Who are these guys with the bronze medals in 2009?

*RHP Nick Bucci (Sarnia, Ont.) impressed on and all at the 38th World Cup in Italy as Canada won bronze. Sept. 30, 2009

Bob Elliott

Who are these guys anyway? The 24 guys who won Canada’s first-ever bronze medal in the 38th World Cup? The Team Canada players were asking the same questions when they gathered There were three ex-big leaguers who combined for 92 games in the majors. Like Adam Stern (London, Ont.) who played 48 games with the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles, Adam Loewen (Surrey, BC), who pitched in 35 games with the Orioles, R.J. Swindle (Vancouver, BC), who appeared nine games with the Cleveland Indians and the Philadelphia Phillies. They ranged in age from the youngest pair at 19-- 2B Brett Lawrie (Langley, BC) and RHP Nick Bucci (Sarnia, Ont.) -- to the oldest duo at age 29 -- RHP Chris Begg (Uxbridge, Ont.) and CF Adam Stern (London, Ont.) who fittingly caught the final out in the bronze-medal game. Loewen pitched three years in the majors before a second elbow stress fracture made him a born again hitter. The most impressive new face for him was Bucci. “He has a great demeanor, he pitched like he’s been there before and he hasn’t been there,” Loewen said from Italy. “He pitched well beyond his years.” Bucci pitched four games at Double-A Huntsville, where he caught the eye Stern. “Bucci was up at double-A a little, I texted Greg Hamilton about how aggressive he was,” said Stern. “He showed a lot of presence on the mound he’s just 19, I couldn’t believe that he in July he was 18. Against Mexico he wanted to take on a couple of their hitters.” Most were Double-A players like Mr. Average hitter Jimmy VanOstrand (Richmond, BC) of the Houston Astros organization. The 12 position players combined to play 3,988 games, for an average of 332 VanOstrand at Corpus Chrisi has played 357 games in four seasons. The 12 pitchers combined to work in 1,613 games for an average of 134, making Mr. Average on the mound RHP Jamie Richmond (Mississauga, Ont.). He pitched in 115 games and was at Single-A Stockton Oakland A’s system. They travelled on the bus. They sang on the open mike from Trystan Magnuson’s (Vancouver, BC) rendition of The Eagles ‘Take it Easy,’ to a celebratory ‘Oh Canada.’ And they won ... finishing third out of 22 countries. “That’s a great accomplishment for those kids over there,  I’m happy for Ernie and Greg,” said Justin Morneau (New Westminster, BC) Minnesota Twins first baseman and a proud supporter of the program. “Hopefully, when baseball gets back in the Olympics it will give some of those guys confidence that canadians can win at the highest levels of baseball.”

Who are these guys? We have the answer ...

Cole Armstrong -- C Hometown Surrey, BC Age 26 Height 6’ 3”    Weight 210 Bats L  Throws R MLB Organization Chicago White Sox 2009 Team Triple-A Charlotte (.252 average, 10 homers, 52 RBIs). MLB Experience None Team Canada Experience ‘99, ‘00, ‘01 World Jrs. School and Team: Chipola College, University of Kansas, Fraser Valley Chiefs and Canadian National Junior Team. Drafted: 16th Round in 2003, Atlanta Braves, signed buy scout Al Goetz. Where has he been: 2003 -- Rookie-class Gulf Coast Braves (.118, 0, 0); 2004 -- Single-A Danville (.316, 6, 46); 2005 -- Single-A Rome (.228, 7, 32); 2006 -- Class-A Winston-Salem (.237, 2 14); Double-A Birmingham (.120, 0, 0); 2007 -- Winston-Salem (.288, 12, 39), Birmingham (.239, 1, 12); 2008 -- Birmingham (.252, 6, 31); Triple-A Charlotte (.275, 2, 17). Minor League Totals (seven seasons): 483 games 105 doubles, 1 triple, 46 homers, 233 RBIs, .256 average.

Chris Begg -- RHP Homwetown Uxbridge, Ont. Age 29 Height 6’4” Weight 195 lbs. Bats R Throws R MLB Organization Free Agent. 2009 Team Did not pitch MLB Experience 0 years School and Teams: Niagara University, Welland and Peterborough Tigers. Team Canada Experience ‘03 Olympic Qualifer, ‘04 Olympics, ‘05 Regional Olympic Qualifer, ‘05 World Cup, ‘06 WBC, ‘08 Olympics ‘09 WBC. Drafted: Undrafted, signed by San Francisco Giants scout Dick Tidrow, 2003. Where has he been: 2003 -- Single-A San Jose (4-1, 1.15), Double-A Norwich (2- 1, 4.32); 2004 -- Norwich (9-1, 2.30); Triple-A Fresno (2-5, 7.02); 2005 -- Norwich (8-7, 3.07); 2006 -- Double-A Connecticut (13-10, 3.39); 2007 -- Connecticut (2-0, 2.10); Fresno (12-5, 4.36); 2008 -- Class-A Salem-Keizer (0-0, 4.50); Class-A San Jose (0-2, 11.32), Quebec City-IND (1-1, 6.43). Minor League Totals (eight seasons): 151 games 63-35, 3.42; 858 hits; 318 earned runs; 162 walks, 505 strikeouts in 837 innings. In his own words ...

