London

Majors player continues to bring southern charm to London

When pro baseball player Cleveland Brownlee was offered a job to play for the London Majors, the Atlanta native thought the scouts meant London, England. Seven years later, Cleveland is still here.

Atlanta's Cleveland Brownlee has played eight seasons with the London Majors

Atlanta native Cleveland Brownlee is off to a good eighth season with the London Majors. (Kate Dubinski/CBC News)

Cleveland Brownlee didn't know much about Canada when he was first scouted. In fact, he'd never been to Canada.

"When a guy called me and said do you want to come to London? I'm like 'London, England? They don't play baseball over there.'"

London Majors are 10-0 heading into the weekend. The Majors haven't won an Intercounty Baseball League Title since 1975. (CBC News)

Brownlee said it took him a couple of days to realize there's a London in Canada. 

Seven years later, he's heading into his eighth season with the London Majors, one of the team's top hitters. 

Brownlee said he was eager to move to London for better opportunities. In addition to playing ball, Brownlee holds down two jobs.

"I'm a guy here in London. Three cell phones. I work all day, work all night, you know? And I love to play baseball."

Cleveland Brownlee stops by London Morning (Kate Dubinski/CBC News)

Brownlee also volunteers much of his time in the community.

"We're privileged to play in the community at this level. And we have the fans that come out to see us and so it's an honour for me to give back my time and give back to the community. These kids look up to us like we're the Blue Jays or something. And I know we're not, but to them we are."

Brownlee is one of the team's top producers at the plate, hitting two home runs into the Thames River on opening day this season.

"If you close your eyes and swing hard, you might hit it over."

The team is 10-0 heading into three games this weekend. The Majors play the Kitchener Panthers Friday night at home at Labatt Memorial Park. Then they're in Burlington on Saturday before heading back home Sunday afternoon to face the Brantford Red Sox.