contact June 23rd, 2014
From the star:
“They gleefully sang O Canada on the bus back to the hotel and again on the street after they arrived at the Howard Prince in Taichung, Taiwan.
Against the odds, the national baseball team qualified for the Beijing Olympics on Thursday and the jubilant players celebrated in the same way they did when a berth for the 2004 Athens Games was secured – by singing the anthem over and over.
“We’ve sung O Canada at least four times already,” said veteran infielder Stubby Clapp of Windsor, Ont. “Here we go again Canada, come on with me!”
The emotional display of national pride came after a 4-3 win over South Korea ran Canada’s record to 5-1 at the final Olympic qualifier, and guaranteed it a finish in the top three. South Korea and Taiwan, both 5-1 too, claimed the other two berths up for grabs at the tournament.
Washington Nationals prospect Matt Rogelstad of New Westminster, B.C., hit a three-run homer in the first while Cleveland Indians youngster Nick Weglarz of Stevensville, Ont., added a solo shot in the fourth to lead the way.
Cincinnati Reds product James Avery of Moose Jaw, Sask., held South Korea to a run on four hits in four innings and after Mike Kusiewicz of Ottawa recorded the final out, the Canadians partied into the wee hours on the eighth floor of their hotel, as players hooted, hollered and contemplated their achievement.
“To hear the national anthem sang on the bus so many times, we stopped at the hotel and we got off and before the players would go in the hotel they were singing outside and all the people were looking at us,” said manager Terry Puhl. “It really was quite a scene.
“It’s been a great night and a great tournament.”
Canada’s performance in Taiwan has been especially impressive since…”
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