Jimmy Dionne: “Thanks Dad!”

Like most dads around 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.

However, when the idea of ​​doing a Father’s Day report on the relationship between the former independent baseball player and his son Jimmy came up, the father expressed a wish that the focus should be on the youth first. Missed target, like a little too low turn, outside.

“My father’s story is a very inspirational one, it tells me never to give up,” says Jimmy, a 17-year-old Quebec-area young man who is currently one of the brightest hopes in Beautiful Province.

Very early in the interview, the youngster was snapped to pay tribute to his old man: “Thank you dad! And Happy Father’s Day!”

Jimmy Dionne, in the uniform of the Canada junior baseball team, in Spring 2022.

Baseball Canada photo/courtesy

Jimmy Dionne, in the uniform of the Canada junior baseball team, in Spring 2022.

follow his passion

Growing up, Jimmy heard many anecdotes from the past, such as the time Stéphane Dionne, then in his early 20s, took “his ham sandwiches and $300” to go to Florida to play major league draft games . Of course, Jimmy wasn’t born yet, but he still learned a tremendous lesson in perseverance, the desire to do whatever it takes to follow your passion and achieve your dreams.

To sum up the dad’s movie-making career, the former receiver had found himself in Kissimmee at the Houston Astros camp. He also had footage of pitcher Doug Drabek walking past the sideline.

Not without hitting a few home runs during batting practice, the plucky Quebecer might not have made it into the Astros organization, but it was enough for him to eventually land at Oklahama City University baseball. In 1997, at the age of 27, the Rimouski native finally realized a dream against the odds by playing in independent leagues for the Blue Ox of Bangor, Maine, and the Saints of St. Paul, Minnesota. Once the contacts were made, everything contributed significantly to the Capitals’ arrival in Quebec in 1999.

“My dad taught me how to play baseball, but he’s still there to motivate me,” sums up Jimmy Dionne, casually reminiscing about fond memories of where after the Capitals’ games he had a chance to get on the field while his father was now an assistant coach with the Quebec formation.

“He has ensured a good part of my development in recent years with the pandemic. He was there to give me batting practice or train me as a pitcher.

A promising future

Today, young Dionne is a member of the Baseball Academy of Canada (ABC), which brings together some of Québec’s elite. He also had the opportunity to participate in Canadian Junior Squad activities in the spring.

It’s hard to say what the future holds for Jimmy Dionne right now, but one thing is for sure, he has someone close to him to inspire him.

“Me, my role is to offer him support and encouragement, I will always have his back,” Stéphane said.

Even now it is a beautiful story between a father and his son. And for Jimmy, he probably hasn’t finished. The next chapter has yet to be written, with a great passion for baseball as a narrative framework. Like her father’s.

Write your own story

At 17, Jimmy Dionne is already qualified for baseball’s next big draft, which is scheduled for July 17-19.

At 6’4″ and just under 215lbs, Dionne has an interesting profile for recruiters who dare to project themselves into the future. As a left-handed pitcher, the young man is still perfecting his batting development.

“I’m not expecting anything, I’m living in the present moment,” said the boy from the Quebec region, considering the hopefulness. I often perform then.”

If he wants to use a series of tournaments in the US with the Baseball Academy of Canada (ABC) this summer to get his attention, Dionne knows full well that his career could also take him through American colleges.

“My goal is to become the best possible player, of course, with the hope of making it to Major League Baseball one day. That would be my biggest dream,” says Dionne, who prefers to keep her feet on the ground.

A great experience

Last April, the young Quebecer also had a great experience with the Canada junior team. On the hill, as part of a tour of Florida, he notably met the hopes of the Houston Astros organization.

“That was my best experience in life,” he says of his stay with the national team. What I lived there will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Elliot Cadieux-Lanoue, Charles-Olivier Cyr, Joshua Jones, Deiten Lachance, Félix Morin and Jérémy Pilon are the other Quebecers who have defended Canada junior team colors so far in 2022. So many names to keep an eye on for years to come, possibly on the eve of the next draft.

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