Baseball: On Andrew Tinnish and the Blue Jays' CIS connections

One of the interesting aspects of the personnel shakeup new Blue Jays' general manager Alex Anthopoulos conducted today is the role it gave to a CIS alumnus. Andrew Tinnish was named as the director of amateur scouting. He'd previously been in the pro scouting department. As reported over at fellow Sports Federation site Mop Up Duty, Tinnish was a rather legendary CIS baseball player and coach with the Brock Badgers.

Tinnish played with the team from 1995 to 1999. During that span, he was named team MVP three times, and also holds team records for single season batting average (.500), at bats (146), hits (73), doubles (22) and RBI (65). He's also the team leader in career at-bats (633), hits (239), doubles (47), home runs (25) and RBI (210). The more sabermetric stats are not presented on the Brock baseball website, but I'd imagine he'd be up there in those as well. That's a very impressive career. The Badgers probably wish he was still with them; they lost 9-2 to Western yesterday, finishing their season with a 9-9 record and missing the playoffs for the first time in school history.

Canadian university baseball probably isn't going to have many players make it to the majors any time soon, but it still isn't a bad sport or league. It's nice to see one of its most famous lights gain a more prominent role with the Blue Jays. Of course, he isn't the only Canadian university alumnus involved with the organization: new general manager Alex Anthopoulos has an economics degree from McMaster (no word on if he ever worked with the baseball team, but he's said he wasn't much of an athlete) and new professional scout and former director of amateur scouting Jon Lalonde graduated from Laurentian University with a bachelor of commerce specializing in sports administration. In an industry where the front office roles are often dominated by Americans from marquee schools, it's cool to see some CIS connections.

Update: As pointed out in the comments, there is no official CIS baseball league. Brock, McMaster and five other teams play in the OUA's baseball league. They are CIS members and the OUA is a CIS regional association, but it also has other sports like baseball that do not have national competition under the CIS banner. To complicate matters further, there's also the Canadian Intercollegiate Baseball Association, which does host national championships and features many CIS institutions such as Dalhousie, McGill, Queen's and Concordia. To my knowledge, it is not affiliated with CIS.

(Cross-posted to Sporting Madness)
Next PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home


  1. No such thing as CIS baseball...

  2. You're being a bit picky. It is a club/varsity level sport competing in the Canadian Intercollegiate Baseball Association. Many CIS schools have baseball teams that compete against teams from other CIS schools. They have regional championships, and a national championship. The CIS send a team last year to the World University Games Baseball chamnpionsip.

    So maybe there is no "CIS" baseball, but there is CIBA baseball that operates just like an "official" CIS sport, and represents the CIS internationally.

  3. Sorry, should have included that the Badgers technically compete in OUA baseball, not CIS. There's also the CIBA baseball that David's talking about, which is separate: it has most of the Atlantic teams, plus McGill, Queen's, Ottawa and Concordia among others.

  4. CIS baseball probably isn't going to have many players make it to the majors any time soon, but it still isn't a bad sport or league

    I disagree. Can't speak to the CIBA, but the OUA is not good ball and not particulary close to it. I go to the odd game because I like baseball and it's a sunny day, not to be wowed by outstanding defensive plays (a routine groundout is anything but).

  5. I agree with Rob; OUA baseball is nothing short of awful.

    Any teenaged Ontarian - or Canadian for that matter - with a lick of baseball talents is playing at, in no particular, an American college, the minors, a junior college, a BC university.

    Then, if they aren't playing senior ball or Intercounty while focusing on school, they'll play OUA.

  6. I haven't actually watched OUA baseball, so I can't comment on that. I was impressed with the CIBA product during my time at Queen's, though.

  7. Hey folks,

    Thought I'd chime in on the topic ...

    Tinnish was a great player in the OUA. No doubt he could have been playing at a good school down south. But I think you're underrating OUA play. In fact, more and more players are staying in Ontario these days instead of going to the U.S.

    I also think people highly overrate baseball in the U.S. (not Div. I obviously, but smaller schools and junior colleges). And if you can believe it, colleges in the States STILL use aluminum bats, while the OUA uses wood.

    Anyways, coincidentally I just wrote a piece about OUA Baseball. Check it out if you're interested ...

  8. While I agree you won't see many players get drafted out of the OUA many ex-drafted players have played in the OUA later in their career while obtaining a quality education.
    Furthermore, OUA baseball is not terrible and teams like Brock routinely play non-conference games against schools in the United States

    A University of Guelph OUA player WILL be drafted in this years draft.

  9. I would like to thank the CIS for covering Andrew's incredible journey up the ranks with the Toronto Bluejays. OUA baseball along with CIBA baseball have worked very hard over the years to give kids an option. In varying degree's of success. Many players have enjoyed there baseball in canada while gaining there quality canadian degree. That degree helped Andrew get his early entrance job with the Jays. Canadian players and coach's from OUA/CIBA have worked hard with the FISU team along with CIS, so even if we are not a CIS sport we enjoy there envolvment and look forward to more partners, hopefully BASEBALL CANADA will take on a more active role in the future. ALSO Jammal Joseph, Angus Roy and Trevor Wamback all were signed by MLB team from Canadian Universities. So as time passes hopefully more talented players will stay in Canada and baseball programs will continue to improve to give those players more skills and better competition. OUA baseball is improving and i am sure CIBA baseball is, so lets work together to improve it for the kids, because we know the education is superior.

    Jeff Lounsbury, Head Coach Brock University

  10. I would also like to say, Andrew's work ethic was amazing. In school, in baseball, in learning and he worked hard every day. He listened to persons who had advice, he always helped others. He is an amazing story, but nobody gave him this job, he EARNED it. Congratulations Andrew. When Andrew was at Brock, he hit outside everyday even in the winter, he had a pitching machine set up in a shed in back yard with netting all around, the guys would sit and feed that machine all day and night. Just a glimpse on how much he loves this game.