The year 2013 is full of firsts for 16-year-old pitcher Brady Moxham.
He not only made his first trip to Toronto, he would make it to the mound at the Rogers Centre to start for team Prairie Brown at the Toronto Blue Jays Tournament12.
The Oakville, Manitoba native had an exciting opportunity to showcase his stuff as one of the youngest players on a big stage for many scouts who were in attendance.
“It’s awesome to get to pitch there,” said Moxham, eyeing the mound where big boys come to throw down. “It’s huge. I’m so excited with 150 people in here – I couldn’t imagine 40,000, it would be crazy.”
Moxham was thrilled to represent Team Manitoba at the Canada Games in Sherbrooke this summer, where he made relief appearances as the youngest athlete on the team.
He also has the chance to do more of what he loves as a starter during his first year at Vauxhall Academy – one of Canada’s elite high schools for baseball development.
The opportunity to play for Vauxhall is a big one for aspiring young baseball players – Brody Burnett, Brett Harrison, Ben Onyshko, Brayden Resch, and Wyat Schlosser, are the Praire Brown teammates of Moxham who also attend the Academy.
“I don’t even know how to explain it – it’s like a brotherhood, kind of a family,” Moxham said, speaking fondly of his first month at Vauxhall. “We’ve already been down to Boise, Idaho and we’ve had two double headers at home – the atmosphere there is awesome.
“Should be a fun year.”
Though he is rightly enjoying bonds that are likely to come with like-minded individuals attending a school for baseballl, Moxham has always had a connection between the sport and family.
“My mom has been to many national tournaments, my aunts, and even my grandma, they all played many years – between them, I can’t count the tournaments,” Moxham said, recounting the prominent influence from the ladies in his life.
“My family has been into fastball on both sides – my dad went to a couple of fastball World Championships too. I guess it’s been a big part of my family, more of a female influence.”
Family can surely influence and help shape how a young aspiring athlete develops, and Moxham has a plethora of examples to look to for guidance from under his roof.
This couples with the competitive edge he gets from constanstly being surrounded by older athletes, whether it’s at national competitions like the Canada Games or Tournament 12.
Having had such unique opportunities to put his talents on display have allowed Moxham to have fun as he grows as an athelte.
Getting to travel and play a game you love at such a young age can be a lot to handle if you’re not dedicated to routine and why you’re there in the first place – but Moxham is diligent.
He credits his coach, Andy Boehm, who he has been working with for the last three years.
Boehm was inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011 for his accomplishments in baseball. He was the assistant coach with Team Manitoba 18 & under in 2008, and head coach of the Canada Games team in 2009.
Boehm has also spent time as an associate Scout with the San Diego Padres, and previously with the Atlanta Braves.
“He’s very good he has helped me a lot over the last few years, especially over the winter-mechanically, strength, and the mental side too,” said Moxham, of Boehm. “It’s really improved my game and I’m really thankful to have him.”
Moxham put a big emphasis on staying mentally shape as much as physically, specifically by focusing on routine. Having just finished 10th grade, his experiences have hardly been very routine. The Canada Games were a bit of a different experience from Tournament 12 for Moxham due to the added eyes of scouts.
“The Canada Games are a different experience, there’s so many people because of all the different sports, you’re also there to have fun and meet new people.
“Tournament 12 is solely baseball, there are scouts everywhere and you don’t want to be too comfortable. There’s a little more pressure, but we get to play somewhere like this.”
Does the pressure get to him?
“Nah, it’s not intimidating,” Moxham put it plainly. “If you can compete, you can compete. It’s all about your ability.