Bert Revel is a proud granddad of Sam Shaw who was recently drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays.
The longtime Salmon Arm resident travelled to Victoria, Sam’s hometown, on July 8 to be with family when the draft got underway the following day.
Day 1 of the draft came and went, and Revel explained the mood went from one of excitement to one of concern.
“We were getting a little bit on edge to see if he was actually going to be drafted – There are only so many positions,” said Revel.
After several draft rounds came and went without his name being called, Sam, 18, went to a friend’s house. He was golfing Monday when he received the call he’d been waiting for.
“Getting that call — I couldn’t believe it,” said Sam.
Shaw was the 274th overall player, drafted in the 10th round.
Meanwhile, excitement returned to the Shaw family home.
Revel said his grandson has been playing ball since he was a kid starting off with T-ball. As it happens, Sam is also a lifelong Jays fan.
Sam described being selected by Canada’s “hometown team” as a surreal experience.
“I was pretty pumped,” he said. “Playing for the hometown Canadian team would mean a lot.”
Shaw was one of two Canadians the Blue Jays selected on day two of the draft, with the University of Michigan’s left-handed pitcher Connor O’Halloran from Mississauga, Ont., selected earlier in the day in the fifth round (157th overall).
After hearing the draft announcement, Revel said he left to catch the 5 p.m. ferry. Sam quit his golf game to catch up with him.
“We met up at the Chevron gas station in Victoria,” said Revel. “We had this great big hug together, it was awesome. And I went my way and he went his way.”
Revel was proud of Sam before the draft. At his home he has on display one of Shaw’s home-run balls.
“So I’m a pretty proud granddad for that,” said Revel.
Bert’s son Doug Revel, also of Salmon Arm, is equally proud of his nephew.
“Sam has had one vision and it was to play in the major leagues, and this is another step,” said Doug. “He’s been laser focused to try and get to the majors, and I’ve been super impressed because he’s been unwavering.”
Bert noted before switching to baseball, Sam used to play hockey with Owen Beckner who also has family in Salmon Arm and played two seasons for the Silverbacks. Earlier this month, Beckner was drafted by the Ottawa Senators.
“Owen was on the same team as Sam, they were teammates and they both really excelled at hockey…,” said Bert. “Here are two hockey friends excelling at their individual sports who have been drafted.”
Sam, who has also committed to play NCAA Division 1 baseball for Xavier University, will now have a decision to make — he can either sign with the Blue Jays and start with their feeder system this summer, or he can play three years with the Musketeers and enter the draft again in his junior year in 2026 with more experience under his belt.
“Obviously the dream is to play professional baseball, so I just have to figure out how to best do that,” he said.
With files by Natasha Baldin, Victoria News.
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