(Archived - March 10, 2018)
AAARRRGGGHHH!!! PIRATES FOUR-PEAT AS 45+ DIVISION CHAMPS
The LMBA's final 2017 game took place on Saturday, September 23 at Robert Burnaby Park and for the fourth straight year the Delta Stars and the Vancouver Pirates met in the Ray Edger 45+ Division final. Unlike the previous three final games which were closely contested games, the 2017 final resulted in a high scoring affair featuring some inconsistent play on the part of both squads. The Pirates jumped out to a quick 5 - 0 lead in the first inning but the Stars managed to claw their way back taking a brief 9 - 8 lead after six innings. Both teams were making plenty of contact at the plate but some inconsistent defence resulted in lots of base runners. Pirates second pitcher Rick Morrow put in four strong final innings as the Pirates defence settled down while the their bats continued with the hit parade piling up 20 hits resulting in a final 17 - 9 Pirate win. Pirates hit leaders Pierre Moore (2 triples) and Aart Van Gorkum (triple) were aided by additional contributions from the entire Pirates line up.
A total of 30 players took part in the final game as both teams gave everyone lots of playing time. Congratulations to both teams for outstanding 2017 seasons and to the Pirates for becoming the first ever LMBA team to win four consecutive playoff finals.
PIRATES TAKE DOWN BLUE JAYS IN 18+ FINAL
THE NEWTON PIRATES USED THEIR TEAM DEPTH TO TAKE DOWN A GAME VANCOUVER BLUE JAYS SQUAD BY AN 8 TO 3 SCORE IN THE LMBA'S 18+ CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL AT ROBERT BURNABY PARK. BOTH TEAMS CAME TO PLAY ON AN OVERCAST DAY AND THE GAME MOVED QUICKLY THROUGH THE FIRST FIVE INNINGS THANKS TO THE STRONG PITCHING FROM BOTH STARTERS - PIRATES MIKE ELLIS AND BLUE JAYS PETER GUSTAVSON.
THE PIRATES ADDED TO THEIR SLIM 4 - 3 LEAD AFTER FIVE INNINGS WITH THREE RUNS IN THE SIXTH AND ONE IN THE SEVENTH TO WIDEN THEIR MARGIN AND CLOSER NICK ALEXIOU CAME IN WITH THREE SHUT DOWN INNINGS. THE PIRATES PITCHING AND STEADY DEFENSE CONTRIBUTED TO THEIR FOUR STRAIGHT PLAYOFF WINS GIVING THEM THEIR FIRST LMBA CHAMPIONSHIP. CONGRATULATIONS TO A VERY DETERMINED BLUE JAYS TEAM FOR PLAYING HARD RIGHT UP TO THEIR LAST OUT.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE BURNABY BLUE JAYS, 2017 LMBA 30+ CHAMPIONS
BURNABY BLUE JAYS WIN SECOND STRAIGHT LMBA 30+ CROWN
STRONG ALL ROUND TEAM PERFORMANCE IN DECISIVE WIN
SEPTEMBER 10, 2017 - ROBERT BURNABY
The first of the LMBA's 3 championship games was the 30+ final between the Burnaby Blue Jays and the Richmond Rainiers, both of whom had come off close semi final victories before Labour Day. On this day, everything was working for the Blue Jays against a game Rainiers crew.
Eleven different Blue Jays pounded out 19 hits to provide the offence in their 11 - 2 win over the Richmond squad. Adam Ladouceur led the way with three hits, 4 runs scored, and 2 runs batted in to go along with his usual stellar defensive play at shortstop. Reid Wildeman (solo home run), Steve Tosh, and Tim Wilkins also added 2 rbi's each. The Jays' heavy hits were sprinkled with a lot of smaller hits that somehow found a place to land.
The Jays pitching trio of Jeff Weisgerber, Jordy Cunningham, and Jeff Ammer limited the Rainiers to five hits and a minimum of base runners.
An outstanding feature of the game was that 31 players played in the contest - a testament to the LMBA philosophy that everyone plays. The win gave the Blue Jays their fourth overall 30+ championship pennant, a total topped only by the Richmond Legends/Rainiers with seven championships and the Howe Sound Hounds with 8 final victories.
Congratulations to the Burnaby Blue Jays on an outstanding 2017 season.
TWENTY YEAR TEAMMATES
TEAMMATES - GEORGE STRAZICICH - IAN LOGAN
THE 45+ CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL AT ROBERT BURNABY ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23RD WILL FEATURE TWO PLAYERS WHO ARE COMPLETING THEIR TWENTIETH SEASON OF PLAY IN THE LMBA. GEORGE STRAZICICH (RIGHT in photo above) AND IAN LOGAN HAVE BEEN TEAM MATES FOR THE ENTIRE 20 SEASONS MAKING THEM VERY UNIQUE MEMBERS OF THE TWENTY YEAR CLUB. BOTH STARTED OUT WITH THE 30+ PIRATES AT GORDON PARK AND BOTH TURNED OUT FOR THE FIRST TIME ON THE SAME DAY - FRIENDS OFF THE FIELD AND TEAM MATES ON THE DIAMOND, THEY ARE TWO OF THE MOST RESPECTED PLAYERS IN THE LMBA. THEY HAVE MADE SOLID CONTRIBUTIONS AS INDIVIDUAL PLAYERS BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, THEY HAVE BEEN GREAT TEAM PLAYERS. THEIR CONDUCT AND SPORTSMANSHIP HAS BEEN EXEMPLARY AND THE LMBA HAS BEEN LUCKY TO HAVE THEM. CONGRATULATIONS, GUYS AND BEST WISHES FOR TWENTY MORE YEARS!
A RARE SIGHTING - FIVE ORIGINAL LMBA MEMBERS
On Saturday, July 30 a very rare event occurred during the second interlock game between the BC Senior Women's Provincial Baseball team and the LMBA 45+ Old Stars.
Four of the original five remaining LMBA members from Day One in 1994 were involved in the game so an invitation was extended to Warren Karsgaard to join everyone for a once-in-twenty-four years photo opportunity.