Top 3 highlights from the tournament: 1) “Pitching in what likely could be my final game. Trying to hold it together in between innings and when I was taken out of the game, immediately breaking down.” 2)  “Running onto the field after winning the bronze medal. For guys like Sterny and myself, we’ve never had that joy with Team Canada.  Personally speaking, trying to get my arm ready inside of one month and going through a lot of pain and discomfort in doing so, that moment of storming the field made it all worth while. 3) “The Climb by Miley Cyrus.  What can I say, she’s wise beyond her years.  And also echoing Sterny - don’t ask.”

I’ll never forget  . . . 1)  “Frosty’s gigantic grand slam.” 2)  “Tosoni trucking the catcher against Japan.” 3)  “The 1-0 changeup for a double play against Cuba which, as I said before, may very well have ended my career.” 4)  “The mismatch in qualities between the Swedish hotel dining room couple. Like Shawn Bradley guarding Spud Webb.” 5)  “The grape fiasco featuring Cole Armstrong and Larry Walker’s eye. Cole, 1 - Larry’s eye - 20% less peripheral vision.  And the ribbing that ensued on the bus afterward.” 6)  “Most of the memories were in the dialogue. Some examples Nick Bucci, I can’t repeat what was said vs. Mexico, but it cleared the benches.  Cole Armstong saying ‘there are 16 sides to a cube.’ Anything that came out of Dustin Molleken’s mouth, primarily his statement to Randall Simon, politely asking him to please refrain from speaking. He also mentioned that he “doesn’t stutter when he sings,” and what he said he would do to the pitcher if he served one up to Frosty a split second before he served one up to Frosty.”

The person at home who was happiest for me was probably ... “My whole family was incredibly happy for me. I can’t pick who was happiest. My wife, mom, dad, sister, and brother all know how long this has been coming for Team Canada.”

My favorite Canadian player growing up was .... “Mr. Larry Walker.  Too bad he’s now blind in one eye.” On winning a medal: “I’m kinda speechless. Obviously this is what we came here to do. Obviously we came here for the gold, but to win a bronze medal is indescribable and it’s a type of joy I’ve never had with this team before.” On the future: “This is pretty incredible especially with a bunch of new faces on this team, so I think baseball is looking pretty bright in Canada.”

Shawn Bowman -- 3B Hometown Port Moody, BC Age 24    Height 6’ 3” Weight 215      Bats R Throws R MLB Organization New York Mets 2009 Team Double-A Binghamton (.294, 9, 44). MLB Experience None. Team Canada Experience ‘01 World Jrs.;‘02 World Jrs.; ‘09 WBC Teams: Coquitlam Reds and Canadian National Junior Team. Drafted: 12th round, 2002 draft, selected by New York Mets, signed by Claude Pelletier. Where has he been: 2003 -- Class-A Kingsport (.121, 0, 3); Single-A Brooklyn (.203, 0, 5); 2004 -- SIngle-A Capital City (.258, 19, 69); 2005 -- Port St. Lucie (.221, 17, 53); 2006 -- Port St. Lucie .252, 3, 19); 2007 -- Port St. Lucie (.182, 1, 2); 2008 -- Port St. Lucie (.340, 2, 11), Double-A Binghamton (.248, 2, 10). Minor League Totals (seven seasons): 439 games, 80 doubles, 9 triples, 53 homers, 216 RBIs, .253 average. In his own words ...

My top three highlights and memories from the World Cup are:

1. “Bronze medal game, dogpile, Oh Canada, beer shower."

2. "Rene Tosoni crushing Japan catcher to win in extras."

3. "The long but entertaining bus trips everyday."

I’ll never forget ... “the finish to the Japan game, one of the best I’ve seen and been a part of.”

Besides my immediate family, the most influential person in my baseball life has been ... “the two and main influences in my life and in my baseball life have been my parents.” My favorite Canadian player growing up was ... “Sir Larry Walker, what a beauty.”

Nick Bucci -- RHP Hometown: Sarnia, Ont. Age 19 Height 6’ 2”     Weight 195 lbs. BatsThrows R MLB Organization Milwaukee Brewers 2009 Team Rookie-class Helena (6-3, 4.41) Double-A Huntsville (1-0, 6.75). MLB Experience None Team Canada Experience ‘08 World Jrs. Teams: Team Ontario and Canadian National Junior Team. Drafted: 18th round, 2008 draft, signed by Jay Lapp. Where has he been: 2008 -- Arizona Brewers Arizona Rookie-Class League (0-3, 7.36). Minor League Totals (two seasons): 7-6, 4.92 ERA, 21 games, 74 hits, 46 earned runs, 25 walks, 83 strikeouts in 84 1/3 innings.

