Airdrie baseball player to compete at Cal Ripken World Series in Maryland
Thursday, Aug 07, 2014 10:28 am
For 13-year-old Airdrie native Ayden Makarus, Aug. 9 will mark the biggest moment of his baseball career to date.
Makarus, who has played baseball since he was three years old and is currently a member the Okotoks Dawgs peewee team, will be a member of Team Canada at the Cal Ripken World Series in Aberdeen, Maryland from Aug. 9 to 16.
“I’ve got my Team Canada uniform already, which was pretty amazing, but I don’t think it’s going to really hit me about what I’ll be taking part in until I arrive in Aberdeen,” Makarus said before he flew out from Calgary on Aug. 4.
“Once I meet up with the other players from the team and we get ready for our first game on Aug. 9 (against Japan), that’s when I believe it will start to feel like I’m actually going to be playing for my country at an event like this,” he added.
The Cal Ripken World Series tournament, which is named after the Hall of Fame baseball player who played for the Baltimore Orioles from 1981 to 2001, feature players from around the world that are 12 and 13 years of age, as they battle it out in a week-long tournament to determine the event champion.
Makarus found out he made the Team Canada roster on July 27, after he took part in tryout camps in Phoenix, Arizona in April, Spokane, Washington in May, and Moses Lake, Wash. in June.
“They brought out players from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba to those camps, and it was mainly to see how they would fair in certain scenarios that they could face at the Cal Ripken World Series, along with having them play in games against other teams,” Makarus’s father Jason said.
“There was a lot of travelling for those camps, but I felt like I played well as a catcher, second baseman, and a shortstop and I did whatever they asked me to do,” Ayden Makarus added.
“I was a bit nervous waiting to find out if I made the team or not, but once I found out that I would be going, I was pretty excited.”
Makarus, who plays mostly as a catcher for the Dawgs, is hoping to not only help Team Canada finish in first place at the tournament, but also to learn things that can help him in his baseball career
“I want to meet new people and make as much progress as I can at this tournament that can help me towards my goal of one day playing baseball for a college team,” Makarus said. “Baseball’s my favourite sport and whether I’m making plays behind the plate as a catcher, or making big hits with my bat, I love doing whatever I can to help the team.”
“To see Ayden having the chance to compete for Team Canada is going to be a great experience,” Jason added.
“It’s been a long road of working hard to try and get to this point, and to see this become a reality is exciting for our entire family.”