By Jonathan Hodgson
Two builders and champions of Canadian amateur baseball will enter the Dawgs Hall of Fame in 2019.
The Okotoks Dawgs are very pleased to announce that Terry McKaig and Michael Rose will comprise the class of 2019, and will be inducted on February 2ndat the Dawgs 12thannual awards dinner & fundraiser.
Established in 2014, the Dawgs Hall of Fame recognizes those who have made extraordinary contribution to:
- The Dawgs baseball program, including summer-collegiate team and Youth Academy
- The development of the Seaman Stadium Complex and related facilities
- The growth and success of baseball at the amateur and youth levels across Canada
Terry McKaig……..The head baseball coach at the University of British Columbia (UBC) from 1997 to 2015, McKaig won 553 games in his 18-years at the helm (.614 win percentage), as well as eight NAIA West titles and an NAIA World Series berth. In that time, UBC became a collegiate destination for premiere baseball talent from across Canada, producing 20 major league draft picks, headlined by left-handed pitcher Jeff Francis (Vancouver, BC), the ninth overall selection in 2002 (Colorado) who went on to enjoy an 11-year major league career.
McKaig, a native of Vernon, BC, was named NAIA West Coach of the year four times in his tenure.
It was that excellent reputation and record of success that made McKaig’s program an outstanding partner for the Dawgs. This included both Dawgs Academy graduates playing their collegiate baseball at UBC, as well as the Thunderbirds sending many of their stand out players, including future drafted and professional players, to play for the Dawgs summer-collegiate team.
Future major league draft selections from UBC who have played for the Dawgs summer-collegiate team include players like like left-handed pitcher Mark Hardy (Dawgs ’08-’09, Padres), infielder Sammie Starr (Dawgs ’08, Orioles), Bruce Yari (Dawgs ’15-’16, Reds) as well as left-hander Jeremy Newton (Dawgs ’15) who signed as a minor league free agent with the Milwaukee Brewers.
McKaig was elevated to the title of Director of Baseball at UBC in 2015, orchestrating the build-out of their multi-million dollar baseball complex, with donations from Rose, which includes the state-of-the-art Rose Indoor Training Centre as well as Tourmaline West Baseball Stadium.
The scope of McKaig’s vision has broadened and is now reminiscent in concept to the Dawgs program. UBC baseball now encompasses not only UBC’s NAIA collegiate program, but also now a youth program including high school teams under UBC branding as well as community programs for local youth players.
The partnership between UBC baseball and the Dawgs has widened in recent years as well, now including the ‘Dawgs Academy vs. UBC Challenge’, pitting arguably the two most successful brands in Canadian amateur baseball against each other each season in a friendly, but highly competitive, home and home series.
Dawgs managing director John Ircandia had this to say about McKaig:
“I first met a young Terry McKaig when we were coaching teams at the Arizona Scouting Showcase where his passion for the game was already evident. Fast forward a few years and that passion translated into Canada’s only affiliated college baseball program, the UBC Thunderbirds,”Ircandia said. “His success as head coach with UBC is renowned. His coaching resume includes several players whom he coached to MLB draft selections, highlighted by a 1st rounder, Jeff Francis, who enjoyed a stellar career pitching in the big leagues,” he said.
Ircandia concluded by saying, “Terry’s passion for the game went much further. He was the driving force behind the creation of facilities, an indoor training center and now a full service baseball stadium at UBC that areleading edge and the envy of universities on both sides of the border. And now to top it off he has realized his vision of creating a UBC youth program to complement the collegiate team. Terry McKaig is and will always be synonymous with UBC Thunderbird Baseball.”
Michael Rose……..An avid baseball fan and long time youth baseball coach, Michael Rose was quick to appreciate the Dawgs vision for youth and amateur baseball development. He has been an integral contributor in ensuring that the Seaman Stadium Complex would become a reality, allowing the Dawgs program to soar to new levels and positively affect the careers of hundreds of youth and amateur baseball players.
Rose, the president and CEO of Tourmaline Oil Corp. and former CEO of Duvernay Oil Corp., joined Dawgs initial donors, Don and Doc Seaman, by acquiring naming rights to what was to become the Duvernay Fieldhouse.
Duvernay Fieldhouse, opened in 2008 immediately adjacent to the first base line of Seaman Stadium, provides invaluable indoor training capabilities to Dawgs Academy coaches and players. Featuring a regulation size field turf infield, multiple batting cages, pitching mounds, a complete weight & cardio room, state of the art, video analysis technology, team clubhouses and administrative offices, the Duvernay Fieldhouse presents Academy players unmatched facilities in which to train and improve year round.
Rose was the principal donor behind Tourmaline Field, which opened in the spring of 2010 and became the ‘Home of the Dawgs Academy’. Featuring a field turf surface and field lights allowing play early in the spring and late into the fall, Tourmaline Field also includes bullpens and pitching mounds, a clubhouse, as well as stadium seating reminiscent of a ‘miniature Seaman Stadium’ together with fan amenities such as a concession area and washrooms, a full size interactive scoreboard, and public address system.
When teamed with Seaman Stadium, these two fields make Okotoks the premiere host site for provincial and national tournaments, which it has on multiple occasions. In 2020 and 2021, thanks to these extraordinary facilities, the Dawgs will host the Ray Carter 15U National Championship.
Rose has a strong family connection to the Dawgs program as his sons Brendan, Jeremy and Aidan have all worn the red and white of the Dawgs Academy, Brendan going on to enjoy success playing at the college level, en route to an engineering degree, with the UBC Thunderbirds and the summer collegiate Dawgs. In fact, Brendan was named Dawgs Rookie of the Year in 2014, and in 2016 was the Dawgs True Grit Award Winner, for his strong performances with the summer collegiate Dawgs.
John Ircandia spoke about Rose.
“Mike Rose has quietly -and largely behind the scenes- left an indelible mark on Canadian college and youth baseball,” Ircandia said. “It isn’t easy developing youth players without the facilities, particularly in our climate. Believe me, I tried. Thanks to Mike’s generosity and his appreciation for our Dawgs vision, we now offer youth players facilities for their development that are unmatched in Canada and among the finest in North America,”he said.
Ircandia concluded by saying, “Mike’s support of the game goes beyond the Dawgs. He is directly responsible for the finest little league stadium in the country: Calgary’s Rocky Mountain Stadium at Stanley Park. And he has created a lasting legacy at UBC with the Rose Indoor Training Center and Tourmaline West Baseball Stadium, facilities that will not only enable the Thunderbirds collegiate team to reach new heights but have allowed UBC to become the home of a first class youth program.”
The Dawgs would like to congratulate Terry and Michael on their upcoming induction into the Dawgs Hall of Fame, and salute them for their contributions to the success and growth of the Dawgs program and amateur baseball in our community, and throughout Canada.
View past induction classes and to learn more about the Dawgs Hall of Fame HERE
The Dawgs 12th annual Awards Banquet & Fundraiser will take place on February 2 at the Foothills Centennial Centre in Okotoks. The event begins with happy hour at 6:00pm and dinner at 7:00pm, followed by induction of the Hall of Fame class of 2019, recognition of the Dawgs 2018 team award winners, and words from 2012 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winning writer, Bob Elliott.
Tickets are on sale now for $125 each or $800 for a table of eight. Simply call the Dawgs office at 403-262-3294.