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Dr. Randy Gregg and Edmonton Riverhawks preparing for inaugural season

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Dr. Randy Gregg gets behind the plate after announcing the the newest baseball team in Edmonton, The Riverhawks, a baseball club, which will play out of RE/MAX Field in the n the West Coast League, on Sept. 15, 2020 in Edmonton. PHOTO BY GREG SOUTHAM /Postmedia

By Derek Van Diest – Toronto Sun

Former Edmonton Oilers defenceman Dr. Randy Gregg is spending a lot of his spare time of late at RE/MAX Field in the heart of the river valley.

As the managing director of the Edmonton Riverhawks, Gregg has been working tirelessly to try and get the facility ready for the upcoming West Coast League season, which is a wooden-bat collegiate circuit that operates in the summer.

Dr. Randy Gregg and Edmonton Riverhawks preparing for inaugural season
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The Riverhawks were to play its inaugural season this past summer, but the COVID-19 pandemic made Gregg and his group wait another year.

“All of these young players that are in college, they are wanting to get either drafted or signed, and will be enticed to play summer collegiate baseball,” Gregg said earlier this week. “The Cape Code league is probably the ultimate league on the East Coast, but when it comes to the West, the West Coast League is by far the highest quality league.

“In fact, in 2019, 90 players that were selected in the Major League Draft had played in this league. It’s considerably important for these young players in the summer — not only do they want to get out of Arizona because it’s 120 degrees — but they want to come up and be coached by good quality coaching and get some extra at bats and swings and things like that.”

Gregg won five Stanley Cups with the Oilers during their glory years, but has always had a soft spot for baseball.

“I was probably a better baseball player than hockey player, but by the time I could get a scholarship down in the ’States, I was in medical school,” Gregg said. “And I thought I better not give up medical school. I loved hockey, of course, it’s a great sport, but I also loved baseball.”

The West Coast League is made up of 15 teams divided into three divisions. The South Division comprises of teams in Oregon and Washington, the North is made up from teams in Northern Washington, while the Canada Division has four teams in B.C., along with Edmonton.

“We’re so excited to have our head coach Kelly Stinnett, who played 15 years of Major League Baseball, so he knows what it takes to be at that level,” Gregg said. “And by having a coach with that kind of reputation, we’re getting some young recruits that not only love to come to Edmonton because it’s going to be a lot cooler than it is in the south, but with his reputation, with 9,000 seats here in the city, and the size of Edmonton, we’re going to have a really competitive team and it’s going to be a wonderful experience for our fans to see these young fellas.”

Edmonton will be the biggest market in the league and have the best facility. Gregg and the Riverhawks signed a lease agreement for the Triple-A rated facility and the crew has been hard at work making upgrades to the park.

Along with a new infield turf, the group put up a new scoreboard and made upgrades to the dugouts and club houses.

“It’s amazing. Fans that haven’t been here in a few years are not going to recognize the place with the new turf and everything else going in,” said Riverhawks pitching coach Ethan Elias. “It’s special. I’m really excited to see what we’re going to get and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

“It’s awesome to bring back a really high level of baseball in the West Coast to come play here. It’s going to blow people’s minds the level of talent that’s going to be here, so it’s going to be exciting and I guess the next step is to count the big leaguers we file out of here, that’s kind the goal.”

The Riverhawks replace the Edmonton Prospects as the main tenant at RE/MAX Field. The Prospect, who play in the Western Canadian Baseball League, also a summer wood-bat circuit, are moving to Spruce Grove for the upcoming season.

The Riverhawks’ roster will be made up of college players throughout North America. The 54-games season begins on May 31 and runs through the first week of August.

“We started recruiting players back in June and July,” Elias said. “We have most of our roster already selected, the updates will be coming up here shortly, but it’s an on-going process.

“Guys are going to fall out, guys might get hurt, guys might throw too many innings in the spring for their college teams, respectively, and so we have to adjust, we have to be able to take things as they come and deal with it.”

