B.C Native, Eckstein Makes the Move to OBJ
The Ontario Blue Jays are thrilled to announce the hiring of Corey Eckstein in a full-time capacity in a brand new role as the Director of Player Personnel beginning in August 2020.
Corey Eckstein, better known amongst the Canadian Baseball Community as "Eck", has lead the charge in his hometown of Abbotsford, British Columbia for the past fifteen seasons building the Abbotsford Cardinals into what they are today and re-branding them recently as the Fraser Valley Cardinals to better promote baseball in the entire region. He has worked tirelessly to better every aspect of baseball in British Columbia including coaching the University of Fraser Valley, along with numerous teams representing British Columbia including the Canada Cup, Western Canada Games, Tournament 12 and more in grassroots baseball.
Director of Baseball Operations, Joe Ellison on his big addition, "Where do I start with this.." he laughed, "Eck and I go back a couple years now and after originally getting to know each other at an OBJ Spring Training we've really hit it off and become great friends. We've always talked the game, our facilities, our teams, our players, our schedules, our families, and everything in-between almost everyday and I've always joked that one day he would be a big part of the Ontario Blue Jays."
Eckstein has attended the Ontario Blue Jays annual Spring Training Trips for the past three years, twice serving on OBJ Coaching Staffs and once while bringing Abbotsford down for their first Dodgertown experience. He was always considered apart of the OBJ "Extended Family".
"Eck brings with him an incredible baseball mind, passion, work ethic and drive to do the very best for his players, fellow coaches and organization. He has helped hundreds of players into collegiate opportunities, many to professional baseball opportunities but more importantly he has fostered an incredible culture in Abbotsford and I look forward to see his impact with our players." Ellison said.
In addition to his contributions in his community, Corey was the Assistant Coach of the Canadian Junior National Team from 2011 to 2014 including claiming a Silver Medal in the IBAF World Qualifier in Cartagena, Columbia and the IBAF World Championships in Seoul, South Korea. Off- the-field, he has been an Area Scout with the Kansas City Royals since 2013 and was apart of the administration that brought home the 2015 MLB World Series.
Ellison concluded with, "I'm lucky to have the support of the Wilkinson Family in this big addition that will undoubtably add to our already incredible baseball organization. I truly believe there is no better person to help me run the Ontario Blue Jays and continue to lead us into new levels of success both on and off the field."
Joining Corey on this cross-country move are his wife of seven years, Kourtni and three children Kohen (5), Hudson (3) and Parker (1). The Ontario Blue Jays are built upon the saying OBJ Family and not only are we adding an incredible baseball mind in Corey but an incredible young family in Kourtni, Kohen, Hudson and Parker who will be a huge part of OBJ for years to come.
Corey Eckstein's statement after officially announcing his decision to join the Ontario Blue Jays:
"This was obviously a tough decision for my family. My wife Kourtni has been my number one supporter throughout these negotiations. Leaving the people you care about the most is never easy but we both feel that this is the next step in my career and something that I've been working hard towards. There was a part of me that thought I would never leave or ever be offered a position that would entice me to leave. Every coach has aspirations to coach a high profile college team or maybe even land a pro job if you're good enough. The Ontario Blue Jays is now my big leagues and I will always treat it as such.
I've poured my heart and soul into my programs over the last 15 years. There was one thing I wanted to help accomplish before I left and that was to get a facility off the ground for the youth in my community. I hope the City of Abbotsford will reward these kids with something that is long overdue in the near future. With that said, I still feel like I've left this place better than I found it. There's a lot of great people inside FVBA that will continue the tradition we have created. I will always be thankful to management, administrators, coaches, players, mentors, umpires and parents for supporting my programs. Leaving this organization weighs heavy on my heart but I am really excited and grateful for this new challenge with the New York Yankees of Canadian Baseball, the Ontario Blue Jays.
I feel honoured that the Wilkinson's chose me to come in and help take a lead role in this organization. They could of chosen anyone across the country and I don't take that lightly. Joe Ellison, Canadian baseball ambassador and great friend was the driving force behind getting me into an Ontario Blue Jays uniform. There is so much history within this program and I look forward to putting my own spin on how we operate and conduct ourselves. My first task will be to connect with all alumni and let them know how appreciative we are in hopes they want to become more involved. Secondly, win the hearts of the players and parents inside this organization and ensure we are developing our student athletes both on and off the field. Lastly, surround myself with coaches who are smarter than I and create a culture where I can get the most out of them.
I am excited to learn more about the landscape of baseball in Ontario while also helping grow the game in this province. I look forward to establishing relationships with all surrounding programs."
It's been a few years in the making but, an official Welcome to the OBJ Family, to Corey, Kourtni, Kohen, Hudson and Parker!