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Summer Collegiate

They say every good party ends up in the kitchen.



Well, baseball is a party, and in Nanaimo the gathering spot was the big wood stove down the hall from Kent’s Kitchen where former players, coaches, officials, volunteers and fans would all congregate.

The stove was the centrepiece of the Hall Of Fame Room in the bowels of Serauxmen Stadium. That stove is due to be rolled out the door this spring to make way for a new kind of baseball party – the Nanaimo NightOwls Baseball Club of the West Coast League, and the new team’s office space.

It was not sadness that trailed after that symbol of warmth and camaraderie, however. All those same players, coaches, officials, volunteers and fans had worked hard to someday attract a WCL team to their city so to see the space repurposed for such high-calibre ball was a treat, not a gripe.

“We’d have all these old guys come in and just B.S. about baseball,” said Kent Malpass, the man for whom the kitchen was unofficially named. He was one of the young guys who cozied up to that fire, when it first got kindled, and now he is the godfather of these goodfellas.

“If that room had ears, it would have lots of things to talk about. So many great people have worked to keep baseball in Nanaimo going and growing, and a lot of them ended up in that room having those conversations. So many of them have passed on now, great names, great people. Some are in a home now. That’s the way time works. And we’re in the middle of Covid and when that hit, it really shut it all down anyway.”

It was always Thursday morning that the regular gathering would happen, whether there was a ball game on that day or not.

“I’d get there at seven o’clock, and sometimes there were already people waiting to get in,” Malpass said. “They’d show up at 7:30, 8:00, trickling in, but there would often be a dozen of us just here for the conversation and seeing each other, talking about baseball and life.”

The big stove was never the point of these visits, but it was always the unspoken host. Even when there was a lull in the conversation, the crackle of the wood fire would evoke the crack of the bat.

“It’s a big stove. Huge,” Malpass said. “I’ve put wood in that thing at three o’clock in the afternoon and come back at 11 or 12 o’clock the next day and it would still be going.”

Kent and his Serauxmen Service Club members are much the same way. The Nanaimo charity group formed in 1967 over some beers and centennial cheers at the Tally Ho Pub. To this day, it is going strong and Nanaimo is its one and only chapter. They raise tens of thousands of dollars a year for all-local causes. They also pour tens of thousands of dollars worth of in-kind contributions and volunteerism into their community, and baseball is one of their chief loves.

Baseball brings people together, said Malpass, and baseball never ceases to draw in new people but never let go of anyone as they age. It’s something that grows with you no matter who you are or where you are, he said.

When Nanaimo seemed set to take a step up in the baseball world, back in the 1970s, Malpass and the Serauxmen were gleeful. Their club’s name is on the stadium because they took it upon themselves to lead the fundraising and logistics efforts to convert the former coal mine site into a ballpark that is still one of the best in B.C.

It opened in 1976 with a slate of celebrities on-site to throw the first pitches and cut all the ribbons. Malpass still glows at the memory of the top name on that fundraising ticket: the legendary superstar Mickey Mantle. Joining the Yankee Comet was another golden name from baseball’s history, Red Sox Gold-Glover and two-time all-star Jim Piersall.

“We took them fishing and showed them a good time,” said Malpass. “It cost the Serauxmen $5,000 to bring them in, which was a lot of money in 1976, but it worked really well. The place was packed.”

But that wasn’t the end of the Serauxmen commitment to Nanaimo baseball.

“Doug Rogers started the Nanaimo Pirates (of the BC Premier Baseball League) so his brother Danny and I used to do the equipment,” Malpass said, and that volunteer effort carried over into the whole youth baseball league where they would outfit up to 800 kids each year with uniforms, belts, helmets, socks, the whole kit. He would go on buying trips that needed a truck. “It was like Christmas for us, but everything was for the kids.”

A lot of the equipment distribution happened in that same room that eventually became the meeting space.

Malpass wore a lot of different volunteer caps over the years. He would paint the weathered spots on the fence, fix the broken boards on the bleachers, sweep the spilled popcorn, and he was a fixture in the concession kitchen. He grew up in the grocery industry and cooked in restaurants so this was his wheelhouse, but he also sold furniture, assembled satellite antennae, and other career moves that he always turned into a baseball double-play.