Terrence Dayleg -- INF Hometown: Surrey, BC Age 21 Height 6’ 0”    Weight 170 lbs. Bats R  Throws R MLB Organization Florida Marlins. 2009 Teams Rookie-Class Gulf Coast Marlins (.269, 1, 19); Single-A Greensboro (.167, 0, 0). MLB Experience none. Team Canada Experience ‘05 World Jrs. School and Teams: Western Kentucky University, Seminole State College, Fraser Valley Chiefs and Canadian National Junior Team. Drafted: 22nd round 2009 draft, signed by scout Kevin Ibach. Minor League Totals (One season): 39 games, 9 doubles, 2 triples, 1 homers, .261 average.

Bryan Dumesnil -- RP Hometown Nanaimo BC Age 25 Height 6’ 3” Weight 210 lbs. Bats R Throws L MLB Organization Free agent. 2009 Team Double-A New Hampshire (0-0, 0.00), Double-A Mississippi (1-7, 4.41, two saves). MLB Experience None Team Canada Experience ‘09 WBC. Team: Nanimo Pirates Drafted: Undrafted, signed in 2002 as a free-agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Where has he been: 2002 -- Rookie-Class Gulf Coast Dodgers (5-1, 2.87); 2003 -- Rookie-Class Odgen (1-0, 8.05); 2004 -- Single-A Bluefield (1-1, 4.15, one save), Single-A Aberdeen (1-0, 4.32); 2005 -- Aberdeen (1-3, 5.06, one save); 2006 -- Quebec City-IND (0-0, 1.80, one save); 2007 -- Quebec City (2-0, 0.57, five save), Single-A Rome (0-0, 2.08), Single-A Myrtle Beach (1-1, 2.81); 2008 -- Myrtle Beach (3-0, 1.18, 12 saves). Minor League Totals (eight seasons): 18-14, 3.51, 23 saves, 201 games, 161 hits, 106 earned runs, 147 walks, 281 strikeouts in 272 innings.

Emerson Frostad - INF Hometown Calgary, Alta. Age 26 Height 6’1” Weight 220 lbs. Bats L Throws R MLB Organization Texas Rangers 2009 Team Triple-A Oklahoma (.220, 1, 20), Double-A Frisco (.295, 3, 8). MLB Experience 0 years Team Canada Experience ‘01 World Jrs; ‘06 Olympic qualifier; ‘07 World Cup; ‘08 Olympic Qualifier, ‘08 Olympics. School and Teams: Lewis-Clark State College, Calgary Dawgs and Canadian National Junior Team. Drafted: 13th round, Lewis-Clark State College, 2003, signed by the Texas Rangers and scout Gary McGraw. Where has he been: 2004 -- Class-A Clinton (.215, six, 42); 2005 -- Clinton (.269, 16, 62); 2006 -- Class-A Bakersfield (.320, 12, 51); Double-A Frisco (.244, 13, 44); 2007 -- Frisco (.241, 13, 44); 2008 -- Frisco (.260 6, 40); Triple-A Oklahoma City (.143, 1, 2). Minor League Totals (six seasons): 567 games, 125 doubles, 11 triples, 58 homers, 269 RBIs, .256 average.

Jim Henderson -- RP Hometown: Calgary, Alta. Age 26 Height 6' 5" Weight 190 lbs. Bats L Throws R MLB Organization Milwaukee Brewers. 2009 Team Double-A Huntsville (1-0, 2.57), Single-A Brevard (3-0, 2.76, four saves), Single-A Wisconsin (0-0, 1.07, 17 saves). MLB Experience none Team Canada Experience ‘99 World juniors School and Teams: Tennessee Wesleyan College, Calgary Dawgs and Canadian National Junior Team. Drafted: 26th round 2003 by the Montreal Expos. Where has he been: 2003 -- Rookie-class Gulf Coast Expos (0-0, 2.25, one save), Single-A Vermont (1-1, 6.93); 2004 -- Vermont (2-6, 2.59); 2005 -- Single-A Savannah (9-11, 5.47); 2006 -- Savannah (0-1, 3.38), Single-A Potomac (2-2, 4.50, one save); 2007 -- Double-A Tennessee (4-3, 1.86, 10 saves); Triple-A Iowa (3-0, 5.54); 2008 -- Tennessee (0-1, 0.00, one save), Iowa (0-0, 15.00). Minor League Totals (seven seasons): 25-25, 3.95, 34 saves, 191 games, 430 hits, 201 earned runs, 178 walks, 307 strikeouts in 458 innings.

Chris Kissock - RHP Hometown: Fruitvale, BC Age 24 Height 6’ 4”    Weight 195 lbs. Bats L Throws R MLB Organization Philadelphia Phillies. 2009 Team Single-A Clearwater (3-5, 3.98) MLB Experience None Team Canada Experience none. School and Team: Lewis-Clark State College and Trail Legion. Drafted: 9th round in 2007 by the Philadelphia Phillies. Where has he been: 2007 -- Single-A Williamsport (2-3, 3.74, two saves); 2008 -- Single-A Lake City (4-6, 4.37, three saves). Minor League Totals (three seasons): 9-14, 4.11, five saves, 98 games, 201 hits, 85 earned runs, 49 walks, 140 strikeouts in 186 1/3 innings.

