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Cam Christian's jersey to be retired by Okotoks Dawgs
(On July 5 the Okotoks Dawgs baseball club retirex the No. 17 jersey worn by the late-Cam Christian, an Auburn High School graduate and Seattle University baseball standout. Christian played for the Dawgs - part of the Canadian Western Major Baseball League (WMBL), a collegiate summer league – in the summer of 2008, three years before his 2011 death in a single-car accident. Jonathan Hodgson is the play-by-play announcer for the Dawgs and wrote the following to memorialize Christian.)
By Jonathan Hodgson
for the Reporter
Before the Okatoks Dawgs take on the Saskatoon Yellow Jackets at Seaman Stadium in Okotoks, Alberta, Canada on July 5, the team will retire jersey No. 17 in honor of 2008 Dawgs outfielder and Auburn native Cam Christian.
Members of the Christian family and members of the Dawgs family will there for the ceremony, which is part of the celebration marking Dawgs Alumni Weekend, July 4-6.
Christian came to Okotoks in the summer of 2008 after his redshirt freshman year at Washington State University. As an outfielder, he went on to hit .328, belting two homeruns, knocking in 23 runs and swiping 12 bases.
Instrumental in leading the Dawgs to their second consecutive WMBL Championship, he was named 2008 Okotoks Dawgs Rookie of the Year.
Brett Thomas, one of Christian's teammates in 2008 and today head coach of the Dawgs collegiate team, remembers Cam as the living definition of a Dawg.
"I feel blessed to have spent one summer with Cam," Thomas said. "Cam was one of the most fun-loving, genuinely big-hearted people to ever walk this earth. Cam's energy and smile were infectious and touched so many lives. Cam was the definition of a Dawg and everything it entailed, and I'm proud to say Cam Christian was my friend and teammate."
After his summer with the Dawgs, Cam transferred to Spokane Falls Community College for the 2009 and 2010 seasons. His next transfer was to Seattle University for his junior year in 2011, where, as a promising left-handed pitcher, he was named team captain.
Christian died in an automobile accident in October of 2011, a year before what was to have been his senior season with the Seattle University Redhawks.
AJ Fystro, head coach of the 2008 summer collegiate Dawgs, said Christian was an unforgettable person, and for many reasons.
"As coaches, we are privileged to be able to spend time with players that make and leave a life-lasting impression on us. Cam had just that affect on me. He was a very respectful, hard-working young man that made sure others were taken care of before himself," Fystro said.
"It is my honor to be able to say that I coached Cam and shared in a special time in his life," Fystro added. "I will never forget the moments we shared."
John Ircandia, the Dawgs managing director, chimed in on Christian, and the retiring of No. 17.
"Beyond being an outstanding college baseball player, Cam Christian was a first-rate young man," Ircandia said. "He was the epitome of a Dawg, combining talent and determination on the field with perspective and common sense off of it. He is a worthy recipient of this recognition, and he joins two other Dawgs all-stars in Doc Seaman and Justin Cardinal. Cam, Doc and Justin, we miss you, and fare thee well."
Cam's father Lynn, his mother Debbie, his brother Tyler and his sister Kyara remain core members of the Dawgs Family to this day.