Despite changes, baseball still best bet

The Orioles have a pretty good senior baseball team and will be showing that off for 3 straight weekends following the Canada Day holiday

There has been so little sunshine of late it is hard not to be concerned about UFOs this week, what with all the bright light out there lately.

Here’s hoping the current situation is a harbinger of things to come in July, because there are a couple of important events scheduled at local ball parks.

The Orioles, despite a dismal-looking 3-10 record to date, have a pretty good senior baseball team and will be showing that off for three straight weekends following the Canada Day holiday, including a late-month set with the Vernon Diamondbacks in which they will be looking to solidify a Western Canadian championship spot.

Trail Little League will, around that same end of the month time frame, be hosting the provincial championship for the 12-and-under level.

I, and the people organizing all that quality competition, hope lots of you will show up to enjoy and support the efforts of the teams involved.

The facilities, both Butler Park and Andy Bileski Park, are both lovely and well-maintained places at which to enjoy baseball, among the best places for amateur play you will find anywhere.

Roster spots are almost all filled with local athletes and the organization of the teams and events is a laborious labour of love for locals, as well.

Demographics have changed things for the Home of Champions over time, but this is still almost as much a ball town as a hockey one.

The changes have come, as with the local school system, because of a shrinking population, particularly the population of young families.

Where once there were two little leagues in Trail and one of the hardest things to do in B.C. was win the Trail-area spot at the provincials, it has come down to a combined West Kootenay all-star team being formed – and even that doesn’t make this year’s hosts favourites in the provincial competition.

Where once all other B.C. districts, and minor ball groups in neighbouring communities, tried to avoid butting heads with Trail teams, the local squads are only rarely ranked as contenders.

But, this year’s district wide selection process should mean local fans have reason to hold old-time hope for success.

Regardless, the event will be well-run and the competition entertaining, so schedule some time to get up to Glenmerry for the action.

• All that ball can distract us from hockey’s woes. A new contract is required between the NHL and its players and, despite the fact their game has deteriorated to the point that that once oxymoronic phrase, “boring hockey,” is now apt, both sides will be talking about nothing but money.

A lockout/strike is exceedingly possible and whatever comes out of that will likely still be a dreary reflection of the exciting competition that once was.

The ball park(s) is a wonderful place to avoid that reality.

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