Matt Kniginyzky -- RHP Hometown: Mississauga, Ont. Age 26 Height 6’ 3”    Weight 185 lbs. BatsThrows R MLB Organization Kansas City Royals 2009 Team Northwest Alabama (5-10, 5.48). MLB Experience None Team Canada Experience None. Schools and Team: High Point University, Lake City Community College, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College and Ontario Blue Jays. Drafted: 23rd round 2005 draft, signed by Spencer Graham. Where has he been: 2005 -- Rookie-Class Idaho Falls (2-5, 4.66, five saves); 2006 -- Single-A Burlington (9-5, 3.51), 2007 -- Rookie-Class Arizona League Royals (0-0, 0.00); Idaho (0-0, 5.40), Burlington (1-0, 1.88), 2008 -- Single-A Wilmington (9-8, 3.57). Minor League Totals (five seasons): 26-28, 4.13, five saves, 102 games, 475 hits, 210 earned runs, 160 walks, 339 strikeouts in 457 2/3 innings.

Brett Lawrie - INF Hometown Langley, BC Age 19 Height 6’0” Weight 200 lbs. Bats R Throws R MLB Organization Milwaukee Brewers 2009 Team Double-A Huntsville (.269, 0, 0), Single-A Wisconsin (.274, 13, 65). MLB Experience 0 years Team Canada Experience ‘06 World Jrs., ‘07 World Jrs., ‘08 World Jrs. ‘08 Olympics. Teams: Langley Blaze and Canadian National Junior Team. Drafted: 1st round (16th over-all) by the Milwaukee Brewers, signed by scout Marty Lehn. Minor League Totals (one season): 118 games, 18 doubles, six triples, 13 homers, 65 RBIs, 19 stolen bases.

Adam Loewen -- LF Hometown: Surrey, BC Age 25 Height 6’ 5”     Weight 220 lbs. Bats L  Throws L MLB Organization Toronto Blue Jays 2009 Team Single-A Dunedin (.236, 4, 31). MLB Experience Three seasons, 58 games. Team Canada Experience ‘00 World Juniors, ‘01 World Juniors, ‘02 World Juniors, ‘06 WBC, School and Teams: Chipolla College, Fraser Valley Chiefs and Canadian National Junior Team. Drafted: 1st round (4th over-all) in the 2002 draft, signed by scouts John Gillette and David Jennings. Where has he been: 2003 -- Single-A Aberdeen (0-2, 2.70), 2004 -- Single-A Frederick (0-2, 6.75); 2005 -- Frederick (10-8, 4.12), 2006 -- Double-A Bowie (4-2, 2.90), Triple-A Ottawa (2-0, 1.27), Baltimore Orioles (6-6, 5.37); 2007 -- Orioles (2-0, 3.56); 2008 -- Frederick (0-0, 0.00; Bowie (1-0, 1.35), Orioles (0-2, 8.02). Minor League Pitching Totals (five seasons): 17-14, 3.47, 214 hits, 98 earned runs, 135 walks, 261 strikeouts in 235 innings. Major League Pitching Totals (three seasons, 35 games): 8-8, 5.38, 163 hits, 98 earned runs, 106 walks, 134 strikeouts in 164 innings. Minor League Hitting Totals (one season): 103 games, four homers, 31 RBIs, .236 average. In his own words ...

Who impressed me the most: “Nick Bucci was impressive, so were Brett Lawrie, Dustin Molleken and Jamie Richmond. I’d never really seen Rene Tosoni play before.” On how well Canada fared: “The baseball part of it was an experience with a lot of travel. We had one bad game against the Team USA, our first game when we left Sweden and flew to Italy -- no one had slept for two days, We lost in extras to Australia. We played well enough to be in a gold medal game.”

Trystan Magnuson -- RP Hometown: Vancouver, BC Age 24 Height 6’ 8” Weight 210 lbs. Bats L Throws R MLB Organization Toronto Blue Jays 2009 Team Double-A New Hampshire (1-0, 0.00), Single-A Dunedin (4-1, 2.77, one save). MLB Experience None. Team Canada Experience None. Schools: University of Louisville and DuPont Manual HS. Drafted: 1st round (56th over-all) by the Blue Jays in 2007, signed by scout Steve Miller. Where has he been: 2008 -- Single-A Lansing (0-9, 5.40) Minor League Totals (two seasons): 5-10, 4.00 67 games, 151 hits, 68 earned runs, 63 walks, 101 strikeouts in 153 1/3 innings.

Jonathan Malo -- SS Hometown: Joliette, Que. Age 24 Height 6’ 2”    Weight 180 lbs. Bats L   Throws R MLB Organization New York Mets 2009 Team Double-A Binghamton (.245, 1, 28), Triple-A Buffalo (.186, 0, 3). MLB Experience none. Team Canada Experience ‘01 World Juniors. Schools and Team: Miami-Dade College, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, Academie Baseball Canada and Canadian National Junior Team. Drafted: in the 48th round in 2003, signed by scout Claude Pelletier and Larry Chase. Where has he been: 2005 -- Single-A Brooklyn (.231, 2, 15), Single-A Port St. Lucie (.143, 0, 2); 2006 -- Brooklyn (.174, 0, 5), Port St. Lucie (.239, 7, 33); 2007 -- Port St. Lucie (.255, 6, 40); 2008 -- Double-A Binghamton (.261, 4, 30). Minor League Totals (five seasons): 447 games, 54, doubles, 10 triples, 20 homers, 156 RBIs, 35 stolen bases, .237 average.

