Mid January Bulletin

TEAM ONTARIO ASTROS

MID-JANUARY BULLETIN

1.  ASTROS PHOTO DAYS–JANUARY 19 / JANUARY 26

Our individual player and coach photos will be completed on Sunday, January 19 and Sunday, January 26 from 9 AM to Noon at the Dugout on both days. Players are asked to bring their blue caps with the orange brims and their White Astros jerseys and blue t-shirt with them to the Dugout Conference Room for their photograph.  We ask that our players be cleanly-groomed for their photos as they will be presented in three prominent places:  during a video show at our Gala on March 7th; on our website; and lastly, in our 2020 Media Guide that will be distributed to scouts, coaches, and sponsors. Coaches are asked to bring their blue Fall hat and to wear their blue hooded sweatshirt from either 2018 or 2020 for their photograph. 

The 2020 Photo Shoot schedule is as follows:

Sunday, January 19, 2020

9:00-10:00 AM–14U Infielders, 17U Infielders, and 18U  Infielders

10:00- 11:00 AM–14U Catchers and Outfielders; 17U Catchers, Outfielders, and PO’s

11:00 AM – Noon–18U Catchers,  Outfielders, and PO’s; Coaches from all Teams

Sunday, January 26, 2020

9:00 AM–15U Infielders and 16U Infielders; 16U PO’s

10:00- 11:00 AM–15U Catchers and Outfielders; 16U Catchers and Outfielders

11:00 AM – Noon–18U Catchers and Outfielders; Absentees from January 19; Remaining Camera Shy Coaches

We need to get 93 players and 20 coaches through the turnstiles during this six-hour window so please come to the Conference Room with the uniform items in place.  Players new to the program will have a white jersey and blue, orange-brimmed hat provided.  Pack the blue Fall hat you were issued as a safety measure against an ill-fitting fitted cap….. If you have any further questions, please contact Jim Stewart.

2.   S.A.T. PRACTICE TEST FOR ASTROS PLAYERS ON SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 23

Our  second practice test of the off-season will take place on Sunday, February 23 from 10:30 AM-3:00 PM. We have eight players registered for this session run by Rita Cruickshank from Sylvan Learning : Liam Barlow,  Tyler Larguinho, Etan Petel, Xavier Gonsalves, Dom Silla, Hayden John, Jack Gagliardi, and Philip Arturi. Players are asked to be in the Conference Room at 10:30 AM when a hot breakfast will be served. Please email or text Jim Stewart, if you have food allergies so can adjust your food order.  Parents may pay Jim Stewart by cheque or cash on Sunday or etransfer funds to Loretta Murray.  Cost of the SAT practice session is $75.  Thanks for your participation in this valuable preparatory session.  Remember to bring a container of water  for this academic endurance test!

3.  FLORIDA MARCH BREAK EXCURSION CONFIRMED, BUT FOUR MORE PLAYERS NEEDED

We are pleased to confirm our excursion to Vero Beach, Florida at the Jackie Robinson Complex.  The Highway Coach will depart The Dugout on Thursday, March 12 and return to The Dugout on Saturday, March 21.   Each player will have his own locker in a professional Dodger Town clubhouse for this eight-day, seven-night excursion; 15U-18U players will be housed in dorms in the complex and be on a 3 Meals a Day food plan at the complex.  14U players have the option of staying in the dorm or staying with their parents in nearby hotels.  Currently, we have 36 players committed to this Spring Training Excursion so we do have room for at least four more players.  Please give all Florida payments directly to Jason Booth on the following schedule:

January 7-9:  $750 US to Jason Booth; February 8-9:  $1235 US to Jason Booth.

4.   ASTROS GOLF TOURNAMENT SOLD OUT;  FOURSOME NAMES AND SIZES NEED CONFIRMATION BY JANUARY 18

Thank you for supporting this event so decisively.  We have 144 golfers ready to tackle to tough terrain of Tangle Creek on Monday, May 18.  We are still in need of corporate sponsors and donations to our Prize table.  Please forward any sponsorship requests or donation questions to Jim Stewart.  Once again, a big thanks to Jim Walker for providing  so much energy in the planning of this tourney.  For those who have committed teams, we need you to confirm your four players full names and their golf shirt sizes by Saturday, January 18, 2020 to coincide with our Golf Tournament meeting at the Dugout at 11 AM.  Thanks in advance for your help as we go to the next stage of our planning.

