Canada national baseball team
|Federation||Canadian Federation of Amateur Baseball|
The Canada national baseball team is a national team of Canada and is controlled by the Canadian Federation of Amateur Baseball. It represents the nation in senior-level men's international competition. The team is a member of the COPABE. Jason Bay, Justin Morneau and Matt Stairs have all played for Team Canada. Their first Gold Medal in an international tournament came in the 2011 Pan American Games, 12 years after their first medal, also in the Pan Am Games. They then repeated at the 2015 Pan American Games; only Cuba had previously won multiple Pan Am Golds in baseball.
1967 Pan American Games
Canada made its international debut in the 1967 Pan American Games. They went 1-7 but got an upset win over the Pan Am Games champs, the Cuban national team. Canada had beaten Puerto Rico in game 2 but it was rescinded as Canada had four former US pros on the roster (Ron Stead, Ron Smith, Bob McKillop and John Elias). Al Robertson led the Games in average (.467) and hits (14). Erwin Doerksen got the first run in Team Canada history, Maurice Oakes the first RBI and Glennis Scott the first win.
1970 Amateur World Series
Canada was 1-9 in the 1970 Amateur World Series, tying Italy for 9th and finishing ahead of only the Netherlands.
1971 Amateur World Series
1971 Pan American Games
Making major strides, Canada went 4-4 in the 1971 Pan American Games, losing the Bronze Medal to the Colombian national team in a tie-breaker. They were led by pitchers Glennis Scott (0 R in 8 IP), George Brice (1.17), Ross Stone (1.84) and Fred Cardwell (2.13) while Al Robertson had their best average (.400).
1972 Amateur World Series
Canada was 9th of 16 teams at the 1972 Amateur World Series, going 8-7 for their first winning record on the international stage.
1973 Amateur World Series
Canada tied Honduras for 6th at the 1973 Amateur World Series (FEMBA), going 4-6.
1973 Intercontinental Cup
Canada tied Italy and Nicaragua for fourth in the 1973 Intercontinental Cup with a 4-3 record. Doug Simon led the event with 8 runs while P. Lepage led with four doubles. They beat Puerto Rico, which finished second.
1974 Amateur World Series
Canada's 3-5 record at the 1974 Amateur World Series tied them for 4th, two games behind Bronze Medal winner Colombia.
1975 Intercontinental Cup
Canada hosted the 1975 Intercontinental Cup and finished fourth at 4-5. They lost the Bronze Medal game by only one run to Nicaragua, just missing their first Medal in a major event.
1975 Pan American Games
Canada was 2-6 in the 1975 Pan American Games to tie Puerto Rico for 6th in the 8-team field.
1977 Intercontinental Cup
Canada went 3-6 to finish 8th in the 1977 Intercontinental Cup, ahead of only last-place Venezuela.
1978 Amateur World Series
Canada tied Australia for 9th with a 2-8 record during the 1978 Amateur World Series. They were outscored 52-32, hitting only .168/.285/.234 as a team and beating only the two newcomers to the event (Australia and Belgium). C Mike Teahen (.250/.256/.444) led the team with 2 HR and 9 RBI; his son Mark would play for Team Canada 31 years later. Scott Bailey had a 0.64 ERA but walked 17 in 14 innings.
1979 Pan American Games
Canada fell back to its finish from 12 years prior, going 1-7 to tie Mexico for last in the 1979 Pan American Games
1980 Amateur World Series
In the 1980 Amateur World Series, Canada was 5th at 6-5.
1981 Intercontinental Cup
1982 Amateur World Series
During the 1982 Amateur World Series, the Canadian squad was 5th once more, this time 5-4. One problem was pitching depth - they hurled two shutouts, but allowed 17 or 18 runs three times. They had several All-Stars in C Larry Downes, OF Doug McPhail and LHP Rod Heisler.