Brooks McNiven - RHP Hometown: Vernon, BC Age 28 Height 6’5” Weight 190 lbs. Bats R Throws R MLB Organization: Free agent. 2009 Team Double-A Connecticut (1-4, 4.84). MLB Experience 0 years Team Canada Experience ‘07 World Cup; ‘08 Olympic Qualifier; ‘08 Olympics School: University of British Columbia, Drafted: 4th round, 2003, by the San Francisco Giants, signed by Matt Woodward. Where has he been: 2003 -- Class-A Salem-Keizer (7-5, 3.62); 2004 -- Class-A San Jose (6-8, 4.35); 2005 -- San Jose (7-2, 3.24); 2006 -- San Jose (7-7, 3.98); 2007 -- Connecticut (7-6, 3.55), 2008 -- Connecticut (2-2, 1.84), Triple-A Fresno (0-2, 11.12). Minor League Totals (seven seasons): 38-38, 4.05, 194 games, 295 earned runs, 161 walks, 338 strikeouts in 656 innings,

Dustin Molleken -- RP Hometown: Regina, Sask. Age 25 Height 6’4”      Weight 228 lbs. Bats L  Throws R MLB Organization Pittsburgh Pirates 2009 Team Double-A Altoona (1-1, 4.62, one save), Single-A Lycnhburg (3-1, 3.48, one save). MLB Experience None. Team Canada Experience ‘02 World Jrs Teams: Prairie Baseball Academy and Canadian National Junior Team. Drafted: 15th round in 2003 draft selected by Pittsburgh Pirates. Where has he been: 2006 -- Single-A Williamsport (1-2, 2.78); 2007 -- Single-A State College (1-0, 1.08), Single-A Hickory (3-1, 4.50) Lynchburg (0-0, 5.79); 2008 -- Hickory (5-4, 6.30), Single-A Lynchburg (3-2, 6.67, two saves). Minor League Totals (six seasons): 17-15, 5.11, four saves, 112 games, 324 hits, 167 earned runs, 41 walks, 93 strikeouts in 294 1/3 innings.

Vince Perkins -- RP Hometown: Victoria, BC Age 27 Height 6’ 5”    Weight 225 Bats L Throws R MLB Organization Chicago Cubs. 2009 Team Triple-A Iowa (6-2, 3.48), Double-A Tennessee (1-0, 1.11) MLB Experience None Team Canada Experience ‘06 WBC, ‘09 WBC. School and Team: Lake City Community College and Parksville Royals. Drafted: 18th round of 2000 draft by the Blue Jays, signed by scout Ellis Dungun. Where has he been: 2001 -- Single-A Auburn (1-4, 3.27); 2002 -- Auburn (5-5, 3.34); 2003 -- Single-A Dunedin (7-5, 2.45); 2004 -- Dunedin (1-4, 3.95); 2005 -- Double-A New Hampshire (7-7, 4.03); 2007 -- Single-A Brevard County (1-2, 7.32), double-A Huntsville (1-2, 9.39); 2008 -- Joliette-IND (3-0, 2.43), Camden-IND (0-1, 7.97). Minor League Totals (eight seasons): 33-33, 3.89, 188 games, 534 hits, 258 earned runs, 350 walks, 553 strikeouts, 597 2/3 innings.

Jamie Richmond -- RP Hometown: Mississauga, Ont. Age 23 Height 6’ 4”     Weight 190 lbs. Bats R   Throws R MLB Organization Oakland A’s. 2009 Team Single-A Stockton (2-0, 5.40, one save), Single-A Kane County (4-3, 2.70, four saves.) MLB Experience none. Team Canada Experience ‘04 World Jrs; ‘07 World Cup; ‘08 Olympic Qualifier School and Teams: Texarkana College, Mississauga Majors and Canadian National Junior Team. Drafted: 31st round by the Atlanta Braves in 2004, signed by Lonnie Goldberg. Where has he been: 2005 -- Rookie-Class Braves Gulf Coast League (2-0, 3.09), 2006 -- Single-A Danville (7-1, 1.21), 2007 -- Single-A Rome (7-6, 3.05), 2008 -- Single-A Kane County (7-11, 4.79). Minor League Totals (five seasons): 29-21, 3.50, 115 games, 453 hits, 178 earned runs, 66 walks, 327 strikeouts in 457 1/3 innings. In his own words ...

 

My top three highlights and memories from the World Cup:

1. “Rene Tosoni trucking the catcher against japan to beat them in extra innings, and the run myself and the other bullpen guys did to home plate when we saw the ball pop out of the catcher’s glove.”

2. “Adam Loewen robbing a home run against Mexico in the 9th inning to totally deflate their hopes of making a comeback. That was a must win game and that catch stuck out in my mind. Also started our 8 game win streak that game.”

3. “Adam Stern making the final catch in the Bronze medal game. Throwing arm up in the air in a fist and making the catch and then running straight in and meeting with fellow outfielders and jumping up together as we all gathered around the pitchers mound and the celebration we had afterwards...singing ‘Oh Canada’ at the top of our lungs in the locker room.”