5.  20TH ANNUAL TEAM ONTARIO ASTROS GALA FACTS AND FIGURES–SATURDAY, MARCH 7, 2020

Our 20th Annual GALA Dinner and Fundraiser will take place on Saturday, March 7, 2020 at Montecassino Hotel and Event Venue at 3710 Chesswood Drive in Downsview M3J 2W4. We are asking parents and players to make commitments to two fundraising events this year:  our first annual Golf Tournament (which is sold out as 144 golfers have been assembled for Tangle Creek in May with our thanks to convener Jim Walker); and, our twentieth annual GALA.

Cost of GALA tickets will be $100 for adults which includes an Open Bar, Four-Course Dinner, and the opportunity to stay overnight at the adjacent hotel for only $90+tax; due to the Open Bar, a Wristband Policy will be in effect to differentiate age-of-majority attendees.

Cost of tickets for players and children in attendance will be $60. Players and children in attendance will be asked to sit with their parents this year rather than congregate in teams.  Last year’s unacceptable behavior by our players must be reined in; as a result, players will not be sitting with their teammates.

Our banquet hall has a minimum of 350 so our organizational goal is to sell at least 350 tickets for this festive fundraiser. Profits from this event will be put towards our five teams’ US Tournament Travel costs which are considerable and volatile in July. A bus to Missouri, for example, costs $18K CA. Tournament fees have gone up astronomically in the last five years ranging from $700-$1400US. Funds raised via the Gala offset these costs.

Highlights of the evening include the video presentation of all our players and the procession of each of our five teams, the presentation of Junior and Senior Players and Pitchers of the Year, the presentation of the Murray Marshall Scholarship Awards to two of our graduating players, and the induction of former great players and/or coaches into the Team Ontario Astros Hall of Fame.

A big thank you to the GALA Committee members led by Mauro Arturi who has graciously accepted our entreaty to serve as 2020 chair and ably assisted by the following parents:  Kathy Clarkson, Janet Diaz, Frank Silla, Allison Parent, Molly Robertson, and Mary Spencer-ThompsonDirector of Finance Loretta Murray will be a key member of the GALA committee, too. Please contact Mauro Arturi, if you would like to serve on this dynamic team of organizers!  Mauro will determine the date of a future planning meeting.

Tickets will be available from the above-mentioned members of the GALA Committee starting in mid-January.  Deadline for purchasing tickets to our biggest social event of the year will be Saturday, February 22. Let’s make the 2020 GALA a memorable community event.  Affix it to your social calendar; please buy tickets and support your Astros off and on the field.  

6.  ALUMNI ACHIEVEMENT:  FIRST BASEMAN GRAEME LUTTOR 

First baseman Graeme Luttor, one of the best pure hitters the Astros have produced in the last ten years, has been recognized as one of the top baseball players in the annual NAIA Pre-season Rundown. Luttor is a Junior at Midway University in Kentucky. The former Team Ontario player continues to workout at The Dugout during the off-season under the tutelage of our Strength and Conditioning Coach Alex Stewart who admires “Graeme’s work ethic.  Graeme’s commitment to training is off the charts and second-to-none.”  Luttor’s accolades include Conference Freshman of the Year and he is now a “Top 20 First Baseman to Watch” for this coming season, according to College Magazine. Congratulations to Graeme Luttor who has made his Elite baseball organization very proud of his post-secondary achievements at Midway University in Kentucky. Look for our full feature interview with Graeme Luttor on our new website later this month.

7.  CONDOLENCES TO COACH BOOTH

The Team Ontario Astros community passes on its sincere condolences to Director of Baseball Jason Booth whose father-in-law, Matt Berends, passed away last Friday.  Further details about Mr. Berrends’s visitation and funeral arrangements will be shared with our community once they become available.

Thanks for your support of our baseball organization. Your participation in these important events is appreciated.

Jim Stewart

Director of Communications

Team Ontario Astros Elite Baseball Club