1997 New Brunswick Major Leaguers

NB players

This is the first post in a new series where I will be posting a picture and writing a short paragraph about said picture.

Above is a lithograph printed during the 1997 Major League season.  The picture celebrates the three New Brunswickers that played in the Majors that season.  First is Matt Stairs pictured as an Oakland Athletic (above) and below as a Fredericton Schooner, his amateur team.  In the middle is Jason Dickson, headshot as an Anaheim Angel and below pictured as a Chatham Ironmen.  Last but not least, is Rheal Cormier who was playing for the Montreal Expos that season.  Below he is pictured with the Moncton Mets.  There were three New Brunswick players on Opening Day rosters in 1997, more than any other Canadian province.

Dickson was an All-Star that season.  Due to injuries, that season and 1998 were his only full seasons in the Major Leagues.  This was Stairs’ first full season in the Majors and first in Oakland after brief stops in Montreal and Boston.  Stairs would last in MLB until 2011 when he retired from the Washington Nationals.  Cormier was the veteran of the NB crew, as 1997 was his seventh MLB season.  He would only pitch 1.1 innings that year due to injuries.  Cormier missed the entire 1998 season (when he was Cleveland Indians property).  He would retire after the 2007 season was a member of the Cincinnati Reds.

This picture is courtesy of icollector.com.

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Syndey Mines Ramblers Uniform

While doing some research for this blog, I came across these beauties.  Recently someone put an old Sydney Mines Ramblers uniform on Ebay.

I am not sure of the authentically of this uniform but I am willing to trust that the authenticity is legit.  The uniform was worn my the Ramblers team of the Cape Breton Colliery League in the late 1930’s.  It was manufactured by a company called Empire (“The Emblem of Satisfaction”) of New York City.  The company’s tag can be seen on the back of the neck area in the second photograph above.  The number on this jersey is 3.  I am not sure who wore the number/uniform for the team.

The three Major Leaguers that wore this uniform are Al Blanche, Connie Creeden and Bill Marshall.  The Ramblers best season came in 1937, when they finished 27-21 and finished tied (Sydney) in second place.  The Steel Citians would beat them two games to none in the semifinal round.  They didn’t qualify for the playoffs in 1938 or 1939.  The Ramblers played their home games at Brown Street Field

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Atlantic Canadians at the World Baseball Classic & Olympics

2093

Here is a rundown of the Maritimers that have represented Canada at all four World Baseball Classics.  Also included are the Maritimers who played Olympic baseball for Canada.

World Baseball Classic:
2006:
Rheal Cormier, pitcher: Moncton, New Brunswick; Philadelphia Phillies
Matt Stairs, outfield: Fredericton, New Brunswick; Kansas City Royals

2009:
Matt Stairs, outfield: Fredericton, New Brunswick; Philadelphia Phillies

2013:
Jay Johnson, pitcher: Sussex Corner, New Brunswick; Reading Phillies (Philadelphia)

2017:
Andrew Case, pitcher: Saint John, New Brunswick; Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto)

Olympics:
2008:
Rheal Cormier, pitcher: Moncton, New Brunswick; Moncton Mets

2004:
Jason Dickson, pitcher: Chatham, New Brunswick; Omaha Royals (Kansas City)

1988:
Rheal Cormier, pitcher: Moncton, New Brunswick
Frank Humber, pitcher: Corner Brook, Newfoundland
Matt Stairs, outfield: Fredericton, New Brunswick

Worth Noting: Jay Johnson was also a member of the 2011 Gold Medal winning Pan-American Games team in Mexico.

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South Street Field, Glace Bay

south-street-field

This Google Street View image shows what South Street Field looks like today.

The Glace Bay Miners of the old Cape Breton Colliery League played their home games at South Street Field.  At 59°57’02.75″ west, this the most easterly park in Organized Baseball history.  The field is still in use today, assuming that the softball field on South Street is the former baseball field.

The Miners were members of the Colliery League for its entire three-year (1937-39) existence as a pro loop.  They were also members of the league prior to 1937 when it operated as an amateur league.  The transition to professional baseball began in 1935 as teams were allowed three imports.  The league became fully professional in 1937.  The town of Glace Bay renovated the facility in preparation of professional baseball in 1937 by fixing up the bleachers and fences.  Further upgrades were made in 1939.  These consisted of moving the fences in eight feet and standardizing the height at eight feet.  The Miners had to pay rent to use the facility while local amateur teams got to use it for free.

Major Leaguers who called the South Street Field home were Freddie Maguire of the 1937 Miners (618 career MLB games with the Boston Braves).  The 1938 Miners featured Major League veterans Del Bissonette (604 career games with the Brooklyn Dodgers) and Bill Chamberlain (12 games with the White Sox in 1932).  Bissonette also served as the Miners manager.  The 1939 teams was managed by former Philadelphia Athletic and Detroit Tiger Roy Moore.

