Originally posted on The GM's Perspective  |  Last updated 2/6/12
Baseball in Canada has sure changed since my playing days in the late 90’s early 2000’s.  When I was trying to get a scholarship, I created my own VHS tapes, mailed them out to schools that my family, coaches and I deemed appropriate. I mailed those out with my baseball resume, hoping some college coaches would take some interest.  Nowadays, Canadian kids looking to further their education and to get that opportunity across the border have so many options that the days of doing your own recruiting are long gone.  The Ontario Blue Jays is an organization based out of Mississauga Ontario, whose purpose is to train young talent and prepare them for baseball after high school.  The Blue Jays, led by Dan Bleiwas and his staff of nearly 20 dedicated professionals. run five unique teams aged 16-18 who play teams throughout Ontario and tournaments across the United States. The Jays also provide their players an indoor workout facility for off-season training.  The OBJ’s have quite simply become a breeding ground for home grown talent with a track record of success and a multitude of recruiting experience and connections. Since 1996 the OBJ’s have sent over 200 players into collegiate baseball, with many of them seeing professional playing time after their college days are over.  Recently the Jays held their OBJ Gala Dinner and Hall of Fame Induction ceremony featuring former graduates; Pete Orr, Adam Stern, Tyler Johnston and Drew Taylor. The featured speaker was former Toronto Blue Jay Cecil Fielder, and according to OBJ Head Coach and Director of Baseball Operations, Dan Bleiwas, the event is a celebration;  “Not only do we get to celebrate the achievements of one of the greatest hitters of all time in Cecil Fielder, but we have the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of four of our graduates and the organization in general.”  Assisting the players in achieving their dreams is one thing, but teaching the fundamentals and making sure the kids learn the game the right way is another.  Baseball is a funny game. It can lift you up one minute and drag you down another. But on the other hand, it teaches you discipline. With an indoor training center, private and group lessons, and years of experience, you are definitely in good hands when you become a part of the Ontario Blue Jays family.  For those interested in how to join, “Any players interested in becoming a member of the Ontario Blue Jays please email Director of Player Development, Sean Travers at stravers@ontariobluejays.com.  And if you want more information on their program, training dates, schedule and roster, please visit their website here. Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective Devon and is an Associate member of The Professional Writers Association of Canada, is a featured writer on Examiner.com and member of the Yarbarker Network, Devon is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies, and is now an independent scout. He is also and author for the Business of Sports Network, which includes the Biz of Baseball, the Biz of Football, the Biz of Basketball and the Biz of Hockey. He is also a contributor to the Canadian Baseball Network. He has continued to further his knowledge by completing Sports Management Worldwide's Baseball General Manager Class and interning with The Football Outsiders. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook  
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