Ball player to compete at Rogers Centre

by Phil Ambroziak

When the 2014 baseball season began recently for Meadow Lake’s Brett Esau, the last place he expected it would take him was the home of the Toronto Blue Jays.

That’s exactly what’s going to happen at the end of this summer, however, when Esau competes at a national tournament held at Rogers Centre in Ontario’s capital.

“He’s been invited to compete in Tournament 12 – it’s an event put on by Blue Jays Baseball and which features teams from across Canada,” explained Esau’s father, Len Esau.

The Blue Jays Baseball Academy, in collaboration with hall of fame member Roberto Alomar, will host the second annual Tournament 12 Sept. 16-20. Tournament 12 will highlight the best Canadian amateur players with college eligibility and will include eight teams. Esau will be a member of Team Prairies, which includes players from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

“They announced 10 roster spots for each team and Brett was one of them,” Len Esau continued. “Quite a few kids he played with previously as a member of Team Saskatchewan are also on the team.”

Brett Esau, 16, has been playing organized baseball since he was eight years old. This year marks his first season playing AAA baseball for Lloydminster’s Northwest Prairie Pirates of the Saskatchewan Premier Baseball League (SPBL). He also serves as a member of the Meadow Lake Senior Sox of the North Saskatchewan River Baseball League (NSRBL) when needed. He said he’s excited about the Toronto event because it could be the launching pad he needs to secure his future goal of playing college baseball.

“The scouts from various colleges will be at this tournament – it’s a tournament for all of Canada’s future baseball prospects,” Brett Esau noted. “It felt great to be invited. I’m also humbled to be part of it.”

While remaining players will have to tryout for their spot in the tournament, Len Esau is proud of the fact his son was among those deemed good enough to receive an invite.

“I don’t know who was responsible for that, but the head of player development for Team Saskatchewan is one of the coaches for the Prairies team,” he said. “I wasn’t familiar with the tournament at first, but – now that I’ve researched it – I realize it’s quite something to be picked.”

The elder Esau also said he’ll do what he can to be on hand for the tournament.

“I’m going to try,” he said. “It would be pretty exciting to go. I haven’t been to Toronto for a long time and this is something that would be interesting to see.”

The trip will mark Brett Esau’s first time in Toronto.

“To have a chance to actually play baseball at Rogers Centre is going to be quite the experience,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to play and to show everyone there what I can do. Who knows what could happen?”

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