* RHP-SS Carter Krawchuk (St. Catharines, Ont.) is named after Joe Carter while his twin brother is Hudson Krawchuk named after ex-Blue Jays second baseman. Carter, the St. Catharines Cobras minor mosquito, is headed to New York all-star game festivities to participate in the Scotts Pitch, Hit and Run competition July 15. .... Canadians drafted in the top 200 Top Canucks drafted year by year Canuck$ with si$-figue bonu$
By Bob Elliott
Carter Krawchuk is all of nine years of age.
Yet, the youngster, named after former Blue Jays slugger Joe Carter, is the first person -- ahead of Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Cecil or Jose Bautista -- living in Ontario now booked for New York and the all-star game.
The St. Catharines Cobras minor mosquito shortstop won the right to compete in the Scotts Pitch, Hit and Run competition Monday July 15 at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets.
School teacher Shannon Krawchuk and her husband Sean, general manager of the Club Roma Conference Centre in St. Catharines, didn’t know each other 20 years ago when Carter hit a three-run homer off Mitch Williams to win the 1993 World Series over the Philadelphia Phillies.
“But we’re both big Blue Jays fans,” said Shannon, a grade two teacher at Canadian Martyrs Catholic School.
After winning the 12-player competition in St. Catharines, the 65-pound Carter won regionals at Port Colborne.
“Then, he was one of three players to go to the Rogers Centre -- oh! He just hit a grand slam -- in early June,” said Shannon over the phone as she watched the Cobras-Welland Mustangs game Wednesday. “Carter got to throw the ceremonial first pitch to Brandon Morrow before the Jays played the Texas Rangers.
"Last year he finished in the runner-up spot at the Rogers Centre and he told us he was going to go back this year and win."
Carter’s younger twin brother -- by 10 minutes -- Orlando, after the popular Jays second baseman Orlando Hudson, who played a flashy second base for the Jays from 2002-05.
“We always hoped Orlando Hudson would come back some day,” said Shannon, who will be making her first trip to New York.
Carter, above holding the trophy, and Orlando won the provincials last season. This year Orlando is playing for the St. Catharines Selects but hopes to be back with the Cobras next season.
The brothers biggest fan is older sister Jordan, age 13.
“I was five months pregnant and Jordan was calling the (expected) baby Sally,” said Shannon, “then I found out I was expecting twins. We had to come up with some new names.”
Carter pitches and plays shortstop for coach Brian Essery, an independent league pitcher for the Welland Aquaducks of the North Atlantic League (1995-96) and Altoona of the Heartland League (1997) and the Niagara Metros (1997-2009) of the Central Ontario League before becoming recruitment director of Great Britain Baseball.
Carter placed second in North America in his age category.
While the twins love baseball, they also are part of Leafs Nation, Carter, wearing the Dion Phaneuf's captain’s jersey.
After competing for the title, Carter will be on the field, along with the rest of the Pitch, Hit and Run competitors shagging fly balls during the Home Run Derby Monday night.
Shannon graduated from Brock University and then teacher’s college at D’Youville College in Buffalo.
On Tuesday, Carter and Shannon will cap off their trip to New York by watching the all-star game.
A former Pitch, Hit and Run winner who made the all-star game festivities was OF Dalton Pompey (Mississauga, Ont.) who is currently at class-A Lansing, while INF Scott Thorman (Cambridge, Ont.) also won and was a first-round pick of the Atlanta Braves in 2000.