Baseball Athlete - Inducted 2013
Chris Reitsma, at age 18, was the first Canadian to be selected in the first round of a Major League Baseball draft. He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox, 34th overall in 1996. Chris made his major league debut in April 2001 for the Cincinnati Reds. After spending three seasons with the Reds he was traded to the Atlanta Braves in 2004. He set a Braves record of 84 appearances that year. He played for the Seattle Mariners in 2007. Chris was a member of Canada’s 2006 World Baseball Classic team and Canada’s 2008 Beijing Olympic Games baseball team.
Chris was 18 years old when he played his first season of professional ball. He struck out 29 batters and walked only one. He worked hard to overcome broken arms and surgeries to make it to the major leagues by 2001. During his seven-year career in the MLB, he was a starting pitcher, a relief pitcher, and a closer. In 2003, he won the Johnny Vander Meer award for being the Cincinnati Reds most valuable pitcher. He was a team leader in the clubhouse and a role model in the communities in which he played. During the off-seasons, he participated at youth clinics and in 2004, toured Japan with other MLB players on an all-star tour. Chris retired from Major League ball in the spring of 2008 and then pitched for Canada at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Chris remained active in ball after he retired, and has helped develop the sport in Alberta. He has coached young ball players and coached at the High School level. He was the pitching coach for Canada's National Junior Team and has taught at the National Sport Academy.
2015 Canadian National Junior Team
2015 - Baltimore Orioles Pitching Scout
2017 - CBN Jim Ridley Award - Scout of the Year
2019 - Kansas City Royals Pitching Scout