They might be Giants
Sooners to honour 1959 New Waterford Giants before Saturday games
The Sydney Sooners will acknowledge Cape Breton’s baseball past when the team hosts the Dartmouth Moosehead Dry in a clash of the league’s top teams.
The first place Sooners (12-5) kick off a three-game weekend series tonight against secondplace Dartmouth (11-5) at the Susan McEachern Memorial Ball Park in Sydney.
The two teams will play a doubleheader Saturday, but prior to the first game, the Sooners, in conjunction with the Maritime Sport Hall of Fame, will pay tribute to the 1959 New Waterford Giants, the first Cape Breton team to win a Maritimes senior baseball championship. “It’s very important to us to honour the Giants so we’re asking everybody to come to the ball park early on Saturday for a brief ceremony,” said longtime Sooners manager Jim (Rico) McEachern.
“There was some real good baseball around here in those days, just as there is now, so we’re hoping to get a good turnout.”
McEachern said he expects several of the ‘59 Giants, who were inducted into the Maritime Sport Hall of Fame earlier this year, will be on hand for the 11:55 a.m. ceremony that starts just prior to the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.
The Sooners, who have relied on strong pitching all season, will be without 19-year-old pitcher Logan Aker, who is taking part in the Canadian Big League championships in Calgary as a member of the Cape Breton Dodgers.
Aker’s spot on the Sydney roster will be taken by Australian hurler Tyler Anderson, who spent time with the team back in 2010.
“It’s great to be back — I’ve always enjoyed it here and this time I brought my wife with me,” said Anderson, who came to the attention of the Sooners through catcher Matt Denney after the two played together at William Woods University in Missouri.
“I’ve tried to keep my arm strong and loose — hopefully I’ll get a chance to come in and help the team.”
For his part, McEachern said he welcomes Anderson’s presence on the team, even if it is only temporary as the native of Perth has commitments back in New Hampshire, where he is a baseball coach at the prestigious Dartmouth College, an Ivy League school.
Pitching was a question mark for the two-time defending Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League champions heading into the season as workhorse Paul Doucette opted not to play in 2015.
But veterans Nate Brewer, Anthony Ianetti and Justin Brewer have done a good job, while teenagers Aker and Reilly O’Rourke have already earned the trust of their skipper.
“No matter what happens, this will be a good series — Dartmouth is always dangerous and you can never count them out, it will be a good test,” said McEachern.
Tonight’s game starts at 7 p.m., while the Saturday twinbill is scheduled for noon and 3 p.m.
Australian pitcher Tyler Anderson is joining the Sydney Sooners for their three-game weekend series against the Dartmouth Moosehead Dry. The 27-year-old hurler, who is a baseball coach at Ivy League school Dartmouth in New Hampshire, played with the Sooners in 2010. Anderson took part in a couple of games earlier this season when the Sydney squad was on the road.