The Vancouver Canadians are bringing back their Superstar Series to Nat Bailey Stadium in 2023.

C's Recap

For the first time since 2019, former major leaguers will be coming to the Nat to sign autographs. Knuckleballer Tom Candiotti will lead off the Superstar Series on Saturday, April 29. A 16-year-veteran who pitched for Milwaukee, Cleveland, Toronto, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland, the Candy Man began his pro career with the Victoria Mussels of the Northwest League back in 1979 and spent parts of the 1983 to 1985 seasons with the C’s. You can learn more about Candiotti in K.P. Wee‘s book ‘Tom Candiotti A Life of Knuckleballs.’

Former major league utility man and broadcaster Steve Lyons will be at the ballpark on Saturday, May 13. He spent time with Boston, the Chicago White Sox, Atlanta and Montreal over his nine-year career. Nicknamed ‘Psycho’, Lyons will always be remembered for pulling down his pants to remove some dirt after beating out a bunt single with a headfirst dive at Tigers Stadium in 1990.

2019 Vancouver Canadians analyst Ricky Romero makes his return to YVR on Saturday, June 3. The 2005 first-round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays spent five years at Baseball North, earning All-Star honours in 2011. Romero bested Detroit’s Rick Porcello in his MLB debut in 2009, the first time a pair of first-round picks opposed each other on the mound for their inaugural big league outings. He also hosts a podcast ‘Let’s Go Ricky Ro’ with sports reporter Beto Duran.

Up next in the Superstar Series is former Blue Jays skipper John Gibbons as he will be at Nat Bailey Stadium on Tuesday, August 8. ‘Gibby’ led the Jays to back-to-back American League Championship Series in 2015 and 2016 and compiled 793 wins, second only to Cito Gaston‘s 894. Gibbons is hosting his own podcast ‘The Gibby Show’ with author John Arezzi and also has a new book called ‘Gibby: Tales of a Baseball Lifer’.

Longtime Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Ron Cey will greet C’s fans on Tuesday, August 22. The six-time All-Star was co-MVP of the 1981 World Series with Steve Yeager and Pedro Guerrero. ‘The Penguin’ spent 11 years with the Dodgers before wrapping up his 17-year-career with the Chicago Cubs and Oakland.


  • Vancouver Canadians Nathanael Pérez Lopez
  • Vancouver Canadians Christopher Bec
  • Vancouver Canadians Alex Nolan
  • Vancouver Canadians Hugo Cardona
  • Vancouver Canadians Cullen Large

The Toronto Blue Jays have parted ways with the following former Vancouver Canadians: RHP Nathanael Pérez López (2022), C Chris Bec (2018), RHP Alex Nolan (2019, 2021-2022). IF/OF Hugo Cardona (2022), IF/OF Cullen Large (2017) and infielder John Aiello (2021).

C's Notes

Pérez López was released on March 16 after signing with the Jays as a free agent on July 11, 2016. The Azua, Dominican Republic native burst onto the scene with a 7-1 record and a 1.42 earned run average with 55 strikeouts in 57 innings with the Dominican Summer League Blue Jays in 2017. His American debut came with Bluefield in 2018 where he went 3-1 with a 4.47 ERA and 59 whiffs in 56-1/3 innings. An injury and the pandemic caused the righthander to miss the 2019 and 2020 seasons before pitching with Dunedin in 2021 where he went 4-3 with a 5.61 ERA but rung up 73 batters in 61 innings. Another injury set Pérez López back in 2022 when he missed April and May but returned to action with Dunedin after a tuneup with the Florida Complex League Blue Jays. He put a. record of 3-1 with a 1.24 ERA and a 31-13 K/BB total in 29 innings. That led to a late-season promotion to Vancouver on August 24 for the 24-year-old. He began his C’s tenure with three shutout innings but wound up with a 7.88 ERA over eight frames spanning three appearances.

Bec was a fifth-round pick by Toronto in the 2018 MLB Draft from Maine. He began his pro career with Monty’s Mounties that year and put up a .351 on-base percentage in 49 games while swiping 16 bases in as many attempts. The Miami native collected eight doubles, one triple and three home runs with 21 runs batted in. He advanced to Dunedin and had a .343 OBP with 12 extra-base hits and 16 steals in 19 tries. The right handed-hitting Bec scuffled with Double-A New Hampshire in 2021 by hitting just .181 with two homers and two doubles in 49 contests. He split 2022 by toggling back and forth with New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo but batted a combined .208 with one homer, four doubles and six stolen bases. Other than a two-inning stint at third base with Dunedin in 2019, the 27-year-old Bec was behind the plate in 154 contests and threw out 18 percent of potential base stealers.

Nolan joined the Blue Jays as a free agent out of Brock University on June 14, 2019, and joined the C’s where he had a 3.22 ERA in 58-2/3 innings. The 27-year-old righthander was released by the Blue Jays after the pandemic cancelled the 2020 season but signed him again for the 2021 campaign. The Burlington, Ontario native picked up two wins in relief over 11 relief innings with Dunedin before being assigned to Vancouver/Hillsboto in 2021. He scuffled to a 1-6 mark with a 7.35 ERA in 2021 but was back north of the border with the Canadians in 2022. Nolan won his lone decision but pitched just 23-1/3 innings with a 6.17 ERA. He missed after suffering an injury during a relief appearance against Eugene at Nat Bailey Stadium on June 16. It was on June 19 when he was placed on the injured list, three years to the day of his pro debut with Vancouver against Eugene at the Nat when he allowed just one run in five innings.

Cardona signed with the Jays out of Venezuela on July 2, 2016. The 23 year-old from La Cabana made it to Vancouver to start the 2022 campaign which saw him make stops with Dunedin and New Hampshire. He batted just .168 for the C’s but stole 14 bases in 17 tries and was used as a pinch-runner 10 times, scoring six runs.

Large was a member of the 2017 Vancouver Canadians Northwest League championship squad and made his pro debut with the C’s after being drafted in the fifth round by Toronto that year out of William & Mary. He posted a .356 on-base percentage in 34 games before being sidelined with a hand injury. The 27-year-old switch hitter from Midlothian, Virginia spent the last two years at Triple-A Buffalo after stops in Lansing, Dunedin and New Hampshire. The utilityman compiled a .255 batting average and a .343 OBP in his five years in the Toronto system.

Aiello was a 14th-round selection of the Toronto Blue Jays out of Wake Forest in 2018. He saw 12 games with the Bluefield Blue Jays that year and recorded an on-base-plus-slugging percentage of .838. He bypassed Vancouver for Lansing in 2019 and batted .258 with eight homers and 18 doubles in 77 games. The Lansdale, Pennsylvania native would join the C’s in Hillsboro for 2021 but play in just nine games where he slugged .452 with a homer and four doubles. He doubled and stole third base in his final plate appearance for Vancouver on July 11 but was later placed on the injured list and missed the rest of the season. The 2022 campaign saw Aiello hit .305 with nine homers among 28 extra-base hits in 81 games with Double-A New Hampshire. The 26-year-old was promoted to Triple-A Buffalo and played 10 games, hitting .235 with a double and three RBI.

All the best to these six gentlemen in their future endeavours.


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