The Kansas City Royals World Series win has an Abbotsford connection and one local will soon possess the jewelry to prove it.
Corey Eckstein, who works as a part-time scout for Western Canada for the Royals, watched on with glee as the Royals defeated the New York Mets on Nov. 1 to win the 2015 World Series.
Eckstein has worked for the Royals for the past three years, while also being heavily involved in the local, provincial and national baseball scene for a number of years.
He said he’s proud to be a small part of the championship team.
“I wasn’t surprised we won despite all the late-inning heroics,” he said. “When you have the best defensive team in baseball with a strong supportive pitching staff it makes things a little easier on the offence. The organization cares about you deeply, and your family. I’m a very, very small piece to their puzzle and I’m just blessed to be a part of it.”
Eckstein received an American League Championship ring last year and now gets the ring that everyone in baseball fights for, the World Series ring.
“Receiving an American League Championship ring last year and now a World Series ring this year is special,” he said. “There are baseball people who spend a lifetime in this game who never get a chance to receive one and now I have two in two years, which is mind blowing.I’m just happy I can pass something that special on to my two sons when the time comes.”
He admitted he took some ribbing from local Toronto Blue Jays fans, especially when the Royals eliminated the Jays in the AL championship series.
Eckstein primarily scouts high school and collegiate players for the Royals, but is also very active in the Abbotsford baseball scene.
He is the head coach of the Abbotsford Cardinals U18 team, the director of baseball operations for the Yale Secondary baseball academy,runs the Sandlot Baseball BC and is an instructor at the Langley Secondary baseball academy. He also coaches the Baseball B.C. Selects program and was a coach for the Canadian Junior National team.
Eckstein’s own playing career was cut short due to injury back in 2005. He was a star pitcher for the Canadian Junior National team and had a scholarship to Vernon College in Texas removed after he experienced elbow stiffness after Tommy John surgery.
For more information on Eckstein, visit sandlotbaseball.ca.