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The Baseball Brat

There is a little confusion over where T.J. Bennett is really from.

As it turns out, he was born in Lethbridge but didn’t spend a whole lot of time here.

The reason: his father was a baseball coach for a new Pioneer League team in 1992. That background gave us context on how the 26-year-old has lived his baseball life.

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Wall-to-Wall Coverage

In an effort to track how some of his son’s friends were doing in college baseball state-side, Kevin Wall created the CB Players website.

It’s now turned into a place many fans, coaches and players turn to for information about Canadians (and Albertans) doing great things in the United States.

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Great Expectations

“I want to be a first-team All-American. And I want to get drafted in the top ten rounds. Those are really my only two goals.”

Former Okotoks Dawgs utilityman Matt Lloyd wants to put 2018 behind him and has his sights set on proving why teams shouldn’t have overlooked him in the MLB Draft.

Here’s the Q&A from our conversation with him for Alberta Dugout Stories: The Podcast.

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Striving for More

During a season in which Danny Jansen realized his dream of playing Major League Baseball (MLB), it was Giancarlo Stanton who provided the “pinch me” moments for the Toronto Blue Jays catcher. 

In the bottom of the first inning on Aug. 18, 2018, the 6-foot-6 pinstriped baseball beast stepped into the batter’s box at Yankee Stadium and gave Jansen his first game-action look at the chiseled outfielder’s 245-pound frame. 

Jansen and fellow rookie starting pitcher Sean Reid-Foley got the better of Stanton during that at bat, watching him strike out swinging.

But in the fourth inning, Stanton sent a fastball 412 feet away from home plate and over the centre-field wall. It was Reid-Foley’s second start for the Jays and Jansen’s fourth game with the big club. Welcome to the major leagues. 

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Flame Thrower

No one can ever accuse Jarome Iginla of choosing the wrong sport.

As a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a player who amassed 625 goals and 1,300 points over his National Hockey League (NHL) career, the former Art Ross Trophy winner can sleep soundly knowing that the work boots that fit him best had steel blades on the soles. 

But that’s not to say that “Iggy” – as he became known to hockey fans – didn’t have options when it came to his athletic pursuits. The product of St. Albert was just as comfortable in baseball cleats as he was in skates when he was growing up, and those who witnessed what he was capable of on the diamond say he could have had a future in baseball if he chose that route.

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1 Thru 9: St. Joseph Baseball Academy

Opening day took on new meaning for some central Alberta students during this school year. That’s because newly opened St. Joseph High School in Red Deer began accepting baseball and softball academy students for the first time last fall.

It was a welcome addition to the school and the community for Jason Chatwood, who is the lead instructor of the academy. 

Chatwood made time for Alberta Dugout Stories recently to discuss the freshly-minted program, as part of our “1 Thru 9” series focusing on Alberta baseball academies.

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