The five pictured members (L to R) are Ken Mackenzie, Warren Karsgaard, Dan Taylor, Gary Pennington, and Rod Van Dorn.
Ken Mackenzie (72 years old) has played and managed the Howe Sound Hounds (9 time LMBA 30+ champions) for 24 seasons and currently has the longest hit streak in organized baseball (24 years). Ken also manages the BC Women's Senior Baseball team and has been responsible for the development of women's baseball in BC. He has also coached many LMBA players on teams he has taken to Canadian and provincial championships including BC and Canada Games.
Warren Karsgaard (70 years young) is the co-founder of the LMBA and was very instrumental in the early organization of our group. He has played and managed the Richmond Legends (now Rainiers) in the 30+ Division and the Richmond Monarchs in the 45+ Division ( 2 championships). Outside of the LMBA, Warren has volunteered in many capacities for Richmond minor baseball and he has been recognized for his contributions by Richmond City Baseball, BC Minor Baseball, and the City of Richmond.
In the middle is LMBA co-founder and LMBA Commissioner Dan Taylor ( Age 72). He took on the job "temporarily"in 1994 and has participated as a player, manager, Executive member, and umpire - note the summer umpire outfit. It has been quite the ride and he is amazed the "whole damn thing actually works."
Gary Pennington (Howe Sound Hounds) was 58 years old when he became an original LMBA member in 1994 and now, at age 81, continues to be an inspiration. Gary was born in1936 and learned how to play baseball on sandlots in Vancouver's West End. In 1955, Gary played semi-pro in the Western Canadian Baseball League and he has played internationally in the US at the collegiate level and in Australia. He has been part of the Hounds nine championship titles and has a similar number of NABA/MSBL championships as a member of several San Diego teams.
On the extreme right is current Burnaby Blue Jays manager Rod Van Dorn (turning 70 this year). Combining games played and managed, Rod has participated in more LMBA contests than anyone. He is almost certainly the all time leader in Games Pitched and innings completed. His pitching led the Burnaby Buzzards to two championship titles in the LMBA's 45+ division and he has managed his two sons, Rod Jr and Shaun, to three 30+ Division titles. Rod also pitched in five Canadian National Oldtimers Baseball Federation championships as a member of the BC Capitals, winning two 50+ titles - 2008 and 2010. Rod has also volunteered as a member of the 2010 CNOBF host committee (Burnaby/New Westminster) and the 2016 Americas Masters Games Baseball committee.
The LMBA would not be where it is without the important contributions of these five original members and we hope to see them involved for many more years.
Well done, guys!
TEAM BC Racks Up Win Against LMBA 45+ Squad
Following the initial game on July 20 between the LMBA 45+ Vets and Team BC Senior Women's squad both teams requested a second contest as the first game had proven beneficial to both parties. Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks expressed it best - "Let's Play Two" so a second contest was arranged for Saturday, July 29 at beautiful Robert Burnaby Park.
Both squads featured a number of newcomers for the second game and the addition of Amanda Asay (Howe Sound Hounds) helped lift the ladies to a one run win. Amanda's catching, pitching (two scoreless innings) and hitting hightlighted a good all round performance by Team BC. Rhianna Pettapiece (Burnaby Brewers) made her pitching debut and threw two effective innings. Team BC manager Ken Mackenzie (Howe Sound Hounds) made a surprise pinch hit appearance but grounded out to 81 year old LMBA second baseman Gary Pennington - the race to first base was fascinating. Stacy Fournier (Howe Sound Hounds) also had a good all round game.
Rod Van Dorn (Burnaby Blue Jays Manager) came out of retirement to start on the mound for the LMBA squad and Doug Springford (White Rock Eagles) pitched two effective innings. LMBA bats were a bit quieter than in Game One but credit that to the Team BC pitching crew.
Controversy reared its ugly head when Team BC's Marina De Angelis (Burnaby Brewers) appeared to be picked off first base (see photo) but base umpire (LMBA Commissioner Dan Taylor) made an Executive decision. Thanks to John Berry (President, Baseball BC) for donating his time as plate umpire.
Team BC had held a fundraiser on Friday evening prior to Saturday's game and the LMBA was pleased to donate $600 to help the team with their expenses. The LMBA donated $250 but individual donations from players and the base umpire raised the total to $600. The LMBA has been working with Baseball BC to provide the women's program with opportunities to further its development and we look forward to continuing that process in 2018.
Team BC will be playing in the 2017 Canadian Championships in Windsor, Ontario from August 3 to August 7th and their progress can be followed by connecting to www.seniorwomen.baseball.ca Best of luck ladies!
JUST ANOTHER GAME? NOT QUITE!
NOT QUITE . . . . . two generations of baseball players met in an historic baseball exhibition at beautiful Robert Burnaby Park on Thursday, July 20th.
No lineups were announced, everyone batted, defense was random and the final score was not recorded. Spectators and passersby might have thought it was just another baseball game until they looked closer at the two teams.
The home team was the BC Women’s Baseball provincial team who were using the game as part of their preparations for defending their 2016 Canadian Championship title. They will be off to Windsor, Ontario for this year’s tournament in early August. Managed by current Howe Sound Hounds manager Ken Mackenzie the team was at the park 2 hours before game time and impressed with their pre-game batting and fielding drills. The team was missing two of their best players, pitcher Claire Eccles (currently with the Victoria Harbour Cats) and Amanda Asay (Baseball Canada’s 2016 Most Outstanding Female Player) who has played the past three seasons for the LMBA’s 30+ Howe Sound Hounds. This game offered one of the few times the squad could get together and players came from Victoria and the BC interior. The roster was bolstered by several call-ups from the BC Women’s Under 21 program and collectively, the total team age would have been approximately 200 years.
On the other side of the diamond were some grizzled veterans from the LMBA’s 45+ Division. Estimated total age of the vets was 500+. In contrast to the pre –game warmup of their opponents, the LMBA guys followed their normal routine – players filtering in one at a time and then a game of catch. They did surprise everyone by holding a pre-game infield drill.
With the first pitch there was a sense of anticipation and both teams were not really sure where the experience would lead. With a runner on first the Grizzleds’ Kevin Sparrow hit a rocket to left field – the first base coach sent the runner with the famous quote “She’ll never get that one!” Left fielder Marina De Angelis easily ran down the ball for the first of many fine outfield plays of the night. A message was sent – “Game On!” BC starter Mary Harding limited the Grizzled Ones to a single run over three innings effectively mixing her pitches.
The score was almost tied when a BC player hit a rising line drive double over the head of a startled Grizzleds’ center fielder – a three player relay (remember, they’re old) just nipped the runner in a close play at home. Stacey Fournier, with an outstanding curve ball, and Kensi Renneberg shared the last five innings on the mound and kept the Grizzled Ones honest with a steady stream of strikes and a few HBP. They were backed up by some very strong defense and it was evident that this part of the game will be one of their strong points come the Canadian championships.
LMBA veteran hurlers Ward Gogol and Howard Sandrel pitched seven effective innings and they in turn were backed up by some steady defense. The BC players made good contact all evening and showed a disciplined plate presence. At the end of the 7th inning both teams requested an extra inning and this enabled the Grizzleds’ Mike (The Hammer) O’Connor to make his mound debut – evident from the warm up tosses. However, the evening ended safely as Mike was able to find the strike zone.
Thanks to veteran umpire Pat Cascio who manned home plate and found himself involved in a REAL game when one of the BC players reminded him that she wasn’t “that short!”
Both groups agreed the game was an enjoyable and meaningful experience and plans are under way to organize a second contest before the BC team journeys to Ontario. The BC players have been well coached and their fundamentals are excellent. The team is starting to develop a collective spirit and they are in very capable hands under manager Ken Mackenzie. The LMBA guys can talk to their grandchildren about this one (but not their wives!).
The LMBA wishes the BC team best of luck at this year’s Canadian championship tournament and look forward to continue working with Baseball BC and the Women’s Program.
A VERY GENEROUS GESTURE
THANK YOU DAVE COATES
When long time Howe Sound catcher Julio Pena Jimenez announced that he was returning to Cuba following the 2016 season, several of his team mates had a discussion with him about the state of recreational baseball in Cuba. The sport remains a passion in Cuba and leagues and town teams play all over the island, often on challenging diamonds. Baseball equipment is also difficult to come by, especially baseballs. Upon hearing this, Julio’s team mate Dave Coates purchased $500 worth of baseballs from the LMBA and the league also chipped in with an extra three dozen baseballs. The LMBA is pleased to recognize Dave for his generosity and we are sure that his gesture has been greatly appreciated in Cuba. Well done, Dave!
Special Recognition Award
Rod Van Dorn
In addition to the LMBA’s Ten and Twenty Year Awards approximately a dozen individual members have received Special Recognition Awards. In 2016 Rod Van Dorn received this recognition for his many contributions to the LMBA. Rod has been active since Day One and pitched in the very first game at Gordon Park in July 1994. He will be turning 70 years of age in 2017 after being a front line pitcher for 23 complete years. In terms of games played, innings pitched, and many other pitching categories, he is likely the all time LMBA leader.
The majority of his time was spent with the Burnaby Brewers (30+) and Burnaby Buzzards (45+) with three final years with the Delta Stars (45+). When the LMBA expanded to a 45+ division, Rod’s mound efforts led the Buzzards to the first two championship wins in that division (2004,2005). Rod also pitched in 5 Canadian National Oldtimers Baseball Championships where he was an important part of two BC Capitals championship teams (2008 in Hamilton and 2010 in Burnaby/New Westminster).
In addition to his playing time, Rod managed his sons’ team in the LMBA’s 18+ and 30+ divisions and led the Burnaby Blue Jays 30+ teams to 3 LMBA Championships (2012, 2013,2016). When his games played and managed are combined, Rod has appeared in more LMBA games than anyone over 24 seasons.
Rod was a member of the LMBA Executive serving as the 30+ coordinator and was an important member of committees organizing the 2010 CNOBF championships and the 2016 Americas Masters Games.
Rod is pictured with his sons Rod Jr and Shaun who are both approaching their own 20 years of play. Congratulations, guys and great to have had all of you along for the ride.
LMBA Champ Down Under
Congratulations to Howard Sandrel (White Rock Eagles) who returned home with a gold medal from the 2017 World Masters Games held in New Zealand. Howard was part of the Henley & Grange Bartley Tavern Rams 45+ team in the baseball competition. It was not a surprise that Howard was picked up by a club sponsored by a pub. Howard had an outstanding tournament. He pitched in two games including a complete game victory and had an ERA of 1.16. Howard batted .600 at the plate and led the Rams with 9 RBIs including 4 in the championship final. The Rams, a club that plays in the South Australia Baseball League, was greatly pleased to have Howard on the roster but they noted he was slow to keep up with the postgame celebrations. Well done, mate! Howard is fifth from left back row!
24 Year Hitting Streak . . . . Joe Who??
Most baseball fans are familiar with Joe Di Maggio’s 56 game hitting streak, but one individual in the LMBA has a much longer streak still in progress.
On Sunday, May 7th Howe Sound Hounds manager Ken Mackenzie was inserted into the game against the Surrey Sentinels in the top of the ninth inning. Mackenzie, who turns 72 this year, and is one of five LMBA members still active since opening day in 1994, lined a single to left (some said it was a soft flare) to keep his 24 year streak alive. Ken was immediately replaced with a pinch runner and will likely lead the LMBA in batting this year with a 1.000 average. Congratulations on the streak and thanks for 24 great years with the LMBA. In the photo, Ken is pictured with two other LMBA members, team mate Gary Pennington (81 years old), and LMBA Commissioner Dan Taylor
LMBA . . . Lending a Hand
Over the years the LMBA has been fortunate to help a number of baseball organizations and charitable causes. Some of these were a result of LMBA events such as hosting the 2010 Canadian National Oldtimers Baseball Championships, the 20th Anniversary Celebration involving all 32 teams (2013), and providing an organizing committee for the baseball competition at the 2016 Americas Masters Games held in Vancouver. Merv Sandrel and Tim Everson (Ballpark Sports) organized a very successful Pink Bat event from 2010 to 2014 which resulted in over $28 000 being raised for the Canadian Cancer Society. Since 2010 the LMBA has donated an additional $12 000 to a variety of organizations including Baseball BC, British Columbia Baseball Umpires Association (for the development of young umpires), KidSport, and several minor baseball organizations.
