This past weekend the baseball world suffered another huge hit with the loss of Pat Phelan – Coach Grumpy.
When I first met Coach Grumpy, I had no idea he was a big deal. I didn’t know his history or his accomplishments – but I quickly realized was that despite his demeanor, he cared more about the kids he was coaching than probably any other coach I had seen.
Over the past several years, I watched Grumpy in action. From practices to Provincials, everywhere he went respect followed. Former players would swarm, officials would shake his hand, and parents would sing praises. And even though he might not be with us any longer, his words, wisdom, and love for baseball won’t be going anywhere.
Years from now, grandparents will be telling grand kids about the coach they had back in the day. Legends like this aren’t forgotten. They will live on as long as we play this game.
Thanks for the memories and the lessons Coach Grumpy. It was always a pleasure. – Kristal Burgess (kristalburgessphotography.com)
Rhonda Pauls recognized with 2021 Baseball Canada Umpire Developer Award
The Baseball Canada Umpire Developer Award is handed out annually to an individual who has demonstrated commitment and excellency in the delivery of umpire education as part of the National Umpires Certification Program.
An accomplished umpire on the field whose resume includes numerous provincial, national, and international events, it was her off-field work that stood out in 2021 as she put in tremendous efforts in developing and growing the next generation of umpires.
As such, Baseball Canada is pleased to announce that British Columbia’s Rhonda Pauls is the winner of the Baseball Canada Umpire Developer Award for 2021.
With Covid-19 still impacting the way in which umpires are traditionally trained and developed, Rhonda’s work to create online educational resources ensured that information and development tools were provided to young umpires in BC and across Canada.
Rhonda created on online platform for the BC Baseball Umpires Association in addition to producing multi-hour, virtual training sessions for umpires in BC. Her teaching materials including lesson plans, instructional videos, quizzes, and presentations as part of her workshops and clinics.
A former winner of the Dick Willis Memorial Award for Baseball Canada Umpire of the Year (2014), Rhonda is a role model for aspiring female umpires and spent time in 2021 engaging female umpires across the country through a unique virtual series.
She has also used her platform to raise awareness around mental health in researching and developing materials for an interactive workshop.
Her efforts around mental health support and awareness did not stop there as she created a team of individuals in BC who serve as peer counsellors for mental health awareness. This is the only team of this nature in baseball in Canada.
Rhonda was also active in many of her off-field umpiring roles in 2021 including the planning and execution of the Super clinic as part of a group effort while also serving as President of the BC Baseball Umpire Association.
She was elected as a board member for Baseball BC where she participated actively in several committees including Strategic Planning and sat as a member of the Baseball Canada instructor development portfolio where she’s been instrumental in the re-design of the Senior Course Conductor Portfolio.
Umpire Developer Award recipients have included:
2020-Ed Quinlan & Chris Wilhelm (ON)
Butler Park to get new lights before 2022 season
City council votes to install lighting and netting to Trail baseball park
By Jim Bailey – Trail Times
From an article on August, 26, 2021
City staff laid the groundwork to complete the lighting and netting additions to Butler Park before the start of the next baseball season.
After stadium light standards were deemed to be unsafe, the city removed the poles and netting this past year, and made way for a new installation.
At an Aug. 16 Governance and Operations Committee meeting, a staff report recommended four options for installing new stadium lighting and netting at the Trail baseball park.
“(Engineering technician) Kyle McCormick has worked diligently with engineers and vendors to come up with what we feel is a practical recommendation moving forward,” said public works director, Chris McIsaac.
Because the soil below Butler has low cohesion, engineers decided on the installation of drilled and cast-in-place concrete piles.
Also, the upgrades to the stadium lighting will reduce the number of standards needed from eight to six along with the number of LED stadium luminaries, and 15-gauge Dyneema netting will be strung along the first and third-base lines.
“This proposed Butler Park installation is a significant addition to the fiscal 2021 capital projects,” wrote Interim Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Rino Merlo. “To proceed in 2021 requires a substantial amount of non-budgeted cash.
“However, should council authorize this Report’s recommendations, the city has the funding to proceed in 2021.”
Merlo offered that funding could come from various sources including the city’s deferred amount within the UBCM Community Building Fund of $1.25M, the Capital Works Reserve Fund $236,000 and Surplus about $100,000.
“However, this significant draw down of capital resources reduces the city’s financial flexibility.”
Parks and Rec director Trisha Davison also confirmed that there is grant funding of about $235,000 pending.
