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Retired broadcaster says White Rock Tritons’ volunteer job has ‘given me some new life’

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This summer, retired sports broadcaster Jim Leith, with his friend Linda at his side, has been serving as the White Rock Tritons’ volunteer public-address announcer. (Contributed photo)

Jim Leith has been serving as the youth baseball organization’s public-address announcer

By NICK GREENIZAN – PEACE ARCH NEWS 

White Rock, BC – Jim Leith hadn’t been to a ball game in a long time, and it had been even longer since the retired radio broadcaster had been in the booth behind a microphone.

But earlier this month, he found himself in exactly that position – at a baseball game, serving as the volunteer public-address announcer for the White Rock Tritons.

And after being largely isolated and stuck at home in recent months due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Abbotsford senior was thrilled.

“It’s been a long time since anyone’s been able to go to to a ballpark as a fan… and I have a lady friend in White Rock, Linda, and we’re both big baseball fans, so we were out a couple weeks ago and said, ‘Hey, let’s go to the ballpark,’ because I’d heard that the Tritons were playing,” he explained.

While watching the game at South Surrey Athletic Park, both Leith – who has decades of experience doing sports play-by-play and public-address work – and Linda were impressed with both the ballpark itself and the quality of talent on the field.

All the other hallmarks of a traditional baseball game were there, too – from the crack of the bat to the emphatic calls from the umpires to the on-field chatter of the young ballplayers themselves.

But something was missing.

“We both kind of wondered, ‘What’s missing?’ and one thing we thought of was that there was no P.A. system. We saw these kids coming up to bat but we didn’t know who they were,” Leith explained. “Linda kind of gave me a poke in the side and said, ‘Maybe they’re just looking for volunteers and they don’t have anyone to do it.’

“She said, ‘You know all about this – this is your thing.’”

Leith’s broadcast resume is a long and varied one. Over 30 years in Victoria, he spent time as the play-by-play broadcaster for the Western Hockey League’s Victoria Cougars, and then transitioned to basketball, where he was on the mic for University of Victoria men’s basketball games during the team’s string of seven straight national titles. Along the way, he also worked countless track-and-field meets and baseball games, and also served as the announcing co-ordinator at a pair of Commonwealth Games – in Edmonton in 1978 and Victoria in ’94.

Leith admits he didn’t exactly leap out of his seat and volunteer for the Tritons’ gig – not at first, anyway. Mostly, he was worried about having to make the frequent commute from Abbotsford. However, he soon relented, and at a later game, went and found a member of the Tritons – Keith Fluet, who is a member of the organization’s board of directors – and offered his services.

“There was a desire from Keith and Kyle (Dhanani, Tritons general manager) to improve the game presentation and I thought hey, if I could help them with that, then great,” he said.

His offer was quickly accepted and, with Linda sitting next to him, he soon found himself back doing what he’d done for most of his adult life – announcing sports.

“I’m still shaking off a little rust, but I guess I’ve got a bit excited about it, because we’ve got to know some of the people, and around the park we’ve met some of the kids and we’ve just been quite impressed with them,” he said.

“It’s a gig that’s kind of given me some new life, and I’m just enjoying the ride.”

Leith has worked a handful of games already, and he’s been busy over the long weekend, as the Tritons’ senior team hosts the BC Premier Baseball League’s season-ending tournament. And while discussing his busy schedule, Leith took the opportunity to praise the organization for how they’ve treated him.

“I just volunteered – I didn’t ask for anything. And then Kyle came to me and said, ‘Hey, Friday is going to be a long day. Would you like us to get you a hotel room so you don’t have to drive all the way back to Abbotsford?’

“That just smacks of class, and how can you not try to do your best for people like that?”

Leith said he wasn’t making any definitive plans to return to the job next spring – “I’m taking things day by day,” he said – but whether he’s behind the mic or in the bleachers with Linda, it’s clear the the BCPBL, and the Tritons, have a new fan.

“It’s not the Blue Jays or the Mariners, but doggone it, they put on a good show.”

