Alberta Dugout Stories: The Podcast
Episode 174: Matt Wilkinson

Episode 174: Matt Wilkinson

April 21, 2022

There is plenty to get excited about in watching Alberta-born and trained athletes excel at major US programs. Matt Coutney is hitting everything he sees at Old Dominion University, Cesar Valero has been on fire with Sacramento State and Tom Poole has dominated at the plate for Cloud County College, among many others. One player who has been a force on the mound is Matt Wilkinson. Originally from Ladner, BC, the Dawgs Academy and Okotoks Dawgs product is a key piece of the bullpen for Central Arizona College. Through his first 13 games, Wilkinson has a 3-1 record with two saves, a tiny 1.52 ERA and has struck out 58 batters in just 29+ innings of work. But strikeouts are nothing new to "Tugboat", who fanned 16 in just five innings to open up the 2015 Little League World Series. We talked about that and much more in the latest #ADSPodcast.

Episode 173: Cam Williams

Episode 173: Cam Williams

April 14, 2022

We put the wraps on our Canadian College Baseball Conference preview episodes this week by chatting with University of Calgary Dinos bench boss Cam Williams. Originally from Coquitlam, BC, Williams moved to Calgary to study kinesiology and play baseball. We first met the infielder back in 2018 when he set the Dinos all-time record for career hits. He stayed in Calgary, joining the Bucks coaching staff before taking the top job with the Dinos. It's been a weird start to his coaching career, doing it all during a pandemic. But he's had some early success as the team finally got to play some games over the last couple of weeks, guiding them to a .500 record. What's the transition been like? What are his coaching philosophies? And what kinds of advice is he passing onto his players? We chatted about it all recently.

Episode 172: Jake Lanferman

Episode 172: Jake Lanferman

April 7, 2022

We continue our look at the three Alberta-based teams from the Canadian College Baseball Conference this week and we’re going from the seasoned veteran in Todd Hubka at Prairie Baseball Academy last week, to the new kid in town, Edmonton Collegiate Hawk coach Jake Lanferman. The Sherwood Park native was born the same year Hubka joined PBA: 1996. Fresh off a solid playing career including stops at Fort Hays State University and UBC as well as the Edmonton Prospects and Sylvan Lake Gulls, the outfielder is now diving into the coaching realm headfirst as part of Absolute Human Performance as well as the Collegiate Hawks. How is he finding the transition? What does he expect out of the team? And what are his coaching philosophies? We talked about that all and much more last week.

Episode 171: Todd Hubka

Episode 171: Todd Hubka

April 1, 2022

The Canadian College Baseball Conference kicks off its first spring season since 2019 this weekend. The 2020 season was turfed in the initial aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the logistics for the 2021 season meant they would have to wait for another day. And that day has finally come for those Western Canadian college teams, including Prairie Baseball Academy. At the centre of that program is Todd Hubka, who has seen it all since joining in 1996, first as an assistant coach to Blair Kubicek, before taking the reigns in 2010. He and I actually share the same hometowns, originally being from Carmangay, then going to high school in Claresholm, and randomly crossed paths again while he was coaching the Lethbridge Bulls while I was a young reporter in Medicine Hat. We’ve been able to share a few laughs over text and phone calls over the years, so it was only a matter of time before we had him on the podcast. We talked about his upbringing, including throwing a no-hitter, his coaching philosophies and his expectations of his young PBA club this spring.

A Special Thank You

A Special Thank You

March 31, 2022

March 31 marks the anniversary of the debut of Alberta Dugout Stories. It was years in the making, thanks to several stops at Calgary pubs talking about baseball's yesteryear in our province. To celebrate the occasion, we wanted to reminisce about the stories we've told and say a special "thank you" to everyone who has supported our vision for creating something unique to baseball in Alberta and across Canada.

Episode 170: Gavin Logan

Episode 170: Gavin Logan

March 24, 2022

Gavin Logan is no stranger to the open road. Raised on a farm outside Oyen, he commuted to town as well as Consort to play his minor ball, before heading west to Okotoks to join Dawgs Academy. Since then, he’s played with the college Dawgs, the West Coast League’s Bend Elks, Southeaster Community College, Linn-Benton Community College and he’s now at the #2-ranked NCAA Division program in the country: Oregon State. After what he admits was a tough first year with the Beavers where he had to battle for his playing time, the 5-11, 212-pound backstop is now “the guy” behind the plate, hitting .339 with two homers and 12 RBI in his first 13 games. We recently caught up with Logan to talk about the highs, lows and what’s still to come in his baseball journey.

Episode 169: Brett Platts

Episode 169: Brett Platts

March 17, 2022

We would be shocked if Brett Platts wasn’t nicknamed “Coffee.” Not only does enjoy the hot beverage a “lot” by his estimation, he would also need it with how fast his career is taking off. The native of Albany, Prince Edward Island moved to Dawgs Academy in Okotoks for high school, and wound up at Southeastern Community College in 2017-2018. But a major ACL injury derailed his on-field dreams, leading him to get into strength and conditioning. He started his own business, then was planning to move back to Dawgs Academy, then was going to join the University of Iowa, before he got a call from the Chicago Cubs to work as a strength and conditioning coach for their young players in the Dominican Republic. Before he caught a flight out of town, we caught up with Platts to talk about his entire journey, including his time in our province, the mental challenges of coming back from injury, and how persistence paid off in making his newfound dreams come true.

Episode 168: Jason Chatwood

Episode 168: Jason Chatwood

March 10, 2022

Jason Chatwood has seemingly become Mr. Baseball in Central Alberta. He’s the lead instructor and coach at St. Joseph High School Academy in Red Deer, he does some scouting with the Arizona Diamondbacks and he’s the head coach of the WCBL’s Sylvan Lake Gulls. Chatwood isn’t that far removed from playing the game either. Growing up in Innisfail, he played all over the province and even representing Alberta before a very successful college career at Colby Community College and then NCAA Division I Gonzaga University, which is where he got his first taste of coaching and mentoring. We recently sat down to talk about his baseball journey, the challenges of wearing so many different hats, and the importance of family, which starts with his wife, Heather, who was a softball standout and a member of Canada’s national team.

Episode 167: Taylor Burns

Episode 167: Taylor Burns

March 3, 2022

Taylor Burns might be the most-active social media presence in Alberta baseball circles. Not only known for his takes on his beloved Edmonton Oilers, Burns has been busy building the brands of Absolute Human Performance and AHP Academy, with videos of his athletes, as well as his own advice and takes on strength and conditioning. It’s become his passion as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, after spending years as an athlete himself. Burns had shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum after his junior season at university in 2011, but wasn’t able to pitch again until he went to the University of Central Missouri in 2016-2017. That time off allowed him to find some new passions, including coaching and mentoring in the Edmonton and St. Albert regions. We’ve long wanted to have Taylor on the podcast to talk about his journey, and felt like we were only scratching the surface in this candid conversation.

Episode 166: Black History Month - ”Cool Papa” Bell & Dick Brookins

Episode 166: Black History Month - ”Cool Papa” Bell & Dick Brookins

February 24, 2022

February marks Black History Month, and over the last few weeks, we’ve had social media posts about past stories on legendary baseball players who broke the colour barrier in their own way, including Satchel Paige, John Donaldson, Leon Day, Jackie Robinson and Andre Dawson. We also introduced you to two new stories: one on Hall of Famer “Cool Papa” Bell, and another on Dick Brookins, whose final days in professional baseball came here in our province. For a little more insight into those stories and the research that went into them, we welcome ADS co-founder and writer Ian Wilson back to the podcast.

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