Hamil­ton old­timers host ‘a spe­cial one’

The Hamilton Spectator - - FOOD - TERI PECOSKIE tpecoskie@thes­pec.com 905-526-3368 | @Te­ri­atTheSpec

The na­tional old­timers base­ball cham­pi­onship is re­turn­ing to Hamil­ton for its sil­ver an­niver­sary.

More than 30 teams from across the coun­try will con­verge on the city for the five-day tour­na­ment start­ing Aug. 3.

Hamil­ton was also home to the first ever old­timers cham­pi­onship in 1993.

“I just went out on a limb and said we’ll do it just be­cause it is a spe­cial one,” said tour­na­ment co­or­di­na­tor Phil Beau­doin. “That was the main rea­son.”

Hamil­ton, which was also home to the 1996 and 2008 na­tion­als, is the only city in On­tario to have hosted more than once.

Ac­cord­ing to Beau­doin, this year’s con­test will fea­ture nearly 600 play­ers in four di­vi­sions — 35 and over, 43 and over, 50 and over, and 57 and over — and take over eight di­a­monds in Hamil­ton, Dundas, An­caster and Wa­ter­down.

It will also in­clude a ban­quet din­ner and an ap­pear­ance by for­mer ma­jor league pitcher Fer­gu­son Jenk­ins, the first Cana­dian to be in­ducted into the Na­tional Base­ball Hall of Fame.

Beau­doin, 75, co-founded the Hamil­ton Old­timers Base­ball Or­ga­ni­za­tion — HOBO, for short — in 1987. Since then, the league has grown from two teams to eight teams this year.

Roughly a third of HOBO’s 150 play­ers will be play­ing for a na­tional ti­tle in one of three di­vi­sions. Teams from nearby com­mu­ni­ties, such as Burling­ton and Wel­land, have also reg­is­tered, and the Oakville Golden A’s will be go­ing for a third straight ti­tle in the 50 and over com­pe­ti­tion.

An­other team from Oakville, the Old A’s, won the in­au­gu­ral cham­pi­onship in Hamil­ton 25 years ago.

While it’s al­ways dif­fi­cult to pre­dict favourites, Beau­doin said he ex­pects Regina as well as two On­tario teams — Till­son­burg and Wood­slee — to put up a good fight this year. He also said to keep an eye out for the club from Carn­duff, Sask., which is out to de­fend its 35 and over tro­phy.

Only three Hamil­ton teams have won ti­tles in the his­tory of the event — the Sil­ver­hawks in 2008 and the Steal­ers in 2002 and 2006. For more in­for­ma­tion on this year’s con­test, visit cnobf2017.com.

JOHN REN­NI­SON, THE HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR

Phil Beau­doin is or­ga­niz­ing the 25th an­nual na­tional old­timers base­ball cham­pi­onships in Hamil­ton.

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