“I just love being at the stadium, being around baseball, being with baseball people, it’s a special thing,” he said. He pointed to the example of his friend Burt Lansdale who passed away and wanted his ashes scattered on the pitcher’s mound at the stadium. As the ceremony was going on, as the congregation bowed their heads in prayer, the automatic sprinklers suddenly popped on without warning. Malpass chuckled that even the stadium itself wanted to pay respects to someone who loved being there so much.

“People have a connection to this sport, because it’s more than a sport,” he said.

“Look at what Jim’s done (NightOwls General Manager Jim Swanson) with the team. The Owls were a team in Nanaimo in the 1920s which is where he dug up the name. It’s paying respect, it’s embracing tradition even when you’re doing something new.”

Malpass is excited to see the new team, the new league, and the new level of baseball Nanaimo has grown to embrace. He feels he, his friends, his neighbours, and the Serauxmen club members all had a hand in earning it. He’ll gladly sacrifice more volunteer time and work on the home stadium to make it happen. It’ll keep him as warm as any wood stove whose time has now passed.

That stove is not going to the scrap heap, though. Like the Owls name, it is just changing its context. The stove was a popular item for buildings that still could use that crackling heat, and it will be finding a home that will be fully aware of the history that comes with it.

Summer Collegiate

Victoria HarbourCats – Two key returnees among three Canadians signed for 2024



Green (above), Hall and former Canadian junior team star Chee-Aloy join Cats

September 20, 2023

VICTORIA, B.C. — The reloading of the 2023 North Division champion Victoria HarbourCats has started — not surprisingly, given the team’s history of finding local and Canadian talent — with three players who have maple leaf passports.

Returning infielders Brandon Green of the Victoria Golden Tide and Tyrus Hall of Bossier Parrish JC are joined by prized Illinois recruit Cameron Chee-Aloy of Toronto as the HarbourCats, who have posted just one sub-.500 record since 2014 and have made the playoffs in five of the last six seasons, get ready for the 2024 campaign.

Hall, primarily a shortstop, is a Victoria product who came through the Eagles program, while Green, who can play any infield position, is in his third year with the Golden Tide, hailing from Olds, Alberta. Both played with the HarbourCats in 2023, part of the team that set a WCL record with 25 home wins in 27 home regular season games — 27-2 counting playoffs.

HarbourCats infielder Ty Hall will return to the HarbourCats in 2024 (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

“Ty Hall has tremendous potential and a pro-level arm, with blazing speed — and we saw so much improvement with him under WCL coach of the year Todd Haney,” said Jim Swanson of the HarbourCats. “He will get better yet in college and being back with us next summer. And Brandon, he was one of the great stories of our season, unceremoniously dumped before the season by a summer team in another league in Alberta and given a chance to stay in Victoria at the WCL level, and all he did was earn the trust of Todd and the staff. He had the summer of his life, and he’s not done.”

Green became the first product of the third year Golden Tide program to have a notable impact on the WCL club, part of the mandate of the CCBC entry.

In 24 games, Green had two doubles, two home runs and drove in 10 runs, batting .222 and earning stretches of time at second base, with just one error. Hall got into 26 games, his speed of great value off the bench, and hit .250 with 13 stolen bases — caught just once. Hall was a featured part of a league record 150 stolen bases as a team.

Chee-Aloy (pictured right), a product of the Ontario Terriers, is best described as a plus-speed outfielder who plays the game hard, getting the most out of his 6-0/180 pound frame. The right-handed hitter with a right fielder’s arm had two stints with Team Canada, where he was teammates with Hall.

“We are exited to add Cameron to the 2024 team,” said Head Coach Todd Haney. “His speed will be an asset both offensively and defensively.”

The HarbourCats 2024 schedule in anticipated to be released in late October or early November 2023.  Stay tuned to our website and social media channels for news on that once it becomes available.

