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Letters of Intent
By Andrew Hendriks
WATERLOO – Things are beginning to take shape for the Waterloo Whiskey Jacks, one of two Canadian-based franchises set to play in the newly formed East Coast Baseball League this summer.
Having bolstered their front office with the addition of general manager Brian Boukre earlier in 2015, the Jacks took another important step forward naming Takashi Miyoshi as the first manager in franchise history.
Aside from having played professional indy-ball ball himself, including a short stint with the London Monarchs of the ill fated Canadian Baseball League (2003), Miyoshi, 36, brings with him a wealth of knowledge and coaching experience, having most recently appeared as the first base coach for the Grand Prairie Air Hogs of the American Association.
In addition to leading the Jacks during their inaugural season, Miyoshi will also become the first Japanese-born field boss in professional North American baseball, says league president, Colin Cummins.
“I don’t look at Taka as Japanese. Instead, I look at him as a great communicator, evaluator and commander” added the ECBL President. “Simply put, being a Japanese manager and the first in North America is a great feat and I’m honored to be a part of that … But even more honored that he chose to come to Waterloo and the ECBL”.
Bourke, who, in addition to overseeing the Whiskey Jacks, serves as a councillor with the City of Waterloo, agrees with Cummings, and couldn’t think of a better location for the Japanese import to hone his managerial skills.
“Taka is a great fit for a region which is welcoming people from all over the world to take advantage of our educational institutions and the economic opportunities in Waterloo.” said the Jacks GM. “People in this city will identify with his desire to manage in the major leagues one day, to test his limits and to be the best he can be. It’s the same reason why thousands of people come to Waterloo region for educational and employment opportunities. His position as manager just shows how our world getting smaller all the time”.
With a manager now in place, the Whiskey Jacks next course of action will be to supplement their 22-man-roster with talent ahead of the teams season opener in May.
Looking to field teams with both Canadian and international players in 2015, the East Coast Baseball League will be holding open tryouts on Feb. 21 at the Dugout in Vaughn, Ont.
For additional information on the ECBL and it’s upcoming schedule.
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