Brodan Bydeweg’s baseball aspirations have taken him overseas. Sort of.
The 18-year-old Langley Secondary grad, who has lived in the same house, on the same street, all his life, has changed zip codes for the first time in his life so he can attend Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo.
It’s all for the love of baseball, said Bydeweg, an infielder who hopes to play as long as he is able.
“As far as it takes me,” he said, of his baseball aspirations. “College, for sure, continue college ball but getting drafted would be nice, too.”
The appeal to Bydeweg is how baseball is equal parts individualistic and team sport.
“It’s like a team sport and at the same time it’s yourself,” he said.
Bydeweg and the Vancouver Island Baseball Institution Mariners play in the Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC), going up against teams such as the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack, Okanagan College Coyotes, Prairie Baseball Academy Dawgs, and the University of Calgary Dinos.
Bydeweg suited up last year for the Cloverdale College Prep Nationals, who finished tied for the team lead with a .443 batting average.
He had an affinity for baseball from a young age.
Bydeweg noted that he always played with and against players a year older than him, growing up playing under the Langley Baseball umbrella.
“If I was eight, I’d be playing nine year olds, if I was nine, then it’d be 10s, so I was always up one age division,” Bydeweg explained.
Bydeweg left Cloverdale for a year of bantam AAA, then returned to play ball locally with the Langley Blaze junior and then senior teams.
He’s a second generation athlete.
His mom, Dawn, was offered a scholarship to go to San Francisco to play softball.
“She never ended up taking it,” Bydeweg said. “My dad [Richard] also played soccer, so I got a good combination of both skill sets, so that was kinda nice.”
The intensity level will be turned up a couple of notches in the CCBC, Bydeweg expects.
“A lot faster, just game-wise, like ground balls and fly balls and the ball hit a lot harder,” Bydeweg said.
“Pitching is going to be a little bit better, faster, better curve balls and stuff like that.”
Bydeweg met VIU head coach Jordan Blundell, who also happens to manage the Nanaimo Buckaneers, after a game between the Bucs and Nationals, and Bydeweg was offered a tour of the campus.
He is now living in a basement suite with a teammate in the north end of town and is studying recreation and sport management, which could lead into a career as a sports agent or a scout. But that isn’t the dream: the ultimate is to one day play baseball for a living.
“Definitely” he said. “But it’ll take years of work.”