While recalling provincial action in 1973, it should be noted that the county once again excelled in minor ball.
The Petit de Grat Beavers took the crown in their division while Louisdale captured the Juvenile title. Chet Boudreau took home a Most Outstanding Player award.
It should also be mentioned that Richie and Robbie Mann were chosen to the Nova Scotia baseball squad that competed in Burnaby, British Columbia.
Finally, the RABA play-offs between the St. Peter’s Royals and the Louisdale Baracos was set to begin. By this time, it was the middle of October and summer had long gone.
In the first game, Richie Mann and Leonard Digout combined on the mound for the Royals to post an 8-4 victory. The ever resilient Baracos took game two 7-5 and Bobby Samson was the winning pitcher.
Game three was played in Louisdale on Saturday October 20. Once again Richie Mann starred on the mound for the Royals aided by homers from brothers Billy and Leonard Digout. Bobby Samson took the loss for the Baracos.
The following day, Sunday October 21, in River Bourgeois, Louisdale tied the series with a 5-2 victory. Barry Marchand tossed the win; Leonard Digout took the loss.
The final game was played on October 27 and the Mann brothers, Robbie and Richie, were all St. Peter’s needed. Richie pitched a two-hit, eight-strikeout masterpiece and had a homer and single while Robbie chipped in with a double and two singles. Final score: St. Peter’s Royals 6 Louisdale Baracos 0. St. Peter’s was the 1973 RABA champs.
Besides the tremendous amount of baseball being played in the county and outside by county teams, 1973 was notable for another reason. This was the year of the first RABA all-star game. The two divisions, Island and Mainland, sent their best to battle for bragging rights. Despite the many excellent pitchers the league boasted, the contest turned out to be a slugfest.
The Island team jumped out to an early lead against Mainland starter Barry Marchand, and after five-and-a half innings, the Island led 11-5. Momentum shifted in the sixth as the Mainlanders rallied to tie the score. Then in the eighth, the Mainland surged ahead 14-11 on a two-run homer by Danny MacMillan and run-scoring single from Allan Gibson.
Not to be outdone, the Island team pushed across four runs on four hits to take a 15-14 lead. This set the stage for a dramatic bottom of the ninth. Gerry Burke walked followed by singles from Gordie Embree and Leonard Digout to tie the score. Then Danny MacMillan bounced one off the right-field wall to score the winning run. Final score: Mainland 16-Island 15.
Prior to the start of the game, Jim Boucher was recognized for his tremendous contribution to baseball in Richmond County. Rev. Jim Mombourquette, league president, and Richmond Warden Walter Fougere threw out the ceremonial first pitch.