Sports Baseball

Portage la Prairie native Faron Asham won Baseball Canada's Coach of the Year and will be inducted into the MB Baseball Hall of Fame next summer

A year of firsts

By Aaron Wilgosh, The Graphic

Faron Asham in the dugout this season. (Submitted by Graphic)

Faron Asham in the dugout this season. (Submitted by Graphic)

An incredible road to the hall of fame.

Team Manitoba baseball coach, and Portage la Prairie native, Faron Asham is going into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame next summer to cap off a pretty special year.

“I got the call on early on a Saturday and it was completely unexpected,” says Asham. “I was overwhelmed, honoured, and privileged. There really aren’t enough words to describe how it feels to be going in with the great group of players and coaches I’m going in with this year.”

Like most coaches from Portage la Prairie, Asham got his start through Portage Minor baseball when he took on the coach’s role to stick close to the sport. He says at that point there weren’t a whole lot of opportunities for people coming out of minor ball except coaching so he decided to give it a go because he was always a big fan of the strategy of the sport.

“It’s been a crazy year for sure,” laughs Asham. “Team Manitoba was a three-year process to get to the Canada Summer Games that were held in Winnipeg this summer and I’m a little thankful it’s over. It’s really been a rollercoaster of a ride.”

Asham found himself loaded with hardware after the baseball season. He captured Manitoba’s first silver medal at the games since 1985, he was invited to Hamilton, Ont., for the Baseball Canada Awards where he took home Canada’s Coach of the Year, he was named Baseball Manitoba high-performance coach of the year, and next summer he’ll be inducted into the Manitoba HOF. He says the Canada Summer Games will be something he’ll remember forever.

“It is seriously hard to describe how it felt walking out between games and with 7000 people wearing Manitoba gold and cheering for you,” admits Asham. “The whole experience was not what I expected but in such a positive way. We had a nail-biter in game 1 and I didn’t realize how many people were there. Then we got a call that all of our games will be played at Shaw Park because of the number of tickets sold. At that point, we knew the province was behind us.”

He’s looking forward to another baseball season in the summer, and the induction ceremony in Morden, Man. He’s glad to hear Portage is working at bringing in a junior baseball team to help keep the talented players in Portage and working toward the Padres.

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