Season tickets are now on sale and can now be renewed for the 2024 season of HarbourCats baseball!  Lock in and renew your existing seats, or purchase new seats by October 31, 2023 to guarantee Early Bird Pricing at the 2023 rates:

  • General Admission – $375 ($385 after October 31)
  • Premium Reserved (Sections 6-9 and 11-12) – $475 ($495 after October 31)
  • Grandstand Reserved (Section 10 Rows E and up) – $525 ($550 after October 31)
  • Campbell Real Estate Club Seats (Section 10 Rows A-D) – $675 ($700 after October 31)
  • Diamond Club Field Level – $750 (WAIT LIST – CALL FOR AVAILABILITY) ($775 after October 31)

Season tickets offer the best per-game value per seat and come with the following benefits:

  • Includes all regular season WCL league home games, and all pre-season and exhibition games
  • Season ticket holders get first right of refusal to purchase tickets for other special events (eg. concerts)
  • Season-ticket holders do not pay additional Fireworks Game pricing
  • Service fees and all taxes included in above prices

Please call the office at 778-265-0327 or e-mail to renew, or to purchase new seats.

You can also stop into the office to take care of this at 101-1814 Vancouver Street.  We are open in the off-season Tuesday – Friday from 10AM to 5PM.

Cats merchandise is also on sale now at the office at The Cat Shop, or online at


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Summer Collegiate

2023 Fan Experience Survey – Kamloops NorthPaws



Photo by: Allen Douglas

The Kamloops NorthPaws wanted to thank our fans for another great season at Norbrock Stadium – THANK YOU ‘PAWS FANS!!!

The organization is looking to fans to share their experiences in order to make improvements for 2024. Fans who choose to include their email will be entered into a draw for a 2024 10-game flex plan, the winner will be contacted on October 6, 2023. All anonymous users will not be entered into the draw. The NorthPaws thank you for your reviews and support of our team, we look forward to improving our operations and welcoming you back to the ballpark in 2024!

You can complete the form below:


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Summer Collegiate

Top player in 2023 returns for third season as a NightOwl



Marsh the first NightOwls’ signing for 2024 WCL season

An original NightOwl is coming back for a third season at historic Serauxmen Stadium.
Infielder Aaron Marsh of the UBC Thunderbirds, who shared the 2023 player of the year award with keystone partner Elijah Ickes, will be the key offensive piece that Head Coach Greg Frady will build his lineup around in the summer of 2024.
The Nanaimo product, a former Pirate, has been the picture of consistency for the NightOwls for the team’s first two seasons in the West Coast League. In 2022, Marsh batted .309 and was among team leaders with 38 hits and 20 runs driven in, and followed that up in 2023 with 39 more hits, 24 RBIs, and batting .287 while playing both second and third. He hit two home runs both seasons.

“Aaron is a tough out, gives the team gritty at-bats and is so reliable on defence,” said Jim Swanson, GM of the NightOwls. “He brings so many intangibles to UBC and to the NightOwls, is a leader and you can tell he loves to play the game, and loves to play in front of our great crowds in Nanaimo, in front of people who watched him grow up in our city. He’s the ideal player to have as our first signing for the 2024 season.”

A left-handed hitter with extra-base power, a valuable asset with the exciting fence configuration at Serauxmen Stadium, the 5-10/185 Marsh has played 73 games as a NightOwl, so will be looking to become the first player to play in 100 games for Nanaimo’s young WCL franchise.
“Recruiting is very much underway, between myself and the coaching staff, looking to build a team that can get us to the playoffs and be the first Canadian team to win the WCL title,” said Swanson. “Our 2023 team played everyone hard, one game below .500 — and known for being scrappy and playing the game the right way, with the right approach of effort and sportsmanship. We are building future pro players here, we are also building young men who will be successful in whatever they advance to in life. Aaron is definitely one of those people.”
Season tickets are now on sale for the 2024 campaign — renewals and new fans, the best seats at the park available for as low as $400 for the season (roughly $12.50 per seat per game). Included in season tickets are gratis playoff tickets, with the NightOwls in the hunt for a post-season spot until the final week in both of the team’s initial seasons.
“If you haven’t yet made it to a game — you’re missing out on a great spot and a special energy that only Serauxmen creates,” said Swanson.
For information on season tickets, email
Team merchandise is also in hot demand, find the shop site at for a variety of offerings from hats to hoodies to shirts and miscellaneous items.


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