Jim Cowan

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Jim’s earliest recollections of baseball involve trekking to a neighbour’s house in the 1950s to watch the Saturday afternoon “Game of the Week” on a small black-and-white TV, and later, watching sandlot ball at Toronto’s Talbot Park. His interest in the sport was rekindled with the arrival of the Montreal Expos, and was fanned into a blaze when the Toronto Blue Jays were hatched. After university, he started his writing career working for the Toronto Telegram and later, the Toronto Sun, although he eventually transitioned into public relations and government communications. Now retired, he accepts freelance writing assignments when the spirit moves him.

Lucas Casaletto

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Born in Toronto in 1992. Lucas has been around baseball since he was very young. After playing competitively for High Park, he developed a passion for sports writing, which led to a four-year degree in journalism split between Sheridan College and Ryerson University. He recently worked for theScore as one of their MLB News Editors from July 2016 to May 2018 and has experience in Social Media and Marketing. Now focused on the next step in his career, Lucas is incredibly honored and thrilled to contribute and share his work with the Canadian Baseball Network.

Chicco Nacion

Chicco Nacion is currently a senior writer with the digital team at CBC Sports. From a young age, sports has been his passion. Growing up, he listened to Jerry Howarth call Jays games and Bob Cole on Hockey Night in Canada. His life revolved around the sporting world then and continues to do so today. As an undergrad at the University of Western Ontario, Chicco began to feed that appetite for sports by blogging and doing play-by-play commentary for Mustangs sports on the campus radio station. It wasn't long before he realized that his true calling was in sports writing. Chicco wanted the honour of sharing the stories of others with the rest of the world and is privileged for the opportunity to do so. As an eight-year-old, Chicco won a contest in the Toronto Sun to meet and ask Vince Carter one question. He asked, "How do you feel being compared to Michael Jordan?" Carter replied, "Every day I step on the court, I try to create my own legend." Those words are something he's carried with him every day as Chicco hopes each story he tells leaves a lasting impression. 

Alexis Brudnicki

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Currently the Director of Baseball Information for the Great Lake Canadians, an elite amateur program out of London, Ontario Brudnicki worked for the Toronto Blue Jays for the last eight seasons on the game day production crew as a statistician and scoreboard operator, taking in every home game from the control room, and assisting with Tournament 12 since its inception.  

 

In March of 2016, she became a Society of American Baseball Research award-winning journalist for a piece she wrote for The Hardball Times, and over the last several years she has also written for Baseball America, FanGraphs, Sportsnet, Canadian Premier Baseball League, Prep Baseball Report and Baseball Canada, as well as working in the Australian Baseball League and being a contributor to the Canadian Baseball Network. 

Brudnicki was sponsored by the Blue Jays in October of 2016 to attend Major League Baseball's scout school. In January 2017, she was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Peach Belt Conference's Women in Athletics seminar in Augusta, Georgia. 

A native of London, Ontario, she began her baseball career playing in the Eager Beaver Baseball League, before eventually turning to softball but developing a passion for the game that only grew. She completed her undergraduate degree in Criminology and Sociology at Western University - also competing on the synchronized swimming team and winning a national championship in 2008 - earned a graduate diploma from Centennial College in Sports Journalism, and is currently also completing a Professional Master's of Education through Queen's University, with a focus in assessment and evaluation. 

She has had a diverse range of experiences, working with various national baseball organizations and teams, and has covered the sport on four continents, in North America, Asia, Europe and Australia, but Canadian baseball is what Alexis is most passionate about, with a particular affinity for the amateur side of the game. The Great Lake program is one she has followed since its inception and she couldn't be more proud or excited to be a part of the program and everything it stands for. 

Away from the field, Brudnicki has run 10 full marathons, 25 half marathons, and has volunteered for Achilles Canada, guide running for blind marathoners. She has also done volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity in Durham, North Carolina; Orlando, Florida; Buffalo, New York; and completed a Global Village Build with the Habitat organization in November 2017 in Nadi, Fiji. 

