By James Bridges @JamesMBridges
Sometime yesterday the Ottawa Champions posted the first video of what seems to be a new YouTube series called ‘Skype with the Champs.’ The first edition features the Champions’ 2016 starting left fielder, Matt Helms, who won the club’s ‘Community Ambassador of the Year’ award last year in addition to winning the CanAm League Championship.
To refresh your memory about what Helms accomplished last season and over his career, check out this excerpt from the news release indicating that Helms had been re-signed for the 2017 season:
Matt Helms, 25, was the Champions’ starting leftfielder in 2016, batting .247 with four homeruns and 40 RBI in 98 games while providing stellar defence.
In nine playoff games the Eufala, OK native batted .243 with four RBI as Ottawa won the Can-Am League championship.
“He did a fantastic job for us and played very, very good defence – probably the best in the league,” says Champions manager Hal Lanier. “He’s a good guy to have, does a lot for the organization, and is great with the fans and kids.”
In addition to his hard-nosed play on the field, Helms was rewarded with the Champions’ first annual Community Ambassador Award for his off-the-field contributions to the Ottawa community.
Helms is entering his fourth season in the Can-Am League and his second with the Champions. He originally broke into the league with the Quebec Capitales in 2014 and played for the New Jersey Jackals in 2015 before being traded to Ottawa.
In 254 career games Helms has a .278 batting average, nine homeruns, and 106 RBI. (source: http://www.ottawachampions.com/fan-favourite-helms-set-to-return-to-left-field-in-2017/)
The interview isn’t long so I won’t spoil it. There’s a few interesting tidbits about Helms as a person, and I really appreciate the club doing things like this, because it’s pretty tough to find information about these players that is recent. You can watch it right below!
Finally, consider giving Matty Helms a follow on Twitter and on Instagram–his Intsta game in particular is very strong. I was curious about whether the deer head in the back of the room was real or not, but after checking out Helms’ Instagram profile, I think I know the answer.
Update: 2:06pm, Thursday, March 30th
The Champs have released their 2nd installment of ‘Skype with the Champs,’ this time featuring right-handed pitcher, Andrew Cooper (@ehcoooop on Twitter).
I provided a bit of background on Cooper in the 1st installment of ‘Get to Know Your Ottawa Champions’ which you can check out here, but here’s the passage I included about Cooper:
Andrew Cooper, 24, appeared in 33 games for Ottawa in 2016, compiling a 2-2 record with a 4.35 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 51.2 innings pitched.
The Belle River, ON [native] pitched in two games in the playoffs, including game three of the finals against Rockland where he picked up the win in a nervous 12-inning affair.
“He’s a very durable pitcher and he has the kind of arm that allows him to pitch multiple days at a time,” says Champions manager Hal Lanier. “He’s a hard worker and he did a great job in his first season in Ottawa.”
Cooper was originally selected by the Washington Nationals in the 12th round of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft, and pitched three seasons in their organization, making it as high as Single-A Hagerstown in 2014 and 2015. (source: http://www.ottawachampions.com/champions-bring-back-canadian-reliever-for-second-season/)
Anyway, you can check out the latest installment of ‘Skype with the Champs’ below: