With the first pitch in the late-afternoon sun at Lon Miles Field on Friday, Sept. 10, men’s baseball in the Alberni Valley was reborn.
For the first time in a number of years a Senior Men’s Baseball Fall League has formed, riding on the momentum of a successful summer for the Port Alberni Cubs oldtimers’ baseball club.
The Cubs are an Over-55 team that Kelly McGiffin formed last spring with the intention of competing with a similar team in the Comox Valley. The seven-game Island series drew interest from younger players, and the senior men’s league was born.
A draft of interested players was held Aug. 31 and three teams were formed: the Angels, Athletics and Pirates.
The difference for the fall ball league is it was opened to any men 19 and over that graduated from minor baseball programs, and players must be at least 45 years old to pitch. The league was limited to 60 players arranged into three teams. There are some rule differences to regular men’s baseball: pitchers are limited to three innings, and the games go to seven innings instead of nine.
The end goal for McGiffin and his Cubs’ teammates is to grow the game to include Over-55, Over-35, Senior Baseball and Minor Baseball in the Alberni Valley.
On opening day, the Angels defeated the A’s 8-1, scoring a few late-inning runs to break open what had been a tight 3-1 contest.
In a doubleheader on Sunday, Sept. 12, the Pirates lost a tense 6-5 contest to the Athletics (A’s) in the morning and then dropped a 12-1 decision to the Angels in the afternoon.
The three teams will play a six-week schedule with games on Friday nights at 5:30 p.m. and Sundays until Oct. 17 at Lon Miles Field at Klitsa Park (4000 Compton Road). The next game takes place Friday, Sept. 17 at 5:30 p.m. There are no games scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend.
To follow the teams, go to the Port Alberni Cubs page on Facebook.