BALTIMORE - The Toronto Blue Jays have never had a Canadian star. They're hoping Brett Lawrie is their first.
The 21-year-old Lawrie, who was recalled from triple-A Las Vegas on Thursday, was set to make his major league debut Friday night against the Orioles. Lawrie was batting ninth and playing third base.
Lawrie was obtained from Milwaukee last winter for right-hander Shaun Marcum. He batted .353 with 18 home runs and 61 RBIs for Las Vegas.
"I'm no saviour," Lawrie said. "It's another game for me."
A native of Langley, B.C., Lawrie is the brother of Danielle Lawrie, a softball pitcher who was the two-time national player of the year for the University of Washington in 2009 and '10. Lawrie played for the Canadian Olympic team in the 2008 Games.
He's set to be the 17th Canadian to play for the Blue Jays and knows that many of his countrymen will be cheering for him.
"I know I have a lot of people behind me," Lawrie said.
Lawrie is scheduled to play his first game at home Tuesday against Oakland and knows that there's going to be lots of pressure — and hype.
"Obviously back in Canada it's going to be pretty cool," Lawrie said. "I've got to do my best to represent my country and myself and the Toronto Blue Jays."
Manager John Farrell is trying to deflect attention from his young third baseman, but concedes he's more than a little curious.
"Pretty exciting day," Farrell said. "He carries an air about him that stands out — in a good way. He's an aggressive personality, and it's been nothing but positive since the day he joined the organization."
Lawrie's parents and his famous sister were planning to attend his first game — but that didn't make him nervous. He's trying to remember what his Las Vegas manager, Marty Brown, told him when he gave him the news of his recall Thursday morning.
"They're calling you up. Try and keep it off Twitter as best as you can," Brown told him.