Tyler King

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Tyler King came to love baseball thanks to his grandmother, who was the most passionate Blue Jays fan he’s ever known. Although the extent of Tyler’s playing career was brief (ending abruptly when he became the first kid to ever strike-out in T-Ball) his devotion to the Blue Jays continues to grow. When he moved to Toronto in 2007 from nearby Stouffville, Ontario, the Skydome/Rogers Centre became his second home. He also works as a research assistant for national best selling author Jacqueline Park (The Secret Book of Grazia Dei Rossi).

Tyler’s inherent love for all things Canada led him to join the Canadian Army Reserves in 2009. He later decided to resume his studies at Ryerson University and began writing after graduating with a degree in Criminal Justice. His articles outlining the systemic issues of the Canadian legal system have been published internationally, however he always knew that his passion laid elsewhere. After partaking in some serious soul searching Tyler finally found that passion... sitting in a familiar seat in section 108 of the Rogers Centre (Alexander Keiths in hand). The Blue Jays fan column - titled “Section 108” homage to the notoriously rowdy fans who ‘serenade’ the opposing bullpen - will serve as a voice for all those who share Tyler’s unfettered enthusiasm.

Cole Shelton

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Cole Shelton was born in raised in Keswick, Ont.. From the very beginning, Cole was passionate about sports and took an interest in baseball when his mom took him to the Rogers Centre to watch the Toronto Blue Jays. At just 18, Cole has moved on to writing about a variety of sports and has written for outlets like USA Today SMG, SB Nation and FanSided among others, but wrote about the Blue Jays for SB Nation, Baseball Essential, and FanSided among others. Cole also had the opportunity to interview Logan Warmoth and Nate Pearson following them being drafted, along with other Jays prospects. Cole is now attending Sheridan College for Journalism and can be reached at @coleshelton91

Tyler Milton

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Tyler Milton was born in Brampton, Ont., in 1995. As a player he played OBA ball for Vaughan and Richmond Hill, participating in the 2008 Canadian Peewee National Championships, and winning an AA Provincial title with Vaughan in 2006, and AAA Provincial title with Richmond Hill in 2009. In high school, Tyler joined the Oakville Royals to play in the Premier Baseball League of Ontario before signing a letter of intent to play at North Lake Junior College in Dallas, Texas.

Currently, Tyler is a Sport Management student at Humber College and completing an internship for Humber Athletics as the beat reporter and play-by-play for Men’s Baseball, and Women’s Softball. In his spare time he works for the Baseball Zone in Mississauga, as well as, plays senior AAA for the Bolton Brewers. Tyler is excited to bring his insight on the OCAA circuit for both the Humber teams he is covering.

Patrick Allen

Born in Toronto, ON sports have been a constant throughout Patrick’s life.

His aspirations to become a sports writer came in the aftermath of the Toronto Blue Jays 2015 playoff run, when the uniting effect the teams run had on the city inspired him to chase a career brining these compelling storylines to life.

A graduate of Toronto’s York University, Patrick is currently in the sports journalism program at Centennial College where he has covered notable sporting events such as the Toronto Blue Jays spring training in Dunedin, Florida and the 2017 North American Indigenous Games.

His favorite baseball players of all time are Greg Maddux and Ken Griffey Jr.

You can find Patrick on Twitter @PatrickAllen92

Nick Ashbourne

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Sports Editor at Yahoo Canada Sports

Interested in writing, whether it be short pieces or feature stories. I have expertise when it comes to baseball in general, and the statistical analysis of the game in particular. I also have experience writing about a wide range of other sports including hockey, football, and cycling.

Michael DiStefano

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Michael grew up in Niagara Falls, Ont., but moved to Toronto to pursue his passion for sports journalism. He was introduced to baseball at a young age, and fell in love with the sport right away. True story, Michael’s mother was pregnant with him during the 1993 World Series and minutes after Joe Carter’s home run the family, baby in the tummy and all, packed into the car and drove to Toronto to celebrate with their fellow fans. Thus, he was quite literally introduced to baseball at an early age. His favourite birthday present every year came from his uncle John who always bought him Blue Jays tickets. Michael started writing at the ripe age of 17 when he decided to blog about his three favourite sports: football, hockey and baseball. Michael once took a trip to Dunedin, Fla. for spring training where he got his first taste of real baseball writing experience. That was the moment he knew he wanted to be a journalist. 

 

You can find Michael on Twitter @mickey_canuck

Bill Young

Bill was born and raised in Quebec City, and from that moment in 1948 when his dad took him to his first Quebec Braves baseball game at the local Stade Municipal he was hooked. Over the years he followed the sport closely, collecting bubble gum cards and memorizing stats, always keeping an eye on the game. The appearance of the Expos in ’69 became his impossible (baseball) dream. Come true. Following retirement, he began researching and writing about the game, exploring its history, especially within Quebec. His articles can be found in a variety of publications, including SABR, Seamheads, and Quebec Heritage News. He also co-authored two books on the Montreal Expos with Danny Gallagher - Remembering the Montreal Expos (2005) and Ecstasy to Agony: The 1994 Montreal Expos – how the best team in baseball ended up in Washington ten years later(2014). A retired high school teacher and principal, and former academic administrator in Quebec’s Community College (CEGEP) system, today Bill and his wife Sandra live in Hudson Quebec.

Amanda Fewer

Born in Ottawa, ON and growing up with military parents, my childhood was filled with new cities all of the time, stretching from one side of Canada to the other. 

I took to sports at a young age, primarily Tae Kwon Do. I loved the competitiveness of it and by age 13 won my first North American and Canadian Championship title.

I moved out West after I was done my schooling, where I obtained a Diploma as an Automotive Technician.  I loved the amazing landscapes Alberta offered me, where I could pursue my passion of photography. 

It wasn't until 2013, when I realized what I really wanted to be taking pictures of, after I travelled to Phoenix to watch Team Canada in the WBC. I was hooked on sports photography, and baseball, right then and there.  I currently live in Calgary, AB and spend my summers shooting the WMBL Okotoks Dawgs.

Scott Langdon

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Scott is retired and does some freelance writing to keep his mind sharp, with moderate success.

He learned a lot about baseball in west end Toronto when he played for legendary amateur coach, Bob Smyth, known as the mentor of Reds’ star Joey Votto. Smyth taught Scott the intricacies of the sport when, during a Midget game, he strolled half way to home from the third base coach’s box , pointed at the ground and yelled, “Bunt it here.” This might have been the same game when Smyth sent him home for showing up at the park in blue jeans shorts and no shoes. It was the 1960s after all.

Scott’s son, Michael, also played for Smyth with the Etobicoke Rangers. Daughter Katherine didn’t play baseball, but still laughs at the stories.

Scott lives in Toronto sometimes, operated a consulting business for clients across North America, earned a Master’s degree in Communication from Charles Sturt University, Australia and teaches part time at a Toronto university. He thanks Bob Elliott for his patience with punctuation and Bob Smyth for his friendship.

Jonathan Hodgson

Canadian Baseball Network- Jonathan Hodgson

Jonathan Hodgson has been a writer for the CBN since 2009, and brings extensive experience in college baseball.

Jonathan was a ‘day one’ member of the Okotoks Dawgs when the club launched their Western Major Baseball League team in 2003.  Having learned the game from a young age with the team, He became play-by-play voice of the Dawgs in 2008, a position he held through 2015.  During those years, Jonathan also wrote the majority of content for the team’s website, and managed the Dawgs social media accounts.

Jonathan became involved with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2013, providing written coverage of that summer’s Honda Super Camp in Okotoks for Bluejays.com.  He worked for the Blue Jays again in 2015, when he covered the Calgary stop on the 2015 Winter Tour.

Jonathan currently works for the Victoria HarbourCats of the West Coast League, providing different forms of written work, including feature articles for the team’s website.  He also acts as a consultant to General Manager Jim Swanson, banking on his experience in summer-collegiate baseball to generate ideas to grow the HarbourCats brand.

