Wanderers Grounds Upgardes


If your reading this you probably know that Halifax’s former baseball grounds will receive an upgrade this summer.  Wanderer’s Grounds will be closed this spring and summer while the city upgrades the field.  The facility will receive new sod, fencing, player’s benches and scoreboard.  The work is scheduled to be completed by September 1.  This is good news as the Canada vs. Glasgow rugby match in 2015 was moved to Spryfield due to the poor conditions of the field.

The new field (to be used mainly for soccer and rugby) will be a sand based field, measuring 130m x 80m.  FYI, a Canadian football field is 137m long, including the end zones.  Some of the light poles will also be moved, making the field longer than it currently is.  There is a plan by Sports & Entertainment Atlantic to erect a 5000-7000 seat pop up stadium to house a  potential team in the new Canadian Premier League that is scheduled to kick off next year.  If the team is a success, the plan is to build something more permanent on site.

The Canadian Premier League is a new soccer league that hopes to have teams from coast to coast.  They hope to field 6-8 teams in their inaugural season.  So far, only Hamilton has a team.  Many franchises are expected to be owned by NHL and/or CFL ownership groups.  There is also talk of a team based at Moncton Stadium.

Besides the CPL (there is already a supporters group, the Halifax Wanderers), there is no plans for the facility besides local use.  A 5000-7000 seat stadium could still be used for events like international soccer and rugby.  If the back of the end zones can be accommodated football could also be played there.  Maybe Saint Mary’s decides to not rebuilt Huskies Stadium and the Huskies started to play there.  Dalhousie could launch a varsity football team and use Wanderer’s Grounds.  This could help the universities extend their brands off campus and get more non-students / alumni out to the games.  An expanded stadium (10000-12000) could also be used for CFL exhibition games.

It is unlikely that baseball would ever return to the site.  But if the stadium is designed like Royal Athletic Park in Victoria, who knows what will happen.  This is not the first time I have discussed this possibility on this blog.  The baseball scoreboard, which hasn’t been used for baseball in 13 years will be replaced.  I said (tounge in cheek) that they could save money by bringing baseball back to the site by not replacing the scoreboard.  The Wanderer’s Grounds will have a new (modern) scoreboard, which will look a lot more professional as a potential CPL facility.  With the new grounds, stands and scoreboard, the field should be an asset to the city.

I look forward to seeing the new grounds come September.  Hopefully Sport & Entertainment Atlantic can bring a CPL team to the region and we can look forward to some summertime sporting action in the city.


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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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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 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

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)


  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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