Jake Foden: Receiving the Torch

Jake Foden: Receiving the Torch
By Chris Hamilton

            If the cleat fits, wear it. Jake Foden has been growing into those cleats since he started baseball in his childhood. The 21-year-old is into his fourth year with the Hamilton Cardinals and aspires to help them reach and succeed in the finals like his dad, John Foden, did in the 1980s.

             The apple didn’t fall far from the tree as Foden picked up T-ball at just five years old. After years of learning the game, Foden was ready to join travel baseball in his adolescence. The Toronto Mets and Ontario Terriers aided in Foden’s transition from lefthanded pitcher to outfielder. 

            “When I was growing up, I pitched – I was lefthanded, so I had to,” Foden said. “Then when I was fifteen, I just liked hitting too much so I primarily became an outfielder.” 

            Originally, Foden was a centerfielder but then bashfully added he wasn’t fast enough to play the position, so he stuck to the corners. Finding Foden’s groove doesn’t just help him grow as a player but benefits the entire Cardinals organization.

            Baseball isn’t Foden’s only forte. At 17, Foden was off to Allegany College in Maryland where he graduated with an associate degree in business administration while playing for their baseball team, the Trojans. After two years in Maryland, Foden traveled four hours north to St. Bonaventure University in New York state where he played with The Bonnies for two years. In his junior year, Foden was recognized as an Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll honoree and played in 28 games including 13 starts. 

In his senior year, Foden batted an average of .214 which included two doubles, a home run and eight RBIs, all in limited playing time. He was able to improve his game while graduating with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a minor in economics. Foden plans to continue his education and go back to school this fall to do his MBA. For now, the future can wait. Foden has a more immediate plan for this season.

            “I definitely think that we’ll be an above 500 ball club this year,” Foden said optimistically. “We want to compete with teams like Barrie and Kitchener - the teams who go on championship runs.”

            There wasn’t always a reason to feel optimistic about the Cardinals future. When Foden joined the team, the Cardinals had only won eight out of 36 games. The following season, Foden saw the team increase their wins to 11 and last year he saw the team hit 15 wins. The way this team is performing, there’s every reason in the world to feel confident about this season. 

            After two games and six at bats this season, Foden is at a .333 batting average hitting one single and one double. Foden has been walked twice, struck out three times and stolen one base.
            If you catch a home game Bernie Arbour Stadium, be sure to recognize Foden wearing number 17 for the Cardinals.

photo: Art Ward