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Relatively speaking, they’re proud of Saunders

<p>The Toronto Blue Jays' Michael Saunders is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after hitting a three-run homer during an American League matchup against the Orioles Friday in Baltimore. Saunders, who is from Victoria, B.C., but who has Newfoundland roots, had three home runs and eight RBIs in the game.</p>
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<p>The Toronto Blue Jays' Michael Saunders is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after hitting a three-run homer during an American League matchup against the Orioles Friday in Baltimore. Saunders, who is from Victoria, B.C., but who has Newfoundland roots, had three home runs and eight RBIs in the game.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Jeff Saunders was salmon fishing on the Gander River Friday, but it didn’t take long for him to learn his nephew was having himself a whale of a ball game in Baltimore. “The messages started pouring in,” Saunders said. “I think I got about 25 of them.”

Jeff’s nephew is Michael Saunders, who set career highs with three home runs and eight RBIs as the Toronto Blue Jays thumped the Baltimore Orioles 13-3 Friday night.

Though he was born in Victoria, B.C., Michael Saunders spent many a summer in Gander, his father’s hometown.

Derek Saunders was born and raised, and played baseball in Gander. He also played in St. John’s while attending Memorial University.

The elder Saunders attended and graduated from Memorial's medical school, and interned in Victoria, B.C., where he settled.

As a youngster, Michael Saunders loved spending time in Gander, and especially fishing on the Gander River.

He came by that honestly as his grandfather, Cal, spent a career as a guide and outfitter for Americans and mainlanders, and locals too, who would travel to his lodge on the Gander River for some prime hunting and fishing.

Cal Saunders, now 87, still lives in Gander and never misses a Blue Jays game, watching his oldest grandson.

“We still stay in contact,” Jeff Saunders said of his nephew. “He sent me a text after the game.”

Michael Saunders also has an aunt in Newfoundland. Heather, who is Derek and Jeff’s sister, lives in Twillingate.

Another aunt, Pam, lives in Washington, D.C. She was at Sunday’s Jays-Orioles game in nearby Baltimore.

Michael Saunders missed most of last season because of a knee injury and resulting meniscus surgery, and came close to being dealt by the Jays during this year’s spring training. The Jays are obviously glad they hung on to him, judging by his .314 batting average, 15 home runs and 32 RBIs.

“I just think it’s fantastic,” Jeff Saunders said. “We all believed in him. But as you know, that doesn’t mean anything. You have to prove it on the field, and he’s doing that this year.

“I know he’s excited. He really likes Toronto, the makeup of the team and the ballpark.”

 

rshort@thetelegram.com

 

Jeff’s nephew is Michael Saunders, who set career highs with three home runs and eight RBIs as the Toronto Blue Jays thumped the Baltimore Orioles 13-3 Friday night.

Though he was born in Victoria, B.C., Michael Saunders spent many a summer in Gander, his father’s hometown.

Derek Saunders was born and raised, and played baseball in Gander. He also played in St. John’s while attending Memorial University.

The elder Saunders attended and graduated from Memorial's medical school, and interned in Victoria, B.C., where he settled.

As a youngster, Michael Saunders loved spending time in Gander, and especially fishing on the Gander River.

He came by that honestly as his grandfather, Cal, spent a career as a guide and outfitter for Americans and mainlanders, and locals too, who would travel to his lodge on the Gander River for some prime hunting and fishing.

Cal Saunders, now 87, still lives in Gander and never misses a Blue Jays game, watching his oldest grandson.

“We still stay in contact,” Jeff Saunders said of his nephew. “He sent me a text after the game.”

Michael Saunders also has an aunt in Newfoundland. Heather, who is Derek and Jeff’s sister, lives in Twillingate.

Another aunt, Pam, lives in Washington, D.C. She was at Sunday’s Jays-Orioles game in nearby Baltimore.

Michael Saunders missed most of last season because of a knee injury and resulting meniscus surgery, and came close to being dealt by the Jays during this year’s spring training. The Jays are obviously glad they hung on to him, judging by his .314 batting average, 15 home runs and 32 RBIs.

“I just think it’s fantastic,” Jeff Saunders said. “We all believed in him. But as you know, that doesn’t mean anything. You have to prove it on the field, and he’s doing that this year.

“I know he’s excited. He really likes Toronto, the makeup of the team and the ballpark.”

 

rshort@thetelegram.com

 

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