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Warren Sawkiw

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Warren Sawkiw

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[edit] Biographical Information

Warren Sawkiw played 9 years in professional baseball, reaching AAA. He also spent time on the Canadian national team and later was an announcer.

Sawkiw played for Team Canada in the 1988 Olympics and 1988 Baseball World Cup. In the latter tournament, the Canadian third baseman hit .405/.442/.649 with 11 RBI as one of the team's top performers. Sawkiw had a fine campaign in 1989, with a .405/~.480/.716 year for Wake Forest. He tied for 28th in NCAA Division I in batting average and tied for 12th in doubles (25). In 1990, Sawkiw hit .359/~.463/.637 with 66 runs, 69 RBI and 16 home runs in 61 games. He made the Atlantic Coast Conference All-Conference outfield alongside Darren Bragg and Brian Kowitz. The Detroit Tigers took him in the 20th round of the 1990 amateur draft.

Sawkiw spent his first professional season with the Niagara Falls Rapids (8 for 20, 15 walks, 7 runs, 11 total bases, 2 steals in 7 games) and Fayetteville Generals (.259/~.350/.300 in 59 games). In 1991, the switch-hitting Canadian hit .271/~.338/.367 for the Lakeland Tigers as a DH/2B. He remained in Lakeland in 1992 and batted .243/~.307/.319 in 118 games.

Sawkiw was let go by the Tigers chain and picked up by the new independent leagues, joining the Rochester Aces of the Northern League. He hit .327/?/.518 as the club's first baseman, finishing sixth in average and tying for fourth with nine home runs. Warren moved to the Winnipeg Goldeyes (20 games) and Thunder Bay Whiskey Jacks in 1994, hitting a combined .317/?/.417. He finished 8th in the league in batting average.

Sawkiw returned to Organized Baseball in 1995. He joined the Toronto Blue Jays system and split the year between the Knoxville Smokies (.248/~.321/.322 in 44 games) and the Syracuse Chiefs (.190/~.276/.214 in his only 11 games at AAA; he also made four errors in 31 chances at third base and in the outfield).

Sawkiw spent part of 1996 in the Prairie League, hitting .348 with 9 HR and 39 RBI for the Grand Forks Varmints. He also spent 20 games in the Chicago White Sox system, for the Birmingham Barons; there, he batted .232/~.358/.268. At age 28, he played mostly shortstop for Birmingham, though most of his minor league action had come in the outfield with limited time at second base and third base. Sawkiw was 2 for 7 for Birmingham in 1997 but one of his hits was a home run. He spent the majority of the year with the Elmira Pioneers, hitting .280/?/.363 in 300 AB. In the playoffs, he hit .467 and delivered the winning homer in the finale against the Albany Diamond Dogs to give Elmira the title.

In 1998, Warren only batted .228 but with a .439 slugging percentage for Elmira as a backup infielder. He also was with Team Canada 10 years after he had first appeared with them, hitting .393/.433/.536 as their second baseman in the 1998 Baseball World Cup.

He replaced Tom Cheek as part of the radio announcing team for Toronto Blue Jays in 2005-2006, before being replaced in turn by Alan Ashby.

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