Whalley Little League’s Major Allstars of 2002, with Sydney Leroux front and centre. (submitted photo)

Little League baseball honour for Surrey-raised soccer star Sydney Leroux

Time with Whalley Major Allstars in 2002 earns nod from Williamsport organization

Sydney Leroux is best known for her soccer skills, but she’s on her way to baseball’s Little League Hall of Excellence.

The Surrey-raised athlete will be in South Williamsport, Pa., in August to receive the honour, which acknowledges her time with Whalley Little League’s Major Allstars team of 2002.

The squad almost made it to Williamsport that year, but struck out in the Canadian championships.

“They got close – that team was a really good one,” Sandi Leroux, Sydney’s mom, said on Wednesday. “They played together from when they were really little, so they all knew each other growing up. They had a really good bond.”

At the time, Sydney was known for her speed on the bases and in the outfield.

Today, she’s a fixture on the U.S. women’s soccer team, having won a Women’s World Cup and an Olympic gold medal with the squad, and plays for FC Kansas City of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). The dual citizen lives there with husband Dom Dwyer, also a pro soccer player, and their nine-month-old son.

Leroux’s Hall of Excellence award, the highest honour Little League International can bestow, was announced by the organization on Tuesday.

Stated Stephen D. Keener, Little League president and CEO: “Sydney’s dedciation to the development of young women and her ability to provide a positive influence to young children from all over the world reflects the key virtues that our Hall of Excellence enshrinees are to portray.”

Sydney played baseball in Whalley from 1995 to 2004.

“It’s such an honour for Little League to think of me after all these years, even knowing there are so many male baseball players that could have been honoured,” Sydney said in a press statement.

“Those were some of the best days of my life, and it feels like just yesterday,” she continued. “I had so many happy memories. I had some great coaches in Little League and I can thank them for believing in me at such a young age. I lost a father figure, Joe Burns, that did so much for Whalley Little League, and I know he would be so proud that Little League is honouring me.”

Sandi recalls registering Sydney for baseball after watching a girl pitch for Japan at the Little League tourney.

Sydney was also busy on the soccer pitch, which resulted in some frequent road trips.

“When she was trying out with the 12-year-old boys, the coaches said they didn’t want her playing both sports,” recalled Sandi, who still lives in Surrey. “And we didn’t tell them, so I was running back and forth from Victoria, back to Surrey for her to try out, back to Victoria, it was crazy, but I didn’t tell either coach. It just so happened that it worked out good and they had different times. I still don’t know how we managed to do that.”

In her day, Sandi played third base for the Canadian national softball team, and Sydney’s father, Ray Chadwick, played a season with MLB’s then-California Angels in 1986.

Baseball was in Sydney’s blood, but it was soccer that took her to international fame.

“Throughout her professional career, Ms. Leroux has since become an advocate for equality and is able to use her platform on the (U.S. women’s national team) as a way to inspire young girls like her to follow their dreams,” stated Little League International.

Along the way, Sydney had to compete with boys all the time, her mom said.

“She had to be better than the boys because she’s a girl, she had to prove herself all the time,” said Sandi. “She had to be tough, so she was always competitive with boys growing up.”

Leroux will be the fifth woman enshrined in the Little League Hall of Excellence, and just the second Canadian.

The ceremony for Leroux will take place on Aug. 21, during this year’s Little League Baseball World Series. A second honouree for 2017 is Champ Pederson, motivational speaker and brother of Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson.



Sydney Leroux doing a television interview in 2002 as a member of Whalley Little League’s Major Allstars team. (submitted photo)

Just Posted

VIDEO: It’s ‘disrespectful’ that White Rock council not notified of Trudeau visit: mayor

PM should be welcomed to city by council, not former mayor and First Nation chief, Baldwin says

Parents rally to support LGBT education in Abbotsford schools

Small demonstration held in the rain to counter anti-SOGI rhetoric

Sold-out crowd rocked Langley twin’s greenhouse charity gala

Volunteers credited with making party profitable for sick kids at Canuck Place.

Soccer provincials features stark Surrey talent

Five teams from Delta & Surrey competing in provincials this week

PHOTOS: Just days after good deed in Whalley, vandals torch North Surrey Tigers clubhouse

The team recently spent the evening feeding the homeless along 135A Street

VIDEO: Surrey family trying to help desperate earthquake victims in Iraq and Iran

They’ve set up a gofundme.com page, Sarpol-e-Zahab Earthquake Relief

David Cassidy, teen idol and ‘Partridge Family’ star, dies at 67

Cassidy announced earlier this year he had been diagnosed with dementia

VIDEO: It’s ‘disrespectful’ that White Rock council not notified of Trudeau visit: mayor

PM should be welcomed to city by council, not former mayor and First Nation chief, Baldwin says

Vigil held for woman whose remains were found on Shuswap farm

Family and friends remember Vernon resident Traci Genereaux and along with five other missing women

Brewers create anti-fascist ale

Not For Nazis Nut Brown Ale made in the Shuswap will be ready in time for Christmas

LETTER: Jumbo Valley is part of Ktunaxa territorial claim

Ktunaxa Nation Council responds to Tom Fletcher column

Union contests layoffs at Maple Ridge motel

Demonstration planned for today at former Quality Inn

Pitt Meadows councillor convicted of sex assault resigns from job

David Murray will retire from work with city of Port Coquitlam

3,800-plant grow-op busted on First Nation reserve

Three men face charges after RCMP bust a large drug operation on the Soowahlie Reserve near Chilliwack

Most Read