Tommy Green is looking forward to the 2021 season to finally get back into a ball game and to do so in his home province for the first time since 2018.
Green, the newest member of the Kamloops NorthPaws infield, did not see any game action in 2020.
The redshirt sophomore shortstop at Cuesta College, a junior college in California, fractured his hand before the season opener. Once it had healed, the COVID-19 pandemic had already put an end to the season.
He was ready for a summer season, but he re-fractured the same hand during his fourth at-bat of the summer and required surgery. Now fully healed, Green is itching to get back to game play and there is no place he’d rather do it than his home province.
Growing up in Courtenay, Green’s North Island Royals routinely played in the B.C. Interior. His playing has taken him across North America over the past few years. He played part of his senior high school year in North Carolina, has spent the majority of his time at college in California and his summer in Kansas.
He said he is elated to be returning close to home.
“Playing in different places has been an awesome experience, but to make the jump back close to home with such a high level league and such a high level organization, it’s going to be a great experience,” he said. “To be able to have my family come out and watch me and some friends, it’s going to be super cool to be back where it all started.”
Positionally, Green prefers shortstop but can play all over the field. He has played across the infield as well as in the outfield corners.
“He’s someone that, due to injury, might’ve fallen through the cracks who might be an impact player for us,” said head coach Cole Armstrong. “He brings a lot of passion, hard work and grit. Those guys end up being pivotal over the course of a 54-game season.”
Regardless of where he’s slotted in the lineup, Green said he just wants to be a difference maker.
“Every day I come to the field to try and help the team win and do whatever I can when I’m in the lineup to be the best team guy I can be when I show up,” Green said. “To do my job, whatever’s asked of me to fill that role and find ways to get a win at the end of the night.”
If people in baseball circles think of a T. Green from Courtenay, Tommy will not be the first to come to mind. His cousin Taylor grew up down the street and was an infielder who played parts of two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers. Now a scout with the Brewers, Taylor’s career path is one Tommy would like to follow.
“He’s like my older brother. He’s an only child so we’re texting every day, call a ton. If I need anything, I go to him. He grew up down the street from me in Courtenay. It’s been so cool growing up, idolizing him and being so close to him. We’re extremely close,” Tommy said.
Tommy recalled a playing highlight that came during his freshman year when he faced Cyprus College, Taylor’s alma mater. The bases were loaded in the first inning, Tommy stepped up to the plate and launched a grand slam over the fence.
“Growing up with the same initials, it’s pretty cool to try and be a younger version of him,” the younger Green said. “That was pretty cool, that was a good moment for sure.”
Kamloops will not be the only new team in Green’s future. He has committed to play Division I next season with the Oakland University Golden Grizzlies.
I’m really excited to announce that I’ve committed to Oakland University to continue my academic and athletic careers! I would like to thank my family, friends and coaches for the endless support! #Gogold @OaklandBASE pic.twitter.com/sA4W8ywrfv
— Thomas Green (@Thomas59346236) November 24, 2020
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.