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Victoria HarbourCats | Easing of outdoor crowd restrictions too little, too late for HarbourCats and NightOwls

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Teams looking at possible exhibition series this summer, full speed ahead for 2022!

For Immediate Release

June 29, 2021

VICTORIA, BC — If only things were where we are now six months ago. Even two months ago.

The Province today announced that after July 1, outdoor gatherings in British Columbia can have up to 5,000 people in attendance, or up to 50% capacity, whichever is greater. While that is great news for many, and for all of us in British Columbia moving forward, unfortunately, it is too little, too late for sports teams like the Victoria HarbourCats and Nanaimo NightOwls, who had to make critical business decisions two months ago regarding the 2021 West Coast League Baseball season.

At that time, with the border still closed – and it is still slated to be closed until July 21 – and with the vaccination levels then nowhere near what they are right now, with COVID cases still high, the HarbourCats had to make the tough decision to forego playing the 2021 season, the second-straight lost season due to the pandemic.

It also meant at the time, the HarbourCats had to release all the players they had signed, so that they could find somewhere else to play this year. So for fans hoping to see the HarbourCats rapidly put a team together and start playing games, it is not going to happen.

There may be an opportunity though for the HarbourCats to put together some sort of exhibition game or series with their sister team the Nanaimo NightOwls later this summer, and Managing Partner for both teams, Jim Swanson, is starting to explore that possibility.

“With our U.S. teams in the West Coast League already well into their 2021 WCL season, and with the border still closed, it will be impossible for us to ramp up any kind of regular season,” said Swanson. “But we are exploring some kind of exhibition series between our two teams, albeit altered from what we’ve been proud to put on the field for so many years. If something is able to be done, we will let everyone know any plans at a later date.”
On a longer term, the news today means that the HarbourCats and NightOwls can both proceed full speed ahead for a full season of West Coast League baseball season in 2022, the eighth for the HarbourCats and the inaugural first for the NightOwls, with fans in full attendance.

While the 2022 West Coast League schedule is not expected to be released until October, fans should be warned now that tickets for 2022 will be in high demand. With four new teams in the league – the NightOwls, the Kamloops NorthPaws, the Edmonton Riverhawks and the Springfield (Oregon), Drifters, and the fact that fans will be itching to get to a game after a two-year absence, it could be a record-setting attendance year at Wilson’s Group Stadium in Victoria, and close to a sell out for every game, in the smaller Serauxmen Stadium in Nanaimo.

“With many fans having vouchers to exchange from both 2020 and 2021 and the demand for tickets for people who will just want to see a game again, we are suggesting that if you have been sitting on the fence about getting HarbourCats season tickets, now is time to act,” said HarbourCats Assistant GM of Ticketing and Media Christian Stewart. “Season tickets are by far the best value for your money, and we have plenty of options available for Victoria in all seating areas, except our field level Diamond Club seats.”

Fans can also purchase 10-game flex pack vouchers now, but will have to renew them, along with all fans holding 2020 and 2021 vouchers, once the schedule is released in the fall. Flex-pack vouchers are also available as a “season ticket equivalent,” whereby for the same price as a season ticket, fans get 35 vouchers to use in any combination and for any regular season game that they wish.

“We can’t wait to entertain fans back at the ballpark again,” added Stewart. “Hopefully we can get something together for a game or two in July or August, but either way, 2022 is going to be amazing and we want as many fans as possible to be there with us when we celebrate the full return of HarbourCats baseball.”

For more information on tickets for both teams, please visit or contact:

Victoria HarbourCats
https://harbourcats.com/ticketinfo/
Contact: Christian Stewart chris@harbourcats.com
Phone: 778-265-0327

Nanaimo NightOwls
https://nanaimonightowls.com/tickets/
Contact: Raymond Kirk ray@nanaimonightowls.com
Phone: 250-709-2882

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Summer Collegiate

Three returning players, one a WCL all-star, and local infielder highlight eight NightOwls signings

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Those announced today:

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OF/LHP Riley Paulino, University of Pikeville, 5-11/180, Fife, WA (returning player)

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C Sammy Torres, University of Pikeville, 5-9/200, Yuaco, Puerto Rico (returning player)

