Courtesy Baseball Canada
OTTAWA- Former Junior National Team member Mike Griffin (Nanaimo, BC) is taking his baseball expertise to Asia as he has been hired by Major League Baseball to help oversee the development of players under 20 years old. Griffin will be based out of the MLB Development Centre headquarters in Wuxi, China but will also work with players in other parts of Asia.
“An opportunity to join MLB was one I couldn’t pass up”, says Griffin. “My supporting wife was on side and so begins another chapter in our globetrotting lives. We have worked hard in baseball to hopefully stay with it as a career.”
Being involved in baseball internationally is nothing new to Griffin who has spent the past five years living in the Czech Republic where he played and coached professionally. It is in the European country that Griffin was able to work at such events as the World University Games and European Cup which led to forming a relationship with MLB International.
“My European experience has been invaluable in that I had the opportunities as an ‘A’ league player, an ‘A’ league coach, baseball academy and youth camp instructor, administrator and public relations liaison,” explained Griffin.
Griffin’s journey in baseball began in his native Nanaimo where he played for the Nanaimo Pirates of the British Columbia Premier League. Griffin’s play caught the attention of JNT coaches and he spent the 2003 season with the club. After receiving scholarship offers from the University of Hawaii and the College of Southern Idaho, Griffin accompanied the USA Athletes in Action team on a European tour. It was there that Griffin’s play caught the attention of coaches from the Ostrava Arrows of the professional “A” league in the Czech Republic where he was subsequently offered a contract.
After his playing days were over Griffin switched to coaching in the city of Kotlarka for two years before the opportunity with MLB arose.
“The Kotlarka owners were nice enough to realize this opportunity for me and released me from my contract with them,” added Griffin.
The 25 year-old, who began his new position on January 1st and relocated to China on January 18th, will be joined by his wife Jacqueline.
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.