Volume 95, Issue 3

Thursday, June 7, 2001


SPORTS

Mustangs down under

Local hurler trying to hit it big

Operation Nike: save the game

Local hurler trying to hit it big

By Jeff Warren
Gazette Staff

Sean Grimes exudes a confident grace only a baseball pitcher could possess. His prominent 6'4" 200 lb. frame and quiet, yet authoritative demeanor is that of somebody who holds the world in the palm of his hand.

Grimes' attitude is somewhat surprising, considering the newly turned 18 year-old was facing one of the toughest challenges in his young life. This past Tuesday and Wednesday, Major League Baseball held its annual draft and this young Londoner was the object of many teams' affections. 

Despite the thrilling uncertainty of when and where he was going to go, Grimes was confident things would turn out for the best.

"I really don't know where I'll end up but I'm looking forward to whose team I will become a part of," the southpaw said. "Whatever decision is made will be the best for me."

Born and raised in London, Grimes started playing baseball when he was four years old, becoming a pitcher by age six. Grimes spent his early years playing ball for Southwest London, and at age 14, he joined the Bantam Nationals. 

That year with the Nationals was a success for Grimes, as he and his team captured the Canadian National championship. Grimes was named top pitcher of the tournament and struck out 15 batters in the gold medal game.

For the last three years, Grimes has devoted his time to playing for the Canadian National junior team and for the last four years, he has also been playing for the London Midget Badgers AAA club. 

Playing for the Canadian National junior team has been an invaluable experience for Grimes, offering him a chance to pitch against baseball powerhouses like the United States and Cuba. 

Performing well in those particular games can definitely give a young player's career a shot in the arm, said Grimes, who referred specifically to his nine inning, 2-1 victory over the US in a pre-World tournament game. "That game showed that I am capable of throwing with success against any team," he said.

Grimes attributes a lot of his success to his Badgers coach, Mike Lumley, and his father, Mark Grimes. Lumley, who is also a scout for the Toronto Blue Jays, has coached Grimes for the last four years and recognizes his talent, noting that with a few adjustments, Grimes is certainly capable of taking his game to the next level. 

"Sean has been a great kid," said Lumley. "If he improves his velocity and becomes a big game pitcher; he will have great success."

Like Lumley, Grimes' father also believes that though his son is a real competitor, with some more practice, his game will improve. 

Grimes, who spends a lot of days on the field, does not regret giving up time for something he loves. "I love playing baseball," he said. "It's great being out there."

Success for Grimes is just reaching one goal after another, each as obtainable as the one that came before. "Success won't be fulfilled until I become a Major League pitcher," said Grimes. 

Grimes said he could only help but think what a great ride it has been and that his dreams were finally going to be fulfilled. "I'm glad it's here. I'm enjoying every minute of it."

Editor's Note: Just before press time, it was announced that Sean Grimes was drafted in the 8th round, 241st overall, by the Toronto Blue Jays.
 


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