1 Thru 9: Kalem Haney


Kalem Haney has seen baseball at almost every level in Lethbridge.

Starting in Little League, he eventually made his way up to the American Legion Elks and has now settled in as a veteran with the Western Canadian Baseball League Bulls.

Haney has also been a part of drastically different Bulls teams, winning the WCBL championship with them during the pandemic-shortened 2021 season before missing the playoffs entirely in 2022.

The Bulls are competitive again this summer, sitting in third place in the West Division with a 17-13 record.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound infielder is a steady presence near the top of the batting order, hitting .292 with 12 runs batted in and 14 stolen bases through the team’s first 30 games.

Haney thinks some added depth will make the Bulls dangerous when the playoffs roll around, and is hoping to win another WCBL championship before heading back to the University of Mary.

The Vauxhall Academy of Baseball product, who is one of six Bulls to be named to the upcoming WCBL All-Star Game, was a guest on Episode 230 of Alberta Dugout Stories: The Podcast, and some of his answers form the basis of our latest “1 Thru 9.”

1. This is your hometown team. What’s it like getting to suit up at a stadium where you probably spent a lot of time at as a kid?

Yeah, it’s nice. Obviously, I idolized a lot of guys when I was growing up going to Bulls games. And now that I’m the idol for a lot of the young fans in Lethbridge, it’s been nice to sign balls for the kids, get to meet some of the parents of the kids, and then also see a lot of friends and family at the game.

2. Did you have a favourite player on those Bulls teams when you were growing up?

Yes, I did. Mike Coe. He was one of my uncle’s best friends and he was my favourite player when I was growing up.

3. How weird is it to get that first autograph request and have you been able to perfect signing a baseball?

Hahaha! No, baseballs are definitely harder to sign than a piece of paper. But yeah, obviously, to sign four or five balls or hats, whatever it is, you get used to it. But yeah, it’s been good.

4. You’ve had the adventurous three seasons so far. How do you use both of those experiences to shape your approach for this season?

Yeah, obviously, I’ve been on both sides. I’ve seen a winning team and then I’ve seen a team that didn’t win many ball games. It’s just that experience because there are a lot of guys who played on both teams like me. So now we can take it and win more games and some of the new guys that haven’t played in the WCBL before, it’s a good experience. Any team can win on any given night.

Kaley Haney gets ready for the next pitch in an at-bat against the Okotoks Dawgs. (Photo: Ian Wilson)

5. As one of the veterans on the team, what’s been your main message, especially for those who haven’t been through a summer season here?

I would say just enjoy it. Not many of these guys will come back to Canada. Some of them are from California and will never come back to Canada after playing for the Bulls. So you just have to enjoy it, have fun, and enjoy the baseball. We’re playing a kids’ game, right?

6. How cool has it been to be able to see your journey involved in so many levels of the game in Lethbridge, from Little League to American Legion and now the WCBL?

Yeah, it’s obviously cool. A lot of the guys I’ve played with my whole life, since I was 11, it’s been nice to build some of those relationships. These are still some of my best friends.

7. You’re coming off a solid freshman season at the University of Mary. What was the biggest challenge or hurdle you had to overcome in adapting to that new spot and in a new school?

I would say just relaxing. For me, I was so uptight when the season first started. I was striking out and making errors. It was difficult. It’s the same game that we’ve played our whole lives, but you’re just on a bigger stage, I guess.

Kalem Haney rounds third base and guns for home in a game against Okotoks in June 2023. (Photo credit: Cindy Adachi)

8. Looking back on your experience at the Vauxhall Academy of Baseball. What did that program mean to you?

It means everything, honestly. I wouldn’t be the ballplayer I am today without going to Vauxhall. The friendships I made there will forever last in my life. Living in the dorms is something that I will forever cherish and the memories I made at Vauxhall is something for sure that I will cherish forever.

9. What does the game of baseball mean to you?

It means a lot. Honestly, if I wasn’t playing baseball right now, I don’t know what I would be doing. It means a lot. The memories. Everything that we’ve done pretty much our whole lives, it’s been baseball. I’ve been to a lot of places because of baseball. I’ve seen a lot of the world because of baseball. It’s been good.


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