Courtesy: Win Column Sports
By Spencer Love
The Edmonton Prospects announced Jordan Blundell as their new Head Coach and Director of Baseball Operations at a press conference at RE/MAX Field Monday morning, replacing former bench boss Ray Brown and DOBO Orv Franchuk after the two resigned earlier this off-season.
“I’m excited,” stated Blundell in his first interview as head coach. “For me, this represents part of a dream in my career to get the opportunity to coach at home, in a ballpark I spent time in as a teenager dreaming about playing professional baseball.”
Blundell takes over a Prospects franchise that has experience playoff success over the past number of years. Last season, the Prospects fell in five games to Medicine Hat, preventing the organization from reaching their third straight WMBL Finals. Under the direction of Brown and Franchuk, the Prospects have established themselves as one of the WCBL’s premier franchises. A large portion of Blundell’s job will be not only to develop the organization for future success but build on the strong foundation set by his predecessors.
“If you study what (Jordan’s) been able to accomplish wherever he’s coached, he’s been able to take average players in some cases and by the end of the season, they have a quality club. It tells me that he’s very good at focussing people and providing the leadership and what’s needed for this team to do what’s necessary to win games.”
A major reason for Blundell’s hiring is his exceptional track record both coaching and recruiting in the Edmonton area. In 2008, Blundell was named the WMBL Coach of the Year with the Sherwood Park Dukes. He’s additionally been the Head Coach of the 2010 CCBC Championship winning VIU Mariners and was named CCBC Coach of the Year.
His track record with recruiting also speaks for itself, as he recruited both the 2008 and 2009 WMBL – now WCBL – MVP’s.
“The (WCBL) is important to me, having played and coached in the league. It’s an important stepping stone for some (players) in their baseball career. It’s my job to find as many of those players as possible so they have a chance to experience Edmonton before getting an opportunity further down the line. It’s about helping them in their career path and development.”
Finalized Cassidy, “He’s got a great coaching resume when it comes to being able to lead men on the field and make decisions, but just as important he has a great recruitment strategy with the right connections”.
In addition to announcing Blundell’s hiring, the Prospects also provided information on an open house on October 19 in regard to neighbourhood planning for River Crossing, which will determine the future of RE/MAX Field. While the Prospects were unable to confirm future plans, owner Patrick Cassidy was able to confirm that developments have gone positively, stating “this ballpark’s got a future in this neighbourhood; I’d be surprised if there was a complete 180 on that and we’re hopefully excited to be part of this neighbourhood’s future.”
The team also confirmed their annual Prospects Gala will be held on February 16, 2019, with Buck Martinez, John Short and Kent Morrison confirmed as attendees for this year’s function.