I’ll never forget ... “Travelling to the stadiums everyday, every drive was over an hour, sometimes over 2 hours, doing the cupid shuffle in the bus aisle after we won bronze, the picnic style dinners we had after the games, being able to travel and play with a great group of guys.”

Person at home most happy for me is probably ... “My parents ... they have seen every part of my baseball career, even the parts I don’t remember when I was 2 years old playing T-ball ... they are extremely proud of me and know that this is a huge accomplishment for not only myself but for Canadian baseball as well.”

On starting the bronze-medal game: “It helps when you start with a three run lead. I knew our offence would come through and our defence has been awesome all tournament, so I felt really comfortable.”

On Canada’s impressive bullpen: “Our bullpen was stellar ... flawless I felt comfortable leaving the game knowing our bullpen would take over for me.” On a carryover from the disappointing loss to Italy in the WBC at Rogers Centre: “No one mentioned anything about losing to Italy ... but they all said that it was the greatest moment of their careers winning bronze and being part of the best Canadian team ever.”

On his Mississauga Majors coach Ron Szczepanowski: “I give great thanks to Ronnie for teaching me the pitching basics and what I needed to know about pitching at a high level.”

Chris Robinson - C Hometown: Dorchester, Ont. Age 25 Height 6’0” Weight 215 lbs. Bats R Throws R MLB Organization Chicago Cubs 2009 Team Triple-A Iowa (.326, 2, 48). MLB Experience 0 years Team Canada Experience ‘02 World Jrs.; ‘03 World Cup qualifier; ‘03 World Cup; ‘06 World Baseball Classic; ‘07 World Cup; ‘08 Olympic Qualifier, ‘08 Olympics. School and Team: University of Illinois, London Badgers and Canadian National Junior Team. Drafted: Third round 2005 by the Detroit Tigers, 2005 Where has he been: 2005 -- Class-A Oneonta (.154, zero, one); Class-A West Michigan (.257, zero, 15); 2006 -- Class-A Lakeland (.285, one, 47); Class-A Daytona (.356, two, 12); 2007 -- Double-A Tennessee (.263, one, 27); 2008 -- Tennessee (.214, 1, 19). Minor League Totals (five seasons): 380 games, 77 doubles, 4 triple, 9 homers, 172 RBIs, .279 average. In his own words ...

 

My top three highlights and memories: 1. “Singing Oh Canada in the locker room after winning the bronze getting showered in Italian beer and champagne from the boys.”

2.  “Rene Tosoni running over top the Japanese catcher to score the winning run in the 11th inning.”

3.  “The big home runs by Emmerson Frostad and Brett Lawrie to pull ahead of Italy and Puerto Rico in the round-robin games.”

I’ll never forget ... “How we rode the bus all over the country of Italy. Although we may have complained constantly, looking back on it, it really brought the team together ... wine parties, karaoke’s and choreographed dance routines on the bus highlighted the trip. My favorite being our choreographed rendition of Miley Cyrus ’The Climb.”

The person at home who was happiest for me was probably ... “my wife Amy, I think ... I hope. Mom and Dad were pretty excited to see me as well ... and our bronze medal!” Besides my immediate family, the most influential person in my baseball life has been ... “A lot of people, but Greg Hamilton comes to mind! On and off the field, Greg has been a great friend and coach. Always there for advice and to listen! It means a lot to me that finally in my eighth stint with the National team along side him we could finally win him some hardware!”

My favorite Canadian player growing up was ... “Our first base coach/hitting coach Larry Walker. Getting to work with him definitely lived up to my expectations of him!”

Tim Smith Hometown: Toronto, Ont. Age 23 Height 6’3”     Weight 225 lbs. Bats L  Throws L MLB Organizations Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers. 2009 Team -- Double-A Frisco (.309, 8, 22), Single-A Bakersfield (.333, 7, 18), Rookie-Class Rangers Arizona League (.333, 1, 2). MLB Experience None Team Canada Experience ‘03 World Jrs; ‘04 World Jrs. Schools and Teams: Arizona State University, Midland College, Team Ontario and Canadian National Junior Team. Drafted: 7th round of 2007 amateur entry draft by the Texas Rangers, signed by scout Andy Pratt. Where has he been: 2007 -- Single-A Spokane (.284, 1, 9); 2008 -- Single-A Clinton (.300, 13, 70). Minor League Totals (three seasons): 218 games, 45 doubles, 4 triples, 22 homers, 132 RBIs, .305 average.

