Twins Colton (left) and Merick Sampson

Twins Colton (left) and Merick Sampson

Baseball taking Chilliwack kids to Dominican

Chilliwack twins Colton and Merick Sampson have the opportunity of a lifetime as they travel to the Dominican Republic for baseball.

Chilliwack twins Colton and Merick Sampson are travelling to the Dominican Republic in mid-August to participate in the Latin American Baseball Classic.

The LABC takes place each year in Santo Domingo, a baseball hotbed that has produced a looooooong list of major leaguers.

That list includes current Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista, Boston Red Sox bopper David Ortiz and future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols.

In addition to the host Dominicans and the United States, the LABC includes teams from Venezuela, Panama, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Brazil and the Virgin Islands.

The tournament is held at complexes run by the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins and Arizona Diamondbacks.

Colton and Merick will have the opportunity to meet and work with players and coaches in the Diamondbacks organization.

The twins competed against more than 1,000 players to earn a spot on the team.

Team USA is taking 13 players for the 12-and-under squad. The local lads, who hold dual citizenship, will be pitching and playing behind the plate as catchers.

“The team is carrying two catchers as it is very hot and they play double headers every day,” said their dad, Jeff Sampson, whose Michigan birth certificate allows them to play for the US.

Team USA will be coached by former major leaguer Jim Parque. The 37-year-old logged 103 career games as a pitcher  with the Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays. He went 13-6 with the White Sox in 2000, striking out 111 in 187 innings with a 4.28 earned-run average.

The boys have been involved with the Chilliwack Minor Baseball Association since they were four years old, and quit playing hockey two years ago to concentrate on baseball year round.

The twins joined their older brother Caelen, crossing the border to Bellingham two or three times a week for training sessions. They also started training at the Chilliwack-based Batters Box Academy, guided by University of British Columbia pitching coach Shawn Corness.

The trip to the Dominican Republic will be expensive, with the financial burden bourne mostly by the players. The Sampson family is hoping the community might help out.

They are also looking for  donations of kids clothes, small toys and baseball gear to give out while they are in the impoverished country.

Anyone who wishes to donate money or other items can contact Jeff Sampson by phone at 604-799-2457 or email at jeffsampson19@hotmail.com.

Lara Sampson can be contacted by phone at 604-799-2458 or email at lsampson7@hotmail.com.

Just Posted

Folks look through some of the items for sale during the Voice of Hope giant garage sale at 7350 Barrow Rd. in Chilliwack on Saturday, June 19, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Giant garage sale today in Chilliwack supports Kenyan widows, orphans

Funds go to Chilliwack-based Voice of Hope charity to improve quality of life for impoverished Kenyans

Ben Holwerda of the Chilliwack Spartan Swim Club competes in a swim meet at the Landing Leisure Centre on Feb. 12, 2011. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack Landing Leisure Centre to close temporarily for scheduled maintenance

Pools, steam room, and sauna at Landing Leisure Centre closing for maintenance July 19 to Sep. 4

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack woman’s 100-km birthday marathon to benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Volunteers will gather at South Gate Shopping Centre on Fathers Day before fanning out to help clean up downtown Chilliwack. (Facebook photo)
Kindness Chain Chilliwack Association organizes Fathers Day cleanup

Volunteers will spend 90 minutes fanning out to gather trash in downtown Chilliwack

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

Most Read