Baseball prospects: Indigenous player has eye on MLB


Even earlier than Kaleb Thomas may stroll, he may throw a baseball. At two years outdated, he was swinging a bat. Now 18, Thomas is the primary Indigenous player on Canada’s Junior National Team and has his eyes set on the massive leagues.

“I sacrificed a lot to get to where I am today,” he says. “It takes a lot of hard work. I put in hours upon hours perfecting my craft and trying to be the best version of myself.”

Thomas is from the Six Nations of the Grand River close to Hamilton, Ont., a spot the place lacrosse is the game all the children play. But Thomas says he knew early, his ardour was with baseball.

He began enjoying T-ball, then softball and his love of the sport grew as did his expertise; he was typically enjoying with youngsters 4 or 5 years older.

“He loved it young,” says his mother, Cindy. “He loved the challenge.”

For most of highschool, Thomas performed brief cease, however final yr he switched full time to pitching, a place swap that has paid off: he’s now considered one of Canada’s prime pitching prospects.

“I spun the ball really well and had a strong arm,” Thomas remembers.

Last yr he was invited to play with Canada’s Junior National Team, however an injured arm saved him from enjoying within the U18 Baseball World Cup in September. Thomas says the harm hasn’t swayed his dedication, solely made it stronger. He’s now on the point of be a part of Missouri State’s baseball group subsequent fall, the place he’ll attend on a full scholarship.

“I’m just going to do everything I can to prepare and be ready to play my first year.”

Kaleb Thomas is seen in 2009.


In practically each grade, Thomas was requested to reply the query, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Without fail, the reply was at all times “baseball player.” His mother remembers his academics telling Kaleb to discover a extra “realistic dream.”

“He’s had teachers tell him ‘you can’t do that,’” Cindy says. “’Where you come from, you’re not going to do that. You’re not going to be a baseball player.’”

Thomas praises her son’s work ethic for getting him to the place he’s right now. He places in lengthy hours on the gymnasium, however can also be a very good pupil graduating this yr as an Ontario Scholar, an award reserved for college kids who obtain a median of 80 per cent or above.

“He’s very focused,” Cindy says. “Has always been. When he had homework during school he always have it done before he went to baseball practice.”

Kaleb Thomas is pictured in a supplied picture.


Thomas had been pitching for lower than a yr when he dedicated to play for Missouri State. In the final 33 years, the group’s pitching coach has had 66 of his pitchers chosen within the MLB draft. Thomas hopes to be one other.

“The dream would be to play in the major leagues,” he says. “Pitching well and using that opportunity to be an influence for children all around the world.”

Right now, he’s a job model for youths in his neighborhood and says he doesn’t hesitate to provide again.

“It means a lot to me, to be able to represent my community.”

As for his recommendation to youngsters pursuing their very own desires, he says by no means hand over.

“Just follow the sport they want to play,” he says. “Take it as far as you can and see where you end up.”


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