(ISN) – VICTORIA, B.C. – Two well-known members of the baseball and sports community have joined the HarbourCats front office as Team Ambassadors.
Gerry Lister and Charlie Strandlund will help represent the team in the community, including events and sports gatherings, supporting the work of the HarbourCats’ staff and ownership.
“Baseball is something that is in my blood, and this community views it as an important part of our fabric – the HarbourCats are good for Victoria, and I’m proud to pitch in,” said Lister, 67. “I’m a fan, I attend games, and I enjoy talking baseball with people. It’s an honor to work with the team in a capacity like this.”
Lister, a life-long Victoria resident, has a deep history in sports, dating back to his high school days when he was the goalkeeper for the Vic High Tyees, and later Gorge Soccer Club. He’s played rugby, baseball, soccer and been a high-level curler, competing five times at the Canadian Firefighters Curling Championship. As a baseball player, he was enshrined in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame and Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame for his time as a key player with the North Battleford Beavers. He played for Team Sask in the 1968 Canada Summer Games in Halifax, part of summers spent on the diamond around his collegiate baseball career at Spokane Community College.
In 1970, Lister was part of the legendary Victoria Centennials team that won the Canadian championship and went on to represent our country at the World Baseball Congress in Cartagena, Colombia, and that team was inducted into the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame.
Lister was a City of Saanich alderman in the 1980s and founded the Greater Victoria Firefighters Burn Fund, helping build the burn unit and burn house. Lister, devoted husband to Stephanie for 43 years with one son, one daughter and one grandchild (with two on the way), retired from his position as Assistant Fire Chief with the Victoria Fire Department.
Like Lister, Strandlund is no stranger to local sports fans – or the HarbourCats. The former collegiate All-American, Team Canada and Victoria Seals player served as a “home games” coach last season with the HarbourCats and this year will be available to the team in a variety of capacities, including helping new Head Coach Graig Merritt when required.
“The HarbourCats are great for the city and I’m glad to help out in any way possible,” said Strandlund, 32. “I’ll always want to be involved because the HarbourCats are setting the table for longevity, so I’m glad to help out in this role.”
The HarbourCats thank Gerry and Charlie for their support and their energy as they prepare for the 2015 West Coast League season, which starts June 5 with the home opener against the Kelowna Falcons. The team will play exhibition games on May 31, June 2 and June 3 at Sports Traders Diamond at RAP.
Due to an arm issue and higher innings in his college season, LHP Carson Schneider of New Mexico will not be returning to the HarbourCats this season. The HarbourCats hope he has a great summer and returns strong next college season, and will be considered for the 2016 West Coast League season.
LHP Matt Fish of Pierce CC (NWAC) will not be reporting for the HarbourCats this season due to academic requirements he needs to fulfill this summer prior to transferring to a Division 1 NCAA school next fall. Fish, who would have been a rookie this summer in the WCL, will attend Utah Valley in September.