Sunday, March 2, 2014

HarbourCanucks Corner - bobblehead edition

Bobbleheads have come a long way
since this classic design
The most exciting bit of news to report in this version of HarbourCanucks Corner is that the ‘Cats are holding a Kelly Norris-Jones Bobblehead Night on Tuesday June 17th. The Victoria native will have his likeness reproduced on a bobblehead and the first 1,000 fans through the gates that night will get one for free. The promotion is a winner from many different angles. First off, what's not to love about a bobblehead? Even the most cold-hearted cynic can appreciate their hokey charm. Bobblehead giveaways are always popular with fans and the promotion should give a noticeable boost to attendance on a night when small crowds are the norm (the club averaged 1,102 fans on the three Tuesday home games in 2013). Purchasing 1,000 bobbleheads is more expensive than you might think, so hats off to local businessman Jeff Fisher for making this event possible. Hopefully the HarbourCats front-office staff can find another local business to step forward and sponsor the tentatively planned Harvey the HarbourCat Bobblehead Night, because that one would be an even bigger hit, especially with the kids. But back to the player updates...

Kelly Norris-Jones
Norris-Jones’ team, the University of Illinois, swept all four games they played in Gainesville, Florida this weekend, including a pair of wins against the 23rd-ranked Florida Gators. Kelly had one plate appearance in the four games (a fly-out) and caught only two innings. He’s one-for-seven on the season with a .400 on-base percentage. With the current starting catcher (Jason Goldstein) hitting .367, playing time with the Fighting Illini could be tough to come by for our hometown boy. Illinois travels to Bowling Green next weekend to face Western Kentucky University in a three-game series.

Griffin Andreychuk and his Seattle U squad dropped all three games to BYU this weekend. In a possible attempt to kick-start his defense, Andreychuk started at second base instead of shortstop in the middle game of the BYU series. He went one-for-three with an RBI, but unfortunately made his sixth error of the season. In the series finale, Andreychuk pinch ran and played the last two innings at second base without committing an error and he is now hitting .133 with two RBI in 15 at-bats this season. The Redhawks have a very tough week coming up with a pair of midweek games against the 9th-ranked Oregon Ducks and a three-game set against the 13th-ranked Cal Poly Mustangs next weekend.

Brandon Feldman’s freshman season with the Otero Junior College continues to be stuck in neutral. Feldman went 0-for-6 in the 9 games played by the Rattlers between the 17th and 28th of February. The right fielder has appeared in seven games and is hitting only .133 in his 15 at-bats, but he sports a more respectable on-base percentage of .316. The Rattlers, who are 7-8 on the season, play two doubleheaders next weekend against a struggling Northeastern Junior College.

There isn’t any Nick Rutckyj news to report, as Cuesta College’s only scheduled game this week was rained out. The Cougars (4-9) play a pair of games against Allan Hancock College and one against L.A. Pierce College in the next week.

  • Seattle U didn't have a lead at any point in their series with BYU, so it was tough to find innings for lefty closer Will Dennis this weekend. He did appear in the final game of the series, giving up only one hit in 1 ⅓ scoreless innings to lower his ERA to a sparkling 1.29.

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