Prince County minor baseball teams have had a great year, winning all the provincial championships at the AA and AAA levels in mosquito, peewee and bantam.
Richmond won the mosquito AAA and peewee AA titles while West Prince won at the mosquito and bantam AA levels. Summerside won the peewee AAA crown, and is in Fredericton, N.B., for this weekend’s Atlantic championship.
Kensington/Cornwall won the bantam AAA championship last weekend. The Crusaders are coming off a very successful sixth-place finish out of 11 teams at the Canadian championship. That is real good for smaller associations like Kensington and Cornwall.
One of the Summerside midget teams lost in the provincial final to Cornwall, which went on to win the Atlantics last weekend.
These are impressive showings for Prince County teams, which could, and should, bode well for the future of baseball in western P.E.I.
The small community of Richmond started its own association five years ago, and has had great success. They compliment other Prince County associations in West Prince, Summerside, Kensington and Bedeque.
There obviously is some very good talent at all levels, and it would be great if there was a place for these players to continue playing beyond their minor years. It’s really too bad that area players have very limited opportunity beyond the midget age group. Too many are done playing the game much too soon.
It should be a must that a Prince County league be formed to keep these players playing. As is, there are only fields in Summerside, Tignish and Freetown that could accommodate such a league, but a diamond in the Richmond/Tyne Valley area would be key for a successful league. It’s time for those in baseball to make such a league happen, and no doubt it would be only a matter of time before championships would be won at the junior level and beyond.
Summerside hosted the Canadian peewee championship on a yearly basis up until eight years ago. I often wonder how many of all the good local players that played in those championships are still playing the game of baseball?
My guess would be less than five per cent, and even if it’s higher there are far too many with nowhere to play after minor baseball.
If Kings County can have a very successful Kings County Baseball League, why can't Prince County have a league as well?
Off to Atlantics
The Richmond Red Sox are off to next weekend’s Atlantic peewee AA baseball championship as P.E.I.'s representative in Grand Falls/Windsor, N.L.
A youthful trio – brothers Chas and Cleve McNeill and Reid Gallant – coach Richmond.
Cleve McNeill and Gallant are still junior-aged while Chas is only a few years older. I would think that all three would still be playing the game if there was a place to play.
It’s great that they are giving of their time and efforts, and deserve credit for doing so. Good luck to all those involved with this team in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Congratulations to the Summerside Heat squirt girls’ fastpitch softball team after a pretty successful showing at last weekend's provincial championship in Cardigan.
The Heat captured the bronze medal in the under-12 championship, playing a total of six games over two days. Timely hitting, great defence and great pitching from Lauren Lilly and Natalie Caron were keys to success for the girls, and made coaches Doug Doyle, Ian Lilly and Francois Caron very proud of their accomplishment.
NHL training camps
NHL training camps open in less than a week, and this may be one of the best hockey seasons in a long time.
Detroit and Columbus move to the Eastern Conference, and having the Red Wings playing more against other Original 6 teams will be great for the NHL.
With training camps less than a week away, there are still some pretty good free agents still available. Players like Brenden Morrow, Ryan Whitney, Dan Cleary, Damien Brunner, Simon Gagne, Brad Boyes and David Steckel amongst others are still available.
A lot of teams are up against the salary cap, which may result in some pretty good talent looking for a place to play.
Former NHL player Chris Chelios has signed on as an analyst for Fox Sports at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in February. He won't be needing his Malibu, Calif., home this winter, and has put it up for rent. One can rent the Oceanfront property for $40,000 per month on a month-to-month basis.
Or, if you are willing to sign a one-year lease, you can rent the property for only $25,000 per month. I wonder if that includes utilities?
Have a great week!
Joe MacIntyre is a Summerside resident. His column appears every Saturday. Comments and suggestions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.