Assuming that I am correct, the field was later transformed into softball field.  Due to the smaller dimensions used for softball, home plate was moved up 100 or so feet.  I am not sure when this conversation took place.

As on early 2017, the site is scheduled for an upgrade.

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Chatham Ironmen vs. Team USA

ironmen-park

Ironmen Park was the venue for the Charham vs. USA game.  Note: image not from the USA game, courtesy of basenallNB on Twitter.

On August 5, 1997 the Chatham Ironmen hosted Team USA junior team.  This was Team USA’s final warmup for the World Junior tournament that was held in Moncton that year.  The Ironmen would finish the 1997 season with a 17-9 record.  David Godfrey would be a first team All-Star while Matt Jenkins and Terry Leggatt would be second team All-stars.  Jenkins would go on to win the NBSBL’s defensive player of the year award.  The Americans, meanwhile finished their pre-tournament with a record of 12-1.  Their lone loss was a 4-3 decision to the Ontario Blue Jays on July 25 in Toronto.  As mentioned in the 1997 World Junior Roster/Future post, many members of Team USA went on to professional careers.

I was able to find the game story and boxscore of this game on the USA Baseball site, via the Way Back Machine.  The game story errored by saying the game was in Quebec City (where the team played three previous exhibitions).  The game lasted seven innings.

Game Story:

GAME #13

August 5, 1997

USA POUNDS CHATHAM IRONMEN 10-0
Cuddyer’s three hits pace USA

Quebec City, Quebec, Canada —
Michael Cuddyer (Chesapeake, VA / Great Bridge HS) had three hits, including a pair of doubles and a three-run homer to lead the USA Baseball Junior National Team to a 10-0 victory over the Chatham Ironmen here Tuesday night.

The win improved the USA to 12-1 on its summer tour as they concluded the preliminary exhibition schedule prior to the International Baseball Association’s World Junior Championship that begins in Moncton, New Brunswick, this Friday.

Cuddyer, who leads the USA in batting with a .488 mark, doubled his first two times at the plate and then capped his night with a three-run homer over the left center field wall to conclude the USA scoring in the sixth.

The USA had three pitchers combine for a one-hitter against the Ironment. Chad Cislak (Tucson, AZ / Sabino HS) tossed the first four innings and surrendered just two walks, while fanning four to record the win and up his mark to 3-0 for the tour.

Will Rosellini (Dallas, TX / Jesuit HS) pitched a perfect fifth inning and Mike Smalley (Maitland, FL / Bishop Moore HS) tossed the final two frames. The no-hitter was broken up off Smalley with one out in the sixth.

Offensively, the USA recorded double-digit hits for the seventh straight game as Seth Davidson (San Diego, CA / Univ. of San Diego HS) and Austin Kearns (Lexington, KY / Lafayette HS) joined Cuddyer in the multiple hits column with two apiece.

Next Up: The International Baseball Association’s World Junior Championship will begin Friday, August 8. The USA will open the tournament with Chinese Taipei in a 3 p.m. (AST) contest.

Box Score:

		Chatham vs USA Junior National Team  August 5, 1997 at Chatham, N.B.

Chatham 0                                                           USA Junior National Team 10 (12-1)

Name (Pos)                 AB  R  H RBI  BB SO PO  A                Name (Pos)                 AB  R  H RBI  BB SO PO  A
----------------------------------------------------                ----------------------------------------------------
Murphy ss.................  4  0  1  0    0  0  1  2                Davidson, Seth 2b.........  3  2  2  1    1  0  0  5 
Morris 1b.................  2  0  0  0    0  0  1  0                Laird, Jerry cf...........  3  1  0  0    0  1  0  0 
  Jardine ph/1b...........  0  0  0  0    1  0  3  0                  Crespo Manny cf.........  1  1  1  0    0  0  0  0 
Sutton c..................  3  0  0  0    0  1  4  0                Cuddyer, Michael ss.......  3  3  3  3    1  0  1  2 
Saunders dh...............  2  0  0  0    1  1  0  0                Ankiel, Rick lf...........  2  0  0  1    1  1  1  0 
C. McCarthy rf............  2  0  0  0    0  0  3  0                Holliday, Matt rf.........  3  1  1  2    0  0  0  0 
  Moar rf.................  1  0  0  0    0  0  2  0                Kearns, Austin 1b.........  4  1  2  0    0  1 10  1 
Doucette lf...............  1  0  0  0    2  0  1  0                McKinley, Josh 3b.........  2  0  0  0    0  0  0  0 
Godfrey cf................  2  0  0  0    1  2  2  1                Rosellini, Will p.........  0  0  0  0    1  0  0  0 
Doyle 2b..................  1  0  0  0    0  1  0  0                  Smalley, Mike p.........  0  0  0  0    0  0  0  1 
  MacDonald 2b............  1  0  0  0    1  0  1  1   	   Pratt, Trent c............  2  1  1  0    0  1  5  0
Sullivan 3b...............  1  0  0  0    0  1  0  0      	   Closser, J.D ph/c.......  1  0  0  0    0  0  3  0
  Ogilvie 3b..............  2  0  0  0    0  2  0  0    	   Cislak, Chad p............  1  0  0  0    0  0  1  1
Guitard p.................  0  0  0  0    0  0  0  0      	   Hill, Koyie ph/3b.......  2  0  0  0    0  0  0  0
  Godin p.................  0  0  0  0    0  0  0  1
  Sanford p...............  0  0  0  0    0  0  0  0

