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Sportswave Welcome’s Tyler Zickel

Photo Credit D. Laird Allan/Sportswave

Locally we look forward to watching Vancouver Canadians entertain thousands each season for w hat is or what called short season Single “A” Ball at Nat Bailey Stadium in East Vancouver which has been a fixture in the area since the 2000 season.

Initially they were the farm club for the Oakland A’s until the conclusion of the 2010 season at which point in time following the conclusion of the 2010 season the C’s announced a long-term partnership that would see Nat Bailey Stadium renamed Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium.

Locally there was a “buzz” in the area when they announced they would be the Short Season “A” affiliate for the Toronto Blue Jays at the conclusion of the 2010 season. 

This saw a huge increase in their attendance that saw a rise in more going through the turnstiles to 162,162 for the season, which was a team record. 

The C’s won their first Northwest League championship title in 2011 in an action packed series that saw them defeat the Tri-City Dust Devils, 9–2, to win the final series, 2–1. 

In 2012 the C’s became back-to-back league champions for the first time in the history of the Canadians organization as they managed to defeat the Boise Hawks, 12–9, winning the final series, 2–1.

Changes are inevitable with any sports team or organization and such was the case with the C’s as they recently announced the move up from single A ball..

For years we have had the luxury of listening to Rob Fai as the team broadcaster calling all home and away games which has been extremely entertaining due to his knowledge of the game and love for the sport.

Given the recent change the Vancouver Canadians have made for the upcoming 2021 season one change has been made which you will notice from their very first broadcast this season.

I should make mention that the 2017 Championship for the Vancouver Canadians saw the team managed by good friend Rich Miller for the one season and we are pleased to mention that in 1989 Miller was inducted into the West Chester College Baseball Hall of Fame.

This has since become the West Chester University Sports Hall of Fame; 1993 brought Miller’s induction into the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame

It was recently announced by the Canadians, in conjunction with the Blue Jays, that Tyler Zickel would become the new play by play, media relations person for the upcoming 2021 Season taking over for Rob Fai.

Recently I had the privilege to chat with Tyler at the C’s temporary home in Hillsboro Oregon but only until the Canadian border reopens, which for C’s fans can’t happen soon enough.

He (Tyler) is excited about working with the C’s and can’t wait until he gets his “first taste of ball” and the Canadian way of life and is twice as eager to introduce his Girlfriend to Vancouver and the surrounding area.

Previously he was slotted as the Manager for the Dunedin Blue Jays for the 2020 Season and before 2020, he spent four years as a hitting coach, most recently with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

It goes without saying that many will miss the voice of Rob Fai behind the mic, but change is inevitable and we welcome Tyler to the area and look forward to working with him in his new surroundings.

It’s interesting to note that last season the C’s announced Brent Lavallee as the head coach for the 2020 season which would have been a great fit considering he calls North Delta home.

Brett played ball for the North Delta Blue Jays and received a full scholarship to LSU Shreveport, a Division 1 NAIA School that allowed him to prepare for the starting role of a freshman catcher/first baseman.  

He went on to break the team record for the most games caught by a catcher but was forced to overcome knee surgery in the 2007-8 season 

Other changes with the C’s will see a “new look” staff which include Antonio (Pitching Coach) Caceres, Ryan Wright (Hitting Coach) and the only returning staff member Danny Canellas as the Position Coach.

The Jay’s signed Caceres as a 17-years-old from Couti, Dominican Republic and. played four seasons in the organization, three in the Dominican Summer League and one at the Rookie Level. 

In 1999 he changed his role to coaching and is in his first season with the Vancouver Canadians and looks forward to spending time in the lower mainland.

Ryan Wright recently joined the Jays as the hitting coach in 2019 and coached the Kelowna Falcons a member of the West Coast League, a wood bat summer collegiate league before joining the Blue Jays. 

Vancouver also announce Taylor Hill (Development Coach), Brandon Hammerstrom (Head Athletic Trainer), Tommy LaBriola (Strength & Conditioning Coach), Geoff Stallman (Dietitian) and Rob DiBernardo (Mental Performance Coach) will be a part of Donnie Murphy’s staff this summer.

2021 Vancouver Canadians Field Staff:

  • Manager: Donnie Murphy

    Donnie Murphy

  • Pitching Coach: Antonio Caceres
  • Hitting Coach: Ryan Wright
  • Position Coach: Danny Canellas
  • Development Coach: Taylor Hill
  • Trainer: Brandon Hammerstrom
  • S&C Coach: Tommy LaBriola
  • Dietitian: Geoff Stallman
  • MP Coach Rob DiBernardo

The Vancouver Canadians will open the 2021 season on the road at Gesa Stadium vs the Tri-City Dust Devils (Los Angles Angels affiliate).

Photo D. Laird Allan

History of Vancouver Canadians Managers (2000-current)

  • Dave Joppie (2000) 
  • Webster Garrison (2001) 
  • Orv Franchuk (2002) 
  • Dennis Rogers (2003-04)
  • Juan Navarette (2005)
  • Rick Magnante (2006-10) 
  • John Schneider (2011, 2014-15)
  • Rich Miller (2011, 2017) 
  • Clayton McCullough (2012-13) 
  • John Tamargo Jr. (2016);
  • Dallas McPherson (2018) 
  • Casey Candaele (2019) 
  • Brent Lavallee (2020)
  • Donnie Murphy (current)

    Photo Credit PHOTO BY NICK TURCHIARO /USA TODAY SPORTS