From humble beginnings around a dinner table to today a short, productive journey that tells the story of love for the game and the blessing others have offered to the children of Calgary.
A conversation around the dinner table led to the seed that is growing into Coyote Baseball. Steve Lloyd and Rob Harris were determined to find more baseball opportunities for their boys. With such a short season in the spring, what could a player do to develop and experience baseball? So these two Dads / coaches asked, What can we do to challenge and grow our players?
The conversation led to finding a tournament in Phoenix the following March, for a small group of twelve year olds to play. Rob and Steve were able to raise a bit of support for the team, get uniforms and equipment, and even established our first player-bursary program. Costs were kept incredible low for parents, and we began to train (as best we could) in a gym.
Shortly after this first team started, Steve was approached by a couple of families who wanted to do the same thing for their eleven year olds. In the space of less than a week, Coyote Baseball (we borrowed the name from one of the Allstar teams Steve had coached!) was born and had grown to two teams made up of families from four different Little Leagues and one Calgary Baseball team.
In March 2008 these two teams travelled to Phoenix and played at a terrific tournament in incredible weather. People had a fantastic time. And we were asked if we would do it again of course, Steve said yes. And we all went back to spring leagues and Steve got to work on some events for the fall and following spring.
Steve and Rob were asked (by parents of players who had either opted out of or had been cut by Allstar programs) if they would be willing to assemble a summer team to play in a few tournaments. They eagerly complied, and found a couple of great experiences for the kids. One of the interesting developments from this, was that Steve started to inquire about this team playing in some Cal Ripken events in British Columbia. Unfortunately, several tourneys had been set up and then cancelled, due to BC Ripken league teams not wanting to play. But Calgary Coyote Baseball was now on the radar.
One thing led to another, and as it turns out, BC Cal Ripken (who had a berth in the Ripken World Series) was not planning to field a team in Aberdeen for the Championship. The Commissioner of Alberta Babe Ruth was contacted by the head office, and asked if Calgary could assemble a team to participate. Coyote Baseball was a founding partner, and we are proud that 9 of the 13 players selected to that team are from our teams.
It was in Aberdeen that Steve dreamed with several families about the future of youth baseball in Calgary. And our little seed of a dream was given the opportunity to grow. The vision for Coyote Baseball is getting off the ground. A significant volunteer and sponsorship base was established and we were off and running.
Two age group Coyote teams to Las Vegas for tournaments.
We sent three age group teams to compete in Phoenix at Triple Crowns Spring Championships. Seventeen of our thirty one players stayed at a baseball camp for a week after the tourney.
Coyote Baseball hosted it first annual Stampede Week Camp, staffed with high level coaches from Americas Baseball Camps in addition to our Coyote staff. Fifty six players participated.
Later that summer, Coyote Baseball was the lead sponsor and organizer for the Calgary Cal Ripken team that competed at the Ripken Canadian championships in Summerland, BC. The team, coached by our Coyote staff, won the silver medal! Also that summer, nine Coyotes (of thirteen total players) earn spots with Alberta Babe Ruth 13U team at Pacific Northwest Regionals. Five Coyotes make 14U ABR team. Five Coyotes win spots with team Alberta 15U Showcase team.Coyote Baseball (working with Alberta Babe Ruth) is lead organization in establishing Calgarys first fall ball program for youth 12 years old and younger.
We took fifty-two players to Las Vegas with our five teams. Coyote Baseball had player personnel from nine different Little Leagues, two Alberta Baseball programs and several training centers. We are drawing players from Calgary, Airdire, Okotoks, Lethbridge and even as far away as Texas!
Coyote Baseball incorporates as a non-profit society Calgary Coyote Youth Baseball Institute.
Coyote Baseball establishes regular off-season training programs. Not only well conceived and well-run, these excellent camps are the lowest priced in the city!
Coyote Baseball hosts two exceptional Coaching Clinics with veteran MLB coaches.
With a bright future built on caring about the development of young players, Coyote Baseball is on the horizon of exciting things.