Hall of fame second baseman Roberto Alomar runs an infielding drill at a Blue Jays Academy baseball camp Monday at the Serauxmen Sports Fields.

Hall of fame second baseman Roberto Alomar runs an infielding drill at a Blue Jays Academy baseball camp Monday at the Serauxmen Sports Fields.

Blue Jays all-stars encourage big-league dreams

NANAIMO – Toronto Blue Jays alumni Roberto Alomar, Lloyd Moseby, Duane Ward and Rance Mulliniks were in Nanaimo on Monday.

Nanaimo seems a long way from the big leagues, but it doesn’t have to be.

Toronto Blue Jays alumni were in the Harbour City this week and they told young players to go ahead and pursue their dreams in the sport.

Hall of famer Roberto Alomar, along with Lloyd Moseby, Duane Ward and Rance Mulliniks, were in Nanaimo on Monday, running a Blue Jays Academy baseball camp in the afternoon before An All-Star Evening fundraiser dinner at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

The big leaguers were forthcoming with advice for minor baseball players. Alomar suggested that young players reflect on their love for the game.

“To have success in anything you do in life, I think you have to love what you do and if you don’t love what you do then you’re wasting your time,” he said.

As far as making it to the major leagues all the way from Nanaimo, Alomar said it doesn’t matter if a player comes from a small town or the big city.

“If you have the talent and you believe in yourself, then you just have to continue to work hard,” he said.

Mulliniks said terms like passion and hard work sound cliché, but they’re necessary.

“To play at the major league level, obviously you have to have been blessed with the ability to get to that level…” he said. “But passion for something will overcome all the obstacles that are going to be in your way. They come up for all of us and we have to get through them … If you have the passion, you’ll do what it takes. The rest of it will shake itself out.”

Ward said scouts will find future major leaguers anywhere, even in a small city in Canada. He pointed out that each of the 30 big-league clubs has dozens of scouts.

“So just do the math,” he said. “If you’ve got an ability to throw a baseball hard, they’re going to find you. If you’ve got the ability to hit a baseball far, they’re going to find you.”

Still, the major leagues don’t just come calling – a player needs to actively pursue his goals.

“Don’t ever quit thinking about it,” said Ward. “If you want to do this, you’d better be wanting to put your whole life into it.”

An All-Star Evening was a fundraiser for the Nanaimo Minor Baseball Association and Alomar’s Foundation 12 charity.

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