1983 Pan American Games
1987 Intercontinental Cup
The Canadian team was 4-9 overall in the 1987 Intercontinental Cup, outscored 121-55 but beat South Korea in the final round to earn a 5th place finish. Rheal Cormier was 3-0 with a 0.57 ERA to tie for the win lead as the main bright spot. Cormier would still be with Team Canada 21 years later, in the 2008 Olympics. Infielder Matt Stairs would last even longer, still playing for Canada 22 years later at the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
1988 Baseball World Cup
At the 1988 Baseball World Cup, Canada was 7-4 and tied Japan for 4th, again just missing a Medal in a major event. They hit .307, tied for third, and their 14 home runs ranked third as well. Among the heavy hitters were 2B Greg Roth (.359/.469/.821, 11 R, 10 RBI, 4 HR), SS Matt Stairs (.362/.367/.511, 9 RBI, the only All-Star not from a final four team), 3B Warren Sawkiw (.405/.442/.649, 11 RBI), 1B Greg Duce (.359/.457/.513, 12 R) and OF James Kotkas (.357/.426/.667, 3 triples, 11 RBI). The problem was a 6.16 staff ERA. Frank Humber (3-0, 3.60) and Barry Parisotto (2-0, 1.10) were the bright spots on the hill. Dave Wainhouse (6.91) was handed two losses. Rheal Cormier (1-1, 5.71) whiffed 22 in 17 1/3 but also walked 10 and allowed 19 hits.
Canada was 1-2 in the 1988 Olympics, same as 1984. They tied the Netherlands and Australia for 5th, finishing ahead of Taiwan. Future major leaguers were Rob Butler, Rheal Cormier, Peter Hoy, Greg O'Halloran, Matt Stairs and Dave Wainhouse.
1990 Baseball World Cup
Canada hosted the 1990 Baseball World Cup but had to salvage a 8th place finish thanks to a 2-7 record. David Krug (1-1, 4.35) led an unexceptional staff while DH Randall Curran (.471/.538/.824) clearly paced the offense. The only future big leaguer for the home team was CF Rob Butler, in his second Cup. Butler hit .355/.355/.581.
1991 Pan American Games
In the 1991 Pan American Games, Canada only was 1-7 to tie the Netherlands Antilles for last despite a better run differential (63-38) than three other teams. They were led by Chris Smeeton (1-0, 1.13). They were the victims of the first Pan American Games no-hitter, thrown by Jorge Valdes.
1994 Baseball World Cup
Canada tied Sweden for 14th in the 1994 Baseball World Cup, ahead of only the French national team. They had one of the oddest tourneys. They handed Japan its lone loss in pool play but lost to otherwise winless Sweden. They lost by one run to Silver Medalist South Korea and by 2 to quarterfinalist Panama but were routed by 3-4 Puerto Rico and the 4-3 US. Jeff Zimmerman (0-1, 4.87) would go on to a be a major league All-Star. 2B Derek Gauthier cracked 3 home runs and slugged .696, while 1B John Cann hit .333/.419/.556.
1998 Baseball World Cup
During the 1998 Baseball World Cup, the Canadians finished 11th at 3-4 but did defeat Silver Medalist South Korea, 4-1. Veteran Canadian team member 2B Warren Sawkiw hit .393/.433/.536 and CF Joseph Colameco batted .375/.394/.625. Brett Kondro (1-0, 1.00) worked a complete game in the win against South Korea and was their top hurler as a result.
1999 Pan American Games
Canada went 5-1 in the 1999 Pan American Games, beating both the USA and Cuba in the first round but losing their rematch to Cuba 3-2. They then beat the Mexico 9-2 in the Bronze Medal game for their first Medal ever in an international competition. The team was paced by catcher Andy Stewart, who hit .452 with a tourney-high 4 home runs and 15 RBI to help the home team lead in runs. Other key hitters were DH Troy Fortin (.407), OF Ryan Radmanovich (.391), DH-1B Jeremy Ware (.375), 2B Stubby Clapp (.348), SS Lee Delfino (.348) and 3B Todd Betts (.345, 9 RBI). Steve Green (1-0, 0.00) picked up the stunning round-robin win against Cuba while Yan LaChapelle (2-0, 3.27), Mike Meyers (1-1, 2.45) and Jason Gooding (1-0, 2.84) rounded out the rotation.