The immediate costs were a concern for Mayor Lisa Pasin who said, when considering last year’s total capital budget, a $1.5M expenditure would amount to 55 per cent of the total budget allocated for capital.
To spend 55 per cent of a total budget on one project is significant for the city, she later clarified.
“And this should be evaluated within the context of all priority projects.”
Of the four options, Option 1 was the least expensive at $1.586M with all work being completed in 2021.
However, in a 5-2 vote, council chose Option 2, which will see pole foundations, underground electrical, and stadium lighting installed in phase 1, and completed with the netting put up in the spring of 2022.
The cost for Option 2 is estimated at $1.642M, more than Option 1, but less than Option 3 and 4 at $1.655M, whose estimated completion dates were by the end of 2022.
U18 Trail Orioles earn playoff berth with weekend sweep
The U18 Orioles cracked the top 8 and are off to Burnaby for the BCMBA College Prep playoffs
August 4, 2021 – The Trail U18 Orioles secured a playoff spot after a sensational end to their first season in the College Prep Division of the BC Minor Baseball Association.
The Orioles wrapped up their regular season by sweeping a doubleheader against Ridge Meadows Royals on Saturday and another head-to-head match up against the Penticton Tigers at Butler Park Sunday.
The Orioles needed those wins, after losing four of their last five games, they were one game up on the Tigers for the final playoff spot heading into the final weekend.
Trail beat Ridge Meadows 4-2 in the opener, with Jesse Boyer pitching going the distance in the win.
The Orioles took a 3-2 lead in the first, and Jake Maniago’s base hit in the fifth scored Sam McLaren for the 4-2 final.
In Game 2, the Orioles kept rolling and scored four in the first and two more in the sixth on their way to a 6-2 victory.
Logan Bradford pitched 6 2/3 innings for the win in his longest outing of the year.
“Bradford struck out 10 and saved our bullpen for Sunday, which was huge,” said coach Jim Maniago. “Six different guys had hits that game, it was a good team win.”
The wins were crucial after hearing that Penticton swept South Fraser, setting up a must-win scenario for the final match ups Sunday.
“That set up the showdown Sunday,” said Maniago. “They needed to sweep us, we needed one win.”
The Tigers came out swinging and plated a home run off Jake Maniago in the first. But the Orioles stormed back, scoring two runs in the bottom half. It stayed that way until the bottom of the sixth when the Orioles scored three more.
“It was a nailbiter with some great pitching and defence, especially Landon Uzeloc and Chance Fisher on the infield.”
Connor stainer and Jake had two hits each, and seniors, Jesco Knelsen and Brayden DeWitt, had crucial two-out RBI hits in the 5-2 victory.
Jake pitched a complete game five hitter to earn the Orioles’ a berth in the 2021 playoffs.
In the final match, the Tigers fielded nine senior players and headed into the bottom of six with a 7-3 lead.
But the Os scored two on a Nathan Dann home run to cut the lead to 7-5. Then, in the bottom of the seventh, Dann doubled cashing in two more runs for a walk-off 8-7 victory.
Stainer smacked two doubles, Bradford had two hits and Dann went 3 for 4 with four RBIs. Reid Gerrand picked up the win in relief, improving the O’s record to 12-12.
“We’re off to Provincials as the seventh seed,” said Maniago. “We told the kids we’re pretty proud of them.
“All told, we draw from maybe 20,000 people and we’re competing and beating these teams from big centres with paid coaching staffs that have more kids trying out than we have in our whole system.”
The U18 Orioles had a lot of reasons to roll over, said Maniago, but battled through injuries, players that opted out, and a tough travel schedule to make it into the top-8.
“The kids stuck with it and kept picking up wins and then to roll off five in a row to end the year and finish at 12-12 was pretty impressive.”
In round-1 of the BCMBA playoffs, the Orioles are in Group B with #2 seed North Fraser, #4 Kamloops and #5 Cloverdale. Trail’s first game goes in Burnaby at noon Friday, Aug. 6 vs North Fraser, a team they split their series with this season. Game 2 goes against Kamloops Saturday at noon, and Sunday versus Cloverdale at 3 p.m.
“We’re gonna be in tough,” added Maniago. “But we are a team no one wants to play.”
Note: The Trail U15 Orioles were poised to play in a wind-up tournament in Kelowna on the weekend but the league cancelled the tournament early Saturday morning due to wildfire smoke.
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