Brock University has a lot of reasons to be proud, academically and non-academically. For example, the Sport Management program is highly recognized in Canada and is one of the top Sport Management programs in North America. Non-academically, the Brock Baseball program has been one of the best in Ontario since debuting in 1995 – the program has finished first place in the standings 10 of the 15 seasons.
There’s a handful of students who have graduated with a Sport Management degree, while also being a major piece for the baseball program. However, no name stands out more than Andrew Tinnish. The former Brock Baseball star graduated from Brock in 1999 in Sport Management.
In his five years at Brock Tinnish was a hitting machine. He batted .378 in 633 at-bats, while hitting 47 doubles, six triples, 25 home runs, 208 runs batted in and 173 runs scored. The Ottawa native was named Most Valuable Player for the Badgers three times (1996, 1998 and 1999). He was a key pieces to Brock’s 1998 and 1999 back-to-back CIBA National Championships.
Since graduating, Tinnish has climbed the ranks with the Toronto Blue Jays and was hired on as Assistant General Manager of the team in 2012. Yet even with the high ranked position, Tinnish continues to stay involved with Brock Baseball.
Last Thursday, Tinnish was present at training camp for Brock Baseball, as he has done so in the past. Tinnish’s appearances have been helpful to Brock Baseball. His name itself gives the players a boost but his knowledge of the game is very valuable.
“I certainly take a lot of pride in the university I graduated from,” Tinnish said about continuing his involvement with Brock Baseball as an alumni. “Brock in a lot of ways shaped who I am today and my experience at Brock certainly helped me get to where I am today in my career. Anything I can do to come back and spend time, whether it’s on the baseball field or a classroom with a Sport Management class, I enjoy doing that.”
In terms of taking Sport Management at Brock, Tinnish mentioned how it was a great opportunity to go to a university where he could play baseball and also take a sports related program.
“I’m proud of what the program has become,” said Tinnish. “It’s grown a lot since I’ve graduated. A lot of that has to do with the professors who put the program together, but also alumni are going out into the field and having a lot of success in the sports industry.”
When asked what advice he has for current Sport Management students, Tinnish said it’s about valuing every opportunity equally, no matter how small.
“Whatever opportunity you get in the sports field take that opportunity because you don’t know who you are going to meet and how you may have an impact on that person and that person may help you down the road,” said Tinnish.
The Brock Baseball Hall of Famer mentioned his time as an intern for Baseball Ontario, which ultimately led him to a job with the Blue Jays. Tinnish was an intern during the summer between his second last and last year at Brock. During his time with Baseball Ontario, Tinnish met an individual who at the time worked for the Blue Jays front office.
“The experience at Baseball Ontario led me to him, which certainly helped lead me to my next job, which was with the Blue Jays.”
In terms of Brock Baseball, Tinnish believes new head coach Marc LePage will be able to continue the winning tradition.
“(Marc) is someone who is extremely organized on and off the field, someone who is extremely prepared, someone who is going to do his due diligence on whether it be practices, recruiting, scheduling or off-season plans,” said Tinnish. “You are going to get a coach that has a very solid foundation of baseball knowledge, a coach who knows no one has all the answers in this game.”
LePage joined the program in 1995 as an assistant coach and together, Tinnish and LePage have been able to build a strong friendship. LePage mentioned that the two text almost every other day.
Tinnish’s involvement as a Brock alumni won’t be stopping at just Thursday’s visit. He hopes to find more time to come out and help the team, although he is busy with the Blue Jays.
Tinnish expects another great year for Brock Baseball as the team continues to build on its core from last season.
“This is a very typical Brock training camp,” said Tinnish. “You have some surprises in a handful of players, and obviously there’s a returning core group of players who have a lot of ability. It’s very early, but right now it looks like there are a lot of players who can swing the bat, infield looks solid and there’s a couple starting pitchers who I think have a chance to make a pretty solid impact in the league.”
Brock Baseball’s season will begin this weekend when they play host to both Queen’s and Waterloo in a Saturday and Sunday doubleheader. Last season the Badgers beat Queen’s in both games, outscoring the Gaels 15-6. They also beat Waterloo in the two games the teams played, outscoring the Warriors 16-7.
Satbir Singh, Editor-in-Chief