VICTORIA, B.C. – Two announcements are featured today from the Victoria HarbourCats – and they offer different pieces of news, both equally important for the team’s operations moving forward.
A third details some of the pre-season and exhibition games the HarbourCats will play this season.
The HarbourCats and craft-brew specialists Spinnakers are pleased to have come together on a beer-label agreement that will see the local brewing company produce “HarbourCat Ale” in cans, available not just at the team’s games in 2016 but also wherever Spinnakers fine products are sold.
The release date is to be announced, but the HarbourCats used Saturday’s popular HotStove event, featuring Rogers Sportsnet broadcaster and former MLB catcher Gregg Zaun, to reveal the news to the crowd of 140.
“A big thanks goes out to Spinnakers, who have supported us from the beginning, and to our Assistant GM/Marketing Director, Brad Norris-Jones, who made this all happen — it’s an exciting step forward for our brand,” said Vice-President and General Manager Jim Swanson.
”The style of beer, an India Session style, reflects Victoria’s great diversity of ales. Spinnakers, and their quality, is a perfect fit for all parties.”
NATIONALS COMING — The HarbourCats are pleased to also announce the team was successful in its effort, led by bid chair Shawn Petriw, to secure the 2017 Baseball Canada Senior Championship, the annual tournament that declares the best men’s amateur team in Canada. The event will be played primarily at Royal Athletic Park, with a secondary field used for a few games, and the HarbourCats will oversee all aspects of the hosting duties.
“We have extensive experience to draw on, between myself and Shawn, as we have twice led the hosting of this event when we lived in Prince George (site of the successful 2002 and 2012 nationals),” said Swanson, who has helped coach two teams to national gold medals, along with two bronze medals, since 2001.
The nationals will take place in the third week of August and it’s expect to involve 10 teams from across Canada, including a host team entry. The event requires investment from the HarbourCats and will bring more than a million dollars in economic benefit to the city. SportHost Victoria, the City of Victoria, BC Senior Baseball Association and the Greater Victoria Baseball Association all threw their support behind the bid with official letters.
“This is a tournament and a format we know well and we are excited we’re bringing it to Victoria,” said Swanson. “Shawn and the HarbourCats worked hard on this, with assistance from Larry Seminoff, the long-time commissioner of the BC Senior Baseball Association. This is another great event for Victoria, which is known for welcoming major national and international tournaments. We appreciate the confidence shown that our staff is fully able to handle all that’s needed to make this a success, on and off the field, and make this a memorable event for Baseball Canada. The 10 participating teams will provide a quality level of baseball, and show class on and off the field.”
The HarbourCats are also pleased to announce today that Team Ambassador Charlie Strandlund, a former pro player with the Victoria Seals, will be leading a team of quality players who will take the field at RAP this summer to face the HarbourCats in non-league games, set for June 1 and June 22. The lineup for that team will be announced later, but will excite local baseball fans.
“These are games that will give great additional competition to our team and the pre-season dates will help our coaches evaluate our team going into the start of the WCL season,” said Swanson. “Charlie knows our program well, as a great coach for us in 2014, and knows the level and type of athlete that will be exciting for our fans to see face the HarbourCats — and also fit with our HarbourCats brand.”