Each of the 26 sports at the 2016 Americas Masters Games received an honorarium for their efforts. The LMBA worked with Baseball BC to distribute grants to three very worthwhile and deserving groups. A grant of $750 was made to Vancouver Community Baseball for their help in providing and maintaining Hillcrest Park as a venue for the Masters Games baseball event.
The outstanding work of the Vancouver Canadians Foundation was recognized by a grant of $1500 presented to Canadians GM Andy Dunn at the annual January luncheon.
A third grant of $500 was made to BC Challenger Baseball and the photos were taken by LMBA Commissioner Dan Taylor who attended the dedication of the new Challenger field at Hillcrest Park on April 22nd. The enthusiasm of the players, parents, and coaches was an inspiration.
While the LMBA cannot meet all requests, our commitment and support when opportunities arise has enabled our organization to be viewed very favourably in the baseball community.
A Game for the Ages . . .
Over 4500 LMBA games have been played over the course of 24 years – most have been competitive, some have been blowouts (handled well by all teams), and some like the game below stand out because they are special.
Two long-time rivals, the Howe Sound Hounds and Richmond Rainiers have hooked up over 50 times including several championship finals but their game on April 30 at Latrace Field was a true classic.
Howe Sound Hounds 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 X
Richmond Rainiers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 6 X
Matt Gildersleeve, Dave Osachoff (6), Spencer Barnard (11) and Amanda Asay
Steve Dogget, Dave Berenbaum (6), Dan Holmes (10) and Brendan Starling
Time of Game: 2 hours 25 minutes
Umpires: Terry O’Krafka (Home Plate) Dan Sitar (Bases)
Rainiers’ starter Steve Dogget threw 5 perfect innings as the Hounds did not get a base runner until the 6th inning. There were only ten hits in the entire game, 4 runners were picked off, and the Hounds turned 4 double plays. The first nine innings were completed in 95 minutes.
In the bottom of the 12th inning Rainiers’ Derran Watts led off with a single and promptly stole second. Rob Micinnis laid down a perfect bunt single to move the runner to third. Adam De Bray was intentionally walked to load the bases before Tyler Vanbellemen worked a walk to force in the winning run. A tough ending to a great game. Special thanks to umpires Terry O’Krafka and Dan Sitar for their strong performances.
The regular season game was the second longest in LMBA history ranking only behind the 13 inning contest in 2014 between the South Langley Reds and the Newton Beavers. That game also ended with the Beavers prevailing by a 1 – 0 score.
LMBA Supporting Baseball BC Female Development Program
Female Baseball Program – The British Columbia Senior Women’s Baseball team won the Canadian Senior Women’s Championship in 2016 and several of their players were part of the Canadian Women’s Silver Medal team which participated in the World Championship tournament in Korea. The LMBA supports Baseball BC’s Female Development Program and we are pleased to welcome Amanda Asay, Rhianna Pettapiece, Marina DeAngelis, and Stephanie Caron to the LMBA’s playing ranks. Amanda has played several years with the Howe Sound Hounds and last year was voted Canada’s most outstanding female player. Special thanks are forwarded to Scott Mackenzie (Baseball BC Female Baseball Coordinator), Ken Mackenzie (Team BC and Howe Sound Hounds manager), and Stacy Fournier who spoke to the LMBA membership at our 2016 AGM. Stacy, we hope to see you on the field soon.
(September 14, 2017)
BC Capitals Returning to CNOBF Championships in Hamilton, Ontario
For the first time since 2013 the BC Capitals are returning to the Canadian National Oldtimers Baseball Championships being held this year in Hamilton, Ontario from August 4th to August 7th. Manager Tim Everson (White Rock Eagles) is leading his squad into the 57+ Division against five other clubs - 4 squads from Ontario and 1 from British Columbia - Courtney Happy's. The LMBA team is quite familiar with the Happy's as they play in the Komox Baseball League's annual tournament.
The Capitals are composed of nine LMBA members - besides manager Everson, players include Randy Couts (VCR Pirates), John Gowans (Surrey Royals), Larry Waddell and Ken Lorenz (Delta Stars) and Dave Harris, Peter Loft, Steve Reid, and Merv Sandrel (White Rock Eagles). They have added players from Vancouver Island, Saskatchewan, and Ontario. This is the second year the 57+ Division has been included in the tournament and the field includes many past championship teams.
Teams from BC containing LMBA players have been entering the CNOBF tournaments since 2001 when they played in the 35+ division in Regina. Over the years, the BC Capitals moved up in age divisions journeying to Medicine Hat (2004), Red Deer (2007), Hamilton (2008), Burnaby/New Westminster (2010), Burlington, Ontario (2011), and Edmonton (2013). The Capitals have been very successful in the 50+ Division winning two 50+ titles (2008, 2010) and losing in two finals (2007 and 2011).
The LMBA and POCO Men's Baseball jointly hosted the 2010 championships hosted in Burnaby and New Westminster - the only time Canadian teams have ventured past the Rocky Mountains.
Participating in these events takes considerable committment on the part of players, managers, and organizers and its great to see guys from different teams getting together to make things work.
Best of luck, guys, and everyone can keep up with this year's tournament by visiting the site: www.cnobf2017.com
PLAYOFF BASEBALL AT QUEENS PARK
A REMARKABLE DAY AT QUEEN'S PARK STADIUM
SUNDAY, AUGUST 27TH
(Saturday, August 26th wasn't that bad, either)
It is unlikely that the four outstanding baseball games that occurred at Queen's Park Stadium on Sunday, August 27th will be matched anytime soon although the four Mathers Division 18+ quarter final playoff games on August 19th would be very close! Preparations began at 7:30am with the arrival of the New Westminster Twins volunteers - the field was prepared, beer garden and concessions were set up, and the stadium was ready for an outstanding day of baseball.
