CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Don’t mistake oldtimers baseball as soft. Competition is competition at the Canadian National Oldtimers Baseball Federation championships no matter what their age.
“It’s game on,” said Alf Blanchard, player with the P.E.I. 50s and tournament chair. “Even though there’s a lot of laughs, people take it very seriously and they want to win. This might be it (for playing in the nationals again). The clock’s ticking.”
The tournament, which P.E.I. also hosted in 2012, kicks off Thursday when Island teams Trixie’s Bears face the Morell Chevies of the Kings County Baseball League. Game time for the 35-plus division matchup is 6:15 p.m. at Memorial Field in Charlottetown.
Blanchard’s 50s follow at 8:15 p.m. against the Oakville A’s in 50-plus division play. Blanchard and the 23-man 50s haven’t had much field time to practice and know they’ve got their mitts full.
“It has its challenges. We’ve practiced some, played a few exhibition games. The core of this team is playing in this division for the first time so we don’t really know what to expect. But we do know most of the teams we’re playing against are playing regularly. Maybe we can surprise a few people” Blanchard said. “There will be pulls and twists and these kinds of things. With a large roster we hope to put guys in spots where injuries are limited.”
The championships are a provincial affair as games go at MacRae and Memorial fields in Charlottetown, MacNeill Field in Stratford, Clippers Field in Cardigan and Terry Fox Field in Cornwall. 33 teams and more than 500 baseball players from six provinces are in the hunt for titles in 35-plus, 43-plus, 50-plus and 57-plus divisions.
The event features teams from P.E.I., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick,
P.E.I.’s entries also include the Capital City Jays (35-plus division).
Finals go Monday, Aug. 6, at Memorial.
Game go seven innings and teams have a minimum batting order of 12 players. Defensive substitutions except for pitchers are unlimited and players can move positions at any time. Pitchers are limited to six outs except one pitcher selected by the team can throw nine outs.
As much as he likes to play the game, as an organizer Blanchard also likes the tournament’s feel when on the Island.
“Players come before the tournament and stay after. And families come. Players like when the tournament is on P.E.I.”
Blanchard expects to go through 20 dozen baseballs, 152 cases of water and 100 bags of ice over the course of the event.
Opening ceremonies at 5:30 p.m. will dedicate a memorial to Islander and former major leaguer James (Vern) Handrahan.
More including schedule at www.cnobf2018.ca.
So Who's Here?
Teams competing at the Canadian National Oldtimers Baseball Federation championships Thursday through Monday in P.E.I.
Little Anse Hawks
Tilsonburg Old Sox
Nova Scotia Mariners
Capital City Jays
Saint John Alpine Buccaneers
Capital Tiger Padres
Medicine Hat Oilmen
Battle River A’s
Tusket Carl’s Store
Woodslee Orioles 43’s
Petit de Grat Redcaps
Dufferin Simcoe Rockers
Petit de Grat Redcaps
Nova Scotia Monarchs
Red Deer Legends
Rosters for the P.E.I. teams competing at the in the Canadian National Oldtimers Baseball Federation championships Thursday through Monday in P.E.I.
Morell Chevies (35-Plus Division) - Desi Doyle, Troy Coffin, Scott Harper, Jarrod Laybolt, Scott Ellsworth, Grant Doyle, Quen Johnston, Craig Lawlor, Derrick Plaggenhoef, Randy Taylor, Allister Smith, Adam Smith, Colin Myers, Josh Coffin, Brent Byrnes.
Trixie’s Bears (35-Plus Division) - Jed MacEwen, DJ Dunn, Greg Dunn, Jason MacLean, Jamie Arsenault, Denver Clinton, Darcy Clinton, Dustin Larkin, Steve MacLean, Jeff Keough, Joe Gardiner, Trevor MacAree, Adam MacSwain, Morgan MacIntosh
Capital City Jays ((35-Plus Division) - Thane Arsenault, Kevin Elliot, Stephen Birt, Mike Waugh, Greg Stapleton, Craig Cooper, John Burke, Britt Burns, Chad Clarey, Brodie Coffin, Mike Roberts, Robin Hood, Mark Goyetche, Jamie MacDonald, David Ling, Kris O'Brien, Scottie Ramsay, Stephen Power, Adam Harnish, Stephen Fodchuck, Calvin Larkin, Barry O'Brien, Trevor MacKenzie.
P.E.I. 50s (50-Plus Division) - Alf Blanchard, Dave Cullen, Wade Stewart, Dave MacIsaac, Darren Murphy, Larry Koughan, Vince Morrison, Mark Rooney, Todd Gaudin, Blair Creelman, Joe Ryan, Ronnie Hennessey, Darrel Carroll, Steve Ascah, John Gallant, Terry MacDonald, Jack McCabe, Thane Hughes, Jeff Ready, Chris MacGregor, Scott MacDonald, Dougie Hines.