Canadian National Women’s Team veteran Amanda Asay passes away at age 33

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Photo: Baseball Canada

January 9, 2022

Official Baseball Canada News Release

OTTAWA – The Baseball Canada family is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of longtime Women’s National Team member Amanda Asay who succumbed to her injuries following a skiing accident in Nelson, British Columbia.

The Prince George, B.C. native was 33 years young.

Asay was the longest serving member of the Women’s National Team program having joined the squad in 2005 and recently participated in the Women’s National Team Showcase last summer in Trois-Rivières, Québec.

She was part of national teams that captured five WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup medals, including bronze in 2006, 2012 and 2018 and silver in 2008 and 2016. She was also part of Canada’s historic silver medal performance at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto – the first time that women’s baseball was included in a major, multi-sport games.

“This is really difficult news for our Women’s National Team program,” said Baseball Canada’s André Lachance who managed Asay on various national teams from 2005-2018. “Amanda was an amazing person who meant a great deal to our program. She was a competitor who possessed all of the characteristics that you look for in a baseball player. She was versatile, intelligent and competitive who rose to the challenge on many occasions. 

“Above all, she was a terrific person who will leave a lasting impact on many people, not only with the Women’s National Team program but all of those who were lucky enough to meet her.”

“On behalf Baseball Canada’s Board of Directors and national office, I offer sincerest condolences to Amanda’s loved ones including her parents Loris and George and her brother Brad,” said Baseball Canada President and CEO Jason Dickson. “Her contributions to women’s baseball and our national team will be remembered forever and will serve as inspiration for future generations.”

A talented athlete who also excelled in the classroom, Asay played hockey and softball for Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island for three seasons (2006-2009) while earning a Bachelor’s in Science. She continued her studies at the University of British Columbia where she attained a master’s in science and PhD in forestry while playing two seasons for the Thunderbirds hockey team.

Baseball was her first love, however, and her talent and hard work caught the eye of Women’s National Team evaluators when she was just 17 years old in 2005. In 2006, playing in her first Women’s Baseball World Cup in Taiwan, Asay earned all-tournament honours at first base and later took home the Women’s National Team Most Valuable Player Award. 

She would go on to capture MVP honours again in 2016 but this time it was for her dominance on the mound as she shutdown a powerful Chinese Taipei squad at the Women’s Baseball World Cup in South Korea with a complete game, 2-1 victory to send Canada to the gold medal contest.

Asay was loved by her coaches and teammates alike for her positive attitude and the way in which she went about her business on the field, always being in control and setting an example for others with her play.

“Amanda was a one-of-a-kind teammate, the type of player and person who you loved to compete with every game,” said Ashley Stephenson who played 14 seasons with Asay on the national team and coached her for two. “Under the circumstances, I cannot put into words how tragic this loss is for everyone who knew Amanda. My thoughts at this time and my heart go out to her family.”

“The loss of Amanda is felt in so many places it’s hard to put into words,” added former teammate Nicole Luchanski who also lived and worked with Asay in the forestry profession. “She was a truly exceptional athlete, leader, friend, family member, and forestry professional. 

“She improved everything she touched and the loss of such a positive, smart, hardworking, and loyal person is unbearable.”

7 thoughts on “Canadian National Women’s Team veteran Amanda Asay passes away at age 33

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    1. cooperstownersincanada – Kevin Glew is a professional writer based in London, Ontario. His work has been featured on CBC Sports, Sportsnet.ca, MLB.com and Sympatico.ca. He has also written articles for Baseball Digest, Baseball America, The Hockey News, Sports Market Report and the Canadian Baseball Network. He has been involved with the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for more than 16 years, including a two-year stint as the museum's acting curator.
      cooperstownersincanada says:

      Yes, a terrible tragedy.

    1. cooperstownersincanada – Kevin Glew is a professional writer based in London, Ontario. His work has been featured on CBC Sports, Sportsnet.ca, MLB.com and Sympatico.ca. He has also written articles for Baseball Digest, Baseball America, The Hockey News, Sports Market Report and the Canadian Baseball Network. He has been involved with the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for more than 16 years, including a two-year stint as the museum's acting curator.
      cooperstownersincanada says:

      Thanks for your comment, Scott. It’s a terrible tragedy, but she was certainly well loved and respected.

