Canada’s best baseball player dies in ski accident at the age of 33

Pitcher and first baseman, Amanda Asay was a key player for her country at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games and five World Cups. She also competed in ice hockey and softball.

Amanda Asay tras ganar a China Taipei en el Mundial de 2016 (Baseball Canada)
Amanda Asay tras ganar a China Taipei en el Mundial de 2016 (Baseball Canada)

The Canadian baseball family is in shock as Amanda Asay, among the greatest players of all-time, died after a ski accident in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada.

Asay was 33-years-old and the longest-serving member of the women’s national team where she served as an all-star right-handed pitcher and first baseman.

A native of Prince George, she entered the national team in 2005 and was a key player in the Canadian teams that captured five WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup medals, including bronze in 2006, 2012 and 2018 and silver in 2008 and 2016.

Asay was also part of Canada’s historic silver medal at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto - the first time women’s baseball was inserted into continental multi-sport games.

The coronavirus pandemic prevented Asay’s virtues from being witnessed on the field again, so her last World Cup task would be in the summer of 2018 in Viera, Florida, a championship won by Japan, followed by Chinese Taipei and Canada.

In a statement, the Canadian Federation expressed its signs of pain at the tragedy.

“This is really tough news,” said André Lachance of Baseball Canada, who coached Asay on various national teams between 2005 and 2018. “Amanda was an incredible person who meant a lot to our program. She was a competitor who had all the characteristics you look for in a baseball player. Versatile, intelligent and competitive "

“Above all, she was an excellent person who will leave a lasting impact on many people, not only on the national team program, but on all those who were lucky enough to meet her,” Lachance said.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors and the national office of Baseball Canada, I offer my sincere condolences to Amanda’s loved ones, including her parents Loris and George and her brother Brad,” said President and CEO Jason Dickson. “Her contributions to women’s baseball and our national team will be forever remembered and will serve as an inspiration for future generations.”

Asay also played ice hockey and softball for Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, for three seasons (2006-2009) while earning a Bachelor of Science degree. She continued her studies at the University of British Columbia, where he earned a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in Forestry and played two years for the Thunderbirds hockey team.

But it was baseball that was her passion. In 2006, at her first World Cup in Taiwan, Asay was the only Canadian on the All-Star Team as a first baseman. She also took home the Most Valuable Player Award for her National Team.

In 2016 she was also selected MVP but this time from the mound when in the semifinals she defeated Chinese Taipei 2-1 and secured Canada’s place in the final against Japan at the World Cup in Busan, South Korea.

In August 2017 Asay was seventh in Baseball America’s ranking of the 10 best female baseball players in the world. She was the only Canadian on that list.

Between 2017 and 2018, Asay played baseball in Australia for six months in a five-team men’s league based in Melbourne.

Asay was being groomed to become a coach for the national team as she enlisted to play in a qualifying tournament this year for the upcoming World Cup. The 2020 edition that was to be held in Mexico was suspended due to the pandemic.

Amanda jugó hockey y softbol de calidad
Amanda jugó hockey y softbol de calidad

According to reports Asay died on January 7 at Kootenay Lake Hospital in Nelson, Canada as a result of injuries after falling into a tree well while skiing.

A “tree pit,” also known as a “fir trap,” is the space around a tree that does not receive the same amount of snow as the surrounding open space. This creates a void under branches and around the trunk that is dangerous for hikers, skiers, and snowboarders. The situation is more dangerous when the fall into the well is headlong.