Top Kiwi baseballer may suit up for Canada

Last updated 01:27 09/10/2008

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Baseball New Zealand would have no issues with Aucklander Scott Campbell suiting up for Team Canada, if selected, for the World Baseball Classic in March.

The Toronto Blue Jays prospect was reported last week as saying he was eyeing a place on Canada's roster.

Baseball New Zealand president David Ballinger, of Christchurch, said he had not been able to contact Campbell in the United States to confirm the situation.

He indicated, though, that the national federation would support the move.

"To me, any standard of baseball that Scott can get that profiles him as a Kiwi has only got to be good for us in New Zealand," Ballinger said.

Campbell's New Zealand origins have already been well publicised this year after selection for the World Team in the All Star Futures game against the USA in Yankee Stadium.

He jumped a division to play in the Double-A Eastern League for Blue Jays affiliates, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, this season and won that team's MVP award after hitting .302 with nine home runs in 112 games.

The 24-year-old second baseman has just started another six weeks or so of winter ball with the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League, regarded as the graduate school for the Major League's top prospects.

Sixteen nations have been invited to take part in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, running from March 5-23.

Campbell, who has Canadian links through his paternal grandmother, also said that should New Zealand qualify for the tournament in the future he was confident he could switch to play for the country of his birth.

 

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