Nanaimo’s baseball community has whole field of dreams in mind for the sport locally, and it starts this month with Baseball Week in Nanaimo.
The Serauxmen Stadium Amateur Baseball Association and other groups are planning to put on more than a week’s worth of games and other activities from July 21-27.
“This is meant to get out in the community and raise the awareness of baseball in Nanaimo,” said Lorne Goodall, association president.
Headlining the week will be former Toronto Blue Jays second baseman and Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar, who will be coming back to the Harbour City with other players that week. The Blue Jays Baseball Academy will be hosting camps and Jays alumni will be guest coaches at a charity softball game raising money for Alomar’s Foundation 12.
A few nights later, there will be high-calibre baseball at the stadium as the Victoria HarbourCats of the West Coast League will play an exhibition game against a Nanaimo all-star team.
The Honda Super Camp will be held at the Serauxmen Sports Fields on July 24-25, and the names being advertised are Alomar, Lloyd Moseby, Jesse Barfield, Brian McRae, Ricky Romero and J.P. Arencibia.
“Super Camps teach youths the skills and techniques fundamental to the game of baseball,” noted a Blue Jays press release.
“And who’s better to pass on their learnings to the next generation of players than actual major leaguers?”
The charity softball game will be July 24, with the HarbourCats game on July 27.
Many other levels of baseball have been invited to be part of Baseball Week in Nanaimo. The Hub City Paving Mid-Island Pirates premier team has a doubleheader against the North Delta Blue Jays on July 22 and the junior Pirates, Nanaimo Minor Baseball Association teams and Nanaimo Coal Miners senior men’s baseball teams will also be in action.
Organizers hope that people who come to the games will enjoy the atmosphere at the ballpark and envision what the stadium can be some day.
“The plan is to set it up as a real class stadium,” said Goodall, talking about his association’s long-term goals. “To renovate the whole grandstand and professional style screening, and there’ll be a proper concession that faces the field and beer gardens and proper areas for the players to warm up. And the main fence will come down, so people will be able to look from the road.”
GAME ON … Tickets to the charity softball game July 24 and West Coast League game July 27 are $10 each, available at the door or in advance at Kirby’s Source for Sports and Centre Court Collectibles. Children under 13 years old will be admitted free. Both games start at 6 p.m. at Serauxmen Stadium.