Convention Speaker Dave Empey
Dave Empey bio
Dave Empey has coached 16 professional baseball players, including Ryan Dempster, who won a World Series ring with the Boston Red Sox in 2013, and James Paxton, a frontline starter with the Seattle Mariners.
Dempster, a National League all-star in 2000 and 2008, earned almost $100 million pitching for 16 MLB seasons. Empey coached Ryan for three years in the PBL and continued to advise him throughout his career.
Paxton is off to a brilliant debut with the Mariners, going 9-4 with a 2.66 ERA in his first 17 starts. Dave was his pitching coach with the North Delta Blue Jays under the auspices of Mike Kelly and Ari Mellios. “We spent a lot of time in the bull pen talking about pitching,” Empey says. “James has a brilliant mind for the game.”
Coach Empey also worked with major leaguer infielder Simon Pond, who played for the Blue Jays in 2004, and Chris Mears, who closed for the Detroit Tigers in 2003.
As head coach with the Vancouver Cannons Empey sent four players to the Canadian national junior team, including Rowan Wick, one of the top 20 prospects in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. Rowan hammered 20 home runs in only 74 games in 2014.
“This is all about developing players,” Empey says. In fact, one coach developing four major leaguers and 16 pros (eight pitchers and eight hitters) is unprecedented in Canadian history. Dave’s players have been drafted 25 times and more than 100 have played college baseball.
Empey was a sportswriter with the Vancouver Sun for six years, including a full season with the AAA Vancouver Mounties and manager Bob Lemon, the Hall of Fame pitcher who later became skipper of the New York Yankees. Dave interviewed Yankee icons Roger Maris, Whitey Ford and Don Larsen. “The media portrayed Maris as a difficult man,” Empey says, “but I found him to be very articulate and open, a great interview.”
Dave wrote stories on Rocky Marciano, the legendary heavyweight champ, and superstars from Bobby Hull and Brett Hull to soccer great Pele, skiers Nancy Greene and Jean-Claude Killy, legendary Olympic sprinter Jesse Owens, plus football’s Joe Kapp, Jim “Dirty 30” Young, wrestler Gene Kiniski, Babe Pratt, Tiger Williams, Tom Larscheid, and former prime minster Joe Clark. Dave also covered hydroplane racing and took a three-lap 150-mph ride with Billy Schumacher, considered by many to be the greatest hydro driver of all time.