The 9:00am 30+ Division semi final moved along quickly with steady pitching from both teams. The Burnaby Blue Jays capitalized on their opportunities and carried a 5 - 2 lead into the top of the ninth inning when Aldergrove Giants' Trevor Kuby hit a dramatic 3 run homer to tie the contest. With two out in the bottom of the ninth, Blue Jays Shaun Van Dorn hit a single up the middle (his third hit of the game) and promptly stole second. Jays short stop Adam Ladouceur singled to right field on a full count to bring in the winning run. A review of game stats indicated that Ladouceur handled 15 chances at shortstop (4 put outs, 11 assists) without an error - truly a remarkable performance.
Long time rivals Howe Sound Hounds and Richmond Rainiers met in the second 30+ semi final and both squads featured outstanding pitching in a very tight contest. The Hounds Matt Gildersleeve and Tim Findlay limited the Rainiers to 6 hits while the Richmond trio of Steve Dogget, Dave Berenbaum, and Dan Holmes only yielded 4 hits. The Richmond outfield recorded nine outs led by some outstanding play by center fielder Darren Watts. Opportunities were few but the Rainiers made the most of theirs coming out ahead by a 3 - 0 score. They will meet the Burnaby Blue Jays in the 30+ final on Sunday, September 10th.
Two close games featuring teams from the Mathers 18+ Division completed this outstanding day of baseball. In the first contest, the top seeded Newton Pirates took on the fourth seeded Dewdney Bulls. Both teams made the most of limited opportunities to enter the tenth inning tied at 3 runs apiece. A leadoff single and two walks loaded the bases forcing the Pirates to draw in both their infield and outfield. Pirates pitcher Nick Alexiou bore down and enticed two ground balls to the drawn in infield - a force out at home produced the first out and this was followed by a short to home to first double play. Clay Franco led off the bottom of the tenth with a single and advanced to second when the Bulls left fielder made the catch of the tournament in foul territory but was unable to get the ball back in time to prevent some head's up baserunning by Franco who advanced to second. With two out Alexiou singled to right field to bring in the winning tally.
The evening game between the Maple Ridge J's and the Newton Beavers was a nail biter right from the start. J's starter Rob Gauthier and Newton starter Joey Gelz were outstanding and the J's made the most of their chances to jump out to a 2 - 0 lead. The Beavers managed to get one run back in the fifth and Beavers Mike Caleb pitched 4 hitless innings to keep them close. In the top of the ninth Beavers catcher Eythan Goulah who had three hits on the night just missed hitting a game tying home run before J's closer Ediner Figueroa recorded the last three outs. The J's and the Newton Pirates will meet in the Mathers Division finals in September.
Thanks to the New Westminster Twins, their friends and families, for hosting an outstanding day of baseball.
Saturday, August 26th
The day dawned brightly and the Twins crew was on hand by 7:30am to prepare everything for the first of two games featuring teams from the LMBA's 45+ Division. In the first game, the Vancouver Pirates outslugged the White Rock Legends by a 12 - 8 margin in the last league game for each squad. It had been seven years since players from both teams met at Queen's Park Stadium in the 50+ final of the Canadian National Oldtimers Baseball Championships in August, 2010. The second game epitomizes what the LMBA is actually about. The first place Delta Stars were without an opponent so an email was sent out to 641 LMBA members on Friday evening - no restrictions - bodies needed. Thirteen LMBA players from ten different teams and all three LMBA divisions showed up - ages ranged from 22 to 72. Dubbed the Hoboken Hobos, they played the Delta Stars to a 6 - 6 tie in a unique game that was all about playing the game. Nick Alexiou (Newton Pirates) showed up to get a few swings as he had missed his playoff game on August 19th - must have paid off as he drove in the winning run on Sunday. He was placed in center field so that everyone had time to adjust to the power of his throws (LOL!). There have been a number of "pick up" games this year and everyone should make sure to check out the next one - thanks to the guys who responded and trust you enjoyed the experience.
Two Bunnett 18+ Division semi finals completed an eventful day at Queen's Park. The seventh place South Delta Padres continued their upsetting ways as they put in a great all round performance in handling the # 1 seed Coquitlam Cardinals by an 8 - 1 score. This came a week after they had upset the # 2 Fraser Valley Chiefs on August 20th. Colin Hutchison and Nick Crema have pitched two outstanding games for the Padres and they have been backed up by an air tight defense. The second game was an eleven inning thriller that saw the sixth ranked Vancouver Blue Jays upsetting the # 5 ranked Vancouver Mounties by a razor-thin 3 - 2 score. In the bottom of the tenth with the score tied at 2 - 2, the Mounties loaded the bases with no outs - on a short fly ball to right field, the Mounties runner on third tagged and lit out for home - a great throw from the right fielder just barely nipped the runner in a very close play at home. The first year Blue Jays, who are playing their best ball of the year, pushed across a run in the top of the eleventh and closer Shiva Mudaliar recorded three straight outs after the Mounties had placed two runners on base. Prior to beating the Mounties, the Blue Jays had upset the third seeded Richmond A's on August 20 and will now host the South Delta Padres in the Bunnett Division final in September.
COMMITMENT ! ABOVE AND BEYOND ! THANK YOU NEW WESTMINSTER TWINS
THERE ARE MANY NUMBERS TO QUANTIFY THE GAMES PLAYED AT QUEEN'S PARK STADIUM ON AUGUST 19TH AND AUGUST 20TH - 8 FULL LENGTH ACTION PACKED 18+ PLAYOFF GAMES - 73 TOTAL INNINGS PLAYED - 24 HOURS STADIUM TIME. THE MOST IMPRESSIVE NUMBER, HOWEVER, WAS THE TOTAL HOURS PUT IN BY THE PLAYERS, COACHES, FAMILIES, AND FRIENDS OF THE NEW WESTMINSTER TWINS WHO ARE THE OFFICIAL HOSTS OF OUR 18+ PLAYOFFS FOR THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR. THE NUMBER OF JOBS REQUIRED A BIG NEED FOR VOLUNTEERS AND THE TWINS STEPPED UP BIG TIME.
