Creeson Malbeuf was a member of Little League North Regina team
Creeson Malbeuf has loved baseball since he was a toddler and this passion led him on a journey to the Little League World Series this summer. The 12-year-old and his family spoke with Grasslands News last week about the memorable experience.
Watching baseball with his father Jay Malbeuf, who grew up in Indian Head, and his Aunt Winnie Malbeuf fostered an interest in the sport so that Creeson began playing at a very young age. When he was two years old, Jay and his wife Sandra enrolled Creeson in the Little League program in Regina and he has been playing ever since that time. Initially his parents drove from Indian Head to the city for practices, but then the family moved to Regina around the time that Creeson’s younger sister Caimbrie was born. His Aunt Winnie and his grandma Muriel Malbeuf still live in Indian Head and are two of his biggest fans.
Creeson primarily plays first base or pitches for the team. He said the best part is getting a hit when he’s up to bat, though he enjoys pitching, fielding and all aspects of the game. As part of Little League, which is distinct from the Baseball Saskatchewan program, he played against teams in Regina and Moose Jaw.
Even when he is not attending practices or competing, baseball captures his interest. He spends his free time playing baseball in the backyard or watching games with his family. While Creeson certainly loves the sport, it has taken dedication from him and his family to succeed.
“It was a whole long journey,” noted Sandra, Creeson’s mom. “There is hard work and commitments that have gone into getting here.”
During his years in Little League, Creeson has continually developed his skills so that he was among the 24 youth selected for particular indoor training last winter. The roster was further revised to form a team of 11- and 12-year-old boys in the spring, but it still included Creeson. This North Regina All Star team had a successful season and made it to the Canadian Little League Championship, which was hosted in Regina in early August. It was a challenging tournament, but the North Regina team took home the title and were declared national champions.
Naturally, Creeson, his family, and his fellow players were excited to realize the team was going to represent Canada at the Little League World Series, August 16-27. Quick preparations were made so that Creeson could leave with the team for Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and his parents joined him a day later. There was little time for sightseeing or visiting with family since teams were very busy with practices or participating in the tournament, which included ten teams from across the United States and ten teams from around the world. Jay observed that, although he had watched games like this on television, it was “something else” to be there in person watching the games and the spectacular opening parade.
The previous Saskatchewan team to participate in the Little League World Series did not win any games in 2002. This year the team lost its first game against the Chinese Taipei team (representing Asia-Pacific), 6-0, but met their goal of winning at least once when they beat the team from Czech Republic (representing Europe-Africa), 3-0. The Canadian boys were eliminated in their next round with a loss to Mexico, 10-1. The Little League World Series ended with the U.S. West team as champions, the Caribbean team in second, and Asia-Pacific in third.
Although Creeson and his teammates did not win the world championship, they remain this year’s national champions. On their return from Pennsylvania to Saskatchewan, they attended a Toronto Blue Jays’ game where they were introduced as Team Canada and got to meet some of the professional baseball players.
Creeson is thankful he was able to play at both the national and world levels. The opportunity to connect with young baseball enthusiasts from around the world and participate in the Little League World Series has created life-long memories.
After returning from the World Series, Creeson had only a brief break before baseball practices resumed this week. This fall he will transition to Regina’s Baseball Sask league since he will move to an older age bracket that is not offered by Little League Regina.