LOVE OF THE GAME
Charlottetown Jays giving veterans an opportunity to keep playing favourite sport
The bantering started when the first players arrived at the field and continued until they pulled out of the parking lot.
However, the camaraderie was on full display as the Charlottetown Jays played the Morell Chevies Wednesday during Kings County Baseball League (KCBL) action at Memorial Field.
The Jays transformed their squad into an old-timers team this year with guys ranging from their mid-30s to their early 50s.
“Getting some of these guys back out and playing again has really sort of rekindled that love of the game, the camaraderie of being on a team and the competitiveness of playing the sport that we all love,” said playercoach Greg Stapleton. “It’s been fun this year.”
The laughs started early. As Thane Arsenault hit a first-inning pitch into left field and turned for second he said, “Taxi.” It put runners on second and third with no out. Mike Roberts followed with a double of his own to score one run. He looked 90 feet away and saw Arsenault at third and joked, “You didn’t score?”
Craig Cooper grounds out to second to cash Arsenault and Roberts gives Arsenault the gears again.
“Give the RBI to Coop,” he said.
Cooper said it’s a lot of fun being back on the field.
“There’s a lot of guys out here who have been out of the game
for a few years and still have the love of the game and are excited to be back,” the catcher and team leader said. “We all share a common interest – staying involved in the game.”
The Jays play every Wednesday at Memorial Field. They bat all their players and substitute in the field freely.
The team hasn’t won this year in four games, but Cooper said
the players are hitting the ball better, getting consistent pitching and, most importantly, having fun.
“It all starts with Terry MacDonald, our buddy, Bubba,” Cooper said. “We can’t figure out how old he is, but his personality starts the whole thing and it goes from there.”
Cooper is part of a group trying to bring the Canadian
old-timers championship to Charlottetown in 2018. He played on the Island squad that made the final when the tournament was here in 2012.
“I figured that if we’re going to play in the old-timers next year that I should probably get on the field again and still see if there’s still some game in the old body,” he said before taking the field.
The Charlottetown Jays is an old-timers team playing in the Kings County Baseball League. From left are Greg Stapleton, Craig Cooper and Brodie Hughes, who is one of the youngest members of the squad.
Thane Arsenault, of the Charlottetown Jays, scores ahead of the tag from Morell Chevies catcher Cole MacLaren during Wednesday’s Kings County Baseball League contest at Memorial Field.