Either way, the Riverhawks are expecting to field a competitive team out of the gate, using the city and facility as a draw for young college players. Every player in the league has to have at least one year of college eligibility left.

“We’re not going to bring in a guy like Connor McDavid,” Gregg said. “But what we want to do is maybe bring in a young pitcher throwing 95-97 (mph) that is at Arizona State and all of a sudden three or four years from now he’s playing with the Dodgers in Los Angeles and we saw him here in Edmonton.”

 

Summer Collegiate

Victoria HarbourCats – You’re Invited!

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Please join us at the office on Thursday, December 1, 2022 from 12 Noon to 7:00 pm for our annual Christmas Open House!

Join us for some Christmas cheer and to grab Christmas gifts for all the HarbourCats fans on your Christmas list!  Renew or purchase 2023 season tickets, grab some 10-game flex packs, or purchase single-game tickets for 2023 which also go on sale that day too!  Plus ALL MERCHANDISE on sale for 40% off – ONE DAY ONLY!

2023 Single-Game Tickets Also on Sale!

 

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2022 Christmas Flex-Pass Special Now Available

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2022 Christmas Special is here! You can buy a 10-Game Flex Plan for the 2023 season. Similar to a season ticket but more like a discounted Northpaws Value Card, a Flex Plan is a way to buy early and at a discount.

Purchasing Flex Plan tickets will give you the option to choose the games that you would like to attend, along with the seats that you would like to choose.

Flex Plan holders will be able to use our ticket portal to choose games for the season. Seat and game selection will be done on a first come, first served basis. Flex Plan holders will be able to choose their seats before Game Day tickets go on sale.

Spend $150.00 (plus tax) for a 10-game Flex Plan and receive credit to purchase 10 seats for the games you want.

A receipt is issued upon purchase and your account will have a balance you can use to buy future tickets.

Please contact info@northpawsbaseball.ca for any inquiries.

https://tickets.northpawsbaseball.ca/events/23828-christmas-10-game-flex-plan

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Victoria HarbourCats – In 2023, HarbourCats celebrating 10th Anniversary

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Above: Nick Pivetta throws the first pitch in HarbourCats history on June 5, 2013 (Photo David Nicholls)

For immediate release

November 22, 2023

VICTORIA, B.C. — It’s the first truly major milestone for your Victoria HarbourCats, and it’s well worth celebrating.

The West Coast League team will be marking 10 years since inception, that first season in 2013, when the team takes the field in June of 2023. And the HarbourCats will do it while both harkening back to the roots of the baseball club and officially recognizing part of what has become the fabric of the ‘Cats, along with welcoming a new twist.

“No one can say these 10 years have been boring, that’s for sure,” said HarbourCats Managing Partner/GM Jim Swanson. “From that eventful first season including hosting the All-Star Game, to setting attendance and win-streak records, to an ownership shift and welcoming new partners, to making regular trips deep into the playoffs — the list of accomplishments is very long.

“The league is now in an official partnership with Major League Baseball as well. Cap that with three of our players making the MLB level (Nick Pivetta, Andrew Vaughn and Alex DeGoti), and the HarbourCats continue to be a success in Victoria in every way.

“We look forward to the next 10 years at Wilson’s Group Stadium at RAP, and beyond.”

The team is proud to unveil a 10-year anniversary patch, that will be used on uniforms and merchandise this year — one that takes the team’s traditional HC cap logo and adds an intertwining twist with the letters. The traditional HC will remain the primary cap logo, the historic foundation, with the new twist a look to the future and another sharp option.

The HarbourCats are also officially adding the colour red to the team’s palette, something that grew out of ongoing work with Rawlings Canada in 2016 and the unveiling of the wildly-popular red CATS jerseys, originally planned to do little more than recognize Canada Day — but became such a smash with players and fans alike, they kept making their way to the field. The adoption of red replaces a spot colour of yellow that was supposed to be part of the original uniform options, but outside of one small run of caps, was never used.

