Coaching Team: Mike Blair
My first exposure to this game was as a fan and that all started when I heard the opening pitch of the Toronto Blue Jays first-ever game on April 7th, 1977. I was 9 yrs old then and I was glued to the radio. As of that day, I was inspired. From TeeBall, House League to All-Stars, baseball was my game when I was a young athlete back in Kitchener Ontario. Moving out west allowed me to play in Strathmore back in 1982. From there I commuted to Calgary and played in the Big League system from '83-'85 during my high school years where in '85 I played for the Alberta Selects and attended the Junior National Camp but had to withdraw due to injury. From 1986 -1987, played for Team Alberta out of Edmonton. In 1986-87 was also selected to play for the National Baseball Institute for Canada's National development program in Vancouver (same program that Matt Stairs, Justin Morneau and Denis Boucher played at to name a few MLB players). In 1988, played for the Professional Baseball Institute out of Edmonton under Dave Robb (Okotoks Dawgs) and Ray Brown (Team Alberta). After tryouts with the Chicago White Sox, Montreal Expos and the California Angels, I was off to Macerta, Italy in 1990 to play semi- professionally As my playing days were winding down, I continued to play in the Alberta Men's Baseball league from 1991- 1994. The last five seasons I have coached at the Little League level out of Cal West and in 2019, coached with the Calgary Cubs 13U AA team, with the Royals emerging in 2020.
All of this said, my passion for the game has not wavered. I have been taught time and time again just how special this sport is and how much young athletes can benefit from it. People gave so much to me that giving back is the easy part. Baseball is a unique sport as are the people within. I am very excited to continue the journey with this year's Royals!