Monday, June 3, 2013

The wait is over

On September 5th of 2010, the Victoria Seals dropped a 6-3 decision to the Edmonton Capitals at Royal Athletic Park on a bright, sunny afternoon. If you were one of the 3,751 in attendance, you may remember that day – Victoria’s own Charlie Strandlund played all nine positions for the Seals and fan favourite Josh (“Arrrrr”) Arhart clubbed a pair of homers. Little did we know that the afternoon would become significant for a much different reason. It was also the last game ever played by the Seals. That was 1,002 long days ago, but our wait is finally about to come to an end. Baseball is back!

On Wednesday an exciting new chapter in Victoria baseball history will begin when the Victoria HarbourCats take to the field to face the Kelowna Falcons. If you don’t already have your tickets, go to to purchase them now – fans who procrastinate and buy tickets at the door may end up sitting in the football stadium well away from the action. The team also offers a 5% discount for online purchases, so it's really a no-brainer.

There will be no shortage of drama at Royal Athletic Park in the home opener. On top of the excitement of finally returning to the old ball yard, you’ll get to witness starting pitcher Nick Pivetta’s triumphant return to the mound in his hometown. The very next day, Pivetta will likely be taken high in the MLB draft and if/once he signs his contract, he immediately loses his college eligibility. In that case, he would be assigned to a minor league team to begin his journey to the big leagues, so Wednesday night could be your only chance to see Pivetta pitch for the HarbourCats. You won’t want to miss it.

See you at the ballpark... and Go Cats Go!!

  • If you can’t make it out to the ballpark, you can listen to the play-by-play online at An outstanding broadcaster, Ryan Rouillard, will be calling the action for every HarbourCats game this summer. You can also follow the action on Pointstreak’s Game Live application
  • It will be interesting to see how well the HarbourCats draw in their inaugural game at RAP. The first-ever home game for the Victoria Seals, on May 29, 2009 versus the Long Beach Armada, drew 3,778 fans on a Friday night with good weather conditions.
  • The West Coast League’s single-game attendance record (4,156) was set by the Klamath Falls Gems on July 22, 2011.
  • Mayor Dean Fortin is certain to be involved in the pre-game ceremonies on Wednesday. Fans are encouraged to show their appreciation for the Mayor when he is introduced, because he has played a significant role in bringing baseball back to Royal Athletic Park.
  • The season record for WCL attendance is 50,513 by the Bend Elks in 2011 (1,820 fans per game). The Victoria Seals averaged 2,342 fans per game in 2009 and 2,597 in 2010. However, it’s worth noting that attendance figures in the defunct Golden Baseball League were frequently quite “optimistic”.
  • The days of seeing a 13-7 game at RAP that takes 4 1/2 hours are over. For a preview of the style of baseball we'll be treated to this summer, check out our blog post from last October.
  • On Opening Day every team is in first place – including our HarbourCats. With that in mind, here’s one of my favourite baseball tunes that's also the perfect song for Wednesday: All Future and No Past by The Baseball Project

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