Jason Bay is one of the most exciting players in all of Major League Baseball. We spoke to this two-time all-star and current Red Sox slugger to get his thoughts on playing baseball in Canada and what it was like at the Little League World Series in 1990.
How does a kid from Trail, B.C. end up playing baseball and not the great sport of hockey? I actually played both (hockey and baseball) until I was about 12 or 13. After that I just played baseball because I like it more.
What's the Little League scene like in Canada? It's certainly not what it's like in the states. There are teams and fields, but just not all over the place. Obviously there is more hockey played than baseball. But I think baseball is gaining more popularity in Canada due to the fact that more major league players are from there.
What was it like playing in the Little League World Series? It was awesome. Coming from a small town like Trail, British Columbia, and then playing in front of all those people at 11 years old was just amazing. It's something I'll never forget.
What effect did Little League have on your development as a baseball player? As a person? It increased my interest in the game of baseball from a developmental standpoint. As a person, I think it made me understand the importance of team play. It was a lot of fun and even though we didn't win it all, it was fun for the whole team and we all had a great time just being there.
Your sister Lauren played softball for the Canadian National Team as well. What's in the water up there? I don't know what it is. She certainly excels at her sport and I try to do the same in mine. We've always been a close family and sports was something we both loved.
And finally, any advice for those Little Leaguers out there who'd like to play in the majors someday? Just to follow your dream. Keep practicing and playing the sport you love. I loved baseball since I was about 8 years old and kept playing and practicing. The harder you work at it, it becomes easier.
And don't worry when you fail (like striking out or losing); there is always another at bat or another game. Just keep your chin up, be a good teammate and enjoy it.