Whether players have a future career as a professional player or this is their last competitive game, the Baseball Canada Midget Championships being held in London in mid-August will provide some long lasting memories for all of the participants.
Former London Badger Chris Robinson, who is currently with the Chicago Cubs AAA affiliate in Des Moines, Iowa, has fond memories of winning the 2001 Baseball Canada Midget Championship with the Badgers in Stonewall, Manitoba. “Believe it or not, even though our experience was almost 10 years ago, I can recall pretty much all the details about the entire tournament. I remember the hotel we stayed in, I remember all the games we played, and especially I remember the bus rides from the field to the hotel each night.”
The Badgers won the 2009 championship last summer in Fredericton and are all geared up to defend that championship and give the London Badger program their third Canadian Championship since their inception in 1994.
Second-year midget player Matt Hexter, who made the trip to the nationals last season, also talked about the excitement of last year’s semi-final thriller when Cam Firth broke a scoreless tie with a two-out home run in the bottom of the seventh inning, “It is something I don’t think I will ever forget because it was such an incredible moment.”
The memories for this year's event will begin Aug. 19 at 9 a.m. with games at Labatt Park, Dan Pulham Memorial Field and Emslie Field in St. Thomas. The Badgers will be playing twice on opening day. They will play Manitoba at 9 a.m. and, following the opening ceremonies, they will face Alberta at 6 p.m. Both of those games will be at Labatt Park.
There will be many lifelong memories for those who will participate in this important tournament, but as Chris Robinson said, it is more than just the memories of winning. It is about the total experience, and the organizing committee has plans in place to ensure everyone who visits London for the event will go home with a positive experience they will never forget.
The gold medal game is being held on Sunday, Aug. 22, at 6 p.m. at Labatt Park.