Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Game on

First pitch in HarbourCat history
It was a banner night for baseball - warm (for June in Victoria!) summer evening, smell of hot dogs, cool beer on your throat and an eager sellout crowd of 3,026 on hand to watch the HarbourCats notch their first win in franchise history, an 8-6 triumph over the Kelowna Falcons. The fans didn't seem to mind the big walk-up lineups or the delayed start time as the mood remained positive all evening.

The night started out with a bit of logistical excitement as the visiting Kelowna Falcons missed their ferry due to a blown tire and some mechanical issues and the first pitch was delayed by almost sixty minutes. The novelty of traveling to Victoria will have more than a couple of players mumbling about an "island" team in the league but that said, they will have to adjust to this new wrinkle in the bus/ferry league that is the WCL.

Where did that sign go???
Things didn't get much better for the Falcons, as their bus pulled in to RAP and took out a seemingly needless street sign, leaving a nice dent in the side as a souvenir of their trip to Victoria. Then they had to deal with Nick Pivetta for eight innings in what was an exciting first game of the season. It was a back and forth affair with a lot of offense, and few long balls thrown in for good measure in this league of "small ball". Even though the 'Cats were down early, you could see they had a jump in their step, firing the ball around the infield and running out every ground ball.

Dennis Rogers preaches pitching and defense, but in the end it was his offense that won this one. He had the team running the bases aggressively, and catcher David Schuknecht had a great opening night, going three for four and jacking one of the aforementioned long balls in the fifth.

There were a few opening night glitches, which is to be expected, aside from the gong show that was the Kelowna bus ride, but nothing that can't be ironed out. There were a few ticket snafus and in the first inning or two, the scoreboard was flashing while players were batting, but both were corrected right away and can be put down to experience. As well, the scoreboard operator looked like they were wearing boxing gloves but again, with more practice, that too will be fine. There were also a lot of positives too - big crowd, big line-ups that seemed to be moving OK, nice selection of food (as in Pig!), great weather, nice cold local beer and a good mix of fun events for the youngsters in the crowd.

So there you have 1 in HarbourCats history is in the books. Let's hope we see many more like that one in the days/weeks to come, starting with tomorrow night. At least the Falcons don't have to catch a ferry, so we should be good to go at the originally scheduled time of 7:05...UNLESS they are staying on Saltspring!

Great Scott!
And by the way, am I the only one who observed that the time clock above the scoreboard seemed stuck at just before 6:00? I was waiting for Doc to fill up his flux capacitor and race in to rescue Marty. The things we notice...


  1. What a great start for the HarbourCats. Problems? What problems? Either nobody noticed or nobody cared. Everything that could have had a downside was turned into a positive: for example, bus troubles for the visitors just meant more time to socialize with the other fans before the game! In the end 3,000 people showed up and everybody went home happy -- you can't beat that.

    1. Yeah, the problems were normal "first" night glitches. I don't know what you heard, but I didn't hear any grumbling about the late start - it was a really positive Victoria crowd. I love your positive attitude on the delay, was a great night for sitting in the stadium socializing.

  2. Great game!!! So great to have baseball back in Victoria! While the scoreboard issues were a little annoying, I thought the HC staff held things together pretty well for a franchise opener. The only thing I can think of that could improve would be having Phillips Beer on tap!!!
    Can't wait for my next game, and I'm looking forward to following your blog.

    1. I couldn't agree more, baseball is BACK! We'll be there again tonight and my guess is that the HC staff will have ironed out some of those early kinks - they were really responsive last night from what I can tell. And the scoreboard guy was almost endearing. Phillips beer on tap, eh? May have to wait a while for that one.

      And thanks for the comment, looking forward to a great year.