Dawgs grads Duda, Frostad win honours
* Emerson Frostad (Vancouver, BC) and Jeff Duda (Surrey, BC), graduate of the Dawgs Baseball Academy, will be honoured for their performances this season ….
By Jonathan Hodgson
Two Okotoks Dawgs alums coming off of tremendous professional seasons and have been recognized for their 2012 performances.
Emerson Frostad is a native of Vancouver, BC, and a graduate of the Dawgs Baseball Academy. After graduating from the Dawgs Academy, Frostad attended Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho, where he was a part of two NAIA National Championships. Emerson was a part of the inaugural Dawgs collegiate team in 2003, then based in Calgary, before being selected in the 13th round of the June Draft by the Texas Rangers.
Frostad, 29, spent seven years in the Rangers organization, reaching the triple-A level and he also spent time at triple-A his one season with the Houston Astros in 2011, before signing on with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the independent Atlantic League for 2012.
He is a veteran of Team Canada, having represented his country with the Junior National Team, 2008 Olympic Team, and at the 2011 Pan-Am Games, where Team Canada would claim the gold medal. He was joined on that Pan-Am Games team by fellow Dawgs alums Jim Henderson and Mark Hardy.
Frostad’s first season with the Barnstormers was tremendous, and he has been recognized for it, being named a 2012 Atlantic League First-Team All Star.
On the season, he hit .295 in 97 games with 17 doubles, seven home runs and 35 RBIs while leading the Barnstormers to a league-best 88-52 overall record and a birth in the League Championship Series.
The veteran Dawg returns to Okotoks in December as a winter hitting and catching instructor in the Dawgs Academy, as he does every offseason.
Also accepting accolades following the independent pro season is former Dawgs staff ace, Jeff Duda.
Duda needs no introduction to Okotoks fans, having been the ace of the collegiate Dawgs pitching staff for three years, leading the Dawgs to their threepeat of WMBL Championships from 2007 to 2009.
The right-hander is a native of Surrey, BC, and attended Campbellsville University in Kentucky, graduating in 2009 before entering pro ball the following year.
Duda owns three WMBL Championship rings from his time in Okotoks, while holding numerous single-season and all-time Okotoks Dawgs pitching records. They include: single-season wins, six (2009), single-season strikeouts, 82 (2009), single-season innings, 73 2/3 (2009), along with the career marks for wins, 16, strikeouts, 164, starts, 24, and innings, 173.2.
Duda, 26, began his pro career in 2010 with the now-defunct Victoria Seals before catching on in a relief role with the Quebec Capitales of the Can-Am League where he posted a stiff 1.53 ERA in 31 relief appearances in 2011.
This season however, when Duda really hit stride for the Capitales, posting numbers reminiscent of his days as the “bulldog” of the Dawgs staff. After a brief stint in the triple-A Mexican League, he returned to Quebec and took the Capitales on his back, leading them to the 2012 Can-Am League championship.
Duda started 17 games for Quebec in the regular season, compiling a remarkable 15-1 record and a 2.09 ERA. In 116 innings he allowed just 90 hits and 26 walks while racking up 120 strikeouts. He would lead the Can-Am League in both wins and ERA, with his 15 wins tying a league record.
Duda’s dominant season did not go unnoticed. He was named the league’s Pitcher of the Month three straight months from June through August, was a league All-Star, and was named the league’s Pitcher of the Year.
But it doesn’t stop there, as Duda was recently named to Baseball America’s 2012 Independent All-Star Team, and was selected as the Canadian Baseball Network’s 2012 Independent League Pitcher of the Year by journalist, Bob Elliott, presented the J.G. Taylor Spink award in July in Cooperstown, N.Y.
The bulldog reputation Duda earned in Okotoks, and now Quebec, should not be a surprise, as this is the same Duda who led the 1998 Langley, BC Little League to the International Final of the Little League World Series, striking out 17 Japanese hitters while throwing 120 pitches in a tight 3-2 defeat.
Originally from Surrey, Duda now lists Okotoks as his hometown. That is because the proud Dawgs alum has returned to Okotoks every offseason since he began his pro career to serve as a winter pitching coach for the Dawgs Academy.