2001 Baseball World Cup
Canada began the new decade on a rough note in the 2001 Baseball World Cup. They outscored opponents 21-18 but went just 2-5 thanks to three one-run losses - to Panama, Cuba and Australia, the latter two by 1-0 scores against Jose Contreras and John Stephens respectively. It was more notable due to the number of (now) well-known hitters on Team Canada. Jason Bay (.143), Aaron Guiel (.167) and Justin Morneau (0 for 8) all were flailing away. The offensive leader wound up being a Team Canada veteran, CF Jeremy Ware (.333/.400/.556). The staff ERA was a strong 2.07, fifth in the Cup. Brett Gray allowed no earned runs in 13 IP yet still went 0-1 thanks to an unearned run in the loss to Contreras and Cuba. SS Kevin Nicholson hit just .154/.185/.192 but was voted as the Best Defensive Player in the Cup.
2003 Baseball World Cup
In the 2003 Baseball World Cup, Canada was managed by Gary Picone and just missed the final eight cut with a 3-3 record. They were outscored 40-26. Jordy Alexander (1-1, 2.38) was their top hurler while LF Rob Butler (.348/.444/.565) was the best hitter.
Canada finished 4th in the 2004 Olympics, losing the Bronze Medal Game to Japan 11-2. Key performers were 3B Pete Orr (.353/.385/.529, 8 R, 8 RBI), C Pete LaForest (.302/.455/.577, 2 HR, 8 RBI), C-DH Andy Stewart (.417/.500/.583) and DH-LF Jeremy Ware (.357/.357/.857). Phil Devey (1-0, 0.00) and Paul Spoljaric (1-0, 0.00) led the pitchers.
2005 Baseball World Cup
In the 2005 Baseball World Cup, they were managed by Jim Baba. Team Canada hit .322, second only to Cuba, but poor defense hurt and their pitching could not compete with the top four teams in their pool. Leading the fine offense was 1B-DH Joey Votto, who hit .333/.371/.833 with 10 runs, 5 home runs (second in the tourney) and 16 RBI. Votto made the All-Tournament team at DH They were 4-4 in round one and failed to advance.
2006 World Baseball Classic
In the 2006 World Baseball Classic, Canada went 2-1 in round one and beat Team USA but failed to make it to round two based on tiebreakers. Adam Stern (6 for 9, 2B, 3B, HR, 5 RBI), Jason Bay (5 for 11, 2B, 5 R), Adam Loewen (1-0, 0.00) and Erik Bedard (0 R, 6 K in 4 IP) led the club.
2006 American Olympics Qualifiers
Canada was 7-5 in the COPABE Olympic Qualifiers, tying Mexico for third behind the USA and Canada. They failed to earn a spot in the 2008 Olympics but stayed alive with a spot in the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament. Michael Saunders hit .448 with 7 RBI while Emerson Frostad (.421) scored 8. Chris Begg (2-0, 1.35) and Brett Gray (1-1, 1.38) led the staff.
2007 Baseball World Cup
Canada was the only team in the 2007 Baseball World Cup with a winning record (4-3) in the round-robin that did not make the quarterfinals. They outscored opponents 50-22. While they had no All-Stars, several players stood out - 2B-3B Matt Rogelstad (.484/~.515/.871, 3 triples, 8 R), OF Nick Weglarz (.455/~.500/.818), SS-2B Kevin Nicholson (.500/~.611/.857) and DH Mike Saunders (.381/~.533/.870, 3 HR). Brooks McNiven (1-0, 0.00) and Jamie Richmond (1-0, 0.00) led the staff.
