Like most dads in the world, Stéphane Dionne says he doesn’t need anything, whether it’s Christmas, his birthday or … Father’s Day. No gifts, no special attention.
But when the idea of making a report on the relationship between this former independent baseball player and his son Jimmy was born on the occasion of Father’s Day, the father expressed the hope that the emphasis would be placed first on young people. Missed goal, like a little too low curve, out.
“My father’s story inspires me a lot, it tells me you should never give up,” says Jimmy, a 17-year-old from the Quebec region who is currently one of the brightest hopes in the province of Beautiful.
Very early in the interview, the young man was featured in the picture to pay homage to his old man: “Thanks Dad! And happy Father’s Day! “
Baseball Canada photo / courtesy
Jimmy Dionne, wearing the uniform of the Canadian youth baseball team, in the spring of 2022.
follow his passion
Growing up, Jimmy will have heard many anecdotes from the past, such as the time when Stéphane Dionne, in his early 20s, took “his ham sandwiches and $ 300” to drive to Florida to attend major league practice camps. Sure, Jimmy wasn’t born yet, but he still learned a tremendous lesson in perseverance, a desire to go out of his way to follow his passion and pursue his dreams.
To sum up his father’s career, worthy of a film, the former receiver had found himself in Kissimmee, at the Houston Astros camp. He had also taken shots from pitcher Doug Drabek as he passed the sidelines.
Not without scoring a few home runs during batting tests, the valiant Quebecer may not make the leap to the Astros organization, but it was enough for him to finish, one thing after another, with the baseball club Oklahama City University. It was finally in 1997, at the age of 27, that the Rimouski native realized a dream, against all odds, by playing for the Blue Ox of Bangor, Maine, and the Saints of St. Paul, Minnesota, in independent leagues. With the contacts established, everything would have contributed significantly to the arrival of the Capitals, in Quebec, in 1999.
“My father is the one who taught me to play baseball, but still today he is always there to motivate me, sums up Jimmy Dionne, recalling in passing good memories where, after the games of the Capitals, he had the opportunity to embark on the field while his father he was now assistant coach with the Quebec training.
“In recent years, with the pandemic, it has ensured a large part of my development. He was there to train me in batting or to train as a pitcher.
A promising future
Today, young Dionne is a member of the Baseball Academy of Canada (ABC), which brings together some of Quebec’s elite. In the spring she also had the opportunity to take part in the Canadian Junior Squad activities.
It’s hard to know what the future holds for Jimmy Dionne right now, but one thing is for sure, he has someone close to him who inspires him.
“My role is to offer him support, encouragement, I will always be behind him,” said Stéphane.
It’s already a good story between a father and his son. And for Jimmy, he’s probably not finished talking about him. The next chapter is still to be written with, as a narrative framework, a great passion for baseball. Like his father’s.
Write your story
At 17, Jimmy Dionne is already eligible for the next major baseball draft scheduled for July 17-19.
At 6’4 “and just under 215 pounds, Dionne has an interesting profile for recruiters who dare to project themselves into the future. A left-handed pitcher, the youngster nevertheless continues to perfect his batting development.
“I don’t expect anything, I live in the present moment,” indicates the boy from the Quebec region, in view of the repechage. Often it is when I perform “.
If she plans to take advantage of a series of tournaments in the United States with the Baseball Academy of Canada (ABC) to get attention this summer, Dionne knows full well that her career could also go through American colleges.
“My goal is to become the best player possible, obviously hoping to make it to Major League Baseball someday. It would be my biggest dream, ”observes Dionne, who prefers to keep a down-to-earth spirit.
A great experience
The young Quebecer also had a great deal of experience with the Canadian youth team last April. On the mound, he specifically addressed the hopes of the Houston Astros organization as part of a tour of Florida.
“It was my best experience in life, he tells of this stay in the national team. What I experienced there will follow me all my life.
Elliot Cadieux-Lanoue, Charles-Olivier Cyr, Joshua Jones, Deiten Lachance, Félix Morin and Jérémy Pilon are the other Quebecers who have defended the colors of the Canadian youth team so far in 2022. So many names to keep an eye on for years to come and potentially on the eve of the next draft.