Totals.................... 22  0  1  0    6  8 18  5                Totals.................... 27 10 10  7    4  4 21 10 

Score by innings:                      R  H  E
----------------------------------------------
Chatham               000 000 0     -  0  1  4
USA Junior Nat'l Team 303 103       - 10 10  1
----------------------------------------------

E - MacDonald, Godfrey, Sutton, Doyle, Closser. 
LOB - Chatham 7, USA 5.
2B - Cuddyer 2(6), Davidison (7), Holliday (9), Kearns (8). 
HR - Cuddyer (4). 
SB - Davidson (10), Holliday (6), Pratt (3).
SF - Ankiel, Holliday.

Chatham                IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  	                    USA Junior Nat'l Team  IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  
-----------------------------------------------------               -----------------------------------------------------
Guitard.............  3.0   5   6   3   1   3                  	    Cislak, Chad........  4.0   0   0   0   2   4
Godin...............  2.0   2   1   1   3   1                 	    Rosellini, Will.....  1.0   0   0   0   0   1   
Sanford.............  1.0   3   3   3   0   0		    Smalley, Mike.......  2.0   1   0   0   4   3

Winner - Cislak 3-0.  Loser - Guitard.  Save - None.
WP - Smalley. PB - Sutton.
Umpires - 
Start: 9:30   Time: 2:40   Attendance: 0
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2017 Atlantic Canadians Playing College Ball

Here is my annual list of Atlantic Canadians playing baseball in the NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA.  All information is courtesy the Canadian Baseball Network‘s “Canadians in College” post.  The list is current as of today (February 28).

Players are listed by position, name, hometown, class and university.

  1. IF Jeremie Arseneau, Dieppe NB, freshman at University of Albany (NY)
  2. P Jesse Borden, Dartmouth NS, junior at University of the Incarnate Word (TX)
  3. P Jake Cook, Miramichi NB, sophomore at Minot State University (ND)
  4. OF Blake Finn, Riverview NB, freshman at University of Winnipeg (MB)
  5. IF Blake Gallagher, Waais NB, sophomore at University of Arkanas Monticello (AK)
  6. P Jack Gallant, Hammond Plains NS, freshmen at Fitchburg Stage University (MA)
  7. 3B/C Mitchell Hazlett, Riverview NB, junior at University of Texas Permian Basin (TX)
  8. C Cole MacLaren, Morell PR, sophomore at Colby Community College (KS)
  9. P Reilly O’Rourke, Sydney NS, sophomore at Minot State University (ND)
  10. OF Jacob Sanford, Dartmouth NS, freshman at McCook Community College (NE)
  11. P Jake Shaw, Fredericton NB, senior at University of Indianapolis (IN)
  12. P J.P. Stevenson, New Glasgow PE, junior at Canisus College (NY)
  13. IF Zach Thibault, Yarmouth NS, sophomore at Cabrillo College (CA)
  14. IF/OF Chris Thibideau, Dartmouth NS, senior at University of North Florida (FL)
  15. P Christian Volger, Berwick NS, sophomore at North Iowa Area Community College (IA)
  16. OF Jack Volpe, Bedford NS, freshman at Elmira College (NY)
  17. 1B Jamie Whynot, Bridgewater NS, freshman at Northeastern Junior College (CO)

Coaches

  1. Ryan Snair, St. Margaret’s Bay NS is head coach at Sullivan County Community College (NY)
  2. Andrew Wright, Woodstock NB is head coach at University of Charleston (SC)

Best of luck to all the players and coaches this season!  Hopefully I will post updates throughout the season on how the Atlantic Canadians are doing this season.

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2016 Census of Population

2016 Census

On Wednesday, February 8, 2017; Statistics Canada released the first results from the 2016 Census of Population.  These include city/metro population results across Canada.  I will present the results from Atlantic Canada.

