Familiar World Series MVPs

The World Series MVP award recognizes the most clutch performers in baseball.

Over the years, the winners of the award have included several players who once called Alberta home.

Here’s our look at some former Pacific Coast League and Pioneer League talents who saved their best play for the World Series.

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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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Coaching Duo Leaving Prospects

The Edmonton Prospects will have a new look in the dugout next year, as the coaching duo of Ray Brown and Orv Franchuk is moving on. 

But the experienced skipper tandem may not be away from the Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) for very long. 

The Prospects announced the resignation of Brown, the team’s head coach, and Franchuk, the director of baseball development, on Sept. 12th after contract discussions with owner Patrick Cassidy broke down.

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Going the Distance with Kinsella

For William Steele, the Kevin Costner baseball movie Field of Dreams offered an introduction to the world of Alberta author William Patrick Kinsella. It was a common entry point for many fans of the Order of Canada recipient. What Steele didn’t know at the time was that he would devote decades of his life to researching and writing about the controversial author and his literature.

The result of Steele’s labour is the recently-released biography Going the Distance: The Life and Works of W.P. Kinsella. The book provides an extensive look at Kinsella’s early life, his adult years working odd jobs, and his ultimate success as an author. It also explores the Edmontonian’s writing – which generally fell into two categories: baseball stories and aboriginal tales – and the response to his somewhat controversial books.

Our own Ian Wilson of Alberta Dugout Stories had an hour-long conversation with Steele about Going the Distance.

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Kinsella at the Bat

Long before author William Patrick Kinsella ever dreamt about baseball in Iowa cornfields, he was a stimulus-starved child growing up in rural Alberta. What he lacked in local events and community activities as a homeschooled farm kid near Darwell – 75 kilometres northwest of Edmonton – Kinsella made up for using his imagination. 

That creativity served him well as a writer, as William Steele notes in his new biography, Going the Distance: The Life and Works of W.P. Kinsella. The book provides a comprehensive look at the man made famous for his 1982 novel Shoeless Joe, which was the basis of the seminal baseball movie Field of Dreams. 

Here is an excerpt from Going the Distance …

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