Andrew Albers never forgot Quebec

Andrew Albers never forgot Quebec City


PHOENIX – A member of Team Canada at the World Baseball Classic, pitcher Andrew Albers holds a special place in his heart for Quebec City, who won a championship with the Capitals in 2010 . 

“It's still one of my favorite summers to this day, it was so fun to play in Quebec and win the championship,” said the gunner. left-hander, who went on to play 31 major league games, mostly with the Minnesota Twins. We had a great team, with good teammates and the city itself was incredible.”

Andrew Albers, in the uniform of the Capitales de Québec, in 2010.

Albers remembers very well Karl Gélinas, Sébastien Boucher and Ivan Naccarata without forgetting receivers Pierre-Luc Laforest and Pat D 'Aoust.

“Quebec is one of my fondest memories of baseball, even if I have traveled a lot since, insisted Albers, expressing himself very well in French. There is still a beautiful place in my heart for the city of Quebec.”

The athlete from Saskatchewan was 24 years old when he wore the colors of the Capitals, in the defunct Can-Am League. It was later that he joined the Twins organization, making his major league debut on August 6, 2013. 

Albers also played one game with the Toronto Blue Jays, in 2015, and defended the colors of the Seattle Mariners. 

Yoshida's teammate in Japan

Baseball brought the pitcher to Japan, from 2018 to 2020, with the Orix Buffaloes, in Osaka. The Canadian also worked there for three seasons with the newcomer to the Boston Red Sox: Masataka Yoshida.

“He's an excellent hitter, he also noted, at About Yoshida. His batting skills are extraordinary.”

Although he remembers the atmosphere at the Stade municipal de Québec positively, with the particular noise made by the benches slammed by the spectators, Albers is honest reserving its gold medal for Japanese stadiums.

“In Japan, sometimes there are 40,000 people making noise, with drums and trumpets,” he said. If you go to the Tokyo Dome and play against the Yomiuri Giants, there's not much that comes close. In Softbank, it is also very noisy.”

“My arm can fall off”

Now 37, Albers knows all too well that his best baseball years are behind him, whether in Quebec City, Minnesota or Japan. Hence the idea of ​​having taken full advantage of this last week at the World Classic. In his third appearance at this international competition, after 2013 and 2017, the Canadian pitcher was finally used for an inning and two-thirds, Wednesday, against Mexico. He then awarded two earned runs.

“It is very likely that I will not have many other opportunities like this, he agreed, before the game on Wednesday. I am ready to do anything to help the team. My arm may fall off, I won't need it much after this. I try not to think too much about the fact that this may be my last such experience in baseball, but I appreciate being here and having this opportunity. These experiences should never be taken for granted.”

  • Andrew Albers learned French in Saskatchewan at a very young age, while attending an immersion school. Now retired from baseball, he has returned to live in the Saskatoon area.

An epic game in New Jersey

“That day, I knew that Andrew Albers would be one of the favorite players I would manage in my career”, launches the manager of the Capitals of Quebec, Patrick Scalabrini.

The anecdote concerning an epic game played against the Jackals, in New Jersey, is first reported by Scalabrini.

“I am surprised that Pat remember,” Albers confesses.

This game was still played in 2010, almost 13 years ago, shortly after the pitcher underwent Tommy-John surgery.

Albers tells his version of the facts: “ I had a sleeve to keep my arm warm and after my warm-up the opposing coach asked the referee that I take it off. No problem so far, but I wanted to have more warm-up shots without the round. The referee didn't want to, it was insane…

“Since I was coming in relief and there was a runner on first base, I started the game by throwing three or four times to hold the runner on the base, added Albers. It was then that the referee told me that he was going to send me off if I threw another time at first base.

Scalabrini remembers very well having perceived the rebellious side of Albers in this scene. 

“A bulldog on the court, a gentleman on the outside”, summarizes the trainer.

The receiver's point of view< /strong>

Receiver at the time, Quebecer Pat D'Aoust also remembers this game very well in New Jersey.

“After the referee's warning, Andrew did not raise on first base , but he struck out the batter with three fastballs, D'Aoust said. It's still a defining moment.” 

“I'm competitive, I don't like to lose,” Albers said, laughing. Yes, I'm a little different on the field compared to the outside.”

  • Used as a reliever by manager Pat Scalabrini, Albers had had an extraordinary season in Quebec, ending the campaign with a 3-0 record and a sparkling 1.40 ERA in 57 2/3 innings on the mound. The native of North Battleford, Saskatchewan, also had 17 saves for the Capitals.
  • First in the regular season, the Capitals shut out the New Jersey Jackals before defeating the Pittsfield Colonials in four matches, in a 3-of-5 series, in the 2010 final.