In this part of the country, baseball season is never far away when February rolls around.
Plans are already well in the works for an expanded adult baseball league based at the Chemainus Ball Park.
Heath Fenton got the ball rolling last season with the creation of the Stuart Channel Blue Heron and another team, the Yellow Point Vultures, will make their debut this season. Plans are to have another two teams going in time for the 2024 season in what’s to become known as the East Vancouver Island Baseball League.
“This year, now that we established a league, people are a little more willing to come on board,” said Fenton.
Plans are to start getting together in the second or third week of March and then launch into some exhibition games before the season’s opening weekend in May.
There’s plenty of interest in playing “real” baseball, as Fenton calls it, rather than slow pitch or recreational softball as has become the norm for adult men over the years.
“Have you missed playing real baseball and would like to get back into it?” queries Fenton. “Are you stuck playing softball because there are no baseball options for you? We are a group of super inclusive baseball enthusiasts. All I ask is that you are familiar with the game of baseball.”
Players 25-50 years of age from last year have already expressed an interest in returning plus newcomers to stock the two teams. And the names of the teams are purely regional, with players welcomed from Ladysmith, Chemainus, Crofton, Duncan, Lake Cowichan and Cedar/Nanaimo.
Fenton said the league is unique to the area.
”I am on the lookout for local businesses, contractors and any other organizations that might be willing to help us get this going,” he noted. “I have had plenty of support so far, but could use a couple of more.”
Anybody interested in finding out more can contact Fenton at 236-333-6233 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Player space might be limited this season, but Fenton also wants to hear from others who would be interested in suiting up on the diamond again.
Once the player pool is determined, it will be a matter of organizing the talent into the Blue Heron and Vultures groups.
“I want the teams to be fairly even,” Fenton said.