PREPARATION BEGAN WEEKS IN ADVANCE AS TWINS MANAGEMENT PERSONEL RON SUFFRON AND PAUL HARRIS OBTAINED PERMITS FOR A BEER GARDEN AND CONCESSION AND WORKED WITH NEW WESTMINSTER PARKS TO COMPLETELY UPGRADE THE BASEBALL DIAMOND. ON FRIDAY EVENING (AUGUST 18) A SMALL GROUP CAME TO THE STADIUM TO DRAG THE INFIELD, SPRUCE UP THE MOUND AND HOME PLATE, PUT OUT TARPS, AND PAINT LINES ALL THE WAY OUT TO THE FOUL POLES.
ALTHOUGH STARTING TIME FOR THE FIRST GAMES WAS 9:00AM, CREWS WERE ON SITE AT 7:30AM BOTH DAYS TO COMPLETE FIELD PREPARATIONS, SET UP THE BEER GARDEN AND CONCESSION, AND BRING IN SUPPLIES AND A SOUND SYSTEM. EVEN THOUGH THE TWINS WERE TAKING ON THE TOP SEED COQUITLAM CARDINALS IN A 9:00AM START, THEY MADE SURE THE FIELD AND STADIUM COMPONENTS WERE READY TO GO! DESPITE A VERY TOUGH LOSS TO THE CARDINALS (WHICH MEANT THE END TO THEIR 2017 SEASON), THE TWINS AND THEIR SUPPORTERS CARRIED THROUGH THEIR OUTSTANDING LEVEL OF COMMITMENT FOR EACH OF THE 8 PLAYOFF GAMES. PLAYERS AND SPECTATORS WERE TREATED TO A GENUINE BASEBALL EXPERIENCE.
THE TWINS WILL BE REPEATING THE EXPERIENCE THIS COMING WEEKEND - SATURDAY, AUGUST 26TH AND SUNDAY, AUGUST 27TH (SEE SCHEDULE BELOW). THERE WILL OUTSTANDING BASEBALL FEATURING TEAMS FROM ALL THREE LMBA DIVISIONS AND SPECTATORS WILL BE TREATED TO A GREAT STADIUM EXPERIENCE. PLEASE TAKE TIME TO SUPPORT THE BEER GARDEN AND CONCESSION - ALL PROCEEDS WILL BE GOING TO NEW WESTMINSTER LITTLE LEAGUE. ABOVE, ALL PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE THE STADIUM WITHOUT PERSONALLY THANKING THE TWINS AND THEIR SUPPORTERS - THEY ARE TRULY AN OUTSTANDING GROUP AND WE ARE LUCKY TO HAVE THEM!
Announcement - LMBA Partners with Female Baseball Provincial Program
Announcement - LMBA & Baseball B.C. Female Baseball Development Program
From: Scott Mackenzie – Baseball B.C., Manager of Operation – Female Baseball
Ken Mackenzie – Head Coach - Team BC Women’s Baseball
Dan Taylor – Lower Mainland Baseball Association
The Lower Mainland Baseball Association is a supporter of women’s baseball development in British Columbia and has offered its assistance to Baseball B.C. For the past two years Amanda Asay, Team Canada All-World player, has played in the LMBA’s 30+ division on a semi-regular basis – a very good fit for both parties. Several of her team mates played in the LMBA’s 2016 Fall League and again, the opportunity resulted in a good result for both parties. Scott MacKenzie, Women’s National Team Coach, says “it’s a great league for our current players to be challenged & stay sharp and for any who want national or provincial opportunities competing with & against men can give you that edge…”
Several recent and potential developments in the baseball world may result in an opportunity for an all-female team to possibly play in the LMBA in 2018. Due to changing demographics within the LMBA and some possible developments in the PMBL (Men’s Senior League) the league may see an influx of teams for the 2018 season. It is possible that the 30+ division could result in two tiers of teams according to the level of its member teams. In discussions with Ken and Scott the possibility of entering a female team in one of the tiers is a distinct possibility.
During the 2017 season, the LMBA will be taking a deliberate approach to a structural re-organization for the 2018 season. For this year, the LMBA would welcome any female players to contact us if they are interested in playing on a regular or semi-regular basis to try out the situation. We would have you play in our 30+ division and are currently working out the logistics – mutual contact lists, and scheduling. Players would register through the LMBA website and any fees would be determined between players and the individual team depending upon frequency of participation.
I have asked Ken to forward this information to his contacts to gauge the level of interest and to begin making plans in the event that the possibility moves forward. Ken, Scott, and Dan would welcome any input and suggestions and we look forward to working cooperatively with everyone.
LMBA – www.ballcharts.com/lmba
Baseball BC Female Program - https://www.baseball.bc.ca/girls
Michael Yamaguchi Named as 2017 LMBA Umpire Allocator
Posted - January 7, 2016
The LMBA Executive is pleased to announce that Michael Yamaguchi has accepted the position of Umpire Allocator for the 2017 season. Michael will be replacing George Smith to whom we all owe a huge expression of appreciation for his efforts over the past three years. Michael was mentored by George in Richmond City Baseball and it was George who transitioned Michael into LMBA umpire assignments.
Michael has umpired in the LMBA for the past three seasons and he has risen rapidly in the umpire ranks - a process we expect to see him continue. In addition to his on-field assignments, Michael has been very busy off the diamond. He currently allocates for Richmond City Baseball and he is a member of BCBUA Executive serving as an area representative. Michael is also a keen supporter of the LMBA's umpire development program and he is looking forward to working with our umpire recruits. Michael is well connected to senior umpires and we look forward to seeing new and familiar faces on our fields this year.
We are excited to add Michael to the LMBA's team and we are looking forward to the positive support of our teams and players to all umpires this season.
NO, that is not Michael in the illustration.
LMBA UMPIRE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM FOR 2017 IN FULL SWING
Posted December 30, 2016
GENTLEMEN, LMBA LOOKING FOR ADDITIONAL UMPIRES FROM WITHIN OUR PLAYING RANKS - KEEP THE PROCESS GOING!!!!
LMBA UMPIRE DEVELOPMENT IN FULL SWING FOR 2017
FOR THE PAST THREE YEARS THE LMBA HAS ACTIVELY ENCOURAGED ITS PLAYERS TO CONSIDER JOINING OUR UMPIRE POOL – approximately one dozen LMBA players have stepped up to help us out and all of them are becoming good competent umpires – this coming year a couple are making the transition behind the plate.
For 2017 the LMBA will be expanding to 36 teams and coupled with developments in the umpire world, we need more of our members to join our umpire pool – WE ARE LOOKING FOR A DOZEN MORE UMPIRES, MOST LIKELY TO DO BASE ASSIGNMENTS.
LMBA umpires receive compensation equal to or exceeding most leagues - $95 for home plate assignments and $75 for base umpiring. We use only carded umpires so new umpires need to join British Columbia Baseball Umpires Association (BCBUA) and they are encouraged to take at least one umpire clinic prior to stepping on the diamond. The LMBA has a good reputation with our umpires as we operate from a position of supporting all umpires doing our games and our teams have been especially supportive of LMBA recruits during their initial assignments. Our schedule is published in February and we use a booking system that allows umpires to indicate their times available right through our schedule (April to August). There are three payment periods (April – June, July – August, and Playoffs). Some of our initial recruits are now being approached by other baseball organizations as starting out in the LMBA can lead to other opportunities.
AN INFORMATIONAL MEETING FOR ALL NEW UMPIRES FROM WITHIN THE LMBA WILL BE HELD ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 15TH at the EDMONDS CENTRE (7433 EDMONDS STREET) IN BURNABY FROM 3:30PM TO 5:30PM. Topics include BCBUA registration process, accessing and using the LMBA allocation system (Scheduler), a list of clinics throughout the Lower Mainland, and umpiring in the LMBA – expectations, questions.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO JOIN THE LMBA UMPIRE POOL IN 2017, PLEASE RESPOND TO DAN TAYLOR (email@example.com ) or (604) 512-7911 by Saturday, January 7th.
Coquitlam Cardinals 2016 LMBA 18+ Champs With Walk Off Win Over North Langley Expos
Posted December 26, 2016
Coquitlam Cardinals 2016 LMBA 18+ Champs
Ninth Inning Walk Off Win Against North Langley Expos in One of Best Ever LMBA Finals
The Coquitlam Cardinals and North Langley Expos battled it out at beautiful Robert Burnaby Park on a sunny Sunday, producing one of the closest final championship games in LMBA history. The Expos jumped out to a quick 4 - 0 lead but couldn't quite put away a powerful Cardinals squad. The Cards clawed their way back into the game one run at a time as spectators from both teams nervously watched both squads battle pitch by pitch in a closely fought contest that could have gone either way. The winning run was pushed across in the bottom of the ninth inning giving the Cardinals their third LMBA championship (2010, 2012, 2016). The Cardinals had reeled off three straight wins over the South Delta Padres, Maple Ridge J's, and Dewdney Bulls to reach the final.
The North Langley Expos were very worthy opponents - having finished fifth in their division during the regular season, the Expos defeated the fourth place Newton Royals, the first place Newton Beavers, and the second place Newton Pirates to reach the championship game. Their month long journey ended in a razor thin defeat by the Cardinals.
Congratulations to both teams for a great game and a great display of sportsmanship prior to, during, and after the game.
Thanks also to the blue crew - Mike Yamaguchi (plate), Greg Teasdale (1st) and Dave Wong (3rd) for a job well done!
Blue Jays 30+ Champs for Third Time in Total Team Performance
Posted December 26, 2016
BLUE JAYS TAKE THIRD 30+ CROWN IN STRONG TEAM PERFORMANCE AGAINST HOWE SOUND HOUNDS
THE TOP TWO TEAMS IN THE LMBA’S 30+ DIVISION MET FOR THE THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR IN A WELL-PLAYED FINAL AT ROBERT BURNABY. A STRONG TEAM PERFORMANCE FROM THE BLUE JAYS ENABLED THEM TO REVERSE RESULTS FROM THE PREVIOUS TWO FINALS. WITH THEIR VICTORY, THE BLUE JAYS BECAME 30+ CHAMPS FOR THE THIRD TIME – 2012, 2013, AND 2016.
PHOTO COURTESY OF MR. RON AMMER
REID WILDEMAN LED THE BLUE JAYS ATTACK WITH TWO HOME RUNS AND FIVE RUNS BATTED IN AND NARROWLY MISSED A THIRD DINGER WITH A LINE DRIVE THAT STRUCK THE BASE OF THE FENCE. THE JAYS MOUND CREW OF JEFF WEISBERGER AND JEFF AMMER LIMITED THE HARD-HITTING HOUNDS TO THREE RUNS (ONE EARNED RUN) AND VERY FEW OPPORTUNITIES. THEY WERE BACKED BY A STRONG DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCE, PARTICULARLY THE JAYS OUTFIELDERS WHO MADE SEVERAL OUTSTANDING PLAYS.
THE NINE TIME CHAMPIONS PLAYED RIGHT UP TO THE FINAL OUT BUT IT WAS NOT TO BE THEIR DAY. SIMON POND LED THE OFFENSE WITH A SOLO HOME RUN.
THE CHAMPIONSHIP CONTEST WAS SPLENDIDLY UMPIRED BY A LEGENDARY THREE MAN CREW – LEO GAUTHIER (HOME PLATE), EDDY LANG (1ST BASE) AND KEITH HARTUP (3RD BASE).