 

BC Premier Baseball League

2022 BCPBL Championship Game 10 Summary

Share 2022 BCPBL Championship Game 10 Summary July 23, 2022 3:45 PM PDT                   2022 BC PREMIER BASEBALL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP                   GAME 10 SUMMARY                     Runs Hits Errors LOB  …

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2022 BCPBL Championship Game 10 Summary

July 23, 2022

3:45 PM PDT

                 
2022 BC PREMIER BASEBALL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP
                 
GAME 10 SUMMARY
                 
  Runs Hits Errors LOB        
Okanagan Athletics 1 4 2 9        
Coquitlam Reds 0 3 3 8        
                 
                 
Okanagan Athletics Pitching Summary            
                 
Pitcher IP H R ER SO BB AB  
Brayden Dewitt (W) 4 2 0 0 5 3 18  
Max Tremblay 3 1 0 0 2 2 11  
                 
Coquitlam Reds Pitching Summary            
                 
Pitcher IP H R ER SO BB AB  
Jacob Hageman (L) 6 4 1 0 5 2 27  
Jeffrey Pacholko 1 0 0 0 0 0 4  
                 
Game Highlights                
Top 1st                
Luke Petrie (A’s)-RBI Single              
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 

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2022 BCPBL Championship Game 6 Summary

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2022 BCPBL Championship Game 6 Summary

July 23, 2022

4:30 PM PDT

                 
2022 BC PREMIER BASEBALL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP
                 
GAME 6 SUMMARY
                 
  Runs Hits Errors LOB        
North Shore Twins 13 9 1 5        
Victoria Mariners 6 6 0 7        
                 
                 
North Shore Twins Pitching Summary            
                 
Pitcher IP H R ER SO BB AB  
Sam Jennings 3+ 5 5 4 0 3 17  
Ken Nakane (W) 4 1 1 1 3 4 17  
                 
Victoria Mariners Pitching Summary            
                 
Pitcher IP H R ER SO BB AB  
Max Globman (L) 3 1/3 5 7 7 2 4 20  
Dylan Graw  2/3 1 3 3 0 3 6  
Myles Chamberlain 3 3 3 3 4 2 13  
                 
Game Highlights                
Top 1st                
Jakob Poturnak (Twins)-Scores on wild pitch            
Bottom 1st                
Sam Shaw (Mariners)-Solo Homerun            
Tyson Skinner (Mariners)-2 RBI Double            
Top 2nd                
Jakob Poturnak (Twins)-Solo Homerun            
Bottom 3rd                
Griffin Gladych (Mariners)-Sac Fly              
Top 4th                
Ethan McDonald (Twins)-RBI Single            
Wylie Waters (Twins)-RBI Single              
Yonatan Marom (Twins)-Sac Fly              
James Brock (Twins)-3 RBI Double              
Bottom 4th                
Ben Sargent (Mariners)-Sac Fly              
Top 5th                
Wylie Waters (Twins)-RBI Double              
Yonatan Marom (Twins)-RBI Single              
James Brock (Twins)-Sac Fly              
                 
Game Notes                
Wylie Waters (Twins)-3 for 5, 2 RBIs            
James Brock (Twins)-1 for 3, 4 RBIs            
Tyson Skinner (Mariners)-2 for 4, 2 RBIs            

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2022 BCPBL Championship Game 11 Summary

Share 2022 BCPBL Championship Game 11 Summary July 23, 2022 6:00 PM PDT                   2022 BC PREMIER BASEBALL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP                   GAME 11 SUMMARY                     Runs Hits Errors LOB  …

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2022 BCPBL Championship Game 11 Summary

July 23, 2022

6:00 PM PDT

                 
2022 BC PREMIER BASEBALL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP
                 
GAME 11 SUMMARY
                 
  Runs Hits Errors LOB        
UBC Thunder 4 7 2 5        
Delta Blue Jays 10 6 2 8        
                 
                 
UBC Thunder Pitching Summary              
                 
Pitcher IP H R ER SO BB AB  
Callum Young (L) 4 4 7 5 6 9 25  
Freddie Sale 2 2 3 0 0 1 11  
                 
Delta Blue Jays Pitching Summary            
                 
Pitcher IP H R ER SO BB AB  
Noah Bourgeois (W) 4 7 4 3 3 2 21  
Will Anderson 2 0 0 0 1 0 6  
Noah Del Rosario 1 3 0 0 0 1 0  
                 
Game Highlights                
Top 1st                
Ryan Hsu (Thunder)-Scores on FC              
Matthew Perkins (Thunder)-2 RBI Single            
Bottom 1st                
Kyle Hepburn (Blue Jays)-Solo Homerun            
Everett Swaim (Blue Jays)-RBI Single            
Top 3rd                
Ethan Kwong (Thunder)-RBI Double            
Bottom 3rd                
Ryan Heppner (Blue Jays)-RBI Single            
Bottom 5th                
Kyle Hepburn (Blue Jays)-GRAND SLAM            
                 
Game Notes                
Kyle Hepburn (Blue Jays)-2 for 3, 2 HRs (Solo & Grand Slam), 5 RBIs      

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