Baseball in Canada has sure changed since my playing days in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.
When I was trying to get a scholarship, I created my own VHS tapes and mailed them out to schools that my family, coaches and I deemed appropriate. I mailed those out with my baseball resume hoping some college coaches would take some interest.
Nowadays, Canadian kids looking to further their education and to get that opportunity across the border have so many options that the days of doing your own recruiting are long gone.
The Ontario Blue Jays is an organization based out of Mississauga, Ontario, whose purpose is to train young talent and prepare them for baseball after high school.
The Blue Jays, led by Dan Bleiwas and his staff of nearly 20 dedicated professionals, run five unique teams with players ages 16-18 who other play teams throughout Ontario and participate in tournaments across the United States.
The Jays also provide their players an indoor workout facility for off-season training.
The OBJ’s have quite simply become a breeding ground for home-grown talent with a track record of success and a multitude of recruiting experience and connections. Since 1996, the OBJ’s have sent over 200 players on to play collegiate baseball, with many of them seeing professional playing time after their college days are over.
The Jays recently held their OBJ Gala Dinner and Hall of Fame Induction ceremony, featuring former graduates;Pete Orr, Adam Stern, Tyler Johnston and Drew Taylor.
The featured speaker was former Toronto Blue Jay Cecil Fielder.
According to OBJ head coach and director of baseball operations Dan Bleiwas, the event is a great celebration, “Not only do we get to celebrate the achievements of one of the greatest hitters of all time in Cecil Fielder, but we have the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of four of our graduates and the organization in general.”
Assisting the players in achieving their dreams is one thing, but teaching them the fundamentals and making sure they learn the game the right way is another.
Baseball is a funny game; it can lift you up one minute and drag you down another.
But on the other hand, it teaches you discipline.
With an indoor training center, private and group lessons, and years of experience, you are definitely in good hands when you become a part of the Ontario Blue Jays family.
For those interested in how to join, email Sean Travers, Director of Player Development at email@example.com.
If you want more information on their program, training dates, schedule and roster, please visit their website.
Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective.