Ex-Dawgs Henderson, Hardy WBC bound with Team Canada
* Jim Henderson (Calgary, Alta.) will pitch for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic and the first Okotoks Dawgs to make the majors will be the guest speaker Feb 2. ….
By Jonathan Hodgson
The Okotoks Dawgs will have two of their graduates, Jim Henderson and Mark Hardy, wearing Team Canada colours at the 2013 World Baseball Classic in March. The WBC is the premier event in international baseball.
Henderson is coming off of a breakthrough year in 2012 that saw him become the first Dawg to play Major League Baseball when he got the call from the Milwaukee Brewers in July. Now a fixture of the back end of the Brewers bullpen having recorded a 3.52 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 30 innings in 2012, Henderson will enter his first full big-league season following the WBC.
Though he was unable to play in the WBC Qualifying Tournament this past fall due to his duties in Milwaukee, Henderson is a tenured veteran of Canada’s National Team, with his most recent experience being a gold medal victory at the 2011 Pan Am Games.
Joining Henderson on the Canadian pitching staff at the WBC will be another familiar name to Okotoks regulars. Left-hander Hardy, who pitched for the Dawgs in 2008 and 2009, helping the team to their second and third consecutive championships, was a 43rd round draft pick of the San Diego Padres in 2010.
The UBC product has enjoyed great success early in his pro career, rising to double-A San Antonio Missions in 2012, where he pitched to a 2.65 ERA for now Blue Jays manager, John Gibbons. Hardy pitched for Canada at the WBC Qualifying Tournament in the fall of 2012, as Canada went on to win the tournament, punching their ticket to the main event in March.
“The Dawgs are extremely proud to have two grads selected to Canada’s roster for the WBC,” John Ircandia, Dawgs managing director, said proudly. looking forward to seeing two alums wearing the maple leaf at international baseball’s premier event. “Jim Henderson proved last season he’s capable of being a premier set up man or closer at the big-league level, and with Mark Hardy’s numbers at the double-A level, he’s not far behind. All Dawgs fans are proud of our guys. Go Canada! Go Dawgs!”
The Dawgs sixth annual awards banquet takes place Feb. 2 with Henderson as the guest speaker. Call the Dawgs at 403-262-3294 to ensure your seat!
In other Dawgs alumni news, San Francisco Giants prospect, and Dawgs graduate Tyler Hollick is receiving attention entering his first full season in the Giants organization. The former Dawgs Academy and collegiate Dawgs standout was featured as the 20th best prospect in the Giants system by When the Giants Come to Town.