Thursday, March 13, 2014

Five former MLB stars coming to Victoria

The Shaker
The HarbourCats announced today that five former MLB stars, including Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar, will be leading instructional camps for local youth players on July 2nd and 3rd at Royal Athletic Park. HarbourCats players and coaches will be providing instructional support for the camps, which are a partnership between the Toronto Blue Jays, the Greater Victoria Baseball Association (GVBA) and the ‘Cats.

Aside from Alomar, other lead instructors scheduled to attend include Jesse Barfield, Lloyd Moseby (The Shaker!!), Duane Ward and Brian McRae. Barfield is probably best known as having the best outfield arm in Blue Jays history. He also had two phenomenal seasons in his career, especially the 1986 campaign in which he hit 40 homers and had 108 RBI. Moseby, perhaps one of the most underrated players in Blue Jays history, possessed a dynamic combination of speed and power and (in the first half of his career) was outstanding defensively. He also had a fun-loving personality that made him a favourite with many Jays fans in the mid-80’s. Ward notched a franchise-record 45 saves for the Jays on their way to the 1993 World Series title, but unfortunately injuries ended his career and he never saved another game in the big leagues after that championship run. McRae had some very good years with the Cubs and Mets before finishing his career with the Jays in 1999. The five players who will be lead instructors at the camp were named MLB All Stars a combined total of 15 times (Alomar was named 12 times, while Moseby, Barfield and Ward were each named once).
Two-thirds of the best outfield in Blue Jays history is coming to Victoria

These instructional camps are an incredibly good idea. Not only will Victoria youngsters benefit from learning new skills, but having five former big-league stars come to town will generate a significant media buzz that can only increase local interest in baseball. There’s no doubt that the extra attention will help boost attendance at HarbourCats games as well.

The ’Cats play a three-game series against the Kitsap BlueJackets at Royal Athletic Park from June 30th to July 2nd, highlighted by a much-anticipated Canada Day matinee. With the instructional camps scheduled for the 2nd and 3rd, it looks like the baseball season in Victoria will really take off in the first week of July. By the end of the Kitsap series, 13 of the remaining 15 home games will be on the weekend, so we should be in for a great second half of the season.

The full press release from the HarbourCats can be found on their official site. The Blue Jays press release can be found on their site. It's worth noting that the Jays will be running similar camps in Nanaimo (July 4th-5th) and Vancouver (July 7th-9th).

No comments:

Post a Comment