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CAM CHRISTIAN: FOREVER #17
Before a sellout crowd at Seaman Stadium on July 5th, 2014, and in front of many Dawgs alumni, former teammates, and his family, the Okotoks Dawgs retired jersey no. 17 for 2008 outfielder and Dawgs’ Rookie of the Year, Cam Christian.
Christian was a native of Auburn, Washington, coming to Okotoks in the summer of 2008, following his redshirt freshman year at Washington State University. Christian hit .328 with 2 homeruns and 23 RBI’s, stealing 12 bases while patrolling the Seaman Stadium outfield. After the season, he was named the team’s Rookie of the Year for his contributions; both on the field and in the clubhouse, to the Dawgs second consecutive WMBL Championship.
Brett Thomas, now the head coach of the Dawgs collegiate team, was the Dawgs starting catcher in 2008, and a teammate of Christian’s. He remembers Cam as the embodiment of what a ‘Dawg’ should be, a great teammate, and above all, a true friend.
“I feel blessed to have spent one summer with Cam. He was one of the most fun-loving, genuinely big-hearted people to ever walk this earth.” Says Thomas. “Cam’s energy and smile were infectious and touched so many lives. He was the definition of a Dawg and everything it entailed and I'm proud to say Cam Christian was my friend and teammate.”
Following his Dawgs summer, Cam transferred to Spokane Falls Community College, for 2009-10. He again transferred, this time to NCAA Div. 1 Seattle University for his junior year in 2011, where he was named team captain as a promising left-handed pitcher.
Cam Christian tragically passed away in October of 2011. The spring of 2012 would have been his senior season with the Seattle University Redhawks.
AJ Fystro was the head coach of the 2008 summer collegiate Dawgs, and says that it was Cam who left an impression on his coach.
“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 and hard working young man that made sure others were taken care of before himself.” Says Fystro. “It is my honor to be able to say that I coached Cam and shared in a special time in his life. I will never forget the moments we shared.”
Dawgs managing director, John Ircandia on Cam Christian, and the retiring of his no. 17.
“Beyond being an outstanding college baseball player, Cam Christian was a first rate young man. 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 2 other Dawgs all-stars in Doc Seaman and Justin Cardinal. Cam, Doc and Justin, we miss you and fare thee well.”
As noted, Christian will be the third Dawg to be honored in this fashion, after Justin Cardinal and Doc Seaman.
Cardinal, who passed away in 2003, was the first player to sign a contract with the summer collegiate Dawgs and had his number 54 retired by the team. Doc Seaman passed away in 2009; he and brother Don were the principal donors to the Seaman Stadium Complex.
Cam’s family including father Lynn, mother Debbie, brother Tyler, and sister Kyara have remained core members of the Dawgs Family, remaining close to members of the organization.
The Cam Christian Memorial Scholarship has been established, and will be presented annually at the Dawgs Awards Banquet to the deserving Dawgs Academy player who exemplifies hard work, passion towards the game and most importantly a great teammate to all around him.
Cam Christian was everything you expect in a ‘Dawg’. He wore the Dawgs uniform with pride, represented Okotoks with grace, and cared for his teammates and his Dawgs Family.
Cam Christian will forever be the Dawgs’ #17.