Adam Stern - OF Hometown London, Ont. Age 28 Height 5’11” Weight 185 lbs. Bats L Throws R MLB Organization Milwaukee Brewers 2009 Team Triple-A Nashville (.310, 1 8), Double-A Huntsville (.280. 3, 32). MLB Experience 48 games (Boston Red Sox; Baltimore Orioles) Team Canada Experience ‘03 Olympic Qualifer, ‘04 Olympics, ‘05 Regional Olympic Qualifer, ‘05 World Cup, ‘06 WBC, ‘08 Olympic Qualifier; ‘08 Olympics, ‘09 WBC. School and Teams: University of Nebraska, Ontario Blue Jays, Ontario Blue Jays and London Badgers. Drafted: 3rd round, Braves, University of Nebraska, signed by Tyrone Brooks. Where has he been: 2001 -- Class-A Jamestown (.307, 0, 11); 2002 -- Class-A Myrtle Beach (.253, 3, 47); 2003 -- Rookie-Class Gulf Coast Braves (.345, one, six); Myrtle Beach (.184, zero, six); 2004 -- Double-A Greenville (.322, eight, 47); 2005 -- Triple-A Pawtucket (.321, two, 14); 2006 -- Pawtucket (.255, eight, 34); 2007 -- Norfolk (.270, one, 23); 2007 -- Norfolk (.270, 1, 23), Baltimore Orioles (.000, 0, 0); 2008 -- Norfolk (.221, 1, 8). Minor League Totals (nine seasons): 626 games .121 doubles, 34 triples, 28 homers, 236 RBIs, .274 average. MLB Totals (three seasons): 48 games, .143, one double, one homer, six RBIs.

In his own words ...

 

My top three memories:

1. “Rene Tosoni running the Japanese catcher and knocking the ball loose to win in extras against Japan.”

2. “Emerson’s Frostad enormous grand slam to seal the victory against Italy.”

3. “The Climb by Miley Cyrus, 2009 Team Canada theme song ........... don’t ask.”

I’ll never forget ... “the two-hour bus trips to and from the games, while we play Brett Lawrie trivia and the whole team doing the Cuban shuffle in the bus aisle after we won bronze. Also, our open mike Karaoke performances on the bus by a great group of guys.”

The person at home who was happiest for me was probably ... “My mom, she has seen all the ups and downs that we have had over the years and how close we have been in the past to finally going home with a medal.”

My favorite Canadian player growing up was .... “he happened to be our 1st base coach, Sir Larry Walker.”

R.J. Swindle -- RP Hometown: Vancouver Age 26 Height 6’ 3”     Weight 195 Bats L  Throws L MLB Organization Cleveland Indians and Milwaukee Brewers. 2009 Teams Cleveland Indians (0-0, 16.20), Triple-A Columbus (1-0, 4.05), Triple-A Nashville (3-1, 1.03). MLB Experience Two seasons, nine games. Team Canada Experience ‘07 World Cup; ‘08 Olympics. School and Team: Charleston Southern University Drafted: 14th round of the 2004 draft by the Boston Red Sox, signed by scout Rob English. Where has he been: 2004 -- Single-A Lowell (5-1, 1.94); 2005 -- Schaumburg-IND (6-4, 3.27), 2006 -- Schaumburg (2-2, 3.41), Single-A Charleston (4-2, 0.61, two saves), Triple-A Columbus (0-0, 0.00, one save); 2007 -- Newark-IND (1-0, 1.93, one save), Single-A Lakewood (2-1, 0.93 16 saves), Single-A Clearwater (0-1, 4.80, eight saves); 2008 -- Double-A Reading (1-0, 0.54, four saves), Triple-A Lehigh Valley (2-1, 1.98, 11 saves), Philadelphia Phillies (0-0, 7.71). Minor League Totals (six seasons): 27-13, 2.21, 19 saves, 173 games, 346 hits, 99 earned runs, 79 walks, 405 strikeouts in 404 innings. Major League Totals (two seasons): 0-0, 12.71, nine games, 21 hits, 16 earned runs, six walks, 12 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Rene Tosoni Hometown: Coquitlam, BC Age 23 Height 6’ 0”     Weight 205 lbs. Bats L  Throws R MLB Organization Minnesota Twins. 2009 Team Double-A New Britain (.271, 15, 71). MLB Experience none Team Canada Experience ‘03 World Jrs. School and Teams: Chipola College, Coquitlam Reds and Canadian National Junior Team. Drafted: 36th Round of 2005 draft by Minnesota Twins, signed by scout Jim Ridley. Where has he been: 2007 -- Rookie-Class Elizabeton (.301, 3, 31); Single-A Beloit (.273, 0, 1); 2008 -- Rookie-Class Twins Gulf Coast League (.667, 0, 1); Single-A Fort Myers (.300, 1, 19). Minor League Totals (three seasons): 231 games, 46 doubles, 11 triples, 20 homers, 125 RBIs, .287 average.

In his own words ...

 

On the impressive arms “I’d never met Nick Bucci or Matt Kniginyzky, but they really impressed me, they’re aggressive in the way they attack the zone and threw strikes. Bucci is so young and throwing against guys who have been in the big leagues.”

On cracking the Japanese catcher to win the game: “I was oh-for-5, with five punchouts. I had lot of anger. It felt good. We play a long season in the minors and this is fun, even if you didn’t have a good game, it was tons of fun.”

