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Canadian Little League Graduate Eric Gagne Wins NL Cy Young Award

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Nov. 13, 2003) – Canada native and Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Eric Gagne, who played Little League Baseball from the Tee Ball division up through Big League, was named the National League Cy Young Award winner for 2003, it was announced today by Major League Baseball.

“Little League congratulates Eric on this special achievement,” said Joe Shea, president of Little League Canada and a member of the Little League Baseball International Board of Directors. “Eric was a Little Leaguer for more than 10 years, and today all of Canada is proud of him.”

Mr. Gagne was raised in Montreal, Quebec, and coached for several years by his father, Richard Gagne at Mascouche Little League. Teams on which he was a member reached the Canadian National Championship Tournament in the Little League Division, Senior League Division, and Big League Division.

Later, after his Little League days ended, he participated in the development of a training video to help the children of Mascouche learn more about baseball.

Once, after a Little League Tee Ball game, Eric was interviewed on television and pronounced that he would someday like to become a pitcher. As a reliever for the Dodgers this year, Mr. Gagne saved 55 games in 55 opportunities, a feat never before accomplished. He also averaged 15 strikeouts for every nine innings pitched.

Mr. Gagne is the second Canadian to win the Cy Young Award. The first was Ferguson Jenkins, who won in 1971 and went on to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.