2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament
Canada got good work on both sides of the ball in winning the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament. They hit .332/.402/.534 as a team with 53 runs in their 7 games. Many players chipped in - the offensive stars included 2B Stubby Clapp (.364/.517/.500, 6 R), C David Corrente (.417/.400/.833), 1B Emerson Frostad (.500/.643/.600), 3B Matt Rogelstad (.360/.370/.720, 9 R, 8 RBI), 1B-LF Jimmy Van Ostrand (.556/.619/.944, 8 RBI) and OF Nick Weglarz (.450/.577/.950, 3 HR, 8 R). Six hurlers did not allow an earned run - T.J. Burton (2 IP), Brett Gray (4 IP), Steve Green (6 2/3 IP; 2-0), Mike Kusiewicz (2 IP; 2 Sv), Alexandre Periard (5 IP; 2-0) and Aaron Wideman (5 IP). Scott Richmond (2-0, 1.35) also stood out in terms of ERA and record.
Canada went 2-5 to finish 6th at the 2008 Olympics. It was most disheartening as their losses each came by one run - to South Korea, Cuba, the US, Japan and Taiwan. LF Nick Weglarz (.400/.483/.720, 2 HR, 5 R, 5 RBI) and RF Michael Saunders (.286/.333/.571, 2 HR, 5 R) led the offense. On the mound, standouts were Chris Begg (1-1, 0.75), Dave Davidson (0 H, 0 R in 5 1/3 IP) and Steve Green (0 R in 6 IP).
2009 World Baseball Classic
Canada participated in the 2009 World Baseball Classic on home turf, where the games were played in the Rogers Centre in Toronto. Canada first played the Americans and lost 6-5. They then played Team Italy and lost 6-2, causing them to be eliminated from the rest of the tournament. The team faced some criticism at home due to the their lackluster performance, and in particular the performance of team manager Ernie Whitt. In an interview with the Toronto Star, Whitt describes the situation after the loss to Italy: see "Needless to say, everyone in this locker room is very disappointed," Whitt said.
"I think this is one of the toughest losses I've ever been associated with Team Canada."
2009 Baseball World Cup
In the 2009 Baseball World Cup, Canada won their first Medal ever at a World Cup, a Bronze. They went 12-3, only losing to #1 USA, #2 Cuba and #5 Australia. They outscored their opponents 123-45. They had a strong and balanced offensive attack, with the top hitters being 1B Jimmy Van Ostrand (.319/.407/.574, 10 R, 12 RBI), RF Rene Tosoni (.345/.457/.690, 18 R, 16 RBI) and LF Adam Loewen (.286/.434/.548, 13 R, 12 RBI, 3 SB). Despite lesser numbers than that trio, 3B Shawn Bowman (.291/.400/.491, 10 BB, 15 RBI) was their only position player to make the All-Star team. Their top pitchers were late addition Matt Kniginyzky (2-0, 1 R, 0 ER, 10 H in 18 IP), Nick Bucci (0 R, 7 H in 14 1/3 IP), Dustin Molleken (1-0, 0 R, 7 H in 11 IP), All-Star RP Trystan Magnuson (4-0, 0 R, 4 H in 9 2/3 IP) and Chris Kissock (1 R in 9 IP, 10 K). Their worst performer was veteran Chris Begg (0-1, 15.43, 7 IP in 3 starts).
2010 Pan American Games Qualifying Tournament
At the 2010 Pan American Games Qualifiers, Canada won spots in both the 2011 Baseball World Cup and 2011 Pan American Games. They went just 3-4 under skipper Ernie Whitt, barely qualifying for both events, finishing tied for 5th among the 12 entries. Jamie Romak is named MVP after hitting at least four homers while Chris Robinson is honored as the All-Star catcher.
