Canada is not known for its pitching. Besides Fergie Jenkins, the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers Hall of Famer, most Canadian-born major leaguers are sluggers of the Matt Stairs or Larry Walker variety. Currently, though, Ryan Dempster is the best Canadian pitcher in the majors.
Dempster, who was drafted by the Texas Rangers and came up with the Florida Marlins, is best known for his recent years with the Chicago Cubs, where he started out as a closer.
Dempster is widely known for his laid-back, humorous attitude, strange glove-twitching before his delivery, and is said to be a positive contribution to a team's clubhouse. Dempster's fun and easy-going personality was especially evident when, in comments to an Arizona newspaper in 2007, Dempster stated that if his career as a closer began to tumble, he would pursue ninja training.
Dempster didn't have to worry about donning the traditional shinobi-shozoku, as he was quite successful, saving 87 games for the Cubs from 2004-2007.
In 2008, Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood switched roles, with Dempster moving into the third spot in the rotation. In his first season as a starter for Chicago, he was perhaps even more successful than as a closer, going 17–6 , with a 2.96 ERA and 183 strikeouts in 201.2 innings. He finished sixth in Cy Young Award voting.
Dempster is a two-time National League All-Star and won the Tip O'Neill Award in 2000 as a member of the Marlins. He was named one of the 99 "Good Guys" in professional sports by The Sporting News.