Jonathan has also had tenures with the Western Major Baseball League, as website lead reporter, and with Vancouver Island Baseball Institute as communications director.

Jonathan calls Okotoks, Alta home.

J.P. Antonacci

Once his Little League opponents learned to hit his decidedly un-Halladay-like sinker, J.P. Antonacci's dream of becoming a big league starter took a back seat to his love of journalism. He's since reported for publications in Newfoundland, Kemptville, Brantford and the GTA, plus a memorable freelance assignment covering post-Katrina reconstruction in New Orleans. Now the editor of Norfolk News, based in Simcoe, Ont., the Etobicoke native gets his sports fix by interviewing and writing about Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame inductees, and listening to the Blue Jays while driving around the sprawling rural county he calls home.

David Matchett

David Matchett grew up in Lachine, Quebec and had his 6th birthday a month before the Montreal Expos played their first game. Some of his earliest memories are of sitting in Jarry Park with his father cheering on Rusty "Le Grand Orange" Staub and hoping to see a home run hit into the swimming pool just beyond the right field fence. David's fandom took off when Hall of Famers Andre Dawson and Gary Carter finally made the team a contender and he is one of the rare individuals who actually has fond memories of Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. David earned a degree in finance and later moved to Toronto to pursue his career, arriving the same day that the Blue Jays acquired Dave Winfield for their World Series run in 1992 and he remains a die-hard Jays fan. David has been a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) for 20 years, serving on the board of the Toronto Hanlan's Point chapter since 2005. He is a Certified Financial Planner and is the Vice President of Training and Practice Management for one of the world's largest financial institutions. He lives in downtown Toronto, a 15-minute walk from Rogers Centre, and when he isn't watching a game or doing research he enjoys travel, movies and taking in all of Toronto's cultural activities with his friends.

CJ Pentland

Canadian Baseball Network- CJ Pentland

Growing up in Ladner, BC, CJ enjoyed baseball from a young age -- but that enjoyment went to a new level after he criss-crossed through the US and Canada with his family in an old motor home to visit ballparks across the continent. Ever since then he's been either playing or writing about the sport. On the diamond, he played his youth baseball for Ladner Minor Baseball, and from there moved on to the North Delta Blue Jays of the BC Premier Baseball League and the Whitman College Missionaries in Walla Walla, Washington. After transferring to the University of British Columbia to study History and English, he started writing for The Ubyssey, UBC's student newspaper, and became the Sports Editor and then the Managing Editor, Web in the following years. He can also be found on UBC's CiTR radio broadcasting UBC hockey, basketball, and football. He spends his summers down at Nat Bailey Stadium running the video board and doing media relations for the Vancouver Canadians. To keep his swing in in form, he also plays men's-league ball in the Greater Vancouver area. Have a story idea about the BCPBL or baseball in BC? Contact me at cj.pentland@gmail.com.

Allan Simpson

Canadian Baseball Network- Allan Simpson

Allan Simpson was one of three 2011 inductees into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. He was formally enshrined June 18, 2011 in St. Marys, Ont., and joined by former Blue Jays all-star closer Tom Henke and the late George "Dandy" Wood, a Prince Edward Island native who played in almost 1,300 major-league games in the 19th century. Allan, a native of Kelowna, B.C., is the founder of Baseball America, the most influential baseball publication in the business.

Danny Gallagher

Canadian Baseball Network- Danny Gallagher

Danny was born in Ted Lindsay’s hometown of Renfrew, Ont. but his roots are in nearby Douglas. He played 27 consecutive seasons of top-level amateur baseball in the senior ranks in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Quebec and thrived on organizing events himself, the major one being the highly successful 1983 Canadian senior men’s tournament in Sudbury. He began covering the Montreal Expos in 1988 when he joined the Montreal Daily News. Later, he was the Expos beat writer for the Ottawa Sun and Associated Press. He has written four books on the Expos, including one en francais. Gallagher can be reached here: dannogallagher@rogers.com.