament and provincial organizing, serving on boards from president to registrar. They’ve been involved with 12 teams that made provincials and one at the Westerns, winning one Provincial, finishing second twice and once at the Westerns.
Greg Harrison, South Burnaby
After starting umping at age 13 and was a tad stressed … so stressed he almost left the field. He stuck with it, met Sean Weatherill and has worked Provincials and been umpire in chief for two years.
He attended the 2013 Super Clinic and attain Level 3 status and last year workeed the John Main tourney, the 15U Cloverdale/White Rock tourney, the 13U qualifier in Vancouver and the 15U AA and the 15U provincials.
Coach of the Year
11U Pete Davey, Ridge Meadows
He created “Friday Night Lights” and “Chalk Talk.” His players were interviewed at a skills competition told the crowd that their coach was the best part of baseball to them.
13U Scott Lunny, Richmond City.
He played his youth ball for West Richmond reaching the provincials, Westerns and earned a bronze with the BC team at the midget nationals.
He began coaching univeritsy in Kits and then Little Mountain, then coaching his three sons from Blastball to peewee, and now watches them play bantam and midget.
Recently he has coached peewee AA and AAA with year round games and training sessions, while continuing to play in the over 30 LMBA for the Richmond Raineers.
15U Garnett Pawliw, Cloverdale.
His bantam AA team won the Provincial and Gold at the BC Summer Games, as well as bronze at the Canadian nationals.
Since joining Cloverdale he has won four provincial titles, a Western and in 2012 his pee wee team went a perfect 44-0.
18U Sean Wandler, Kamloops.
He begins his 16th with the midget AAA RiverDogs going 310-194 including 14 appearances at the Provincials reaching the championship final four rimes and winning in 2007 and 2011.
Along with three Western Canada appearances he has been on staff for Team BC at the Midget nationals on five different years. The Dawgs have sent 29 players to college ball, 15 to the 18U Team BC select program, three players to the Canadian Junior National teams and five have been drafted.
John Main Tournament
Luke Szmutko, Abbotsford.
With the Abbotsford Angels he won two Provincials and was with Team BC at the peewee Nationals. He came third in the home run derby and was Team BC’s MVP in the national championship final game.
Oustanding male athlete
Bradley Teasdale, Comox Valley.
A hard worker who never shows bad sportsmanship, he does not judge others by their abilities.
He always provides positive feedback and encouragement.
Oustanding female athlete
Stephanie Russo, Rutland.
A veteran of the Selects program she played for the 16U Selects and the 20U Selects at the Nationals.
Elizabeth Bampton Memorial Award
Sofi Jansch, Greater Victoria.
The unsung hero played for both the 16U and the 20U Selects.
Team of the Year, North Delta Rays, 11U.
The mosquito team opened the summer in the Surrey Canadians Mosquito AA All-star tourney and came within a strike of winning it all against older competition.
They finished in the top three in the Lower Mainland with a 5-3 mark, played in the AA Provincials going 3-1 in their pool, losing to Abbotsford and beating Burnaby to win bronze.
Association of the Year, North Delta.
In its 53rd year the association improved on its coaching clinics, umpire’s clinics winter training, as well as hosting the Coaches Caravan so NCCP credentials were made available to all coaches.
The association unveiled a new summer team and played under one name – The Ray. They founded the 8U summer tournament and the 11U Jeff Francis tourney. North Delta hosted the 13U Provincials.
To Chicago’s Pete Caliendo. He posed with the three former winners Baseball Canada president Ray Carter, MC Rob Fai and some other guy for pictures. Caliendo is the president of Caliendo Sports International and also makes the nine-day winter tour through BC.
Article can be seen on the following link: http://www.canadianbaseballnetwork.com/articles/webball-founder-todd-honored/
*The Future of B.C.(Minor) Baseball
Our goal—College scholarships for our grads*
By Mike Sarai,
President, B.C. Baseball
B.C.(Minor)Baseball is making dynamic moves to upgrade our program at every level, from 13U to 18U. That includes three day camps and the 18U (Midget) Elite team.
Our mission is Player Development and the bottom line is finding college scholarships for our young men. The 18U Elites program will build over the next 2-3 years to compete in half a dozen or more high profile tournaments in the States, which means they’ll be seen by a long list of college recruiters.
There was a time when the Premier Baseball League was the best in Canada. In the 1990’s the PBL produced the likes of Justin Morneau, Ryan Dempster, Jeff Francis and Rich Harden, who have all had outstanding MLB careers.
But by 2002 that pipeline was long gone and the PBL isn’t what it used to be. In fact, the Major League Scouting Bureau no longer has a regional rep in B.C. because there isn’t enough talent in the PBL to justify the cost of having a full time scout.
That is not to say the PBL doesn’t have some good programs. But it is no longer the powerhouse it was 15 years ago.
On the other hand B.C.(Minor)Baseball is on the upgrade in every way possible. At the 16U camp last June, for example, there were three major league scouts on hand, including Don Cowan of the Toronto Blue Jays.
The word is spreading.
PBL teams have limited chances to travel to Washington State because their schedule is so tight. But our 18U Elites are free to compete in as many as 3 or 4 tournaments.
We have more than 60 18U (Midget) players working out with the Elite coaches and this gives us tremendous roster
flexibility. Some players may compete in three or four of those tournaments, others in one or two. Regardless, the 18U (Midget) Elite program provides our athletes with a golden opportunity to be seen by pro scouts and college coaches.
What’s more, the cost of playing in the PBL is exorbitant at best. Most teams charge $500 or more per month and, when you factor in fall ball, winter training and tournament fees, the financial burden can easily be as high as $6,000 and even more.
By contrast, our B.C.(Minor)Baseball fees are almost always less than $1,000 for a full year.
Some people have made negative comments about our 15U (Bantam) coaches but I think that’s very unfair. In fact, I think our 15U (Bantam) mentors are as good or better than the Junior PBL coaches. We also support, access and fully endorse the NCCP program for our coaches.
We at B.C.(Minor)Baseball stress Player Development. We intend to keep our 15U (Bantams) in our system. With that in mind, we encourage our 16U players to participate in the Elite program and stay with it for three years as they develop. We’re confident they will mature into outstanding prospects.
Our priority is the future of our athletes.