Canada roster announced for 2017 World Baseball Classic
Baseball Canada – OTTAWA – Canada’s 28-player roster for the 2017 World Baseball Classic was announced tonight on MLB Network along with those of the other 15 participating nations.
The Canadian roster features nine players who played Major League Baseball in 2016 including Andrew Albers (Twins), John Axford (Athletics), Kevin Chapman (Astros), Freddie Freeman (Braves), Jim Henderson (Mets), Adam Loewen (Diamondbacks), Dustin Molleken (Tigers), Justin Morneau (White Sox) and Dalton Pompey (Blue Jays).
Also named to the roster are former big leaguers Ryan Dempster, Éric Gagné, George Kottaras, Chris Leroux, Scott Mathieson, Pete Orr, Scott Richmond and Rene Tosoni.
Morneau and Orr are set to join an exclusive group of players to participate in all four World Baseball Classic tournaments since the inaugural event in 2006.
In addition to Morneau and Orr, 10 players named to Canada’s roster have previous World Baseball Classic experience including Andrew Albers (2013), John Axford (2013) Jim Henderson (2013), Chris Leroux (2009, 2013), Adam Loewen (2006, 2013), Jonathan Malo (2013), Scott Mathieson (2006, 2013), Dustin Molleken (2013), Scott Richmond (2009) and Rene Tosoni (2013).
Team Canada boasts 24 players who have worn the Maple Leaf in previous international competition including 13 Pan American Games gold medalists, nine WBSC Baseball World Cup bronze medalists and two former Olympians.
“We’re fortunate to have so many players on our roster with World Baseball Classic experience and international experience on their resumes,” said Canadian Manager Ernie Whitt. “International baseball presents a different set of circumstances compared to the regular season so it’s a positive that we have some veteran players who’ve been through it before.”
Kevin Chapman, Freddie Freeman, George Kottaras and Eric Wood will be representing Canada for the first time in international competition at the World Baseball Classic.
Canada will compete in Pool C in the First Round along with Colombia, defending champion Dominican Republic and the United States. On March 9th at Marlins Park in Miami, Canada will open pool play against the Dominican Republic before taking on Colombia on March 11th and the United States on March 12th.
Canada will play a pair exhibition games prior to the World Baseball Classic starting against the Toronto Blue Jays on March 6th in Dunedin, before taking on the New York Yankees in Tampa on March 7th.
For more information on the World Baseball Classic, please visit: worldbaseballclassic.com
About World Baseball Classic, Inc.
World Baseball Classic, Inc. (WBCI) is a company created at the direction of Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) to operate the World Baseball Classic tournament. The tournament, which is sanctioned by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), is supported by MLB, the MLBPA, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), their respective players associations and other leagues and players from around the world.
About the World Baseball Classic
The World Baseball Classic is the premier international baseball tournament, sanctioned by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), as the sport’s official National Team World Championship, and features the best players in the world competing for their home countries and territories. More than 2.4 million fans from all over the world have attended the tournament games, held in March 2006, March 2009 and March 2013. Team Dominican Republic is the reigning World Baseball Classic Champion after going undefeated during its 2013 championship run. The upcoming World Baseball Classic will be played in March 2017 and will again feature the greatest baseball-playing nations in the world. The tournament will be held every four years thereafter.
About the World Baseball Softball Confederation
The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) is the global governing body for the sports of baseball and softball resulting from the merger of the International Baseball Federation and International Softball Federation in 2013. WBSC sanctions all international competitions, including Premier12, World Baseball Classic and the Baseball World Cups, which involve any of the National Teams of its 208 National Federation members in 141 countries and territories worldwide. For more information, visit www.wbsc.org.
About Baseball Canada
Federally incorporated in 1964 as the Canadian Federation of Amateur Baseball, Baseball Canada is the national governing body for baseball in Canada and is made up of 10 provincial associations representing players, coaches and umpires nationwide. Baseball Canada is a member of both the Canadian Olympic Committee and the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC). It is funded and recognized by Sport Canada and Heritage Canada, and is recognized by Revenue Canada as having charitable status.
Media/PR, Baseball Canada