VICTORIA, B.C. – Opening Night, presented by Castle Building Centres, is what baseball fans wait all year for, like Christmas morning, and the HarbourCats home opener on this coming Monday, June 5 will not disappoint.
The HarbourCats begin a three-game series against the Wenatchee AppleSox in their first regular season home game of the 2017 West Coast League season at Royal Athletic Park. First pitch will be thrown at 6:35pm on June 5, but the fun and festivities – and giveaways—will start long before then and last through the evening.
Floyd’s Diner t-shirts will be given away in the crowd, and the gates will open extra early, at 5pm to give the anticipated large crowd more time to find their seats and soak in the atmosphere.
Thanks to Castle Building Centres, traditional Opening Night pageantry and ceremonies including the introduction of the full rosters of both teams on their respective base lines, will begin at 6:20pm in advance of the 6:35pm first pitch.
The HarbourCats are celebrating ‘#SeasonV’ all season long, recognizing the HarbourCats’ fifth year of West Coast League baseball in Victoria, but Opening Night will begin with one last look back to the unforgettable 2016 season.
The HarbourCats will salute their 2016 WCL Regular Season Pennant-winning team with banner unveilings commemorating Victoria’s WCL-record 40 wins and 19-game win streak achieved last season, as well as their 2016 WCL Regular Season Pennant.
The HarbourCats reached the playoffs for the first time in franchise history in 2016, which was also the first playoff berth for a Victoria-based baseball team since 1952.
A homegrown Victoria baseball star, and HarbourCats alum, will be recognized during the ceremonies. Nick Pivetta, a HarbourCats’ right-handed pitcher in 2013 and a graduate of Lambrick Park secondary school, made his major league debut with the Philadelphia Phillies this April. Pivetta is the first HarbourCat alum to reach the major leagues, and in recognition, will have his name added to the club’s Wall of Honor at Royal Athletic Park.
Skydivers, always an exciting spectacle at Royal Athletic Park, will ‘drop in’ just prior to first pitch. Already a fan favorite in past years, this year’s demonstration will be more spectacular than ever, with nine skydivers from the Victoria Skydiving Club descending upon the ballpark.
Victoria is one of two Canadian-based teams in the WCL, and as such, Opening Night festivities will have a uniquely Canadian touch with an appearance by Marko Kardum—and his Zamboni. Kardum gained notoriety in the Victoria area this February when the Saanich man attempted to clear snow off of the roads with his Zamboni.
Dignitaries will also be in attendance to mark the beginning of the HarbourCats’ fifth season in B.C.’ capital city, the first Victoria-based baseball team to play a fifth season since the Victoria Athletics/Tyees (1946-54). Mayor Lisa Helps will be on hand and to help throw out the ceremonial first pitch with Brent Cowling of Castle Building Centres to get the home season underway.
The HarbourCats and Wenatchee will continue their three game series on Tuesday, June 6 and Wednesday, June 7. Both games are 6:35pm starts at Royal Athletic Park.