Healthy Hall embracing fresh start with Brewers

A few clouds dot the bright blue sky. A slight breeze blows from the first-base side of American Family Fields of Phoenix. Adam Hall heads out for one of his first workouts, in the Arizona Complex League, since joining the Milwaukee Brewers. Surprisingly, he’s not too concerned about the heat so early in the day. “Let me check … I think it’s actually cooler today,” said Hall. “Ya, it’s only 104 (40 Celsius).” And it’s only 10 a.m. But for Hall, the heat is secondary to the second chance he’s received to continue his dream of a career in the big leagues.

Jenkins looking forward to Labatt Park homecoming — Gameday London

Fergie Jenkins loves the game of baseball so much he’d play for free – or even just gas money. That’s exactly the deal the MLB Hall of Famer struck when he got a random phone call from then-London Majors owner Arden Eddie back in 1984. “I was living on my ranch in Blenheim right after I retired when I got a call from Arden asking me if I wanted to play some games on the weekend for the Majors,” recalled the Chatham born all-star. He had just wrapped up a 19-year MLB career that saw him notch 284

Healthy Lumley ready to resume promising career — Gameday London

It was a warm summer night last July in London. Perfect weather for a ballgame. Carson Lumley was cruising along on the mound for the 18U London Badgers. He was in complete control. With two strikes on the opposing batter, Lumley looked in, got the sign from his catcher, and nodded. Fastball it is. Made sense. The lanky 6-foot-4 righty is known to hit the mid-90s with his heater. “I remember it was the last pitch of the inning. I threw a fastball and my footing got messed up, and I think my arm

They’re back, Lightning fans! — Gameday London

It had been quite a while – almost two years to the day, in fact – since Budweiser Gardens reverberated with the magnificent thump of ball against floor; the glorious echoes of copious squeaking sneakers; and the stunning spectacle of a 20-footer hitting nothing but net. That unwanted streak came to an end Saturday night as the undefeated London Lightning played host to the Kitchener-Waterloo (KW) Titans in their season home opener. And while it was a sparse post-pandemic-restriction crowd, it

Kopacz has new connection to Olympics — Gameday London

“It can be hard to inspire someone to want to do this, to take on such a challenge, but they are both such hard workers,” he said. “At the end of the day, the bulk of the work, those little details, comes down to them. What I can do is try and help them get there the best I can – think of what I did, how I went through it, how I managed it, and let them take from that and add pieces of their own.” Kopacz says that while Gray and Villani are technically ‘clients’ in his coaching profession, it's

Memories from behind the mic — Gameday London

Their routine was the same every Friday night. They’d get to the ballpark around three hours before first pitch, meet up with the team, go over the ins and outs of the opponent that night, and then be on the field for a little pre-game action. They never actually dug into the batter’s box to face a 90mph fastball, or turned two on a sharp grounder to second, but Noah Smith and Dylan Baker most definitely left their mark with London Majors fans from behind the mic. With baseball returning to La

Adamson’s next journey? The Junior National Team

When people return from a week in Florida, more often than not souvenirs consist of a few T-shirts or maybe a seashell or two. Liam Adamson has something else in mind. The Londoner is scheduled to take the mound Monday afternoon at Tropicana Field, home of the MLB’s Tampa Rays. “Oh ya, for sure,” laughed the 17-year old when asked if a little dirt from the mound may be coming home with him. “This is going to be fun.” Adamson is part of a 30-man squad currently in Florida taking part in a seven-g

Remembering Jack Fairs

I had the privilege to speak with Jack Fairs on many occasions. And when I say ‘privilege,’ I mean just that. It was an honour and a treat to say that I knew, and perhaps was even friends with, one of the most genuine and self-effacing individuals I have ever met. Through the wit and storytelling skills Jack possessed, I was given the opportunity to be taken back in time. He’d share the games he caught the stinging fastball of former major leaguer Sal Maglie, as if the game were played the nigh

Provincial boys team latest milestone for Konigshofer

For Julia Konigshofer, it’s not about breaking glass ceilings, it’s about taking charge on the mound. It’s about having the game on the line, the ball in her hand. It’s about sizing up the batter. A one-on-one battle of wits. Power versus power. The ball diamond has become a home away from home for the Dorchester, Ont. native. It’s where she shines. Where she feels at home. Where she’s in control and her passion and desire for the game is showcased. Just this past month, her young career hit y

