‘He changed a lot of lives’: Beloved baseball coach Carey Ashton dies at 62

Montreal’s baseball community is grieving the loss of beloved coach Carey Ashton, who died peacefully in his home Tuesday at age 62.

Ashton coached the NDG Junior Lynx team for a decade before retiring in 2011, also joining the McGill Redbirds as a bench coach in 2002 and helping carry the team to its national championship a few years later.

According to long-time friend James Rankine, Ashton had a “special quality to him.”

“There’s a calmness, there’s a sense of humor, there’s an intellect, there’s a sense of wisdom. Everybody who’s around him remembers him,” said Rankine, who is a consultant for the NDG Minor Baseball League.

Diagnosed with muscular dystrophy in his youth, Ashton was in a wheelchair for most of his life.

He’s remembered for his sharp communication skills and wit, which enabled him to go above and beyond as a coach — all without swinging the bat.

Carey Ashton served as a head coach for the NDG Junior Lynx team from 2001 to 2011.

Carey Ashton served as a head coach for the NDG Junior Lynx team from 2001 to 2011.

“He could get more out of a child’s performance than any other coach I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Ashton. “He was able to communicate: his tone, his language. He just had that ability — you just can’t teach it. I had it.”

Ashton was the only person at NDG Baseball to win every volunteer award, and was a five-time winner of the Coach of the Year award.

He was also the recipient of a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to the community.

“Being on the baseball field was exactly where I needed to be,” said Rankine. “I have changed a lot of lives out there.”

Leave a Comment