Former pro baseball pitcher training the next generation on Vancouver Island – Cowichan Valley Citizen
For Anthony Pluta, the 2000 Major League Baseball draft pick, reuniting with a former teammate and coaching on Vancouver Island are ideas he’s been pondering for some time.
He is thrilled to see the two come to fruition at the Langford’s Island training facility.
Born in California, Pluta played professional ball for 13 years and was a third-round pick for the Houston Astros, playing for six MLB affiliates during his Minor League career. He has roots on the island, having earned a master’s degree at the University of Victoria and playing for the short-lived professional team the Victoria Seals. He was a teammate at the time with Charlie Strandlund, now general manager of the multi-sport training center.
“We talked even when I was playing in 2009 about doing something like this, where him and I team up and then do a lot of baseball stuff around town and try to raise the offers,” Pluta said.
Back then, there weren’t many facilities, but these days the center allows children to play comfortably during the winter – the facility is the largest indoor sports complex in the province.
“We wanted to have a huge impact on the baseball and softball community on the island, so bringing Pluta on board was a big deal for us,” Strandlund said in a statement. “His membership elevates the offer and gives us someone at the facility leading the charge.”
Pluta is currently a pitching coach for Canada’s National Women’s Baseball Team and Co-Technical Director of High Performance Baseball in British Columbia. He plans to stay in those positions for 2022, which means his summer will be ‘crazy’, but he’s delighted to be coaching. locally.
As Greater Victoria continues to expand, the number of players is also growing, he said. Pluta hopes kids from the West Rim and beyond will come to practice at the center — potentially progressing and moving up the baseball and softball ranks.
“You never know what will happen. But we had quite a few draft picks (MLB) from the island. Great talent comes out of BC every year, and we’re going to start seeing even more talent come out of the island as baseball becomes more popular.
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