With Canada Day weekend rapidly approaching it's a good time to reflect on the state of the game in our country. Let's count a few highlights:
- With the recent success of Canadians like Joey Votto, Brett Lawrie, and John Axford (former TBZ employee), it seems that more Canadians are getting the opportunity to play the game at the highest levels.
- This year alone Canada had 26 (62 total since 2011) players taken in June’s MLB draft, 10 of whom have already signed pro contracts.
- Canada also has about 700 student athletes playing baseball and studying south of the border at US Colleges and Universities.
- Even Canadian collegiate baseball programs are catching up, with the first ever CIS player being drafted this year (Shaun Valeriote - Brock Badgers - Toronto Blue Jays).
It certainly seems that over the last 10 years Canadians are taking their passion for training and hard work onto the ball field. Some may say we are at a disadvantage compared to our southern counterparts due to our climate, but one thing I know about Canadians is that we never back down form a challenge. Our athletes often travel great distances to receive premium training and competition and do so without hesitation. I think tenacity is one of our defining characteristics and it shows when our guys play tired, hurt, out of position, or in different climates. I think it’s that "never back down" attitude that takes our players to the next level.