Baseball Canada News

Baseball Canada Announces Coaching Staff for World Baseball Classic

Thursday, February 9, 2006

OTTAWA – Baseball Canada officially announced, today, the names of all staff members who will work with Team Canada at the World Baseball Classic, including the list of coaches who will work under field manager Ernie Whitt.

Coach & General Manager – Greg Hamilton: Greg Hamilton (Ottawa, Ont.) was the primary force behind Canada’s fourth-place 2004 Olympic team – arguably the best Canadian baseball team ever put together before the World Baseball Classic – spearheading the team’s assembly though intense player and coaching staff evaluation.

Much like he did for the Olympic Games and for the 2005 CONCEBE Baseball Regional Olympic Qualifier in November, Hamilton scouts hundreds of players yearly, evaluating talent from a wide array of levels including amateur, collegiate, independent, minor and major league ranks in order to assure Canada is well represented in international events.

A graduate of Princeton University, Hamilton served a two-year stint as assistant coach at his alma mater before serving as general manager of the Montpellier Baseball Club, a senior Division 1 team in Montpellier France, from 1993-1997, while acting as a pitching coach for the French national team in 1994. Hamilton later served as assistant coach at the University of Maine in 1998 before being hired by Baseball Canada later that year as head coach of the national junior team and director of the national teams programs, a title he still holds today.

He has won numerous awards during his coaching career including an Ivy League championship in 1991, the French Division 1 championship from 1993 to 1995, a bronze medal at the 1993 World University Games, a bronze medal at the 1995 Americas Cup Challenge and a bronze medal at the World Junior Championships in 1997, a year in which he was also named Baseball Canada coach of the year.

Pitching Coach – Denis Boucher: Denis Boucher (Montréal, Qué.) makes his fourth appearance on the national team staff after having helped Canada at the 2003 Olympic Qualifier, the 2004 Olympic Games and the 2005 CONCEBE Baseball Regional Olympic Qualifier.

The former left-handed pitcher spent parts of four seasons in the major leagues, compiling a 6-11 record and a 5.42 ERA in 35 games (26 starts) for Toronto, Cleveland and Montreal from 1991 to 1994. Boucher, a Team Canada member at the 1986 World Junior Championships and the 1987 Pan-Am games, is one of two Canadians (along with fellow Canadian coach Rob Ducey) to have played for both the Toronto Blue Jays and the Montreal Expos.)

Coach – Tim Leiper: Tim Leiper (Ottawa, Ont.) joins Baseball Canada’s national teams program for a fourth consecutive year, having served as a coach on the 2003 Olympic Qualifying team and the 2004 Olympic Games team as well as having served as a coach at the 2005 CONCEBE Baseball Regional Olympic Qualifier.

In 2005 Leiper piloted the Lynchburg Hillcats to a second-best 38-32 record in the Carolina League. A former infielder and outfielder, Leiper played 12 professional seasons and reached as high as the AAA level, playing for such teams as AAA-Toledo, AAA-Tidewater and AAA-Buffalo as well as having played in the Mexican and the Dominican Republic winter leagues.

Coach – Rob Ducey: Rob Ducey (Cambridge, Ont.) is making his second international appearance as a coach after being part of the national team coaching staff at the 2005 CONCEBE Baseball Regional Olympic Qualifier. After having played with Canada’s Olympic team in Athens in 2004, Ducey spent the 2005 season as a hitting instructor for the New York-Penn League champion Staten Island Yankees and is now a scout for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Ducey, who won the 1986 Tip O’Neil award as Canada’s best baseball player, played 13 major league seasons for the Toronto Blue Jays, the California Angels, the Texas Rangers, the Seattle Mariners, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Montreal Expos between 1987 and 2001. Along with Canadian pitching Coach Denis Boucher, Deucey is one of only two Canadians to have played for both the Blue Jays and the Expos.

Coach – Larry Walker: Larry Walker (Maple Ridge, B.C.) has done more for Canadian Baseball than any other position player in the history of the sport. At the World Baseball Classic, the Canadian Major League record holder in almost every offensive category will add to his impressive resume as a coach for the first time on the international stage.

Walker, who represented Canada at the 1984 World Junior Championships won the ‘Tip’ O’Neil award as Canada’s top baseball player a record nine times holds Canadian major league bests in games played (1988), doubles (741), stolen bases (230), at-bats (6907), runs (1355), homeruns (383) hits (2160) and RBI (1311).

A career .314 batter, Walker also hold one of the best all-round season in Major League Baseball history, batting .366 with 49 homeruns, 130 RBI, 33 stolen bases and 409 total bases in 1997, earning him National League MVP honours. He is also a five time All-Star, a seven-time Gold Glove winner, a three-time Silver Slugger award winner and a three-time National League batting champion.

***

In addition to the coaching staff, Baseball Canada has also finalized the list of all staff members, which will join its contingent at the World Baseball Classic.

Greg O’Halloran (Toronto, Ont.) – Bullpen Catcher
Scott Shannon (Toronto, Ont.) – Athletic Trainer
John Sage (Toronto, Ont.) – Athletic Trainer
Tommy Craig (Palm Harbor, FLA) – WBC Athletic Trainer
Bernie Soulliere (Windsor, Ont.) – Business/Equipment & Clubhouse Manager
Keith Sanford (Windsor, Ont.) – Equipment and Clubhouse Manager
Pat Ross (Montreal, Qué.) – WBC Equipment and Clubhouse Manager

Jim Baba (Ottawa, Ont.) – Delegation Chief (Director General, Baseball Canada)
Ray Carter (Tsawwassen, B.C.) – President, Baseball Canada
J.B. Hacking (Oakville, Ont.) – WBC Team Co-ordinator
John Brioux (Oakville, Ont.) – WBC Travel Director

Luc Hébert (Ottawa, Ont.) – Manager of Media and Public Relations
Howard Starkman (Toronto, Ont.) – WBC Media Liaison

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