Making a classic
Baseball CBN hopes annual tournament is a hit
With any luck the Baseball CBN Bulldogs Classic will soon establish itself as one of the premier tournaments in the province.
Generally held at the beginning of the baseball season, the tournament starts its second running later this week.
“Every year, we got to the west coast for the Mary Tavenor Memorial tournament,” said CBN president Neil Shute. “We’d like teams to think of our tournament like they do that one.”
If the number of teams who plan on attending is any indication, Baseball CBN is well on its way to reaching their goal.
From June 30-July 3, 25 teams in three divisions from across the province will descend on ballfields in Spaniard’s Bay, Upper Island Cove and Harbour Grace for the classic.
The number of teams registered is up from last year, which came in at 23 squads.
There are nine bantam teams, eight peewee and eight mosquito teams heading this way. The bantam tourney is scheduled to be played in Habrour Grace, while Island Cove hosts peewee and Spaniard’s Bay wel- comes the mosquito games.
“The spots filled quickly,” said Shute.
“We had some good response. Within a few days, we had emails from teams saying they were coming. We had all of the spots filled in a week.”
The classic is primed to be one of the better kick-off tournaments on this side of the province. Many of the top teams are scheduled to make the trek into Conception Bay North for some high quality ball.
It’ll be a good chance for coaches and players to gauge where they are and get a clear vision of where they need to go as the summer schedule heats up heading further into July.
Hoping for good weather
Baseball is a sport that needs good weather to be a hit. You can play in some drizzle or soggy conditions, but any heavy rain or puddled fields is sure to cause organizers trouble.
That has Shute and the rest of organizing committee checking forecasts and crossing fingers.
“We’re hoping we get some decent weather,” he said. “We know we can’t control that.”
Last year’s tournament was hindered by some rain on the opening night.
That forced teams to adjust their schedule, but it didn’t lengthen the tournament for any extended period of time.
If it’s any consolation, The Weather Network has the region experiencing temperatures in the high teens with a mix of sun and cloud.
There’s been plenty of hype around the ballfield in Island Cove, with its lights erected and fully operational.
Shute said that while each division is playing at a different field, the schedule is giving each home team the chance to get one game in under the lights.
That starts with the mosquito group on Thursday night.
Baseball CBN Bulldogs’ player Dylan Whelan delivers a pitch to the plate during last year’s Bulldog Classic.