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LHP Richtter Castillo, University of Pikeville, 6-0/215, Maracay, Venezuela

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IF Lucas Laukkanen, Cloud County commit, 6-0/190, Nanaimo

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LHP Carson Jones, St. Martins, 6-0/180, Walla Walla, WA (returning player)

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RHP Christian Lucero, Arizona Christian, 6-1/190, Sacramento

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OF Sammy Kahler, San Diego State, 6-0/185, Stockton, CA

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OF Drew Rutter, San Diego State, 6-1/190, Trabuco Canyon, CA

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Victoria HarbourCats – Manny’s hitting coach added to staff by Coach Haney

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2024 HarbourCats Coaching Staff – Front Row (L to R) Scott Anderson (Pitching Coach), Todd Haney (Head Coach), Trovin Valdez (Hitting Coach), Steve Sinclair (Bench Coach); Back Row (L to R): Ethan Fox (Bullpen Coach), Troy Birtwistle (First Base Coach).

For immediate release

April 16, 2024

VICTORIA, B.C. — An already strong coaching staff under WCL Coach of the Year Todd Haney just got stronger with the addition of Trovin Valdez, a former pro who made it to AAA in the Montreal Expos system.

Valdez, 50, was the personal hitting coach of Manny Ramirez during much of his record-setting MLB career and now works extensively with his sons Manny Jr. and Lucas, who have joined the HarbourCats for the 2024 WCL season. Valdez, who was once traded for lefthander David Wells, also works with a number of MLB players from his base in Florida, moving around the continent — and now will spend the summer exclusively in Victoria working with all HarbourCats hitters.

Haney, who has been with the HarbourCats since 2018 and Head Coach since 2019, is proud to unveil the entire staff for 2024:

  • Todd Haney, Head Coach (5th year, 4th as Head Coach)
  • Trovin Valdez, Hitting/Outfield Coach (First year)
  • Scott Anderson, Pitching Coach (Second year)
  • Troy Birtwistle, First Base Coach (Sixth year)
  • Steve Sinclair, Bench Coach (Second year)
  • Ethan Fox, Bullpen Coach (Third year, former HarbourCats player)

Under Haney, the HarbourCats led the WCL in hits, runs and stolen bases in 2023 and set a WCL record with an astounding 25-2 home record at Wilson’s Group Stadium at RAP, adding two more home wins in as many dates in the playoffs. The HarbourCats reached the WCL’s final game for the third time in five seasons.

Jaxon Williams (pictured right), part of the 2023 staff, is unable to return due to career reasons and the HarbourCats thank him and wish him all the best, he will always be a part of the HarbourCats family.

“This is a tremendous staff under incredible leadership from Todd — our players will be well served in their development,” said Christian Stewart, GM of the HarbourCats. “We couldn’t be happier with the makeup of this group, and we’re excited to see Trovin go to work. Our team set multiple team and league records on the offensive side of the game last year and that exciting style of play will be on display for our fans again.”

Valdez stole more than 250 bases as a pro, spanning nine seasons, and he joins former pro players Haney (five years MLB with Expos, Cubs and Mets), Anderson (also Expos system), Sinclair (MLB lefty with Blue Jays and Mariners), and Birtwistle (Australia). Fox played college ball and is the Head Coach of the Golden Tide CCBC team.

The HarbourCats open on the road May 31 in Kamloops, the start of back-to-back series in Kamloops and Kelowna, before returning for the June 7 home opener against Wenatchee. The HarbourCats will be on the road this summer in Kamloops, Kelowna, Edmonton, Wenatchee, Ridgefield, Port Angeles, Bellingham, and six games in Nanaimo against the Island-rival NightOwls at Serauxmen Stadium. Teams visiting Victoria this year are Wenatchee, Nanaimo, Bellingham, Port Angeles, Kelowna, Edmonton (two series), Kamloops and Corvallis, along with non-league games against the Redmond Dudes, Dub Sea Fishsticks, the SIBL All-Stars, and Victoria Mavericks All-Stars.

The regular season runs until August 7, with WCL playoffs running from August 10 to August 16.

