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Baseball Canada – OTTAWA-Tomorrow at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Toronto, Ray Carter will tend to his final order of business as President of Baseball Canada, the Annual General Meeting. As they say, all good things must come to an end and after 16 years in the role, the longest of any of the nine previous presidents, it is time to step away says the Tsawwassen, BC native who will not run for re-election.

“It’s a bittersweet feeling,” says Carter who in 2000 began a string of eight consecutive two-year terms as Baseball Canada President. “Baseball has been a big part of my life for 40 years including the 16 as President of Baseball Canada, but it’s time to let somebody else have a crack at it.”

That someone is former Major League Baseball All-Star Jason Dickson of Chatham, New Brunswick who will be acclaimed as President of Baseball Canada Wednesday at the Annual General Meeting. Dickson has served as the association’s Vice-President since 2010.

“I know Jason will be a great leader,” said Carter. “The key (to success) is to be patient, listen to people and lead the orchestra, and great things will happen for Baseball Canada.”

Carter began his association with the summer pastime of many Canadians over 40 years ago in his hometown of Tsawwassen, BC as a volunteer coach.

“I didn’t even have a kid on the team, but a co-worker asked me to help him coach,” explained Carter. “Before you know it I was on the league executive, which led to being involved with BC Minor as president for a short time, and then as President of Baseball BC for eight years.”

In 1988, Carter became President of B.C. Minor Baseball, a position he would hold until 1990 when he became President of what is now known as Baseball BC. The same year he became President of B.C. Minor, he became the Vice President of Baseball Canada and was immediately involved with several committees within the organization. Then, in 2000, he was elected President of Baseball Canada.

A man who deeply cares about the game from the grassroots level right up to the National Teams program, Carter saw his role as an opportunity to grow the game and effect change within the sport, for the better.

“I thought there was a void to fill at the national level when I started (my presidency),” said Carter. “I didn’t feel that the (baseball) season was long enough, I thought there should be more expertise available to coaches and I didn’t think that athletes were getting all of the resources available to become better players.”

During Carter’s presidency, he has seen Canada’s world ranking go from outside of the top ten to an all-time high of sixth and among the world’s powers of the game.

He has also witnessed baseball in Canada become more inclusive as programs for female players have grown including the implementation of the successful Women’s National Team program. Baseball Canada has also adopted the Challenger Baseball program giving an opportunity for children with cognitive or physical disabilities to enjoy the thrill of playing baseball and being part of a team. On the grassroots side, the DQ Rally Cap program for initiation players has grown to the point where it now has a National Sponsor.

“I’m not saying I was solely responsible, but it makes me proud knowing that I was part of a group that led Baseball Canada to where it is today,” added Carter. “I’ve always been a proponent of finding the right people to put in place and letting them do their job.”

Carter has a soft spot for Baseball Canada’s National Teams program and cherishes some of the moments that he’s witnessed including attending the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, all three World Baseball Classics, a pair of Women’s Baseball World Cups and last year’s Pan Am Games to name a few.

“The gold medal that the men’s team won at the Pan Am Games was very special being on home soil,” Carter recounted. “One that also sticks out in my mind was beating the United States at the first WBC in Phoenix. It’s the biggest game that I’ve been around and I’ll never forget it.”

As much as Carter enjoys the team aspect and being around the games, it’s the people, players and coaches that he’s met at these events that he’ll remember the most.

“All of the players that play with the National Teams are great baseball players but at the end of the day they’re great people. I love them all.”

Although Carter is stepping away from his role as president, he will never remove himself from the game of baseball, as he just loves the game and the people associated with it too much.

“Just because I’m not president anymore doesn’t mean I can’t pick up a rake and rake a field,” says the man who has a baseball field named after him in Tsawwassen. “If anybody needs me to sit on a committee or anything like that, I’m here. I’m not finished yet.”

 

 

Adam Morissette
Media/PR, Baseball Canada
Work: 613-748-5606
Mobile: 613-862-0256
Email: media@baseball.ca