Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Jason Bay threw out the first pitch at the 2018 BC Little League Championships held at Andy Bilesky Park in Trail. Bay will be at the Smoke Eaters game on Jan. 4 signing baseball cards prior to the game . Sheri Regnier photo.

Jason Bay returns to Trail, baseball card signing at Smokies game

Committee formed, partners with City to help bring ‘Jason Bay Field’ to fruition

A very special guest will ring in the New Year at the Smoke Eaters home game on Jan. 4.

None other than former Major League baseball star, Jason Bay, will be at the game signing baseball cards for youngsters at the start of the Smokies game versus the Merritt Centennials.

“That is exciting,” said Trail’s Lou DeRosa. “I think there’ll be a line up to sign the cards and it will be nice to have Jason here.”

DeRosa, a retired teacher and baseball coach, helped spearhead the initiative to add Jason Bay’s name to Butler Park, in recognition of Bay’s incredible baseball career. Trail City Council okayed the proposal in November, and set up a committee to keep the proverbial ball rolling.

“He was absolutely flattered to have his name added to Butler Park,” said DeRosa. “He’s very appreciative and very humble.”

Bay, who is coming to Trail to visit his parents, David and Kelly, over the holidays, will sign about 500 cards at the Trail Memorial Centre prior to the Smokies game, based on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“Jason’s had a very, very successful career in the Major Leagues,” explained DeRosa. “There’s not many Canadians who play in the Majors, and he played in it for 11 seasons, was a three-time all star, so he had a fabulous career.”

DeRosa and well-known organizer Keith Smyth are part of the committee that includes city representatives Andrea Jolly and Sarah Benson-Lord, as well as community input from Glenn Wallace, Doug Jones, Doug Stanley, and Dan and D. J. Ashman.

Hall’s Printing is also a major contributor to the project, covering the cost of the Bay baseball cards, while D.J. is a very close friend of Jason’s and the Bay family.

Smyth taught both Jason and Lauren Bay at Glenmerry Elementary and has plenty of experience as a volunteer-organizer. He was involved with the 1987 Trail All Stars that hosted the Canadian Little League championship, was a key organizer of the 1995 Babe Ruth 16-18 World Series in Trail, in addition to a couple of BC Winter, Summer, and Senior Games.

“What is kinda neat, when you think about it,” said Smyth. “You got Andy Bilesky Park, Joe Haley Park, Willi Kraus Fieldhouse, and now Jason Bay Field so it is very cool that some of our prominent athletes continue to be recognized.”

The committee, in partnership with the City, is also hoping to raise funds for the new signage, which Smyth estimates will cost approximately $50,000. The City also recognizes the importance of preserving the current legacy of Butler as well as Wright Pool that make up the Greater Trail Aquatic and Leisure Centre.

Bay currently lives in Seattle with his wife Kristen and three children Addison, Evelyn, and Garrett. He was drafted by the Monteal Expos in 2000, and played for the San Diego Padres, Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets and Seattle Mariners. He was the National League Rookie of the Year in 2004 and won the Silver Slugger Award in 2009. In June, Bay was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

“I think the younger children will be inspired by Jason Bay Field, because he was a Major League Baseball player, and hopefully we’ll get another one come out of the area here,” added DeRosa.

Bay will be at the Trail Memorial Centre at 6 p.m. and will sign cards until the start of the Smokies game at 7 p.m.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Petition calls on referendum for new city hall development in Rossland

The petition sent to the B.C. government has gathered more than 350 signatures

Trail RCMP officer accused of criminal harassment, forcible entry

BCPS: The charges against Murchie date between 2017 and 2020

Trail RCMP safely apprehend man experiencing mental health crisis

A number of frontline agencies were involved in bringing this incident to a peaceful resolve

Trail RCMP, coroner, investigating fisherman’s sudden death

The Maple Ridge man, in his 50s, died while fishing on a bridge near Trail

Speak up for B.C.’s Old Growth

Letter to the Editor from Wildsight

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

Most Read