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Baseball Alberta

Canadian Baseball Community Mourns Loss of Umpire Mitch Ball

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May 3, 2021, Lethbridge, AB – The Alberta and entire Canadian baseball community was saddened this weekend to learn of the passing of umpire Mitch Ball, due to complications from COVID-19.

Mitch was a well-respected umpire in the Western Canadian Baseball League and also participated in many Baseball Canada Championships, including the 2018 Senior Men’s Championship in Victoria, where he was behind the plate for the Gold Medal game.

In a statement on their website, Baseball Alberta and the Baseball Alberta Umpire Committee, “wanted to express our deepest condolences to the family and friends after the passing of our member and friend Mitch Ball this past weekend. The loss of Mitch is devastating to the entire Baseball Alberta Umpire fraternity.”

“Mitch was loved and admired by all those who were lucky enough to have met him. An amazing umpire on the field, Mitch was an even better person off it. Mitch was kind, humble, generous, and caring. The kind of guy who would do absolutely anything for you. The impact Mitch made on umpires and other individuals across the country cannot be measured.”

As an elite senior international umpire, Mitch defined what it meant to be a program umpire. Mitch’s contributions included instructing various Alberta NUCP clinics from Level 1 to the Super Clinic, umpiring 7 Baseball Canada Championships, Supervising at 3 Baseball Canada Championships, and umpiring at 3 international events. Mitch has been a Umpire Committee Member since 2010, serving in different capacities including the Level 1-3 Program Portfolio lead and most recently was involved in many special projects.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Jana, their children, and Mitch’s countless friends throughout the baseball world. He will be dearly missed.

Baseball Alberta

Red Deer’s Hayley Lalor invited to Baseball Canada’s WNT showcase

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Red Deer’s Hayley Lalor (middle) has been invited to the Baseball Canada’s Women’s National Team showcase later this month in Quebec. (Photo courtesy of Baseball Canada)

By Byron Hackett
Red Deer Advocate

August 3, 2021 – Red Deer’s Hayley Lalor is set to compete with the top female baseball players across the country.

Lalor, 21, was one of 41 players invited to participate in a six-day showcase camp in Trois-Rivières, Québec from Aug. 8 to 13. The camp will feature daily practices and inter-squad games.

“Mostly looking forward to getting to play a bunch of games and be out there with a lot of the girls that I’ve played with before who are my friends. Just a chance to get to do something that we haven’t got to do in quite a while,” Lalor said.

It will be the second national team camp for Lalor — she earned an invite in 2019, after helping Alberta to bronze in the 2019 Women’s Baseball Invitational Championships in Okotoks.

Lalor hasn’t been able to play much baseball over the last two summers because of the COVID-19 pandemic but has been putting in work on the field this season with her dad Dwayne and her sister Kelsey.

“I haven’t been playing with a team because our women’s team, with the circumstances all over the province we weren’t able to have a team. I’ve been out with my sister and my dad, we’ve been practicing a lot,” said Lalor, who figures to play outfield at Canada’s camp.

Hayley’s sister Kelsey, also an outfielder, was an all-star for Canada at the 2019 Women’s Baseball World Cup.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused the 2020 WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup to be postponed and it’s still undetermined when it will be played. Canada won a bronze medal at the last World Cup event in 2018 and came in at third in the latest WBSC Women’s Baseball World Rankings.

The national team camp at the very least is a chance for Canada’s best women to get on the baseball field again.

“We’re thrilled to be in a position where we can have athletes participate in-person, in team and individual baseball activities,” said Women’s National Team program director André Lachance.

“Like the rest of the world, the past year and a half has been a challenge for our program so having this showcase camp is something that we feel fortunate for, and we intend on taking advantage of our time together.”

In the fall, Hayley will enter her fourth year at MacEwan University and play her third season with the Griffins women’s basketball team.

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