Jimmy vanOstrand - 1B Hometown Richmond, BC Age 23 Height 6’4” Weight 225 lbs. Bats R Throws R MLB Organization Houston Astros 2009 Team Double-A Corpus Chrisi (.283, 16, 71). MLB Experience 0 years Team Canada Experience ‘07 World Cup; ‘08 Olympic Qualifier, ‘08 Olympics. Schools and Team: College: Cal Poly University, Allan Hancock College and North Delta Blue Jays. Drafted: Eighth round, selected by Houston Astros in 2006 signed by Dennis Twombley. Where has he been: 2006 -- Class-A Tri City (.297, 13, 49), 2007 -- Class-A Lexington (.289, 12, 60); 2008 -- Carolina (.292, 7, 64), Double-A  Corpus Chrisi (.160, 0, 4). Minor League Totals (four seasons): 357 games, 72 doubles, five triples, 37 homers, 212 RBIs, .277 average.

In his own words ...

 

On their biggest win of the first two rounds: “Managing to pull thru against Japan and when we really did not do much of anything was a big win. struck out 18 times in 11 innings, when Emmerson Frostad singled to knock in the first run to tie and the trail runner was Rene Tosoni who hit the catcher and the ball popped loose.”

On scoring six runs on the bronze-medal winning game: “This is something we did all tournament. We’ve playing well and getting leads late, and we’ve done a really good job at finishing games. It just goes to show that we just keep on battling and we play the whole game.”

Trainer Dave Blatz Hometown: Winnipeg Man.

Team Canada Experience: Managing 2003 Olympic Qualifier, 2008 Olympics, World Cups, Junior program.

In his own words

 

My top three highlights: 1.  "Watching Sterny cacth the final out to win the bronze medal and shaking hands with  Ernie Whitt, Greg Hamilton, Larry Walker, Dennis, Boucher and  Tim Leiper Managin concluding a successful month-long tournament and singing and off-pitch rendition of 'Oh Canada' in the the locker toom that never gets old."

 

2. "Witnessing the mammoth moonshot homeruns from Jimmy VanOstrand, Emerson Frostad and Brett Lawrie to win some big games."

3.  "Watching good old fashion Canadian Baseball where Adam Loewen and especially Rene Tosoni (in extra innings) truck the Japanese catcher to win the game."

I’ll never forget 1. "Hearing the shout-outs and the phrases "respect the song" and "get your minds right" from the back of the bus after the first 30 seconds of Mylie Cyrus "the climb" (didn't realize Sterny was the president of the Mylie Cyrus fan-club)...

2. "introducing WADA to revolutionizing new methods at doping control (good old fashioned Canadian ingenuity)."

3. "Listening to the heart-felt, gentle soothing voice of Sir Lawrence Walker singing karaoke on the bus."

4. "The slow-clap and running for my life at the end of each stretching session prior to a game."

5. "Watching Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame member, Bernie (Shoes) Soulliere hold the World Cup Trophy for third place at the closing ceremonies ... great moment ... and well deserved The person at home who was happiest for me was probably ... "My wife Amy and my parents (Peter and Anne Blatz).  Amy has been my biggest supporter over the last 10 years and has demonstrated great amount of support and understanding allowing me to travel the world working with Team Canada Baseball, Team Canada Volleyball, Rowing Canada and attending numerous major games including 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics and 2007 Rio de Janeiro Pan Am Game.

Besides my immediate family, the most influential person in my baseball life has been ...  "As an Athletic Therapist and not a pro ball player, I would say that Greg Hamiltonhas been the most influential person allowing me to work in a baseball environment. He is a phenomenal director and friend ... very supportive, very organized, and always there to lend an ear.  I greatly respect Greg and I am glad to see him on top of the world stage for everything he gives to the sport in Canada.  That medal performance belongs to Greg."

My favorite Canadian player growing up was .... "No. 33 in your programs, but No. 1 in your hearts ... LARRY WALKER."

 

Roster Breakdown By Province: BC 13, Ont. 7, Alberta 2, Quebec 1, Saskatchewan 1. By Organization: Milwaukee Brewers 4, Chicago Cubs 3, Kansas City Royals 2, New York Mets 2, Toronto Blue Jays 2, Chicago White Sox 1, Florida Marlins 1,  Cleveland Indians 1, Houston Astros 1, Minnesota Twins 1, Oakland A’s 1, Philadelphia Phillies 1, Pittsburgh Pirates 1, Texas Rangers 1, Free Agents 3. By School and Team: Canadian National Junior Team 14, Chipola College 4, Lake City Community College 2, Lewis-Clark State College 2, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College 2, Arizona State University 1, High Point University 1, University of British Columbia 1, Charleston Southern University 1, DuPont Manual HS 1, University of Illinois 1, University of Louisville 1, Miami-Dade College 1, Midland College 1, University of Nebraska 1, Niagara University 1, Seminole State College 1, Texarkana College 1, Tennessee Wesleyan College 1, Western Kentucky University 1. By Team: Coquitlam Reds 3, Fraser Valley Chiefs 3, Calgary Dawgs 2, London Badgers 2, Ontario Blue Jays 2, Team Ontario 2, Academie Baseball Canada 1, Langley Blaze 1, Mississauga Majors 1, Nanimo Pirates 1, Parksville Royals 1, Peterbrough Tigers 1, Prairie Baseball Academy 1, Trail Legion 1, Welland 1.