Senior baseball was a focal point of interest in 1978 as the St. Peter’s Royals represented Nova Scotia in the Canadian Senior Baseball Championships held in Regina and Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
In their first game, the Royals mounted a late-inning comeback to outscore Newfoundland 7-6. In the bottom of the ninth, Kevin MacRae singled home Barry Marchand for the winning run. Marchand blasted a home run and three singles while Bucky Samson and Richie Mann added three singles apiece. Aside from his winning RBI single, Kevin MacRae had a double and two singles. The Royals used five pitchers with Leo King tagged with the win.
The Royals should have won their second game but lost a heart-breaker to New Brunswick, and in the game against host Saskatchewan, arguably the best team in the country, the Royals gave up 13 walks, 10 of those coming in the final two innings.
In rehashing the tournament, the consensus was that the Royals were competitive in power numbers with Robbie Mann going 10 for 16 (.625) and Richie Mann nine for 16 (.620). Other top hitters were Barry Marchand .412, Kevin MacRae .412, Jerry Burke .444, and Reid Carter .444, not to mention those with .300 averages.
The larger fields played havoc with the outfielders and the dry heat of Saskatchewan was a challenge, but pitching proved to be the Achilles heel of the Royals. There were proven, steady arms in the line-up with Leo King, Sander Cogswell, and Richie Mann, but these were not enough to match the hitting prowess of the competition.
Eddie Gillis, provincial baseball coach, was the guest speaker at the Royals banquet for that season. He praised Richmond County for the unprecedented development of baseball. Gillis described the RABA, as the hotbed of baseball in the province, noting that it was remarkable for such a small population to have two Maritime championship clubs as well as having the St. Peter’s Royals winning the right to represent Nova Scotia at the Canadian National Baseball championships in Regina and Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
The big winner in the team awards was Barry Marchand receiving the home run and batting awards, along with awards for the best outfielder and Most Valuable Player. Other notables were Kevin MacRae, Best Infielder; Jerry Burke, Most Improved; Maurice Boudreau, Rookie of the Year; and Richie Mann and Leo King shared the pitching title. Danny MacMillan was chosen Team Leader; Reid Carter Most Underrated player; Robbie Mann Most Valuable Player at the national championships; Bucky Sampson Most Valuable Player in the Nova Scotia elimination play-offs; Leo King Best Pitcher in the Nova Scotia elimination playoffs; and Kevin MacRae Best Player in game 1 of the national championships.
Besides team awards, presentations were made to non-playing followers of the local entry in the Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League. Three awards were made to the Fans of the Year. Maurice and Jim Bouchard and Jim Digout shared the award and the non-playing Team Leadership trophy went to former Royals player Calvin Digout.