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Summer Collegiate

NorthPaws Hire ‘From Within’ for New Head Coach

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Photo by Allen Douglas

KAMLOOPS, BC—The Kamloops North Paws have a new head coach for the 2024 West Coast League season.  And they filled the vacancy from within their own organization.

The Paws have promoted pitching coach Jose Bautista to the role of head coach.

Bautista, a former major league pitcher has been the team’s pitching coach for the club’s first two seasons.

“I look at this position as being one of a teacher,” he says.  “I want to teach the players a little more about the game. It is one to be enjoyed.  I am hoping they will improve their strengths like relaxing when they hit.”

The 59 year old Bautista spent almost 10 years in the majors (1988-97).   He played with four teams beginning with the Baltimore Orioles.  He also played with the Chicago Cubs, San Fransisco Giants, Detroit Tigers and the St. Louis Cardinals.

“I have been coaching for so many years, “he says. “I want our hitters to do just that—hit. No mini bunts.  And we have to have fun with it. It is a game after all.  I have been in baseball for 45 years. I am going to draw on that experience in order for the NorthPaws and the players to be successful.

He had a career record of 32-42 with 328 strikeouts and an earned run average of 4.62.

Aside from his stint as the NorthPaws pitching coach, Bautista also held that position with the Burlington Bees (2021, 2022), Idaho Falls Chukars (2004, 2005, 2006) and the Class “A” Kanapolis Intimidators (2011).     He was also the manager of the Advance “A” Great Falls Voyageurs in the Chicago White Sox organization.

Photo by Allen Douglas

Bautista has begun contacting members of the NorthPaws from this past season along with recruiting other players.   “I am definitely talking to the players from Kamloops who were on the team last year.  I want to give them more of an opportunity to play and improve. “

He plans to scout colleges and universities on the East Coast to recruit players.  He will also have people scouting Arizona and California for prospects.  He is hoping to have at least 20 pitchers on the roster along with three catchers.  Bautista would like to have a strong contingent of players who have ties to Canada.

Says General Manager Jenna Forter:  “The organization is excited for this promotion – Jose has proven his commitment to our players, our team and to the coaching staff.  He shares the values that this team is built on, and his passion for the athletes and their development was our deciding factor in promoting him to Head Coach. We are looking forward to 2024 and welcoming back local Canadian talent, along with new athletes to add to our roster.”

The NorthPaws will round out their coaching staff with more announcements in the near future.

For More Information:

Jenna Forter

NorthPaws General Manager

 (250) 250-214-1115

jforter@northpawsbaseball.ca

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Summer Collegiate

Stability and more support the story for NightOwls coaching staff

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Greg Frady, Gorman Heimueller, Sean FitzGerald are the only coaches the Nanaimo NightOwls have ever known.

With the West Coast League team entering its third season at historic Serauxmen Stadium, that trio will have some help for 2024 — and the local kind.

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Frady, the Head Coach and veteran of college and international baseball, is proud to add two local coaches to the staff — First Base Coach Tyler Moretti, and Mental Skills/Bullpen Coach Jordan Herbison.

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Pitching Coach Heimueller, amazingly, is approaching his 50th year in the game, a career that includes two World Series rings, while FitzGerald, who runs the offense from the third base box, brings a wealth of junior college experience from Skagit Valley College.

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Moretti is well known locally as a former Pirates player who went south to play at Jamestown College, also seeing time at then-named VIBI. He has coached at the PBL and collegiate level.

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Herbison, originally from Ontario, played at UBC and the former RHP is now an instructor at Vancouver Island University, and was the mental performance coach for the NightOwls in 2023.

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Herbison and Moretti will give NightOwls players more opportunities for development.

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Summer Collegiate

Arm injuries in pro and college baseball — NightOwls make organizational statement

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Heimueller has served as a minor league pitching coach and coordinator for many MLB organizations, most recently with the Padres. He has World Series rings for his work with the Twins and Phillies.

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With the NightOwls, Gorm has enjoyed working with them all — but especially strong-command pitchers such as Nathan Buchan, Garrett Goodall, Jake Fleury and Josh Laukkanen.

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“Gorm loves to say he’s never seen a ground ball leave the park,” said Swanson.

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“We see athletes on our team and others using max effort rather than prioritizing strikes — that makes for longer games, too, another focus in baseball. If someone can throw 97, with healthy actions and commanding the baseball, that’s great — but few can and let’s stop turning our backs on pitchers who can get people out with pitch location as the priority.

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“There is too much focus on radar gun ratings, on spin rate readouts, and Gorm and our coaching staff will be developing and rewarding pitchers who locate pitches and get batters out.”

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The NightOwls are excited about the player roster for the coming season, and the mix of pitchers on the roster — different styles, to create different looks and get the 27 outs required to win games.

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Summer Collegiate

Victoria HarbourCats – 2024 Season Ticket Pick-up Event

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WE ARE BACK! 2024 Season Tickets Available for Pick-Up

May 17, 2024

We are inviting all season ticket holders, host families, and fans to join us for our annual “MAX MIXER” Season Ticket Holder Pick Up Event on Tuesday, May 28th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at MAX FURNITURE at 3460 Quadra St. in Victoria.

WHAT: Season Ticket Pick-Up and Pre-Season Mixer
WHERE: MAX FURNITURE – 3460 Quadra St.
WHEN: Tuesday, May 28th from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Come meet your fellow fans, grab your season tickets, and mingle with HarbourCats staff and Harvey the HarbourCat as we kickoff the 2024 season.

There will be ticket and merchandise deals offered exclusively at the event.

NO RSVP required but if you have any questions, please contact the HarbourCats office at 778-265-0327.

If you can’t make the event, you can pick up your tickets at the HarbourCats office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street. Open M-F 9AM to 5PM, and Saturdays 10AM to 4PM.

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