Tyreese Eagletail stepped onto a major league pitcher's mound for the first time last week and he is working to make sure it's not the last time.
The 15-year-old Tsuut'ina youth from Calgary took part in the 7G Foundation's first Native American All-Star Baseball Showcase July 16-17 at Truist Park in Atlanta. The 7G Foundation is a collection of entrepreneurs, coaches and tribal leaders dedicated to furthering leadership through Indigenous education and sport.
"It was pretty awesome," said Tyreese.
Tyreese, who plays for the 18U Calgary Cardinals, was at the two-day camp with 49 other Indigenous youth. He was the only one from north of the Canada-U.S. border.
"There were players there from all over the U.S. — Alabama, New Mexico, all over the place," Tyreese's mother Tanya Eagletail said.
"Baseball is so big in the United States, not like Canada."
The camp featured a pro-style workout on Saturday followed by a showcase game on Sunday. Scouts from U.S. universities were in attendance.
Tyreese got to show off his skills for Rick Kranitz, a coach with the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves.
"I got to meet the pitching coach for the Atlanta Braves. He worked with me," Tyreese said.
He told his mother that one day he wants to get to the major leagues and is ready for the work in order to do so.
Baseball Canada, the sport's national governing body, said in a statement it was "thrilled to learn of Tyreese's participation in the Native American Baseball Showcase and the opportunity to represent his team and community in Atlanta. We wish Tyreese much success as he pursues his baseball dreams."
The Eagletail family had applied for the camp but only found out Tyreese had qualified, based on his baseball skills and grade point average, when it was three weeks away.
"The whole experience totalled up to about $9,000," Tanya Eagletail said.
They did some fast fundraising in the community with raffles and giveaways that helped Tyreese make it to Truist Park.
"Just all around, I feel like Treaty 7 really, really came together to help Tyreese get to Atlanta and that is really awesome," she said.