One-Time Little League Baseball World Series Participant Jason Bay Wins NL’s Rookie of the Year Award
Today, Mr. Bay became the first member of the Pirates organization to earn the National League’s Rookie of the Year award, and marked the first time the honor has gone to a former Little League Baseball World Series participant. Winning the award also came with a sense of national pride, as the Pirates left-fielder is the first Canadian-born player to be so recognized.
It’s been 15 years since Mr. Bay, 26, appeared in the Little League Baseball World Series for the Canadian Region champions from Trail, British Columbia. He is the 26th Little League World Series player to go on to play in the Major Leagues.
In 1990, as an 11-year-old playing in Williamsport, Mr. Bay went 2-for-5, with two walks, three runs scored, and one run batted in. The Canadian champs finished 1-1 in that year’s World Series Tournament.
After missing the first month of the 2004 season while recovering from shoulder surgery, Mr. Bay returned to the Pirates lineup and proceeded to post NL rookie-best numbers in home runs (28) and runs batted in (82). His home run total set a Pirates record for rookies, while finishing with a .282 batting average, and slugging percentage of .550. Mr. Bay also has the distinction of having a pair of eight RBI games in his short major league career.
Earlier this month, Mr. Bay was named rookie of the year by the Major League Baseball Player’s Association, and the Sporting News. He was traded from San Diego to Pittsburgh in September 2003. This season, the Pirates’ outfielder committed only two errors and was named NL rookie of the month for June, July and September.
Before signing to play professional baseball, Mr. Bay played for the 1996 Canadian junior national team and was a standout at Gonzaga University, where he won the West Coast Conference batting title as a senior. He was drafted by the Montreal Expos in 2000. Mr. Bay is a graduate of J. Lloyd Crow Secondary School in Trail.
Little League Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest organized youth sports program, with nearly 2.7 million players and 1 million adult volunteers in every U.S. state and scores of other countries.