National women’s baseball team pitcher/infielder led Canada to international prominence in World Cup/Pan Am tournaments
Amanda Asay’s impact as a women’s baseball pioneer who brought Canada into uncharted territory on the international stage will be remembered in a memorial game Saturday afternoon.
Asay, a Prince George native and longtime national baseball team pitcher/infielder, died at age 33 Jan. 7 in a skiing accident at Whitewater Ski Resort near Nelson.
As a tribute to Asay and her all-star/MVP efforts to make Canada a perennial medal threat in Word Cup tournament in the 17 years (2005-2021) she played for the national team, players from the Prince George Senior Men’s Baseball League and Prince George Knights U-18 team will gather today at 1 pm at City Field (formerly Citizen Field) for the game.
A group of women who were Asay’s teammates with the national team and the Prince George Thunderbirds softball team will also take the field in their uniforms to play in the game. That list of former teammates includes Chelsey Thorne, Kailey Bone, Jessy Devereaux, Kayla Faith and Allison Schroeder. Because there aren’t enough women to form a complete team, the women will play with and against the men on either of the 12-player teams assembled for the seven-inning game.
Before the game, long-time Little League coach and baseball umpire Gerry Van Caeseele will speak to the crowd about Asay and the effect she had as one of the most accomplished athletes the city has ever produced.
Asay was a multisport athlete who played hockey and softball at Brown University in Rhode Island from 2006-09, and later starred for the UBC Thunderbirds hockey team. She earned a doctoral degree in forestry while attending UBC.
At the time of her death, Asay was working for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources and Rural Development based in Nelson, where she coached a U14 girls baseball team. Blessed with an analytical mind and a talent for teaching the game, especially to her younger teammates, she was being groomed to take on the duties as national team coach.
“Women’s baseball is not the biggest sport but if you put it in terms of how good she was in her sport as a woman, she’d be a $400 million player if she was a man,” said Asay Memorial Game organizer Paul Wilson.
“Once you hear this story and the life she led, it’s pretty amazing. I know the guys involved with Baseball Canada, David Laing and Scott McKenzie, and they can’t say enough good things about her. She was the perfect member to be part of the program and it’s a lot better now, having her been there, than it was before.”