By JOE McFARLAND
Ashley Stephenson will always remember the first time she heard her national anthem while standing on the base line while suiting up for Canada at an international event.
She gets goosebumps thinking about representing the maple leaf at the 2004 Women’s Baseball World Cup in Edmonton.
“It’s tough to put into words when you’re standing there,” Stephenson told Alberta Dugout Stories: The Podcast.
“I had borderline tears in my eyes, and I was thinking, ‘I have to play a game in a minute, pull it together.’”
Eighteen years later, the pride persists.
Now as a coach with the national team, she wants that feeling to be bottled up for every player who dons the red-and-white.
“When we handed out the jerseys to our players for the Friendship Series against the United States, we took a picture of every single one of them,” Stephenson said.
“I was like, ‘You’re never going to forget, whether it’s your first, fourth or tenth one.’”