Baseball Canada Honours Best at Convention
Monday, November 8, 2010
RICHMOND, BC- Baseball Canada recognized its best at their annual awards banquet. The banquet was in conjunction with the four-day long Baseball Canada Fall Convention.
Jimmy Rattlesnake Award- Nicole Luchanksi (Edmonton, AB)
Noted by her coaching staff for her dedication, hard work and being a ‘true competitor’, Nicole Luchanksi exemplifies what it takes to win the Jimmy Rattlesnake Award. Nicole has been with the National Team since 2006 and recently competed in her third World Cup this past summer in Venezuela where she started at second base. At the World Cup, Nicole, held a .375 batting average and stole four bases in four attempts out of the lead-off spot for Canada.
This is the first time that a player from Alberta has won this award.
Women’s National Team MVP- Kate Psota (Burlington, ON)
Kate Psota has represented Canada on the Women’s National Team since the team’s inception in 2004. During this time she has represented Canada at the World Cup four times including 2008 where they won the silver medal. Playing first base for the first time this past summer with the National Team, Kate led all first basemen in batting average at this past summer’s World Cup in Venezuela. Her.500 batting average was good for fourth place overall in the tournament. Kate was also a presence on the mound for Canada as she carried a miniscule 0.88 ERA through 8 innings pitched in Venezuela.
This is the second straight year that Kate has won Women’s National Team MVP and the fifth time a player from Ontario has won the award.
Baseball Canada and MLB Volunteer of the Year Award- Carl Linden (Grand Prairie, AB)
Starting in the coaching ranks, Carl Linden has spent 16 years giving his time and energy to the sport of baseball in Alberta. Seen as a ‘visionary’, Carl has served the game in numerous capacities including builder, mentor, director, financial sponsor and coaching.
In the early years, Carl made his mark by giving the city of Grand Prairie its first ball diamonds which were built at Evergreen Park with the motto “for kids only”.
Carl served on the Board of Directors with Grand Prairie Minor Baseball which led him to the Board of Directors with Baseball Alberta where he became president for six years.
Always an advocate of grassroots programs, Carl was instrumental in the growth and success of the girl’s baseball program where he also coached a local Grand Prairie team to the 2006 Bantam Girls national championship.
Carl’s most recent accomplishments include forming the Northern Lights Baseball School which gives young athletes in Alberta the chance to develop in baseball no matter what their background is. Carl also recently launched the Carl Linden Bursary Scholarship which is awarded annually to the Baseball Alberta player, male or female, who best exemplifies the qualities of hard work, perseverance and dedication to the game of baseball.
This is the second time someone from the province of Alberta has won the Volunteer of the Year award with the most recent coming in 2007 when Paul Riopel was the recipient.
Lionel Ruhr Coach of the Year Award-Gautam Srivastava (Victoria, BC)
Gautam Srivastava has built an impressive coaching resume while in the province of British Columbia. Most notably, Gautam has had an enormous impact at the high performance area in the province. This past summer Gautam was on the coaching staff of the Gold Medal winning BC Selects at the Baseball Canada Cup where he was the teams 3rd base coach.
Currently, Gautam is the hitting coordinator and manager with the Victoria Eagles Baseball Club, but his coaching duties extend far beyond just one team during the baseball season. Gautam regularly works with at least three different teams during the course of the season including the BC Selects team and the Zone 6 Vancouver Island team for the BC Summer Games, where he led this group of young players to the semi-finals.
In September, Gautam was selected as a guest coach at Baseball Canada’s Mizuno Elite Development Camp in Toronto.
Gautam is a level 3 coach and is a certified NCCP facilitator for Vancouver Island.
This is the 6th time that a coach from BC has won the Lionel Ruhr Coach of the Year Award with the most recent coming in the year 2000 when Dennis Springenatic was the recipient.
