HarbourCats announce Champions Series

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Victoria sports legends to be honored throughout the season at Royal Athletic

 
Victoria B.C- The Victoria HarbourCats are pleased to announce plans for a Champions Series that will be held on special home game dates throughout the West Coast League team’s fourth season in Victoria.
 
The Champions Series will highlight Victoria’s outstanding history of sports excellence. 
 
Many teams and athletes of Victoria sports past and present will be at the ballpark, and honoured throughout the two-day event, ranging from baseball to lacrosse, football and beyond.
 
CHAMPIONS SERIES SCHEDULE
 
**OPENING NIGHT, June 7 — Shamrocks and the Mann Cup
 
**June 8 — Brian Ramsay (Grey Cup Champion) and Mt. Doug Football
 
**June 14-15 — Bates, Budget, Payless and all the great champion fastball teams of the “golden era” of RAP
 
**June 24 — Salute to the Seals, the best organization in Golden League history, operated by the Parker Family
 
**June 30 — MMA star fighter Sarah Kaufman, a Claremont Secondary grad who attended 
 
UVic, and is a force on the MMA circuit, to help with throwing out the first pitch on our first Fireworks Night.
 
“Sorry, Edmonton, but Victoria is doing everything it can to steal that ‘City of Champions’ 
 
title from you, and this plan to celebrate our great athletes is just a small part of that, we 
 
hope,” said General Manager Brad Norris-Jones.
 
“From the old fastball teams here, who brought so many great memories, and the history 
 
involved, to the recent successes of Mount Doug football, Sarah Kaufman and the 
 
Shamrocks, we’re proud to be able to let people celebrate more than the HarbourCats. Plus, 
 
we’ve come through a great winter with the Royals finishing first overall in the WHL — 
 
excellence is part of the fabric of Victoria.”
 
Prominently highlighted will be teams and individuals who have played major roles in the 
 
proud history of baseball and softball in the B.C. capital.  Our city has a distinguished record 
 
of success in senior men’s baseball, with a Victoria-based team winning the Canadian Senior 
 
Men’s National Championship ten times between the years of 1975-2001. Royal Athletic 
 
Park has also hosted the national championship on three occasions (1974, ’83, ’97).
 
Senior Men’s League National Champions from Victoria:
 
Victoria Bates Construction: 1975-78
 
Victoria Budget: 1982
 
Victoria Royals: 1983
 
Victoria Payless: 1991-92
 
Victoria Legends: 1997
 
Victoria Travellers Inn: 2001
 
All of these teams will be recognized during the Champions Series. All players and coaches 
 
from those teams are invited to attend the games on June 14-15. Representatives include 
 
Bob Burrows, a coach and catcher for the 1982 champion Budget squad, and a member of 
 
the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame.
 
Still on the diamond, Victoria has a longstanding history of supporting professional baseball 
 
that dates back over one hundred years.  The original Victoria Capitals won the city’s first 
 
pennant in 1920, playing for crowds in excess of 4,000.  Affiliated professional teams, the 
 
Victoria Athletics, Tyees, Mussels, and Blues followed the Capitals.
 
More recently, the Seals, an independent professional squad, were a hit in the city in 2009-
 
10, playing before average crowds of over 2,300 at RAP.  The Seals will be honoured during 
 
the Champions Series with Charlie Strandlund, who serves as an ambassador for the 
 
HarbourCats, among those who will be on hand. More details on that will be announced 
 
prior to the game.
 
Part of the fabric of the community and sports landscape for many years has been the 
 
Victoria Shamrocks of the Western Lacrosse Association. The Shamrocks have roots in the 
 
city dating back over 60 years, boasting extensive alumni of elite level lacrosse talent.  They 
 
are a perennial championship contender, with 20 provincial championships and 19 league 
 
titles in their illustrious history.
 
The Victoria Shamrocks, owned by Jim Hartshorne, have done an outstanding job of 
 
representing our community, and the HarbourCats are pleased to recognize them during the 
 
Champions Series.
 
In addition to successful sports teams bringing top-level sport and championship to our city, 
 
Victoria is also home to countless world-class athletes who have gone on to reach the 
 
pinnacle of their respective sports, having grown up right here on Vancouver Island.
 
From current NHL stars Jamie and Jordie Benn in hockey, and two-time NBA MVP Steve 
 
Nash in basketball, to prominent major league baseball players like Steve Sinclair, Rich 
 
Harden, and current Toronto Blue Jay, Michael Saunders, Victoria natives are among the 
 
leaders throughout sport.
 
Brian Ramsay is another example.  Born and raised in Victoria, Ramsay played high school 
 
football here at home and earned a scholarship to attend and play football at the University 
 
of New Mexico (NCAA Div. 1).  He was drafted in 2006 by the Canadian Football League’s 
 
Toronto Argonauts, and has since enjoyed a nine-year CFL career, winning the Grey Cup 
 
with the Edmonton Eskimos in 2015.  Ramsay will attend the Champions Series.
 
Sarah Kaufman is one of the top female fighters in MMA today, competing in the women’s 
 
bantamweight division, and is the former Women’s Strikeforce Welterweight Champion. She 
 
owns a career record of 17-4, stepping in the octagon against the top names in women’s 
 
MMA including a bout with Ronda Rousey, and a victory over Miesha Tate.
 
SEASON TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE
 
HarbourCats season tickets are continuing to sell quickly and sales of 10-packs and single-
 
game tickets are progressing at a brisk rate.  Fans are encouraged to secure your seats as 
 
soon as possible as selection continues to become increasingly limited as the season 
 
approaches. 
 
2016 is the fourth season of HarbourCats baseball in Victoria, dubbed the ‘Grand Slam 
 
Season’.  We look to kick it off with a blast on June 7 with the Opening Night ‘Drive for 5,000’ 
 
featuring Krazy George, and tickets for that game are going fast.
 
“We are extremely excited about 2016, our fourth season in Victoria,” said Managing 
 
Partner Jim Swanson. “With the season so close, tickets have been selling very quickly, so 
 
we recommend that you act fast to secure your seats and make sure you are a part of our 
 
grand slam season.”

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