PHOTO COURTESY MR. RON AMMER
CONGRATULATIONS TO BOTH TEAMS FOR AN OUTSTANDING 2016 SEASON. WITH THEIR WIN, THE BLUE JAYS COMPLETED AN UNDEFEATED SEASON – 18 WINS AND 1 TIE GAME. A RESPECTFUL RIVALRY HAS DEVELOPED BETWEEN THESE TWO OUTSTANDING TEAMS AND THERE WILL UNDOUBTEDLY BE MANY MORE EXCITING GAMES BETWEEN THESE TWO SQUADS.
Pirates Three Peat as 45+ Champs in Walk Off Win
Posted December 26, 2016
PIRATES THREE-PEAT AS 45+ CHAMPS IN WALKOFF WIN OVER TOUGH LUCK STARS
THE LMBA’S 2016 SEASON CONCLUDED WITH A THIRD EPIC BATTLE IN THREE YEARS BETWEEN THE 45+ DIVISION’S TOP TWO TEAMS.
For the third straight year, the Delta Stars and Vancouver Pirates met to decide the league playoff winner for the 45+ Ray Edger Division and both teams did not disappoint in the tightly played contest at Robert Burnaby.
The Stars pitching duo of Rick Reining and Doug Simpson and the Pirates one/two of Kevin Gordon and Rick Morrow kept the game close for the entire contest. The Pirates scored 2 runs in the fourth while the Stars countered with one run in the fifth. The Pirates added one run in the sixth but the game was tied up on a clutch two out - two run single by the Stars Ron Pearce in the top of the seventh. The game remained tied until the bottom of the ninth when Pirates Rick Morrow hit a one out double to left centre field. Randy Coutts followed with a solid single to centre field to drive in the fourth and walk off run.
Both teams pounded out nine hits in the close affair and defensively, the Stars recorded three double plays while the Pirates responded with one double play of their own.
With the win the Pirates recorded their third straight championship and lots of credit to the Stars who played well, lost by a whisker, and demonstrated great class and sportsmanship. Thanks to Jerry Tregaskis (Home Plate) and Barrie Redekopp (Bases) for a well umpired game.
The Pirates are pictured with 2016 Americas Masters Games gold medals while the runner up Stars received silver medals - although a formal tournament for the Games did not materialize, the Games committee donated the commemorative medals to the LMBA and two very deserving teams were recognized.
Posted September 2, 2016
The 2016 Baseball Canada Women's Baseball Champions - Team BC
The 2016 Baseball Canada Women's Baseball Champions - Team BC
The ladies from BC ran the table with a perfect 6 and 0 record at this year's event in Red Deer, Alberta; culminating in a 9-8 walk off win against Ontario in the Gold Medal Game.
Amanda Assay and Clair Eccles led the way on the pitcher's mound and Stacy Fournier, joined both Amanda and Claire to lead the charge offensively.
This is the first Women's Open Championship for BC in the history of the event.
Special thanks to coaches Ken Mackenzie and Grant MacDougal as well as to team manager Diana Fournier.
Sixteen LMBA Masters Baseball Teams in Action on Opening Weeked for 2016 Americas Master Games
Posted August 29, 2016
16 Lower Mainland Baseball Association Teams in Action for 2016 Americas Masters Games Opening Weekend
Masters level baseball was very much in evidence during the opening weekend for the 2016 Americas Masters Games as 16 teams from the Lower Mainland Baseball Association were in action at the two official venues at UBC and at Hillcrest Park beside Nat Bailey Stadium.
Saturday, August 27th saw all six teams from the LMBA’s 45+Division complete their regular season schedule prior to the start of playoffs in September. At Hillcrest Park, the White Rock Legends solidified their hold on third place with a 7 – 4 victory over the Surrey Royals. Breakfast Television meteorologist Russ Lacate not only predicted outstanding weather he also put in a steady pitching performance for the White Rock Crew. Players from both teams were greatly impressed by the outstanding condition of Hillcrest Park – thanks to the combined efforts of the Vancouver Parks Department and Vancouver Community Baseball.
Two 45+ contests were played at UBC on the outstanding all weather turf field which serves as the home diamond for the powerhouse UBC Thunderbirds Collegiate team. The White Rock Eagles brought the big bats in the morning encounter as they downed the Richmond Monarchs by a score of 14 – 6. The feature game between the first place Vancouver Pirates and the second place Delta Stars did not disappoint as it took ten innings for the Stars to squeak out a narrow 7 – 6 win. By virtue of the victory, the Stars vaulted past the Pirates into first place.
Ten teams from the LMBA’s 30+ Division took to the diamonds on Sunday, August 28th with three games at UBC and two playoff games at Hillcrest Park.
In the first playoff game at Hillcrest Park the tenth ranked Surrey Sentinels pulled a major upset beating the seventh ranked Surrey Angels by a 7 to 5 margin. The win represented the first victory in 31 contests over two years for the very deserving Sentinels. The 8th ranked New Westminster Mariners brought the big bats in their 11 to 3 win over the 9th place Fraser Valley Cubs. Both the Mariners and Sentinels will advance to the LMBA 30+ playoffs in September.
At UBC, the top six teams in the 30+ Division finished off their regular season schedule with three well-played contests on the Thunderbirds home diamond. The Richmond Rainiers clinched third place with an 8 – 4 victory over the Burnaby Pirates, while the Howe Sound Hounds wrapped up second place with an 8 to 2 win over the Vancouver A’s. The Burnaby Blue Jays had clinched first place several weeks ago, but they completed an undefeated season with a solid 8 – 3 win over the Aldergrove Giants. Apparently the Blue Jays uniforms attracted considerable attention as several spectators took “selfies” with the players.
Approximately 200 players from Canada’s largest adult baseball league took part in the 2016 Americas Masters Games contests on two outstanding baseball venues and they certainly enjoyed being part of this inaugural event. Baseball action will conclude on Saturday, September 3rd at Hillcrest Park with an All Star Game between teams from the LMBA’s 45+ Division. First pitch is at 10:00am and everyone is welcome.