Dick Willis Umpire of the Year Award-David Cass (Fredericton, NB)
David Cass began umpiring at the tender age of 14 in his hometown of Fredericton, New Brunswick. David dove right into the umpiring world as he would work 80-100 games per year and in some cases up to 4 games per day at various tournaments. In the early days, David was also noted for using a goalie chest protector while doing home plate. In 1997, David began his first year in the National Umpires Program and worked his first national championship where he did the plate in the Gold Medal game at the Peewee Nationals in Summerside, PEI. In January 2000, David became Vice-president of the New Brunswick Baseball Umpires Association before taking over as president in October 2001. During his time as president he also assumed the role of Provincial Supervisor. After nearly 10 years on the job, David’s time as president will come to a close this December. David umpired at this past summer’s World Junior Baseball Championship in Thunder Bay where he worked 10 games, including two plate appearances, one of which was in the playoff round. In New Brunswick, David carries a large workload doing New Brunswick Senior League games while also supervising on nights that he is not umpiring. David was also a Course Conductor at the Alberta/BC Caravan in October 2009 which aids in the development of umpires in Canada.
This is the second year in a row and the second time ever that an umpire from New Brunswick has won this award with last year’s winner being Andrew Higgins.
Homerun Sports Lifetime Umpire Achievement Award- Don Gilbert (LaSalle, ON)
Don Gilbert evokes what this award is truly about. Don’s impact on umpiring and umpiring programs in Ontario are legendary. Don has an impressive list of awards and accomplishments that recognize the impact that he has had. Don has served Baseball Ontario in numerous capacities including Vice President, Umpire Supervisor and also being on the Board of Directors, he also had an eleven year run as Baseball Canada’s umpire supervisor. Don has also facilitated umpires by being a Master Course conductor since 1991. Don is two-time winner of the Baseball Ontario, Umpire of the Year Award and is a member of the Windsor (Ontario) Sports Hall of Fame.
Homerun Sports Lifetime Umpire Achievement Award- Len Bell (Saskatoon, SK)
Len Bell is a pioneer in the Canadian umpiring fraternity. Len was one of five umpires that formed the National Umpires Committee and was instrumental in the development of the Baseball Canada Caravan in Western Canada. Len has also had an effect on the way in which umpires operate as he developed the National Positioning Manual that standardized two and three umpire systems across Canada. Len has served as the president of the Saskatoon Umpires Association and was awarded the Umpire of the year in Saskatchewan in 1984. Most recently in 2007, Len was inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame.
Province of the Year- BC and Manitoba
For the second time ever and first time since 2004 there is a tie for the Province of the Year award.
This year British Columbia placed first in the categories of officials, certified players and championships, they also placed 25 players on various National Teams throughout the year. BC won Gold Medals at the Baseball Canada Cup, the Bantam Girls Championship, Senior Men’s Championship and the Peewee Western Championship where they captured the Bronze Medal as well. This is the fifth time that BC has won the Province of the Year award with the most recent coming in 2006.
Manitoba is also a recipient of the Province of the Year award for the sixth time since the award was first handed out in 1982. In Trois Riviéres at the Junior championship, Manitoba captured the Gold Medal for the first time since 1982. At the Peewee Westerns, the host Brandon team took home the silver medal. Manitoba had strong showings in the officials and certified players categories with second and third place rankings respectively.
Manitoba recently won the Province of the Year Award in 2008.
Appreciation Award- Linda Lewis (Port Lambton, ON)
Baseball Canada also recognized former Vice-President Linda Lewis for her years of service and dedication to baseball at the local, provincial and national levels.
Lewis has served the sport in several capacities including, Secretary/Treasurer/Registrar with Western Counties Baseball starting in 1984 and still continuing today; she joined Baseball Ontario in 1985 as an Affiliate Rep and moved up the ladder to President from 1995-1997 and she also recently finished an eight year run as Vice-President of Baseball Canada.
Players of the week coming soon
Umpire of the Week
Le lauréat du Méritas de l’arbitre associatif de l’année est un jeune homme qui adore le baseball, étant lu...
How many Canadians will be selected in the Top 10 rounds of the 2013 MLB Draft?
Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD)
What is LTAD?
Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) is a systemic approach being developed and adopted by Baseball Canada
to maximize a participant's potential and involvement in our sport. The LTAD framework aims to define optimal training,
competition and recovery throughout an athlete's career to enable him / her to reach his / her full potential in
baseball and as an athlete.