Host Joe McFarland chats with players, coaches, fans, volunteers and others involved in the sport in our province. While the focus is on their personal journeys, we also talk about some of the headlines and issues surrounding baseball in Alberta.
Episode 198: ”It Ain’t Over”
The Calgary International Film Festival will have a baseball flavour to it this year (September 22-October 2). “It Ain’t Over” takes a look at the life and times of New York Yankees great and Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra. Famous for his on-field play as well as his wit, humour and “Yogi-isms”, Berra was also misunderstood. Director Sean Mullin tries to set the record straight by chatting with Berra’s granddaughter Lindsay as well as former teammates, sports writers and admirers like Billy Crystal. Our Ian Wilson wrote a story recently about his chat with Mullin, and here now is that conversation.
Episode 197: Braden Desonia
Every college player dreams of making an impact with their summer baseball league. Braden Desonia did more than that in his first season with the Medicine Hat Mavericks. The 6’1”, 165-pound centrefielder was a terror for opposing pitchers and defenses, hitting .348 with five home runs and 42 runs batted in while stealing a Western Canadian Baseball League record 42 stolen bases, 15 more than anyone else. Desonia was also a WCBL All-Star, taking part in the festivities in Okotoks, stealing the show at the Home Run Derby, not with his power, but with the storyline of a last-minute request to have his dad, who was flying in from Mead, Washington, be his pitcher. It was a heartfelt moment in a season to remember for the Desonia family. Near the end of the regular season, our Ian Wilson recently chatted with them both about the opportunities and experiences of baseball north of the 49th parallel.
Episode 196: Michael Yusypchuk
There was already a lot of buzz around Edmonton’s Michael Yusypchuk before he joined Team Alberta for this year’s Canada Summer Games in Ontario. Last year’s Baseball Alberta 15U “AAA” Player of the Year has been spectacular with St. Albert Minor Baseball Association teams over the years, is heading to Dawgs Academy in Okotoks, and has already committed to Missouri State. Well, he added to that legacy during the summer games with a no-hitter in the semi-final against BC, striking out seven and was a walk away from the perfect game in a 4-0 victory. Alberta went on to win silver in the tournament, and once the dust settled, we caught up with Yusypchuk to talk about the performance, his baseball journey and what he believes his ceiling might be, as the Canadian Baseball Network has him listed as a top-5 Canadian to be chosen in the 2024 MLB Draft.
Episode 195: Celebrating the 1982 Medicine Hat Blue Jays
It was quite the spectacle in Toronto recently as the Blue Jays marked the 30th anniversary of their 1992 World Series championship. Fans were able to re-live those memories as the stars like Joe Carter, Dave Winfield and Devon White came back to town to celebrate the occasion. That team also had a few connections to its Pioneer League affiliate that won its first title a decade earlier. This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Medicine Hat Blue Jays taking home what would become its only championship. Pat Borders, David Wells and Jimmy Key were among those who were with the Baby Jays that season. On this week’s episode, we take a trip down memory lane with a couple of key members of that team: Keith Gilliam and Kash Beauchamp.
Episode 194: Amar Mahmood
The countdown is on to the 2023 World Baseball Classic. Four cities will host the tournament from March 8th-21st. Canada will be in tough in Pool C with the defending champion United States along with Mexico, Columbia and one of four qualifier teams. There will be two qualifier tournaments, with Pool “A” in Germany from September 16th-21st, and Pool “B” in Panama from September 30th-October 5th. There will be some Alberta talent in Pool “B” with Amar Mahmood. The Edmonton product has been named to the roster for Pakistan, which is where his parents are from. He’s a rising star from AHP Academy, having already committed to De Anza College in the California Community College Association. The 18-year-old took some time this past week to chat with us about his baseball journey, his love of the game and what it means to represent his roots.
Episode 193: Clayton Loranger
2022 will be remembered as the first season with the Edmonton Riverhawks of the West Coast League. In the ultra-competitive North Division, the Riverhawks made a push for the second half pennant, falling just short during the final weekend, finishing with an overall record of 25-28. Several hometown products were able to crack the roster, including outfielder Clayton Loranger. The Sherwood Park native was outstanding, hitting .365 with two home runs, 30 RBI, and 27 stolen bases in 47 games en route to being named a WCL First Team All-Star. We caught up with the 5-11, 195-pound Stephen F. Austin State University senior recently to talk about his summer and what it meant to be a part of the inaugural season as a hometown hero.
Great coverage of Alberta baseball
We’re lucky to have these guys devote their time to telling the story of baseball in Alberta!
Great Interviewer and Production Value!
So happy to have stumbled upon this pod after following ADS on social media. Everything an Alberta baseball fan is interested in. Content is fabulous and relevant! One suggestion is to reintroduce guests by full name and title at the closing of interviews as a reminder for the listening audience. Keep up the great work!
Alberta's Vin Scullys
Two guys, passion and joy. Vin and Scully. They do phenomenal job at Alberta Dugout Stories. It's breath taking how huge knowledge they've got about the players from all over the world that are somehow connected to this province. AB Podcasts brought another dimension to the Alberta baseball encyclopedia. It's about people you might currently know or you might meet tomorrow or week later. It's real. I'm just wondering who is Vin and who is Scully?