The team will continue to proudly wear the Canada-tinged RED CATS jerseys both home and away, as that popular eye-popping alternate. White home jerseys, the highly-acclaimed all-baby blue set, the road navy HC jerseys, and the VicPD Forces Friday version will help celebrate the 10-year mark on the field in 2023. The white home jerseys are planned for the annual Odlum Brown Jersey Off Your Backs giveaway set, so a new white version will be revealed in 2024. (Early plans are for the red Cats set to be given away to fans late in the 2024 season, with a new replacement set in place for 2025.)

The HarbourCats red jerseys are being officially incorporated into the team’s colour scheme in 2023.

The bright addition of red — shown so prominently by co-owner Helen Edwards everywhere she goes, in her red/white HC cap — is also joined by the official recognition of the V-Cat hat logo as a secondary logo. The on-field cap for 2023 will be the Expos-inspired tri-colour fitted New Era cap with the V-Cat emblem (see below), a nod to HarbourCats Head Coach Todd Haney, who made his MLB debut with the Expos in 1992. Haney is the longest-serving manager in team history, in charge of the lineup since 2019 and signed through the summer of 2026.

“This is an important time to plan and get ahead of the curve, and we are excited about some of the new things that will thrill fans in 2023 — the two years away due to the pandemic have rekindled our energies, both at the field and with our online platforms,” said Swanson.

The HarbourCats have a number of special promotional days lined up to help celebrate the 10th Anniversary season in 2023.  Some of those special events, the Top 10 of the HarbourCats 2023 promotions if you will, include:

1. 10th ANNIVERSARY OPENING NIGHT, Friday June 2, 2023, 6:35pm against the Kamloops NorthPaws

2. FIREWORKS, with The Wilson’s Group of Companies, Saturday June 3, 2023, 6:35pm against the Kamloops NorthPaws

3. SCHOOL SPIRIT GAME, with Mayfair Optometric Clinic, Wednesday, June 7, 2023, 11:05am against the Walla Walla Sweets

4. FATHER’s DAY GAME, Sunday, June 18, 2023, 1:05pm against the Yakima Valley Pippins

5. CANADA DAY FIREWORKS, Friday, June 30, 2023, 6:35pm against the Bellingham Bells

6. CANADA DAY MATINEE, Saturday, July 1, 2023, 1:05pm against the Bellingham Bells

7. HARVEY’s 10th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION, Saturday, July 15, 2023, 6:35pm against the Wenatchee AppleSox

8. BARK IN THE PARK, with Bosley’s on Yates, Sunday, July 16, 2023, 1:05pm, against the Wenatchee AppleSox

9. 10th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION FIREWORKS, Saturday, July 29, 6:35pm against the Kelowna Falcons

10. 10th ANNIVERSARY JERSEY OFF OUR BACKS NIGHT, with Odlum Brown, Wednesday, August 2, 6:35pm against the Nanaimo NightOwls

2023 Season Tickets
Season ticket renewals and new season ticket sales are now underway for 2023, the HarbourCats 10th Anniversary season!  Lock in the best seats in the house by the end of November prior to single-game tickets going on sale. Existing Season Ticket holders should also renew their seats by the end of the month!  Contact chris@harbourcats.com or call the office at 778-265-0327 for details or to renew your existing seats!

2023 Flex-Packs
2023 10-Game and Season Ticket Equivalent Flex Pack vouchers are also now on sale! These can be purchased at the office in-person or by phone and can also be ordered on-line via The Cat Shop at https://victoria-harbourcats-official.myshopify.com/products/10-game-flex-pack-general-admission.    All flex pack vouchers will be eligible to be exchanged for games in the 2023 season once single-game tickets are available (see below).

2023 Single Game Tickets
Single-game tickets for the HarbourCats 10th Anniversary season will be available both on-line and in person at the HarbourCats office starting at 10:00am December 1, 2022. At that time, 10-game flex pack vouchers will be eligible to be exchanged for games in the 2023 season.

Stay tuned to all of our social media for updates and details as they become available.

Web: www.harbourcats.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/harbourcats
Facebook Fan Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/harbourcats
Twitter: https://twitter.com/harbourcats
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/harbourcats

 

 

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