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Andrew Albers: From the majors to coach with Saskatoon Berries

Berries the newest baseball team in the Western Canadian Baseball League.
andrew albers
Andrew Albers has returned to Saskatchewan and will serve as pitching coach for the Saskatoon Berries, the newest baseball team in the Western Canadian Baseball League

NORTH BATTLEFORD — Growing up and playing minor ball in North Battleford was the start of Andrew Albers’ storied baseball career. Albers has returned to Saskatchewan and will serve as pitching coach for the Saskatoon Berries, the newest baseball team in the Western Canadian Baseball League

Albers was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers out of high school but chose to attend the University of Kentucky instead of signing a professional contract. He played four years at the university in the southeastern conference. Albers was drafted again in his senior season, this time by the San Diego Padres.

His career took him through independent baseball in Quebec to the Minnesota Twins in 2011. He made his major league debut for the Twins in August of 2013. His inaugural appearance showcased eight and a third scoreless innings in the big-league debut.

Albers proceeded to have MLB stints with the Blue Jays in 2015, the Mariners in 2017 and multiple years with the Twins. The former North Battleford resident also played in the Korean and Japanese major leagues.

The Saskatoon Berries pitching coach represented Canada on the national team three times at the World Baseball Classic, and seven other times in tournaments such as the Pan Am Games and Premier 12.

In an interview with Albers for the Battlefords News Optimist and SASKTODAY.ca, he says, “I’m getting used to the city and it is nice to finally settle down somewhere after many years on the road and I am enjoying Saskatoon.”

The Saskatoon Berries will start their season May 24 weekend, with their home opener May 28.

Albers affirms the weather has hampered some outdoor practices however they have seen most guys in the last couple days, while others are just wrapping up their college seasons. The pitching coach says they are a good group of guys who are eager to be here.

Saskatoon, and Saskatchewan, fans appear ravenous for the Berries season with the home opener sold out, except for standing room only tickets.

“The marketing team has done an amazing job and people are really excited about the season and that will add to a great atmosphere at the park,” says Albers.

Albers adds he is excited about what the new season brings and looks forward to getting that underway and helping players on their baseball journey.

“It’s a short season for baseball, so it’s all about navigating information to give guys, getting to know players and giving them to the best opportunity to grow. Can’t overload with info to start out with, so just trying to figure out what information is useful,” notes Albers.

From his past pro experience, Albers’ approach to the game and his role is to help players understand there will be good days and bad days. In the bad days, it’s about finding a way to adjust and compete, giving one’s team the best chance to win.

“My takeaway message for pitchers: find a way to compete and attack hitters. Go about a routine and get in a routine and make adjustments along the way, as needed.”

Being part of the Saskatoon Berries team in the WCBL results in a full circle for Albers as he once played for the Saskatoon Yellow Jackets back when the WCBL was know as the Western Major Baseball League.