Axford looks to brew success in '10

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 10:27 AM ET

John Axford got Albert Pujols to pop up in the bottom of the 10th inning on the final day of the season.

Not a bad way for the Milwaukee Brewers rookie from Port Dover, Ont., who began the season at class-A Brevard County to register his first save.

"Bring that with you next spring," Brewers manager Ken Macha said.

Teammates congratulated Axford, surely a tiding of good things to come in 2010 after Axford struck out David Freese and Khalil Green before getting Pujols out, saving a 9-7 Milwaukee win.

Axford has taken pen to paper to figure out the Brewers' bullpen spots.

"Seth McClung has gone to the minors, another guy was non-tendered, LaTroy Hawkins signed as a free agent and they added an arm in the Rule V (Chuck Lofgren)," Axford said. "I think there's one spot open."

Axford was presented a special recognition award at the annual Baseball Canada Fund Raiser banquet Saturday.

Representing Major League Baseball, Bruce Froemming handed over a cheque for $50,000, Jim Fanning and Sean McCann gave $25,000 cheque from the Blue Jays and the Royal Bank handed out a $15,000.

SIGNED

Released by the New York Yankees in 2007, Axford was signed by London's Jay Lapp in February of 2008.

"There was supposed to be a few scouts there but there was a snowstorm, Jay was the only guy who made it," Axford said.

Adam Stern of London, Ont., received the World Cup MVP Award after helping Canada to bronze at the World Cup in Italy, Canada's first medal. Darren Kolk of Duncan, B.C., was presented with the junior national team MVP.

Futures Game MVP Rene Tosoni of Coquitlam, B.C., received the Stubby Clapp Award for perseverance.

Victoria's Mike Saunders of the Seattle Mariners was honoured with an alumni award and Chris Robinson of Dorchester, Ont., received a special achievement award.


Videos

Photos