In the 1976 Richmond Amateur Baseball Association (RABA) season some things stayed the same and some things changed.
The two-division format was not changed. The Mainland Division included: St. Peter’s Royals, Louisdale Baracos, Louisdale Mooseheads, Port Hawkesbury, Lower River, and River Bourgeois. The Island Division included: Arichat Triple As, Petit de Grat Red Caps, Alderney Point Thunderbolts, D’Escousse Rebels, and Little Anse Hawks.
There were a few changes. The play-off format was streamlined in that the top two teams in each division would play off in a best-two-out-of-three series. Then the two winners would meet in a best-three-out-of-five championship round.
Other changes included a new field in Lower River, Bucky Samson moved from River Bourgeois to St. Peter’s, Kevin Patriquin replaced Richie Cotton as league statistician, Mike and Jimmy Pashkoski left D’Escousse for the Mooseheads, and Everett Landry transferred from D’Escousse to River Bourgeois.
In the annual All-Star Game, the Mainland prevailed 9-5 over the Island. Allan Gibson slugged two homers for the Mainland team, while Kenneth Boucher and Gus Boyd each added home runs. For the Island, Brian Boudreau, Keith David, and Leo Boyd went deep.
The 1976 play-offs featured the St. Peter’s Royals versus the Louisdale Baracos for the Mainland title, while on the Island, Petit de Grat faced the boys from Alderney Point. In the first game between PDG and the Point, the Red Caps were down 3-1 in the bottom of the ninth with two out. Valma Boudreau reached on an error, Richard Boudreau and Claude Boudreau each singled, and Rudolph Boudreau reached on another Thunderbolt error. This brought Maurice Boudreau to the plate and he stroked a double. Final score Petit de Grat 4 Alderney Point 3. On August 26 the Red Caps clinched the series with a 2-0 hard-fought win.
The Mainland series went the distance with Richie Mann of the Royals facing Barry Marchand for the Baracos in the first game played at St. Peter’s. Final score: St. Peter’s 9 Louisdale 7. The second game in this series, played in Louisdale, goes done as perhaps the most dramatic and famous in the history of baseball in the county. In the bottom of the ninth St. Peter’s led the Baracos by a score of 17-5. Louisdale scored 13 runs to take the game 18-17.
As the Red Caps waited to see who they would face in the finals, game three wrapped up the series for the Royals as Leonard Digout outpitched Barry Marchand for a 7-4 win.
The best-of-five series went four games with the Baracos and Royals trading wins in the first two games. Leonard Digout hit a grand slam in a game one romp 15-2 for St. Peter’s. Paced by a three-run homer by Richard Boudreau, the Red Caps stormed back to take game two 9-7.
In the final two games, pitching duels were scarce as the Royals’ offensive power struck for 38 runs 20-11 and 18-11. In the last contest, brothers Leonard and Billy Digout combined for nine hits for the Royals.
Final individual statistics for 1976:
Batting: Billy Digout Royals .426 (his teammate Danny MacMillan was at .425)
Home Runs: Barry Marchand Baracos 8
RBI: Billy Digout Royals 26
Slugging: Reid Carter Royals .780
Stolen Bases: Terry Samson Little Anse 21
Pitching: Allan Samson Red Caps 6-0
ERA: Barry Marchand Baracos 1.35