July 12th, 2024

Standoff baseball player makes history

By Lethbridge Herald on May 14, 2024.

Junior Young Pine has made history with his commitment to Edmonton Collegiate.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

Standoff baseball player Junior Young Pine has made history in his young career.

The Fort MacLeod Royal American Legion Baseball multi-positional player  will be the first indigenous player to suit up for the Canadian College Baseball Conference’s Edmonton Collegiate Hawks next season.

“We believe he’s the first in CCBC,” said Hawks general manager Steve Hogle.

“We just don’t know if there’s a coach or a manager from a team years ago that might have one.”

“Just pretty proud of myself that I’m going to go and play college because not a lot of kids do,” said Young Pine.

Young Pine feels he’s opening a lot of doors for fellow young indigenous athletes that are coming up.

“Just do the best I can in college and come back and give back to the community,” said Young Pine.

He is looking forward to better competition and a level higher of ball.

“And just seeing what that’s going to  bring me and see how I succeed with it,” said Young Pine.

Young Pine realizes he will have to worker harder  in preparation prior to his arrival in Edmonton.

“Work a lot harder than I have too,” said Young Pine.

He will attend NAIT and will enrole in Geoscience Technology.

His parents were beyond words when asked about their son going on to higher level of education and baseball.

“It’s going to go a long ways,” said Leon Young Pine Senior, Junior’s dad.

“It’s going to open a lot of doors for people back home to want to try and  [to]want to get to another level.”

“It is real life history,” said Hogle.

“I don’t know if you’re familiar with our ball park up here, but we play on very special land in Treaty 6. It’s a gathering area, it’s been a gathering area for thousands of years, and we’re honoured to carry on that tradition, and we’re fully committed partners in reconciliation, and to have an indigenous player come here, I mean is absolutely wonderful. Junior’s not only a great ball player but an even better person.”

The most important thing to Hawks is for Young Pine to have a wonderful experience.

“We want him to get a great education, the baseball guys will give him an unbelievable baseball experience, he’s going to grow and develop and take his game to the next level and his citizenship to the next level,” said Hogle.

“It is history in the making as I say and we want to celebrate that without putting too much pressure on Junior because we want to be  sure he is enjoying his time here, and growing and learning.”

Details are being ironed out for a great opportunity through a scholarship for Young Pine.

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