STRAIT AREA: There was mixed news for local baseball fans as the Richmond Amateur Baseball Association (RABA) announced it will not go forward with the 2020 season, while minor baseball leagues announced their schedules.
During a meeting on August 3 of the RABA executive and all teams preparing to play this year, it was decided that the 2020 season, the league’s 50th anniversary year, will not proceed.
Although the league appointed an executive and Petit de Grat, Little Anse, Isle Madame, Louisdale, and Port Hawkesbury teams confirmed in the spring that they would field teams this year, RABA president Gary David said issues with teams was one problem.
“Louisdale decided that they couldn’t field a team,” David reported. “Port Hawkesbury was iffy, they weren’t sure if they could field a team or not, so that became the first problem. The Mariners from Arichat, they had a commitment of 10 players, but again, weren’t sure if they wanted to play with that many players.”
The other equally troubling issue surrounded liability for ballfields.
“We looked at liability issues to deal with everything and making sure everyone was safe. They started saying, ‘is it worth doing for just a 16-game schedule,’” the president said. “The Red Caps had concerns because they’re still technically responsible for their field… Port Hawkesbury definitely had concerns because the field is owned by the town, so the town makes its rules and makes its decisions and the town wants all rules abided by.”
Another issue surrounded the play-off weekend.
“They didn’t feel comfortable awarding a trophy with only three teams participating, especially not in our 50th year,” David confirmed.
Although RABA teams did hold off on starting the season earlier this summer due to new baseball rules to adhere to public health restrictions, David said that wasn’t the main reason for the cancellation.
“There are still restrictions; the umpire still isn’t allowed behind home plate, sanitization of the baseball, still only allowed three people in the dug-out, and fans have to practice social distancing,” he noted.
Although the teams voted to cancel the season, players will play pick-up baseball this summer, and the Petit de Grat ballfield will host a senior baseball tournament on August 21-23.
David hopes that the league will resume in 2021 and they are able to hold 50th anniversary celebrations. He added that by mid-January, the situation will be much clearer than it was this year.
“We’ll restart in January, get ready and have our 50th season next year,” the RABA president explained. “You really can’t tell what’s going to happen but we’re hoping to be ready to go at that time and that’s what we’re going to be planning for.”
Meanwhile, the Under 13 Cape Breton Baseball League announced it will be following all Baseball Nova Scotia rules. Play started on August 3, with games going until the championship round on September 12.
The teams in the league are the Isle Madame Mariners, Richmond Royals, Port Hood, Strait Area Sting, Northside Rebels, Sydney Mines, Glace Bay Antonians, and Sydney Minor Blue Jays.
After the final regular season game on September 3, league play-offs will start on September 7 with the first place team taking on the league’s second place team.
As for the Under 15 Cape Breton Baseball League, the teams include the New Glasgow Kinsmen, the Antigonish Angels, the Strait Area Sting, and the Isle Madame Mariners.
The schedule officially started on August 5 and the regular season will end on September 5, with play-offs taking place on September 12 and 13.
As is the case with the Under 13 league, the Under 15 league will follow all BNS rules, and if those rules change, the league says it will change its rules accordingly.
In the Under 18 Northeastern Baseball League, all BNS rules will be followed by participating teams the Strait Area String, the Cape Breton Expos, the Pictou County Padres, the Great Village Tide, the Lake Echo Lakers, the Cape Breton Ramblers, and the Amherst Ramblers.
The season started on August 11 with the play-off round scheduled to stake place on September 19.
18U Northeastern Baseball League results
Saturday August 8: Glace Bay Ramblers 5 Cape Breton Expos 0
Sunday August 9: Strait Area Sting 8 Cape Breton Expos 4
Sunday August 9: Strait Area Sting 5 Cape Breton Expos 3
Tuesday August 11: Great Village Tide 7 Pictou County Padres 0
Saturday August 15: Great Village Tide 9 Strait Area Sting 1
Saturday August 15: Great Village Tide 1 Strait Area Sting 1
Saturday August 15: Amherst Athletics 4 Lake Echo Lakers 1
Saturday August 15: Lake Echo Lakers 5 Amherst Athletics 1
Saturday August 15: Glace Bay Ramblers 7 Cape Breton Expos 2
Saturday August 15: Glace Bay Ramblers 9 Cape Breton Expos 0
Sunday August 16: Lake Echo Lakers 7 Pictou County Padres 1
Sunday August 16: Lake Echo Lakers 6 Pictou County Padres 4
15U Cape Breton Baseball League results
Wednesday August 5: Antigonish Angels 11 New Glasgow Kinsmen 4
Thursday August 6: Isle Madame Mariners 11 Strait Area Sting 1
Monday August 10: Strait area Sting 8 New Glasgow Kinsmen 3
Wednesday August 12: New Glasgow Kinsmen 9 Strait Area Sting 1
Friday August 14: Strait Area Sting 15 Isle Madame Mariners 2
Saturday August 15: Antigonish Angels 10 Isle Madame Mariners 3
Saturday August 15: Isle Madame Mariners 4 Antigonish Angels 3
13U Cape Breton Baseball League results
Monday August 3: Isle Madame Mariners 6 Richmond Royals 5
Wednesday August 5: Port Hood Warriors 14 Strait Area Sting 4
Thursday August 6: Isle Madame Mariners 12 Richmond Royals 11
Thursday August 6: Glace Bay Antonians 7 Sydney Minor Blue Jays 5
Thursday August 6: Port Hood Warriers 17 Strait area Sting 7
Friday August 7: Northside Rebels 12 Glace Bay Antonians 1
Monday August 10: Richmond Royals 12 Strait Area Sting 4
Monday August 10: Port Hood Warriors 6-6 Isle Madame Mariners
Tuesday August 11: Sydney Minor Blue Jays 11 Glace Bay Antonians 4
Wednesday August 12: Northside Rebels 11 v Glace Bay Antonians 1
Wednesday August 12: Isle Madame Mariners 6 Port Hood Warriors 3
Friday August 14: Richmond Royals 25 Strait Area Sting 1
Friday August 14: Northside Rebels 7 Sydney Minor Blue Jays 1