Metropolitan population of the major Atlantic markets:

  1. Halifax, Nova Scotia: 403,390 (up from 390,328 in 2011)
  2. St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador 205,955 (up from 196,954)
  3. Moncton, New Brunswick: 144,810 (up from 139,287)
  4. Saint John, New Brunswick: 126,202 (down from 129,057)
  5. Fredericton, New Brunswick: 101,760 (up from 98,320)
  6. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia: 98,722 (down from 101,619) – Cape Breton County, not the entire island
  7. Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island: 69,325 (up from 65,523)

Smaller markets (includes surrounding areas):

  1. Truro, Nova Scotia: 45,753 (down from 45,888)
  2. New Glasgow, Nova Scotia: 34,487 (down from 35,809)
  3. Corner Brook, Newfoundland & Labrador: 31,917 (up from 31,417)
  4. Bathurst, New Brunswick: 31,110 (down from 31,936)
  5. Miramichi, New Brunswick: 27,523 (down from 28,115)
  6. Kentville, Nova Scotia: 26,222 (down from 26,359)
  7. Edmundston, New Brunswick: 23,524 (down from 23,819)
  8. Summerside, Prince Edward Island: 16,587 (up from 16,488)
  9. Campbellton, New Brunswick: 15,746 (down from 17,361)
  10. Grand Falls – Windsor, Newfoundland & Labrador: 14,171 (up from 13,725)
  11. Gander, Newfoundland & Labrador: 13,234 (up from 12,683)
  12. Bay Roberts, Newfoundland & Labrador: 11,083 (up from 10,871)

Provinces as a whole:

  1. Nova Scotia: 923,598 (up from 921,727)
  2. New Brunswick: 747,101 (down from 751,171)
  3. Newfoundland & Labrador: 519,716 (up from 514,536)
  4. Prince Edward Island: 142,907 (up from 140,204)

Other places of interest (metropolitan populations):

  1. Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, Maine: 514,098
  2. Sagueny, Quebec: 160,980 (up from 158,658) – aka Chicoutimi
  3. Bangor, Maine: 153,702
  4. Augusta-Waterville, Maine: 122,151
  5. Lewiston-Auburn, Maine: 107,702
  6. Rimouski, Quebec: 55,349 (up from 53,711)
  7. Baie-Comeau, Quebec: 27,692 (down from 28,465)
  8. Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec: 28,902 (down from 28,987)

Quebec populations are via the 2016 Census of Canada and Maine populations are from th 2010 American Census.

What does all this mean?  The cities continue to grow in the region (although all are growing slower that the national rate).  Overall, we are not growing at the national rate while western Canada explodes (many of which are moving from the Maritimes).  If the price of gas doesn’t rebound to where it was before then this will likely slow down.

In terms of bringing baseball to the region, my thoughts are the same as they were before.  Professional baseball only has a chance in Halifax, Moncton and one of Saint John or Fredericton.  I don’t see New Brunswick supporting three teams.  St. John’s is a possibility if travel concerns can be addressed.  A collegiate summer league would be able to include more locales in the region as operating expenses would be lower.  At that level there are no player salaries and travel would likely be lower as the league would only cover the Maritimes and possibly Newfoundland, Maine or even the Gaspe in Quebec.  This would eliminate longer trips to central Quebec, Ontario and New York / New Jersey (assuming the Can-Am League is the league expanding to the region).

A collegiate summer league could easily include the big six Martime markets and at least two smaller markets.  For example, a central Nova Scotia team the could draw from Truro, New Glasgow and the surrounding areas.  Also a northern New Brunswick team that could draw from around the region.  Such a team would likley be based in Bathurst as it is centrally located and could draw from Campbellton, Miramichi and the Acadian Peninsula.  This is how the Acadie-Bathurst Titan operate.  If not Bathurst, then Ironmen Park in Chatham (Miramichi) is one the of nicest parks in the region.  Throw in the four Quebec and four Maine markets mentioned above and you got a 16 team league operating in the region.  That is not including Newfoundland where St. John’s and Corner Brook could support teams as well.  Other markets could be considered as well.  Edmundston could operation as stop on the way to and from Quebec road trips or even as a member of a Quebec division if need be.  Summerside would give a potential Charlottetown team a rival.

I didn’t want to include any other markets in Quebec and it would stretch out the league’s footpring too much (travel expenses) but one could include other markets like suburban Quebec City (Les Capiales are in the city), Thetford Mines (former Eastern League city), Sherbrooke, Drummondville, etc.  Portland, Maine would also have to be a suburban team as well with the Eastern League’s Sea Dogs operating in the city.  As with Quebec, anything beyond Portland is stretching the league out too far.  Not to mention once you go beyond Portland in bump into several markets that already have baseball (minor leagues or summer collegiate).  Draw a line connecting Quebec City and Portland and anything east of it is virgin territory for baseball.

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