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Alberta Amateur Baseball Council

Stacey Bell latest AABC “Passion for Baseball” award recipient

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Alberta Amateur Baseball Council is recognizing those individuals who have contributed significantly to Alberta baseball, at the grassroots level. This week’s nominee, regarding “Passion for Baseball”, is Stacey Bell, of the Clive Minor Baseball program.

Stacey’s interest in baseball started as a youth playing the sport. From playing the sport, he moved into coaching. One attribute of the sport that always inspired Stacey was the fact that baseball is a lifelong sport. Stacey cites Harold Northcott as an individual he always enjoyed working with, regarding his role as a baseball coach.

Stacey is proudest when his players continue to play baseball the following year, he has had the opportunity to coach them. He hopes that he has instilled in them some passion for the sport of baseball. He takes pride when his players show that they can work with others in a team situation. Also, he takes great satisfaction when his teams win, with respect of the sport, and their opponents, but also lose with same level of respect. He appreciates that baseball teaches young people life lessons, especially the fact that they must deal with failure.

In the future, Stacey would like Alberta baseball associations continue to support their coaches and players. He believes that this will help keep Alberta baseball strong.

Alberta Amateur Baseball Council, and the Alberta baseball community, would like to thank Stacey for his volunteerism/work regarding Alberta’s youth baseball.

Alberta Amateur Baseball Council

Innisfail’s Murray Reay recognized for his commitment to Alberta baseball

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Alberta Amateur Baseball Council is recognizing those individuals who have contributed significantly to Alberta baseball, at the grassroots level.

This week’s nominee, regarding “Passion for Baseball”, is Murray Reay of the Innisfail Minor Baseball program. Murray has coached, and been part of the Innisfail Minor Baseball executive, for over a decade.

As a youth, Murray primarily played Fastball in the Red Deer Commercial League. His sons, and their interest in baseball, motivated him to move to baseball. Today, he is inspired by being part of a strong Innisfail Minor Baseball program. He takes great delight in the opportunities that baseball has provided for the Innisfail youth. He cites three individuals, Mike O’Dwyer, Desmond Bouttelier, and Jay Kirkham, who moved on from the Innisfail Minor Baseball program and played at college/elite levels, as an influence on himself and others in the Innisfail Minor Baseball program.

His greatest sense of accomplishment, regarding Innisfail Minor Baseball, is the increase in the number of kids playing baseball. He is also proud of the large number of Innisfail Minor Baseball players that have moved on to play at higher levels. He also takes pride in the quality baseball teams that Innisfail has been able to field over the past number of years.

In the future, Murray would like to see more emphasis on the grassroots level baseball in Alberta. He sees the present structure, by some, as disregarding the rural Alberta communities and their programs. He feels change would strengthen the Alberta “AA” and “A” programs.

Alberta Amateur Baseball Council, and the Alberta Baseball community, would like to thank Murray for his work/volunteerism towards the Baseball in Alberta!

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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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Alberta Amateur Baseball Council

Alberta Amateur Baseball Council recognizes Chris Chelmick

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Alberta Amateur Baseball Council is recognizing individuals who have contributed significantly to the development of Alberta Baseball, at the grassroots level. The week’s nominee, regarding “Passion for Baseball”, is Chris Chelmick of the Northeast Zone Padres program.

Chris takes great pride in being associated with the Northeast Zone program. He feels the coaching staff, as well as the executive, are great people to work with. He also is proud to be part of a sport that emphasizes “good citizenship and being a good teammate” as part of its atmosphere/tone.

Chris cites Padres Technical Director John Sutherland as an inspiration. He feels John has done an outstanding job in pushing baseball forward, during the present obstacles the NEZ program has faced amid the pandemic. John’s positive approach and drive has been motivating factor amongst all NEZ coaches. Chris also names Doc Plotsky as a role model for all Alberta youth coaches. Doc’s passion and work ethic for baseball, is a template for all those who work in the sport. Chris also states the passion and work ethic, exhibited by the kids who are part of the NEZ program, as a driving factor regarding his involvement in coaching.

In the future, Chris would like to see an increase in baseball registrations throughout the province. He see’s this time period as a great opportunity for all Alberta baseball associations to increase their membership. He likes the direction many youth baseball organizations are heading in promoting development and core values to players over winning. The Padre core values, including preparation, accountability, determination, respect, effort, and sportsmanship, Chris believes, will lead to success on the diamond and life in general.

Alberta Amateur Baseball Council, and the Alberta Baseball community, would like to thank Chris for his volunteerism/work regarding Alberta youth baseball.

You can find previous nominees on the AABC Facebook page here.

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