The League is looking to register all players, managers, coaches, governors, and umpires who have worked or played in the North Central Alberta Baseball League over the course of the past forty-nine years. We want everyone who was ever associated with the League in any capacity to provide us with a name, an E-mail address and a current telephone number. In about a week, look us up on Facebook, and leave us with your contact information. We will be building our alumni directory over the next six months in preparation for the launch of our 50th Anniversary Celebrations next season. Everyone who registers will be receiving via E-mail or regular mail if need be an invitation to both of our major alumni events planned for 2017. Keep Sunday, July 16th,
open on your calendar for a very special All-Star Game to include a huge tailgate party
and lots of local entertainment. Hosted by the Orioles and the Town of Barrhead, this will surely be a highlight. But the event of the half century will be taking place from August 18 through 20th in Westlock Alberta during the Westlock and District Agricultural Fair. On that week-end, our alumni from all five decades of North Central Alberta baseball will be gathering for the biggest reunion ever. Whether you are planning on driving, bringing along your holiday trailer, or flying to be part of this historic event matters not. But everyone who has donned a uniform and proudly played the game in the NCABL should mark their calendar now. Details of planned events will be forthcoming in short order, but first let’s get your name on that registry.
Blackhawks Off To Fast Start
It isn’t just the six consecutive regular season wins nor the sanctioned tournament victory in the Rainmaker Invitational Tournament last month that impresses the baseball pundits in the NCABL as the season revs up. Rather it is how easy the Blackhawks have made it all look that is making heads turn of late. Bolstered by the return of two key players to their line-up, namely Jamie Gregg and Kevin Stork, the already well balanced Blackhawks have taken their game to the next level. Sadly, their perennial thorn in the side Axemen have been unable to rise to the challenge of matching the Blackhawks with the loss of key personnel in the likes of Riley Guntrip, Dylan Borman, and Chance Wheatley. The Axemen veterans have been playing well of late but a deep bench is everything in a long season which is why holding on to second place might pose to be too big a challenge.
The Mets have also strengthened their roster particularly with the return of Josh Turner on the hill and of Kyle Radke at shortstop, but the Mets collectively have not yet found their A-game. The Red Lions have returned with much the same line-up they fielded for the 2015 Championship Final Series. Although the Red Lions generally play a fundamentally sound defensive game and their bats generally can manufacture runs, the club has laboured early in the season and a few clubs have been able to take advantage of these lapses. Although it may be too early to predict whether the Primeaus can continue to challenge the leaders in the pack, there is a sense early on in this season that for at least half of the clubs, reaching that plateau of .500 baseball may require a magical turnaround.
Starchuk-Semeniuk Memorial Tournament Rained Out
Gary Macyk has been running the Starchuk-Semeniuk Memorial Tournament in Waskatenau for all of its twenty-four year run, but despite his expertise at putting on a fine “good old country baseball tournament”, Gary has not found a way to keep mother nature from raining on his parade. To say that the Starchuk-Semeniuk Tournament has had its share of rain over the years would be a major understatement. Following the opening game of the tournament on Friday night which saw the hometown Chiefs drop a 13 - 5 decision to the Westlock Red Lions, the clouds lingered until morning when incessant rain simply played havoc with the playing field and offered no opportunity to resume this very popular event in the NCABL calendar. The second of four sanctioned tournaments was officially rained out, but the promise of an eight team 25th anniversary tournament in the League’s 50th season of operation promises to bring back many to the confines of Pine Creek Park.
NCABL Returns to Lac la Biche
Only two years have passed since the Town of Lac la Biche celebrated the 100th anniversary of the introduction of baseball to its town. With the assistance of Commissioner Riopel, the Pow Wow Days Association put on a first class senior AA tournament during the 2014 August long week-end. It was announced last Thursday that the NCABL would again be participating in yet another Pow Wow Days sponsored baseball tournament which hopes to attract six quality clubs from different leagues across the province for a three day tournament. The tournament will also include a four team single A division from the locality which will largely be scheduled on Friday, July 29th. Commissioner Riopel has been given the green light to provide at least three of the clubs which will be competing in Lac la Biche on July 30, 31, and August 1. It has been announced that a $5000 prize package will be offered during this tournament which will be officiated using an NCABL crew. Clubs interested in applying should contact Commissioner Riopel without delay for details. A refundable performance bond will be required of every applicant.
Circling the Bases Offers Up To The Minute News From Around The League
Players and fans are reminded to tune in every Monday evening to Circling the Bases, an informative weekly talk show featuring host Earl Thompson who shares news and views from across the entire League. From up to date signings, to injury reports, to analysis on the state of certain teams, Earl is the voice of the NCABL. If you have an interesting baseball story to tell, Earl would be interested in hearing from you. To reach Earl, go to www.ncabl.ab.ca and scroll down contacts to “officials”.