This Year in Baseball is a regular feature on Baseball.ca that will preview the year ahead in baseball from the 10 Provincial organizations. As we move across the nation from West to East, we take an in-depth look at Baseball New Brunswick.
It will be a busy summer in New Brunswick as the province will host two National Championships during the month of August. The biggest event on the calendar is the Baseball Canada Cup which is heading to Moncton from August 10th- 15th. Two weeks (August 25th - 29th) later the Senior Men’s National Championship will head to baseball hotbed Miramichi where host Chatham will welcome the top Senior Men’s clubs in the country.
Baseball New Brunswick’s new Executive Director, Dan Murphy says that both local organizing committees’ are working hard in preparation of the events.
“They’re both big baseball towns so the support from the community should be quite good,” he said. “I’m expecting some big crowds at both events.”
Moncton has a strong hosting background as they hosted the Canada Cup in 1994 where Team Saskatchewan took home the Gold Medal and a young Ryan Dempster, now of the Chicago Cubs, was pitching for Team BC.
Moncton welcomed the world three years later as they played host to the 1997 World Junior Baseball Championship where Canada was a co-winner of the Bronze Medal along with Team USA. The Bronze Medal game could not be played due to rain.
The Selects club that will represent New Brunswick at the Baseball Canada Cup, under the guidance of Manager Mark Noel, is busy preparing for the event.
“The team is playing exhibition games in our Junior League and there are some tournaments planned in advance of the Cup,” explained Murphy.
On the Senior Men’s side of things, Baseball Canada Vice-President and former big-leaguer Jason Dickson will toe the rubber for the host Chatham Ironmen, one of two New Brunswick representatives along with the Fredericton Royals.
“We’re really looking forward to a great event in Miramichi since there is a healthy base of support from the community,” added Murphy.
Murphy has hit the ground running since taking over as Executive Director in January and has high hopes for his new position.
“We’re looking to develop a strategic plan for the organization,” he said. “We want to have something in place in terms of where we want to see ourselves in five years.”
One focus will be on the implementation of the Rally Cap program in more associations across the province. There have been some new associations that have come on board with Rally Cap this season, but there is still work to do.
“We’ve had some new association’s pick-up Rally Cap which is encouraging,” relayed Murphy. “We’re making progress but we still have a ways to go.”
In the end, baseball is alive and well in New Brunswick, from the high performance level right on down to the grassroots level there is strong volunteer and community support. If you’re out on the east coast this summer, swing by Miramichi or Moncton for one of the National Championships, you won’t regret it!
To find out more about Baseball New Brunswick visit: www.baseballnb.ca