By Randy Palmer
Impressive showing another stamp on incredible season for second-year veteran
To say the least, Moose Jaw Miller Express captain Dawson Tweet has had an incredible season in the Western Canadian Baseball League.
On Thursday night, he put a stamp on it.
Tweet played all nine positions for the Express in their 9-3 win over the Weyburn Beavers in Weyburn, becoming the first player from the local team to accomplish the feat in recent history.
It all came about because of the Russell, Man. product’s versatility — Tweet is listed as a utility player on the Miller Express roster, meaning he plays multiple positions. Seeing as he’d played all over the diamond both this and last season, the gears started churning that something like this might be in the cards.
“Last year I played quite a few positions and then early on this year coach (Eric Marriott) and I were kind of joking about it,” Tweet said on Friday afternoon. “Then as a utility guy I played about five of the positions halfway through the year and started thinking about getting all nine in, so when we were in a good spot as far as how many games we’ve won and standing-wise, we thought it would be pretty cool to try and get it done.”
Thursday night was the night.
Tweet started at third base, played shortstop in the second inning, second base in the third inning, first base in the fourth, right field in the fifth, centre field in the sixth, left field in the seventh, catcher in the eighth and pitched in the ninth.
All the regular field positions were old hat for Tweet, and he’d end up with four putouts on five chances throughout the game. The battery can be a different animal, but it wasn’t unfamiliar as Tweet had caught a handful of games last summer for the Miller Express in addition to taking the mound during days as a Baseball Manitoba standout.
Tweet would allow a run, walk and hit in his single inning of work, but by that time the game was well in hand.
“I decided I was going to try and throw submarine style there for a hitter and beaned a guy and walked a guy and then I was like ‘okay, I better go back over to the top arm slot’ and a guy got a knock off me and scored a run, but it’s all good,” Tweet said of his first mound appearance in several years. “I guess I was a bit rusty and should have spent more time in the bullpen.”
The final inning was even more special in that he was able to pitch to younger brother and regular Miller Express catcher Wyatt.
All in all, the whole experience carried one overriding theme, as Tweet explains.
“I think it was a good opportunity for everybody to kind of get a reminder that baseball is fun,” he said. “Let’s have fun doing this. And all my teammates were great about it, we have a lot of guys able to fly around in different positions so it wasn’t too much or too distracting for them to move around for an inning so I could get into their normal spot. And then we just went out and took care of business.”
Taking care of business has been a theme for Tweet from the very start of the season, quite literally.
He strung together a WCBL-record 36-game hitting streak to start the season and was hitting well over .500 much of the campaign before cooling off a bit and seeing his average at the .417 mark heading into their game against Sylvan Lake on Friday night.
“It’s been pretty crazy but most of all a lot of fun,” Tweet said of his run. “I love going to the ballpark every day especially when I get to go with my brother, and all the guys on the team are great. You just get hungry and when we had early success as a team, we wanted to keep winning and keep winning and I think just taking it one day at a time was was a big part for me. Let’s get a win today and have fun doing it and see if I can get a couple knocks.”
The focus now turns to the postseason, with Moose Jaw facing the Swift Current 57’s in the first round of the playoffs beginning Monday at Ross Wells Park.
“The big games are coming and everybody’s looking forward to it,” Tweet said. “We have a couple of guys who’ve had to go back to school already, but we still have a great core, guys that are ready to go for the playoffs. The coaches are excited, the players are excited and I know Moose Jaw is excited, so it’s gonna be a lot of fun.”