TORONTO -- Roberto Alomar was in the twilight of his Hall of Fame career when Brodie Guenther of Warman, Saskatchewan, was born in March 2003. At the time, the 35-year-old second baseman was finishing up his final two seasons in the Majors before retiring with the White Sox.None of the
TORONTO -- Roberto Alomar was in the twilight of his Hall of Fame career when Brodie Guenther of Warman, Saskatchewan, was born in March 2003. At the time, the 35-year-old second baseman was finishing up his final two seasons in the Majors before retiring with the White Sox.
None of the 160 players at this year's Tournament 12 event were born when Alomar hit his 1992 American League Championship Series home run off Dennis Eckersley that sprung the Blue Jays to a pair of World Series titles. It's safe to assume none of the players have any memory of Alomar's playing career, but they've learned about the former Blue Jays great.
Guenther first met Alomar at a Blue Jays Honda Super Camp in Saskatoon when he was 10 years old.
"I didn't really know much about him," Guenther said. "On the way to the camp, [my dad] told me a bit about Alomar's career."
Guenther had heard stories of Alomar's smooth glove and the bat that always seemed to find contact. His father, Bevin, credits these opportunities for baseball's gaining popularity in the Prairie provinces.
"In the moment, it's overwhelming," Bevin said. "With the Blue Jays bringing baseball right across Canada, and these kids don't even realize who and what is going on, but as dads, we're all siting there, we're so proud."
Bevin said the Super Camps have become a major success in spreading baseball. It gives the country's youth an opportunity to play the sport with Blue Jays legends and keeps kids inspired to work on their craft.
That has been Alomar's goal since he retired. He isn't a Canadian citizen and he only played with the Blue Jays for five seasons, but he wants to give back to a community that welcomed him.
"When I came here in 1991, everybody embraced me," Alomar said. "I won two World Series here. When I was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011, I wore the Blue Jays hat, so now that I'm retired, it's time for me to give back to the community."
Four years after Alomar posed with Guenther for a photo at the Super Camp in Saskatoon, Guenther is back with the Blue Jays' great at the Tournament 12 event, playing on the same infield that Alomar made so many incredible plays.
It doesn't matter that Guenther has no recollection of Alomar's playing days, he just appreciates everything No. 12 does for Canadian baseball.
Aaron Rose is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.