Amanda Asay inspired both male and female baseball players – Peace Arch News

I’m sure I stole second base that day.

Amanda Asay was behind the plate in the first innings of the last game I played against her.

I seem to remember telling him something about the stolen bag the next time I walked into the club. I remember his huge smile under his catcher’s mask, almost as if to say, “I dare you to try again.

It was August 7 – just months before his death – at Minoru Park in Richmond, where my Richmond Red Sox were beaten 14-3 by the ever tough Vancouver Pirates.

Amanda hasn’t played every game with the Lower Mainland Baseball Association Pirates. But when she did, she always seemed to be doing something memorable, whether it was knocking down a runner when she was behind home plate or laying down to catch a line down the middle when playing second. goal.

I also remember seeing her family there at almost every game, greeting her from behind the dugout with big smiles and hugs, like it was the first time they had seen her play. (They must have watched her play so much baseball over the years.)

Amanda died on January 7 after an accident at the Whitewater ski resort near Nelson. She was only 33 years old.

No matter where Amanda played on the court, it was obvious to everyone on both teams that she was a real player. She seemed to enjoy the fact that she was out there playing hardball, competing with the guys.

With the women, his baseball skills were second to none.

A native of Prince George, she spent 15 years with the national baseball team, starting at age 17 in 2005. She was part of the team that won silver at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, has won five World Cup medals and was twice MVP at first base in 2006 and as a pitcher in 2016.

“She was a competitor who had all the characteristics you look for in a baseball player,” said André Lachance, who coached Amanda on several national teams. “Above all, she was a great person who will leave a lasting impact on many people, not only with the Women’s National Team program, but with everyone who was lucky enough to meet her.

If all that wasn’t enough, Amanda also played hockey with the Nelson Blueliners and had a doctorate in forestry.

After dedicating the 2022 season to Amanda, the Lower Mainland Baseball Association had this to say about her on their website:

“Amanda improved the game of baseball and everyone (teammates, opponents) benefited from her presence…. Her impact on the development of women’s baseball in the province has been immeasurable.

The LMBA is right. The impact players like Amanda have had on the sport can be seen all the way to the big leagues.

Last year in San Francisco, Alyssa Nakken became the first woman to hold a full-time coaching position in Major League Baseball and became the first woman to coach on the field in an MLB game.

And in New York, Rachel Balkovec has been named the first female manager of a minor league baseball. The Yankees promoted Balkovec to manager of the Low A Tampa Tarpons, making her the first woman to lead a Major League Baseball-affiliated team.

Moves like this probably never would have happened without trailblazing ballplayers like Amanda.

“I think one of the most important things I want to say to young players is that if it’s what you love to do and you’re willing to work hard, you can find a way,” he said. she told Postmedia in 2020. “More spots are opening up all the time if baseball is your passion. I want to encourage them to keep going.”

Rest in peace Amanda.

Beau Simpson is editor of the Now-Leader. Email him at [email protected]

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