The Kamloops NorthPaws have added big first baseman Ty Penner for the 2021 season.
Penner, from Lethbridge, Alta., is a sophomore with the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.
“Ty is a plus defender at first base and he’s got a power potential as a big left-handed batting first baseman. He’s grown and gained muscle over the past couple of years,” said Sammie Starr, assistant coach with both the NorthPaws and Thunderbirds. “We’re pretty excited to see where he’s going to be by the end of the year.”
Listed at 6’4” and 215 lbs., Penner is certain to be one of the biggest NorthPaws when the team takes the field for its inaugural season.
“As a player, I try and bring a bat to the game,” Penner said. “I try and bring a bat that can hit for extra bases, whether its doubles or even home runs. I think my bat is the difference maker in the game, but I also try to play some solid, steady defense at the corners of the infield.”
He is also the type of player who brings intangibles in the clubhouse important to team success, according to his assistant coach.
“Ty is one of the more natural leader type of guys,” Starr said. “He brings such good energy and positivity to each and every practice. He’s a great teammate.”
Penner, a graduate of Alberta’s Vauxhall Academy, played the 2019 summer season with the Lethbridge Bulls of the Western Canadian Baseball League. He said he is excited to face the competition level of the West Coast League.
“I was really looking to try and play in the West Coast League this year and when Sammie approached me with the idea and the offer to play in the West Coast League, especially for a new team in Kamloops, I love the city of Kamloops. I’ve been there a few times for the Best of the West tournaments. I didn’t want to pass that up.”
Additionally, like many Albertans, he is happy to spend his summer months in Beautiful British Columbia.
“The biggest thing for me, hearing about the West Coast League competition and exposure, is a higher calibre of baseball than in the Western Canadian Baseball League that I played in before,” he said. “At the same time I love BC, I love to be in BC and the weather in BC is awesome.”
The Kamloops NorthPaws are an expansion West Coast League franchise bringing the highest calibre baseball Canada’s Tournament Capital has ever seen. The West Coast League, founded in 2005, has 15 teams across Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alberta featuring some of the top collegiate players during a 54-game summer season. Find the NorthPaws online at www.northpawsbaseball.ca, @northpawsbaseball on Instagram and Facebook, or @northpawsbb on Twitter.