Trap Game

Edmonton baseball fans have long hoped for a return of the Trappers to RE/MAX Field and now they finally have it.

No, not those Trappers – not the Triple-A team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) that served as a stepping stone for aspiring major leaguers from 1981 through 2004. 

The Edmonton Collegiate Trappers, an expansion franchise in the Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC), are making their league debut this season and head coach Ethan Elias couldn’t be more excited about bringing a new form of spring baseball to the provincial capital.

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1 Thru 9: Prairie Baseball Academy

One of the longest tenured baseball schools in Alberta is in Lethbridge, where the Prairie Baseball Academy (PBA) teaches student athletes about the sport and about life.

The team name at PBA is the Dawgs, but you’ll also find some bulls in the pack. That’s because several members of the coaching staff at the academy have played and coached for the Lethbridge Bulls of the Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL). And if you check the Bulls roster each summer, you’re sure to find some PBA players on the squad.

You can count Ryan MacDonald among those who have close ties to both the Bulls and the Dawgs. Now in his 10th year of coaching at PBA, the Nova Scotian played five years for the Bulls and coached the Lethbridge team to their first WCBL title in 2015.

MacDonald made some time for Alberta Dugout Stories so we could learn a bit more about PBA and the school’s approach to baseball tutelage.

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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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