2000 Canadian Sport Awards
ALSO ON SLAM!
1999 Pan American Games Baseball Team
Nominated by Baseball CanadaCanada's baseball team went into the Pan American Games tournament as underdogs and came out with the bronze medal. The real story is not the medal, however; it's how the team knocked off the world's two top-ranked baseball countries - the United States, with a team stacked with professional minor-leaguers, and Cuba, the reigning Olympic and world champions. Team Canada captured the hearts of Canadians from coast to coast to coast with their feisty play. At stake was a trip to the 2000 Olympic Games.
Canadian Press called the team's action-packed 7-6 victory over the United States in 11 innings a "miracle on grass," clinched when Stubby Clapp drove in the winning run. "That was definitely the most excitement and the most adrenaline I've ever had," said team captain Troy Fortin after the game. "It was an incredible game to be part of." Fortin's words match the opinion of spectators, reporters, camera crews, and television viewers alike.
For the rest of the tournament, the team's exploits were the focus of national attention, which heightened with its 8-1 trashing of Cuba, a monumental upset for the perennial champions who had won every baseball gold at the Games since 1967.
Canada finished atop the standings after round robin pool play with a 4-0 record. The team wound up the tournament with an overall win-loss record of 5-1 and the bronze medal, not enough for a trip to Sydney, but more than enough for a place in Canada's sporting history.
Team members were Todd Betts of Scarborough, Ont., Rob Butler of Toronto, Stubby Clapp of Windsor, Ont., Lee Delfino of Pickering, Ont., Colin Dixon of West Vancouver, Troy Fortin of Lundar, Man., Jason Gooding of Cambridge, Ont., Jason Green of Port Hope, Ont., Steve Green of Longueuil, Que., Aaron Guiel of Langley, B.C., Yan La Chapelle of Gatineau, Que., Clint Lawrence of Oakville, Ont., Julien Lépine of Charlesbourg, Que., Matt Logan of Brampton, Ont., Chris Mears of Victoria, Mike Meyers of Tilsonburg, Ont., Greg Morrison of Medicine Hat, Alta., Ryan Radmanovich of Calgary, Mark Randall of Edmonton, Chad Ricketts of Thorold, Ont., Dave Ross of St. Albert, Alta., Andy Stewart of Wilmington, Del., Matt Stockman of Scarborough, Ont., and Jeremy Ware of Guelph, Ont.