Fairs a Major part of ballclub’s rich history

Maglie would be the starting pitcher in the ‘Shot Heard ‘Round the World’ game as the New York Giants won the pennant on Bobby Thomson’s famous (‘the Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant!)’ walk-off home run. “Sal was a great pitcher, and we became life-long friends,” said Fairs. After playing a few more years with Welland – all the while playing football and basketball and finishing up his Chemistry degree from the University of Western Ontario – Fairs would take a hiatus from t

Stubbs reflects on ‘lucky’ career, looks forward to return

As Mike Stubbs heads to work, he’s been known to belt out a few tunes on the drive. A little solo Carpool Karaoke, if you will. But it’s strictly work-related, he implies. “The important thing is to get your voice ready, so believe it or not, there's a lot of singing in the car that tends to help. I get caught a lot at stop signs and stoplights when I do that,” he laughs. “So, if you're somewhere in London, and look over and see some guy singing away, it's just me actually getting ready to go t

From small town to bright lights?

“I’ve done showcases before but nothing like this, playing with such high-level guys,” said the St. Mary’s High School graduate, who topped off his whirlwind year by accepting a baseball scholarship to Auburn University. “When I got there initially, I was a bit nervous, but I performed well and began to fit in. All the guys you see there you’ve already seen on social media, so you have an idea of who they are. Performing well really boosts your confidence and helps you grow as a player. “You’r

Jackson’s journey takes him to Germany

“So, in about three weeks, I went from not wanting to go to a tryout of a tryout, to getting selected for a team that I hadn’t even thought of for one second,” said Jackson. “Being over there and playing against other national teams, and realizing I was physical enough to play with anyone, was when I realized that I could really do something big in this sport.” Jackson would take this newfound experience to Fanshawe College, where his game continued to surpass expectations. In his three years a

Study uses Twitter to reveal our mental-health state

A Western-led international research team hopes that tweet you just posted – and the millions of others posted to the popular social media site – will provide insights into our collective mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s almost like we’re looking at the footprint of COVID-19 on mental health through social media,” said Daniel Lizotte, a Computer Science and Epidemiology and Biostatistics professor. “This gives us one kind of view of what’s happening, what people are choosing to

Report: Canadian youth show no movement in activity

The school year may have a few days remaining, but one report card is already in – and it shows that we have a lot of work to do. Canadian kids earned a D-plus from the 2020 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth. That was the same grade handed down in 2018. The picture doesn’t get much better when breaking it down by category, including a D-plus for sedentary behaviours, D-minus for active transportation and an F when it comes to adhering to Canada’s 24-Hour Mo

Project targets climate resilience post-COVID-19

Gord McBean sees an opportunity to hit the reset button. “The COVID-19 pandemic happened. When we come out of it – and we will come out of it – let’s come out in a way that is more proactive to rebuilding society in a way that is climate resilient, more friendly for all people,” said the Geography professor emeritus and Research Chair at Western’s Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR). “We have been presented with a challenge. Let’s respond to it in multiple and actively progressive

Red flags prompt alumna to help end hunger

Monica Rivero could not turn a blind eye to the red flags hanging from windows and doors in the poorest parts of her native Colombia. “I quickly learned what they meant,” said Rivero, BMSc’16, MSc’18. “It was their cry out for help. Red flags meant their family was hungry. Suddenly, they were everywhere. It was heartbreaking and eye opening.” Today, Rivero is leading an effort to alleviate some of the hunger and see those flags lowered one at a time. Through crowd-sourced donations, the Red F

Global isolation inspires student’s Rwandan effort

As the COVID-19 pandemic dawned, Aimee Utuza’s thoughts returned to Rwanda. “As you can imagine, life is difficult for many people there in the best of times,” said the second-year Health Promotion PhD candidate who came to Canada with her five children in 2018. “During the pandemic and lockdown, they cannot work or find food easily. Life has become more difficult.” That struggle inspired Utuza to create

Study backs shelter space as housing solution

A program to convert emergency shelter space into long-term affordable housing showed incredible benefits for the community’s most vulnerable, prompting a call from Western researchers to push for additional permanent housing solutions in emergency shelters nationwide. Since 2004, the Salvation Army Centre of Hope in London has provided pay-for-stay private units in a building that also offers emergency shelter. With 66 private, transitional rooms, it is the only shelter in the country to offer

Study links concussions to loss of inhibition

Consistent signs of compromised inhibition found in a study of concussion sufferers were mirrored in separate tests on Canadian university football players. These findings open new doors to predicting the impact of the often debilitating injury, as well as raise questions about the long-term impact of contact sports, according to Western researchers. The study, Concussion related deficits in the general population predict impairments in varsity footballers, was recently published in the Journal
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