DURHAM LORDS NEWS RELEASE
Monday, August 20, 2012
Durham’s Tyler Mitchell spends his summer in Sweden
OSHAWA, Ont. – Playing baseball in Sweden is not your typical student summer job, but that is what Durham College shortstop Tyler Mitchell has been up to this year.
The two-time CIBA Ontario Batting champion has spent the last four months playing in the Swedish Elite Series for the Gavle Baseball Club. Not really knowing what to expect heading into the summer season, Mitchell has performed well as he first or second in every offensive statistical category on his team while finding time to soak up the European experience.
“I've had a great experience thus far,” said Mitchell. “Everyone here has gone out of their way to make sure I feel welcome. Teammates and other members of the organization have made sure to include me in different celebrations and social events. The people here are somewhat reserved which is perfect because I fit right in and I have created a memory that will last a life time.”
Although giving up his summer job in Canada to move to Sweden was not a slam dunk decision, Durham College head coach Sam Dempster encouraged Mitchell to take advantage of the opportunity.
“Playing in Sweden this year was a great learning experience for Tyler,” said Dempster. “He had a chance to live on his own and get an understanding of another culture. I told him to make the necessary adjustments in his game and enjoy the experience.”
Mitchell has noticed a lot of differences in the game over in Sweden. With baseball being a fringe sport in the Swedish culture, the commitment of the players is not always at the level that it is in Canada.
“One thing that I have come to realize is how important commitment is to a team’s success,” said Mitchell. “I've been fortunate enough over the years to play with guys who sacrificed their time for the benefit of the team. Playing here has shown me that no matter how much talent you possess, the team will have difficulty succeeding without the commitment of every player. Baseball is a game of mistakes and if the whole team isn't committed, then it is very hard to minimize those mistakes.”
Even though Gavle is not contending for a championship this summer, Mitchell has helped lead the team to their best season in franchise history with a .269 average and an .395 on base percentage.
Mitchell will be finishing up his season in Sweden and be back in Oshawa for Durham College training camp in September, as the Lords look to defend the Canadian Intercollegiate Baseball Association (CIBA) national title.
When asked if he would give similar advice as coach Dempster if someone asked him about playing baseball in Europe, he responded, “I would definitely recommend coming to Europe to play.”
- 30 -
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Sports Information and Marketing Coordinator
Durham College and UOIT Athletics
905.721.2000 Ext. 2784 (P)