North Delta Blue Jays establish scholarship in Jonathan Cote's name
By Jonathan Hodgson
Canadian Baseball Network
Personal accolades were never the motivation for former North Delta Blue Jays southpaw Jonathan Cote.
Cote put his ‘never give up’ mantra to work on the pitchers’ mound, but it shone even that much brighter through his much tougher tests away from the game. Of much greater importance to Cote than personal recognition, was being a consummate teammate and a faithful friend.
That is precisely why Cote (New Westminster, BC) will be honoured by his former team.
The North Delta Blue Jays of the British Columbia Premiere Baseball League (BCPBL) have announced that they will retire jersey number 56, which Cote wore as a member of the team in 2014. The team will also erect a banner in his memory, and have established the Jonathan Cote / North Delta Blue Jays Scholarship.
Cote, a left-handed pitcher and outfielder who played two seasons in the BCPBL (2013, White Rock Tritons), passed away on May 29, 2018, approximately a month after the discovery of a cancerous brain tumor just weeks prior to his 22nd birthday in April.
Cote enjoyed a breakout senior year in the BCPBL with the Blue Jays, leading the league with his 78 strikeouts in 51 innings before graduating and pitching at the collegiate level. Cote spent one year at Colorado Mesa University where he redshirted before transferring to Otero Junior College (CO) and logging 40 innings on the mound as a redshirt freshman.
Cote would ultimately not have the opportunity to extend his career past that point, as he battled three bouts of cancer between 2016 and 2018. Through it all, Cote remained selfless, and saw every challenge as an opportunity to better himself.
(Cote’s story has been documented on the Canadian Baseball Network.)
In a release, the North Delta Blue Jays said that they will dedicate the 2019 season to Jonathan’s memory and will do the following:
Effective at the beginning of the 2019 season, jersey number 56 will be retired in Cote’s honour by the team. In addition, a banner depicting Cote’s name and number 56 jersey will be erected each spring at the Blue Jays home field, Mackie Park in Delta, BC, which will be prominently visible in left field throughout each Blue Jays season.
Finally, the Blue Jays announced the establishment of the Jonathan Cote / North Delta Blue Jays Scholarship, which will be awarded annually to a graduating North Delta Blue Jays player who is moving on to post-secondary in Canada or the United States, and “who meets the same high criteria that Jonathan exemplified,” according to a team release.
The Blue Jays also issued the following statement.
“(Jonathan) was very well known to the baseball community. He was a player who demonstrated a strong work ethic, was an outstanding teammate with strong academic abilities and community involvement. He was very much a committed player and these fine attributes earned the respect, admiration and friendship of his coaches, teammates and fans.”
The team notes that any related inquiries can be directed to North Delta Blue Jays general manager Gerry White. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Blue Jays open their 2019 BCPBL campaign on April 7 at Mackie Park.