Former New Brunswick junior curler Andrew Case has traded his curling broom for a baseball and the transition is paying dividends: on Sept. 28, he signed a free-agent contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Case, a right-handed pitcher, impressed scouts at the inaugural Tournament 12 at Toronto’s Rogers Centre this past September. According to the Toronto Blue Jays official website, the 20-year-old from Saint John, N.B., threw nine hitless innings and struck out 19 batters over the length of the tournament.
“Stepping on that mound was the most unreal feeling of my life, something I dreamed of as a kid,” Case told the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal. “My dream has officially come true. I never thought this day would come.”
Case comes from a family of New Brunswick curling over-achievers, including uncle Peter Case, who played lead on James Grattan’s 2013 provincial championship team that represented the province at the 2013 Tim Hortons Brier.
In 2010, Case skipped Team New Brunswick teammates Jordan Craft, Ryan Freeze, and Keegan Jeans to a 5-3 win over Nova Scotia to win the men’s section of the Atlantic Under-18 Curling Championships.
Since then, he has been in Alberta, studying at the Lethbridge Community College while pitching for the Prairie Baseball Academy Dawgs.
When the Academy’s competitive schedule ends in May, Case told the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal he hopes his minor-league journey with the Jays will get underway. Two possible destinations are Toronto’s two rookie-level clubs, the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays and the Bluefield (W. Va.) Blue Jays.
“I can’t wait to get started,” he told his home province’s newspaper. “And I hope other people see that it’s possible to achieve a dream. If you work hard, it’s possible.”