2011 Baseball World Cup
Canada duplicated their 2009 World Cup success at the 2011 Baseball World Cup, again earning a Bronze (tied with the US as the Bronze Medal game was rained out). Whitt led them to the title. They only had one All-Star, SS Jonathan Malo (.382/.447/.441, 1.000 FLD). Other key contributors were corner outfielder Tim Smith (.361/.489/.583), catcher Cole Armstrong (.320/.400/.640), pitcher Andrew Albers (2-0, 0 R, 7 H in 15 IP) and reliever Dustin Molleken (one unearned run in 8 IP). A low point was 2010 star Jamie Romak, who was 2 for 32.
2011 Pan American Games
Canada won the 2011 Pan American Games, topping the USA 2-1 in the Gold Medal game, for their first international title. They went 4-1, losing only to Cuba (which dropped their semifinal game against the US). Again guided by Whitt, key contributors included Shawn Hill (2-0), Dustin Molleken (1-0, Sv), OF Tim Smith, 3B Shawn Bowman, 1B Jimmy Van Ostrand (both RBI in the finale) and Andrew Albers (the win in the Gold Medal game).
2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers
Canada won all three of its games at the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers held September 20-24, 2012, in Regensburg, Germany, defeating their opponents by a combined score of 38-9. OF Jimmy Van Ostrand had a tremendous tournament, slugging 1.538 with 4 homers, 9 runs scored and 10 RBI, all of these figures leading or tied for the lead among players in all four qualifying pools. By winning its pool, Canada qualified for the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
2013 World Baseball Classic
Canada went 1-2 at the 2013 World Baseball Classic. CF Michael Saunders (.727/.769/1.273, 7 RBI), DH Justin Morneau (.636/.692/.909) and C Chris Robinson (.556/.600/.556) trounced the ball, but the pitchers had a 8.64 staff ERA, worst in the event. Chris Leroux, Dustin Molleken and Trystan Magnuson were their only hurlers not to allow a run.
2015 Pan American Games
Playing at home in Toronto in the 2015 Pan American Games, Canada defended its 2011 title, becoming only the second team to win multiple Pan American Games in baseball (Cuba was the first). Whitt managed 1B Jordan Lennerton (.292/.486/.593) had 7 runs and 9 RBI in 8 games as Canada went 7-1, RF Rene Tosoni hit .433/.500/.600 and they got three homers apiece from LF Tyler O'Neill, DH Brock Kjeldgaard and CF Tyson Gillies. Chris Leroux (3-0, 0.71), Phillippe Aumont (2-0, 16 K, 0 R in 13 IP) and Shawn Hill (1-0, 0 R in 6 IP) were superb starters while Shane Dawson tossed 6 1/3 shutout innings of relief as Canada's 2.34 ERA easily led the event, a far cry from the 2013 WBC staff performance.
2015 Premier 12
Canada continued hot to start the 2015 Premier 12, the first edition of that event, beginning 5-0, then were stunned by 2-3 Mexico in the quarterfinals to be eliminated. The team pitching remained stellar with a 1.83 ERA, with sharp starters Scott Diamond (1 UER in 12 IP), Jared Mortensen (0 R in 7 IP, 1-0) and Chris Leroux (2-0, 1.42). The offense sputtered overall, hitting .208/.292/.328 with 26 runs (to their opponent's 14) - the bright lights remaining DH Brock Kjeldgaard (.417/.611/.583) and LF Tyler O'Neill (.273/.360/.682, 3 HR, 8 R).
2017 World Baseball Classic
Following their strong work in 2015, Canada fell flat in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. It began when big names like Votto, Russell Martin and Saunders did not join the team (Martin was a last-minute cut as he was unable to get insurance to play; as a result, he wound up coaching). They did still have Morneau and Freddie Freeman, but the offense produced just three runs and the team went 0-3, losing to the Dominican Republic, Colombia and the USA. The pitching was so thin the team had to lean on Ryan Dempster (who had been retired for three years) for two of their three starts; he was 0-2 with a 27.00 ERA. Also coming out of retirement, Éric Gagné fared better with 2 1/3 shutout innings on a team that surrendered 21 runs.