OTTAWA- Baseball Canada handed out their National Awards over the weekend as the annual Fall Convention took place at the Delta Hotel in Fredericton.
Baseball New Brunswick, the host of the event, also recognized their provincial award winners and their 2016 New Brunswick Baseball hall of Fame class including Baseball Canada President Jason Dickson, former National Team player John Cann and the 1991-1993 Newcastle Junior Cardinals Baseball Club.
Baseball Saskatchewan took home the coveted Province of the Year Award for the ninth time in history, while Dennis “Skip” Ryan was presented with the Home Run Sports Lifetime Umpire Achievement Award for his many years of service.
Here is a rundown of those honoured by Baseball Canada:
Jimmy Rattlesnake Award: Ashley Stephenson
The longest serving member of the Women’s National Team, Ashley was the heart and soul of the team that captured silver at the Women’s Baseball World Cup in September. Playing flawless defence at third base, Ashley’s hard nosed style of play helped form Canada’s identity on the field and makes her one of the most respected and fiercest competitors in all of women’s baseball.
Women’s National Team MVP: Amanda Asay
Amanda’s performance on the mound against Chinese Taipei, that earned Canada a spot in the Women’s Baseball World Cup gold medal game, was one for the ages, as she struck out 8 batters in a complete game effort as Canada advanced to the championship contest for only the second time in history. Amanda also recorded a win against the Netherlands earlier in the tournament where she went the distance and struck out 8 batters. A long-time member of the Women’s National Team, Amanda won the Top Won/Loss Record Award following the tournament.
Baseball Canada and Major League Baseball Volunteer of the Year Award: David Doherty
A volunteer with Brampton Minor baseball for 23 years, David has served various roles including president for 14 years, umpire, coach and sat on committees including sponsorship, rep baseball and coach/player development. He has touched virtually all aspects of the organization and is a former winner of Baseball Ontario’s Jack Middlemass Award for Volunteer of the Year.
Lionel Ruhr Memorial Award for Elite Coach of the Year: Sheen Bromley
A coach for nearly 30 years, Sheen is widely regarded as one of the best baseball instructors in Alberta from grassroots all the way to high performance. Currently the Technical and Development Coordinator with Baseball Alberta, Sheen also spent 10 years building the St. FX Baseball Academy coaching players that went on to become MLB Draft picks and play collegiately. Sheen has been on the Women’s National Team coaching staff for the past two years helping Canada win silver medals at the Pan Am Games and the Women’s Baseball World Cup and helped Canada win the gold medal at the 20U women’s tournament in the Dominican Republic.
Dick Willis Memorial Award for Umpire of the Year: Jim McMillan
An umpire with over 20 years experience, Jim coordinated and supervised Baseball Ontario’s Elimination Tournaments in 2016 in addition to Supervising the 21U National Championship and teaching throughout the summer at Level 1 and 2 clinics. Jim has 14 years experience in the National Umpire Program where he is a Master Course Conductor.
Home Run Sports Lifetime Umpire Achievement Award: Dennis “Skip” Ryan
With over 50 years of umpire experience, Dennis has spent literally a lifetime dedicated to the craft. Dennis was largely responsible for developing the different stages of the umpiring program, a program still in use today and his experience has included stints as association president, Baseball Ontario President and Board of Directors along with Baseball Ontario Umpires Supervisor and Baseball Canada Umpires Committee member, to name a few.
Province of the Year Award: Saskatchewan
A Gold medal at the Baseball Canada Cup highlighted a banner year for Baseball Sask as they won Four Medals at National Championships, placed 1st among all provinces in Development Programs, second in official’s development and tied for first in Governance. Baseball Sask is now a 9-time winner of the Province of the Year Award.