Single game tickets are now available for the HarbourCats 2024 season including the home opener on Friday, June 7, 2024 at 6:35pm against the Kamloops NorthPaws. These can be purchased online through our one and only ticketing partner, Select Your Tickets, at www.harbourcats.com/tickets or at the HarbourCats office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street.

Season tickets and 10-game flex packs are also now on sale via the HarbourCats office or by calling 778-265-0327.

 

 

 

 

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Victoria HarbourCats – Manny Ramirez’s two sons sign with HarbourCats

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April 4 2024

VICTORIA, B.C. — Their father was once the most-feared hitter in the Major Leagues, a perennial all-star with a big personality who won a World Series, a batting title, and could change any game with one swing.

Manny Ramirez Jr., 21 (pictured above left), and Lucas Ramirez, 18 (pictured above right), carry the same potential — Manny Jr., a booming right-handed power hitter, with Lucas a lefty with a power stroke who has committed to the University of Tennessee for the fall.

Both outfielders who can DH, Manny Jr. and Lucas are excited to be coming to Victoria, to further develop under Head Coach Todd Haney, a former MLB player, and a coaching staff that also includes former pro player and coach Scott Anderson and former MLB pitcher Steve Sinclair.

“These are notable signings not just for us, but for the entire West Coast League — this will be exciting news for our fans and sponsors, no question,” said Jim Swanson of the HarbourCats. “They come highly recommended by our former pitching coach, Alec Adame, who is coaching Manny Jr. at ELAC (East LA College). It’s been a pleasure working with the family to set this all up, and we know Victoria will welcome them all with open arms — to the city rated the best city in the world. Alec was here in 2015 and knows how great the baseball environment is at Wilson’s Group Stadium at RAP.”

So far this spring Manny Jr. leads ELAC with three home runs and has 18 runs driven in over 20 games, adding nine doubles and walking 14 times. The 6-3/210 outfielder is a freshman who is a product of Calvary Christian high school in Clearwater, FL.

Lucas is a graduating high school senior at powerful American Heritage in Florida and is a possible high-round pick in the upcoming draft thanks to already developing power from the left side. He is already built like a pro at 6-3/200.

They have a tremendous baseball role model to aspire to. Manny Ramirez played 19 seasons and batted .312 with 555 home runs, the 15th highest total in MLB history — he starred for Cleveland, Boston, and the Dodgers, and finished with time for the Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays. He was a 12-time all-star, was MVP of the 2004 World Series when the Red Sox ended their long title drought, won the 2002 American League batting title, and was the Hank Aaron Award winner in 1999 and 2004. He was also part of a second Red Sox team to win the World Series in 2007, and hit more post-season home runs (29) than anyone else in the history of the game. He finished top-10 in MVP voting in the American League eight years in a row (1998-2005).

The HarbourCats open on the road May 31 in Kamloops, the start of back-to-back series in Kamloops and Kelowna, before returning for the June 7 home opener against Wenatchee. The HarbourCats will be on the road this summer in Kamloops, Kelowna, Edmonton, Wenatchee, Ridgefield, Port Angeles, Bellingham, and six games in Nanaimo against the Island-rival NightOwls at Serauxmen Stadium. Teams visiting Victoria this year are Wenatchee, Nanaimo, Bellingham, Port Angeles, Kelowna, Edmonton (two series), Kamloops and Corvallis, along with non-league games against the Redmond Dudes, Dub Sea Fishsticks, the SIBL All-Stars, and Victoria Mavericks All-Stars.

The regular season runs until August 7, with WCL playoffs running from August 10 to August 16.

Single game tickets are now available for the HarbourCats 2024 season including the home opener on Friday, June 7, 2024 at 6:35pm against the Kamloops NorthPaws. These can be purchased online at www.harbourcats.com/tickets or at the HarbourCats office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street.

Season tickets and 10-game flex packs are also now on sale via the HarbourCats office or by calling 778-265-0327.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  If you are a 2023 Season Ticket holder who has not yet renewed your seats for the 2024 season, please do so by April 15th, 2024 or your seats will be released and available to the public for sale. Please call Christian at 778-265-0327 ASAP to renew your seats.

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