Submitted by Wade Welte
Tayler Soveran-Welte (13) of Richmound, Saskatchewan, has been chosen to take part in MLB’s (Major League Baseball) “ Trailblazer Series”.
In 2017, USA Baseball and Major League Baseball launched a new baseball tournament for girls built around Jackie Robinson Day in celebration of baseball’s quintessential “Trailblazer”.
The objective of the event is to provide playing, development and educational opportunities to girls who play baseball.
In 2020 we submitted an application for Tayler thinking she was a perfect fit for this. Tayler has played baseball in the Medicine Hat Little League program over the last five years, in a lot of those years she has been one of the only girls that have been playing.
In all of the years except one, she was the only girl on her team.
She has been asked about playing softball but has said repeatedly that she wants to play baseball, and despite hearing many times that girls aren’t supposed to play baseball, they are supposed to play softball, she continues to play baseball.
Applications were open to all girls aged 11-13 and athletes from all over North America were eligible to apply.
In March of 2020 Tayler was selected as one of 95 girls to attend the trailblazer series at the MLB Youth academy in Compton California. As Covid has done to all of us, it turned those plans upside down and the camp was cancelled.
Although she was very disappointed she understood and moved on. She got the chance from MLB to listen in on some Zoom meetings with other girls and listen to speakers like Bob Kendrick, who is the president of the Negro League baseball museum in Kansas City Missouri, and Sharon Robinson, the daughter of Jackie Robinson, who shared stories with the girls on the meetings.
In early 2022, we received notification that they were planning on hosting the series again , luckily for us Tayler who will turn 13 this month was still eligible so we re –applied and were accepted again.
This year’s camp will take place from April 13-17 in Vero Beach, Florida, at the Jackie Robinson complex which was the former spring training home of the LA Dodgers known as Dodgertown.
Participants will stay at the Jackie Robinson training complex with airfare, accommodations, and meals uniforms and playing equipment provided free of cost for attendees. Instructors and past speakers have included professional players, USA female national team players and even Olympic softball star Jennie Finch.
Tayler goes to Fox Valley School and also enjoys volleyball, curling, snowboarding and up until this year she played on a boy’s hockey team in Irvine.
She hopes more girls come out and play baseball. She would also like to thank all of her old teammates and coaches with Irvine Minor Hockey and Medicine Hat Little League for treating her as just another member of the team.
• Check out mlb.com/robinson training-complex and mhlittleleague.ca for more information