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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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Featured

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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Head of the Class: Summary of 2018 Alberta College Players

With the summer season behind them, many Alberta baseball players have headed south for a year of college play in the United States. 

While these athletes are settling in – hitting the books, spending time at the gym and running around the ball diamonds for practices and exhibition play, as the weather permits – we thought this was a good time to look back at the footprint of Alberta players who attended American colleges and universities during the 2018 season.

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The Grande Gator

Escaping the Great White North for the sunny south of Florida, Grande Prairie’s Lars Davis is making a name for himself once again.

Once a highly-touted Canadian baseball prospect and taken in the third round by Colorado, Davis is hoping to help Florida State repeat as College World Series champions in his third season as volunteer assistant coach.

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Once Upon A Time

It was a fairytale ending. 

After a plucky cast of characters was assembled, they set out on an epic journey. At several points during this obstacle-laden trek, it seemed like all hope was lost and the battle was done. 

But every fairytale needs a happy ending. A starry-eyed hero must emerge at just the right time to strike an unexpected and lethal blow to the enemy. A valiant and trusted companion must struggle through adversity to ensure his lovable mates win the fight.

And in the end, a prince and princess must bring new hope to the land. 

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