By: Adam Morissette
OTTAWA, ON- Baseball Canada announced today the coaching staff that will lead Canada at the 2017 World Baseball Classic in March.
Manager Ernie Whitt will return to the post that he held at the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006 and again in 2009 and 2013. Whitt will head a veteran coaching staff that includes Larry Walker, Denis Boucher, Paul Quantrill, Tim Leiper and Greg Hamilton.
“I am extremely honoured and excited to return as Team Canada’s Manager for the upcoming World Baseball Classic,” said Whitt. “The familiarity of our staff is something we think will benefit our team considering how short the tournament is. We’re looking forward to being on the field as a group in March.”
Canada will compete in Pool C in the First Round along with Colombia, defending champion Dominican Republic and the United States. On March 9th at Marlins Park in Miami, Canada will open pool play against the Dominican Republic before taking on Colombia on March 11th and the United States on March 12th.
For more information visit worldbaseballclassic.com.
About the staff:
WHITT- The 2017 World Baseball Classic will be the 15th time that Ernie Whitt manages Team Canada in international competition. Whitt’s record as Manager of Team Canada is 65-27 including gold medal victories at the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games and bronze medals at the 2009 and 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup. Whitt also Managed Team Canada at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Whitt spent 15 seasons in the big leagues with Boston, Toronto, Atlanta and Baltimore and is currently the Roving Catching Instructor in the Philadelphia Phillies organization.
WALKER- The 2017 World Baseball Classic will be eighth time that Larry Walker is part of Team Canada’s coaching staff in international competition. Walker has been on the staff for each of the three World Baseball Classic events and was on the coaching staff for the gold medal winning Pan Am Games team in 2015 and the bronze medal winning IBAF Baseball World Cup in 2009.
Walker spent 17 seasons in the big leagues and won the 1997 National League MVP Award as a member of the Colorado Rockies. Walker retired at the end of the 2005 season with 5 All-Star game appearances, 7 Gold Glove Awards and 3 Silver Slugger Awards.
BOUCHER- The 2017 World Baseball Classic will be Denis Boucher’s 17th time on the Team Canada coaching staff in international competition. Boucher was a part of the coaching staff for gold medal victories at the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games and bronze medals at the 2009 and 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup.
Boucher also coached Team Canada at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. Boucher spent parts of 4 seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays, Montréal Expos and Cleveland Indians and is currently a Scout in the New York Yankees organization.
QUANTRILL- Paul Quantrill will be part of the Team Canada coaching staff for the 5th time in international competition at the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Quantrill was a member of Team Canada as a player at the 2006 WBC before moving over to a coaching role for the 2009 and 2013 events.
Quantrill was on the coaching staff when Team Canada won gold at the 2015 Pan Am Games and was also the Pitching Coach for Baseball Canada’s Junior National Team (U-18) in 2009 and 2010. Quantrill had a 14-year MLB career and represented the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2001 All-Star Game. He is currently a Special Assistant with the Blue Jays organization.
LEIPER-Time Leiper will join the Team Canada coaching staff for the 12th time in international competition at the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Leiper was part of the coaching staff when Team Canada won gold at the 2011 Pan Am Games and bronze at both the 2009 and 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cups.
Leiper also coached Team Canada at the 2004 Olympics. Leiper had a 12-year playing career in the minor leagues and spent another 17 seasons coaching in the minor leagues. Since 2014 he’s been the First Base Coach with the Toronto Blue Jays.
HAMILTON- Greg Hamilton’s involvement with Baseball Canada’s National Teams program spans over two decades. From 1992- 1995, Hamilton was the Pitching Coach with the Senior National team before taking over the Junior National Team program in 1996. Hamilton joined Baseball Canada full time in 1998 as Director National Teams and Head Coach of the Junior National Team (U-18), positions he still holds today.
Hamilton has been a member of the Team Canada coaching staff for three World Baseball Classic events (2006, 2009, 2013), two Olympics (2004, 2008) and two Pan Am Games (2011, 2015). After a four-year playing career at Princeton University, where he also spent one season on the Tigers’ hockey team, Hamilton began a coaching career that has brought him to Princeton University, Montpelier France and the University of Maine.