Burlington high school teacher inducted into Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame
Published February 6, 2024 at 1:18 pm
A Burlington high school teacher has joined the ranks of the great ones when it comes to baseball.
Ashley Stephenson, a teacher at Dr. Frank J. Hayden Secondary School, was announced today (Feb. 6) as one of the inductees for 2024.
She will join former Toronto Blue Jays players Jimmy Key and Russell Martin and former Blue Jays president and CEO Paul Godfrey at the induction ceremonies in June at the Hall of Fame in St. Mary’s, Ontario. Former Canadian men’s national team pitcher Rod Heisler and Toronto Leaside baseball executive Howard Birnie were also announced as inductees.
“Wow! Thank you so much. This was one of the best surprise calls I’ve ever received. I played baseball because I love the game,” said Stephenson upon hearing the news. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d play for my country and have some of the experiences and opportunities I’ve had. I hope girls and women see this as an example of what you can do through hard work, dedication and perseverance. The Hall of Fame is forever. I’m so incredibly honoured to be a part of it!”
One of Canada’s most successful baseball players, Stephenson played 15 years with the national women’s team, helping Canada earn two silver medals and four bronze at the Women’s Baseball World Cup along with another silver at the 2015 Pan Am Games.
Along the way, Stephenson was named Women’s National Team MVP twice (2005, 2008) and an All-Tournament All-Star at the 2008 World Cup.
In 2011 and 2016, she was the recipient of Baseball Canada’s Jimmy Rattlesnake Award, an honour handed out annually to recognize a national team member who demonstrated “outstanding ability and sportsmanship.” In a testament to how highly Stevenson is regarded, this award was renamed after her in 2018.
She retired as a player in 2018 and then joined the national team coaching staff where she led Canada to a bronze medal at the COPABE Women’s Pan-American Championships in 2019 and in 2022 became the first woman to manage the Women’s National Team program when Canada played a five-game series against the United States in Thunder Bay.
In August 2022, she was invited to the Blue Jays’ Player Development Complex in Dunedin, Fla., where she served as a guest coach with their Florida Complex League club. Stephenson would make history again that November when she became the first woman to capture Baseball Canada’s Lionel Ruhr Elite Coach of the Year Award.
In 2023, Stephenson was hired as a position coach by the Blue Jays’ High-A Vancouver Canadians. She will return to this role this season.
Stephenson, 41, was born in Mississauga.
She is not teaching at Dr. Frank J. Hayden this semester but is expected back in the fall.
inhalton's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising