Johnny Vulcano hits a ball against the Moose Jaw Miller Express (Colton McKee, 


Johnny Vulcano has become a maestro on defence for the Mavericks in 2024, with a newfound rhythm to his game. 

Vulcano was a mainstay in the Mavericks lineup throughout the 2023 season, a campaign in which he helped the Mavericks reach the WCBL finals. But he has continued to up his game and confidence as this year has progressed.“I just feel like it’s more of a comfort thing. I feel like me being a returner this year. Coming back, I feel very confident in my defensive abilities. I think more so than I did last summer at the start of the year.”

“I felt like I kind of needed to prove myself defensively, whereas this year I’m kind of going to play defence, and I’m just hoping that if this guy hits a ball anywhere in my direction, I’m going to make a play for my pitcher.”

 Vulcano’s play goes beyond the confines of a ball diamond; when he is not stringing together double plays, he is playing the strings on his guitar, a passion which he has gravitated to over the years. 

“I first started playing electric bass when I was in elementary school, so I would have been 11 or 12 years old. I played that because my dad played, he still plays bass. He played while touring through Canada as a bassist in his early 20s. So he was the one who put me on to the idea of joining a band, and then after two years, I was a little bit too young. I didn’t understand how cool it was.”

“I think I was 16 years old when I learned how to play, Wish You Were Here, by Pink Floyd. And that was a song that, ever since the first time I heard it, we had guitars at our house, and I just said I’m going to learn this song. And I ended up learning it, and then I learned 1000 other songs after that, so it’s just something that the more I play, the more I sing, especially doing it live in front of people. It’s just something that I just keep growing a bigger passion for.”

It’s clear that Vulcano loves and embraces the spotlight; whether it’s rocking the stage like Cash or hitting the ball around like Damon, Johnny has found a way to create memories for both himself and those in the crowd. 

But there is a method to embracing the stage for Vulcano, and that method is built on his preparation. “I just feel like breathing. First off, the key is that you have to be in control of your breathing and your heartbeat. But other than that, it’s just putting in the time beforehand; you know, it’s like confidence is something that’s just in your head. But if you put in the work beforehand, that proves to yourself that you can do it.”

“Realistically, for me, it’s just fine. I’m going to be playing something like playing a baseball game or playing songs live for some people, and just something I’ll practice beforehand, and then if I got it down beforehand, I’d go onto the stage or go to the field, just knowing that I’m going to perform as well as I can.”.

One moment that Vulcano says benefited from his preparation was when he helped the Vauxhall Academy Jets become the first Canadian team in history to play in the Bishop Gorman tournament championship in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Vulcano and crew faced off against some of the best high school competition in the USA, with players committed to many major Division 1 schools. Vulcano’s team even featured Mariners 7th-round draft pick Adam Macko, who is currently in the Blue Jays minor league system. 

The Jets found themselves in a tightly contested finals game in which they led by just two runs. Vulcano was called up to the plate with a chance to do damage. “They pulled in their third baseman, who was this big Dominican guy, and he did about five arm circles, and then the first pitch was 92 off the mound.”

Vulcano remembers the at-bat and what he was feeling like it was yesterday. “I just remember going into that at-bat. I was just thinking; I know he’s going to try to beat me with a fastball here. So if he puts it anywhere over the plate, I’m just going to try my best to be on time with it.”

“Sure enough, he gave me a fastball, middle away, and I hit a three-run bomb down the right field line, which sealed the deal for us, and that was hitting that home run in that spot. Just for those guys and those coaches, it just felt amazing.”

Vulcano’s home run helped the Jets claim their first championship in their 13-year history! He hopes to help the Mavericks do the same thing for the first time since 2018. 

“I mean, to be honest, the main reason why I came back to Medicine Hat was to be in the playoff run and go, and the reason why I’m here right now is to win a championship with these guys.”

When looking at the team, Vulcano feels confident in what the Mavericks have for a team. “I think that we have the talent for it, and we have the coaches for it. It’s just a matter of us kind of working together and just picking each other up.”

Johnny’s 2023 playoff run was cut short due to having to leave the Mavericks early to head back to school. He is both excited and optimistic about potentially making a full playoff run with the Mavs. “As far as being able to stay here for the playoffs goes, that’s something I’ve been thinking about the whole year. I just don’t want the year to end, but every day I wake up, I’m just looking forward to the playoffs, like those first couple rounds getting to the finals. That’s the reason why you play baseball.”