  1. Tom Valcke – Stratford, Ontario – Tom Valcke put his iCASE Baseball Academy as well as his position of Head Coach at George Brown College into hiatus, when Hong Kong brought him there in 2018 to serve as head coach of their Men's Olympic baseball team, where he finished with unprecedented success in the 2018 Asian Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia, spiking their WBSC World Ranking from #41 to #28 in just one year under his tutelage. China then scooped up Valcke, as he became the GM and Head Coach of Panda Sport and Culture, a division of the China Olympic Federation, overseeing baseball and softball, and training the national team coaches of baseball and softball, men's and women's teams. Panda Sport and Culture is based in Zhongshan, China's nationally recognized "#1 Baseball City," located on the southeast tip of China, and has a climate much like Florida. On his own initiative, he spent his evenings working with the local coaches of Zhongshan's local amateur youth baseball teams. For the first time in history, the same city won all four 2019 China National Championship gold medals, in 18U, 15U, 12U and 10U, that city being Zhongshan! Valcke worked with the China Baseball Association and Major League Baseball in helping the world's largest country accelerate their evolution into baseball, and helped them design and build a professional baseball stadium, a 600-room dormitory, and a new HQ for Panda Sport and Culture, where he held the role of CEO, in charge of a staff of 60. Valcke, former Technical Director, and Executive Director of Baseball Canada, and former coach of Team Canada, remains a baseball analyst with CBC Canada Radio and TV. The former president/CEO of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, who spent a decade as the Canadian Supervisor with the Major League Baseball Central Scouting Bureau, served as a television broadcaster for the Montreal Expos, the GM of the Calgary Cannons Triple-A club, and the CEO/Head Coach of the World Children's Baseball Fair. He is the proud father of Alanna, Jaxon and Mia, and lucky husband of Paula since 1987. Jaxon and Mia are current star players and captains, respectively, of the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds baseball and softball teams. Mia also became the second female in history to play in World Cups for Team Canada Women's baseball team as well as Team Canada Women's softball team. https://www.canadianbaseballnetwork.com/canadian-baseball-network-articles/baseball-nomad-valcke-a-top-amateur-executive http://www.wbsc.org/csta-prestige-awards-honors-tom-valcke/ https://cooperstownersincanada.com/2012/01/23/valcke-recognized-for-global-baseball-efforts/
    Tom Valcke says:

    When the World Junior Hockey Tournament was cancelled a couple of weeks ago due to COVID, it was a huge downer for Canadians, not to mention TSN, losing its biggest property. Our family watches that tournament every year at Christmas time with passion and enthusiasm that matches any of our neighbors. It strikes me odd, and sad, that our Junior (18U) men’s national baseball team doesn’t get any similar attention whatsoever when its World Cup occurs. If Canucks would give it a try, they’d never miss another one. Those players work just as hard, and many become not only Major League players, but MLB All-Stars.

    I have also, always, had a similar feeling about our women’s national baseball team. Full disclosure is fair game here, and yes, my daughter plays in the program. They are ranked #3 in the World right now, and really play a solid, entertaining, and winning brand of baseball.

    Overall, baseball, men’s or women’s, in Canadian culture, unfairly, simply does not receive similar attention to hockey or soccer. But let me assure you, that the late Amanda Asay would have fit into any conversation that could be had about Hayley Wickenheiser or Christine Sinclair. She had a skill set as rare as Shohei Ohtani, as she was a star pitcher and slugger for Team Canada’s women’s national team. She has worn the maple leaf on her chest proudly for 15 years, matched only by the legendary Ashley Stephenson, who now is a coach with Team Canada. Asay, 33, was on the Team C roster in 2021, attending a showcase event in Trois Rivieres, Quebec. The next oldest player was Ella Matteucci at 27. The player with the next most years in the program was Claire Eccles, with seven. Asay was a two-time MVP for Team Canada, and won the awards ten years apart!

    This accomplished veteran, who led the team with both her actions and words, was also extraordinarily accomplished off the field, obtaining her Bachelor of Science at Brown University, an Ivy League school, while playing hockey and softball (there are no college women’s baseball teams). She then obtained her Master’s in Forestry from the University of British Columbia, while playing two years of hockey there. And she recently received her Ph.D. in Forestry/Environment from UBC.

    It is especially devastating when a child passes before her parents, as nature just wasn’t designed to work that way. We grieve for George and Loris Asay, as well as for Amanda’s brother Bradley, as the tragedy is unspeakable. We will be forever grateful to the Asay family, and Amanda, for being not only a superstar between the white lines, but for leaving a legacy that will continue for whoever wears the Team Canada uniform in the future, earmarked with her passion, tenacity and leadership. RIP Amanda, and thank you!

    1. cooperstownersincanada – Kevin Glew is a professional writer based in London, Ontario. His work has been featured on CBC Sports, Sportsnet.ca, MLB.com and Sympatico.ca. He has also written articles for Baseball Digest, Baseball America, The Hockey News, Sports Market Report and the Canadian Baseball Network. He has been involved with the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for more than 16 years, including a two-year stint as the museum's acting curator.
      cooperstownersincanada says:

      A very nice tribute, Tom. Thanks for writing this.

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