April 7, 2024

Okotoks Dawgs Press Release

Okotoks, Alberta – The Okotoks Dawgs Baseball Club and the Dawgs Baseball Academy (the “Dawgs”) are proud to announce that founding and managing director John Ircandia has been ranked as Canada’s 14th most influential person in baseball by the prestigious Canadian Baseball Network (“CBN”).

The annual rankings are a “Who’s Who” in the sport and include current and former Major League owners, executives, players, coaches, scouts, and broadcasters.

The 2023 rankings were led by Alex Anthopoulous, who as president and general manager of the Atlanta Braves has built a perennial powerhouse in Major League Baseball (MLB). Other notables included Robbie Thomson, manager of the Philadelphia Phillies at No. 2; Edward Rogers of Rogers Communications, owners of the Toronto Blue Jays, at No. 4; Cooperstown Hall of Famers Larry Walker and Fergie Jenkins, who were ranked 5th; outstanding Canadian broadcaster Dan Shulman, who was recognized as the 10th most influential; Greg Hamilton, manager of Canada’s National Teams, at No. 11; and Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guererro, who came in at No. 12.

In ranking Ircandia as the 14th most influential, the CBN recognized the phenomenal success of Ircandia’s
Dawgs, both on and off the field. With crowds exceeding 4,500 fans per game in 2023, the Dawgs were the 3rd top draw in all of summer college baseball, according to the U.S. online resource Ballpark Digest. Further, based on a poll conducted by the same U.S. resource, Seaman Stadium – home of the Dawgs – was recognized as the Best Ballpark in Summer College Baseball in North America.

On the field, the college Dawgs captured back-to-back championships in the Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL), Canada’s premier summer collegiate circuit. Dawgs players also garnered success in the professional ranks
with Kody Funderburk making his MLB debut with the Minnesota Twins. Meanwhile, former MLB All Star Andrew
Kittredge moved from the Tampa Bay Rays to the St. Louis Cardinals and Alejo Lopez saw action with the Cincinnati Reds. Another former Dawg, Jacob Melton, a second-round pick of the Houston Astros, has been ranked among the club’s top prospects while Dawgs Academy grads Gavin Logan, Tristan Peters, Matt Wilkinson and Matt Lloyd are rising in the ranks with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Tampa Bay Rays, Cleveland Guardians and St. Louis Cardinals, respectively.

Additionally, in the MLB’s coaching ranks, original Dawg and Calgary’s own Jim Henderson – who enjoyed success as a relief pitcher with the New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers – was named Assistant Pitching Coach for the big-league Brewers.

Not resting on past successes, the Dawgs also added a number of fan-friendly upgrades to their extraordinary $25 million, state of the art baseball complex recently, including the popular Kore 4 (+14) Corner, the Dawgs Beach Bar and the Golden Sombrero Cantina. In the current offseason, under Ircandia’s guidance, the Dawgs are adding a new 80-foot ribbon videoboard and, to address swelling crowds, an all-new seating section, as well as expanded patios and field level suites.

The CBN also noted the extraordinary success of the Dawgs Baseball Academy, now training over 125
youth players under the tutelage of general manager Tyler Hollick. Coaches include Jeff Duda (former Can-Am Pitcher of the Year); Lou Pote (who won a World Series ring as a pitcher with the Anaheim Angels); and Tyler Milton. This offseason the Dawgs have invested in state-of-the-art technology to offer further development opportunities to their young athletes. With a challenging schedule that includes extensive competition against leading U.S. travel teams, the 18U Dawgs have been ranked as the 3rd top youth team in North America by prestigious U.S. scouting service Perfect Game. In addition, the Dawgs Academy has enjoyed phenomenal success in attracting scholarships for graduating players to such elite U.S. baseball programs as Oregon State University, University of Oregon, Washington State University, University of Washington, University of Tennessee, University of Miami, Arizona State University, University of Utah, University of Michigan, Missouri State University and St. John’s University. This past fall the nationally ranked OSU Beavers spent two weeks training with the Dawgs at Seaman Stadium.

For further information about the Dawgs contact:

Okotoks Dawgs Baseball Club
Tyler Hollick, General Manager
Phone: 403.262.3294
Email: office@dawgsbaseball.ca


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