It’s disappointing there is no Prince County team competing for Canadian oldtimers baseball title

Joe MacIntyre
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The Canadian Oldtimers Baseball Federation national championships are taking place this weekend across P.E.I.

The tournament features three divisions – 35-plus, 44-plus, and 50-plus. Most games are being played in Charlottetown and surrounding fields, with a few contests played at Summerside's Queen Elizabeth Park (QEP). The only QEP games end this afternoon after a handful of  games on Friday.

There are no local teams – and by local I mean Prince County.

I am surprised – and a bit peeved off – that we do not have at least one Prince County team. Where are all those good ballplayers who played on those good Tignish Aces and Summerside Blues’ teams that won Maritime championships back in the mid1990's?

These two centres had good success in the now-defunct Charlie Ryan Baseball League. Look at the tournament rosters, and very, very few of those players are playing this weekend.

Where are Ian and Paul Power, Dave Gillis, Jeff MacDonald, Spencer Myers, Mike Gaudet, Craig Arsenault, Joe McInnis and Marvin Clow to name only some who should be playing this weekend?

Those nine would make a good team in itself.

It was my understanding that Summerside was to have a team entered, and only this week did I find out that is not the case. To think a team could travel all the way from British Columbia, and we are just 45 minutes away and do not have a team. That is a shame, and a bit of an embarrassment.  

If I would have known there was no Prince County team entered, I personally would have made sure that the old Consolidated Credit Union Blues were in this tournament, and at least those Aces’ players would have the chance to join in. As it turns out, there are three Charlottetown and Kings County teams entered, and one called the P.E.I. Cubs, who I think were supposed to be the Summerside entry.        

Blue Jays

I had the good fortune, along with some friends, to take in a few Toronto Blue Jays’ games last weekend at Rogers Centre.

Other than the former SkyDome feeling like an oven, it was a great weekend.

We were very impressed with the Jays as they certainly look to have a very promising future. The enthusiasm in Rogers Centre was contagious, and the thousands of Detroit Tiger fans mixed in with the 110,000 who attended the weekend series only added to the great atmosphere.

If you are a Jays’ fan, you have to like the team that general manager Alex Anthopoulos is putting together. They play hard, exciting and aggressive baseball, and play the game the way it is meant to be played.

The Jays are young and enthusiastic, and appear to be improving in all aspects of the game. Anthopoulos is not scared to make a move to improve, and he is quickly turning the Jays into a contender.

It will be 20 years this fall since the Jays became the first team north of the U.S. border to win the World Series. The majority of last weekend's big crowds were in kindergarten back then.

You can feel the enthusiasm that today's generation of Jays’ fans have for their ball club.  I think that the City of Toronto has forgotten the last 20 years of average clubs, and is looking forward to what this promising young team has in store in the future

Adam Gallant

Adam Gallant is the defending club champion out at the Summerside Golf and Country Club.

Gallant won the 2011 championship as an 18-year-old, and is gearing up for this year's club championship on Aug. 11 and 12. In a recent game at the Linkletter course, Gallant shot a 65. That tells me he is in fine form going into next weekend.  

Car racing

There will be a lot of excitement at Oyster Bed Speedway tonight for the appearance of NASCAR driver Sterling Marlin.

Marlin will drive a car owned by Rollie MacDonald, and will be a part of the Maritime Pro Stock Tour’s second appearance in Oyster Bed this season.

Marlin is a two-time winner of the prestigious Daytona 500, and is one of only three drivers in the history of the race to win back-to-back – 1994 and 1995. He joins legends Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough as the only drivers to win back-to-back Daytona 500s. and that is pretty select company.

Marlin will drive in the 150-lap race, and certainly one of the biggest crowds in the history of the track is expected. It sounds like an exciting evening at Oyster Bed!    

Trivia answer

 Last week's trivia had the question only three players in Major League Baseball history made at least 15 all-star appearances and never won the most-valuable-player award. The three are Tony Gwynn, Ozzie Smith and Al Kaline.    

Flashback

This being Natal Day weekend in a lot of parts of the country, a flashback of 25 years ago on this same weekend will bring back some memories for members of that very good Summerside Coca-Cola midget baseball team.

On Aug. 2, 1987, Summerside captured the Natal Day tournament at Beazley Field in Dartmouth, N.S., with an 8-3 win over the Kentville Mets in the championship game.

Dave Gillis had the big hit as his second-inning RBI triple scored Harold Bagnall with the eventual winning run for Summerside. Ian Power followed with a single to score Gillis with an insurance run.

Power was also strong on the mound, shutting down the Mets the rest of the way to pick up the pitching win. 

Have a great week!

Joe MacIntyre is a Summerside. His column appears every Saturday. Comments and suggestions can be sent to j-mac@eastlink.ca.

Organizations: Charlie Ryan Baseball League, Rogers Centre, Consolidated Credit Union Blues Toronto Blue Jays Detroit Tiger Summerside Golf and Country Club NASCAR Daytona Major League Baseball

Geographic location: Summerside, Prince, Queen Elizabeth Park Charlottetown British Columbia Kings U.S. Toronto Dartmouth

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