Last week was pretty good to the Trail Orioles.
They earned a split with the highly regarded San Diego Stars, a good omen for their chances at the Grand Forks International at which the Stars are always a contender, then swept the Vernon Diamondbacks, securing an opportunity to defend their Western Canadian Championship in the process.
They will find out this weekend whether they are as good as that short stint indicates.
The Seattle Studs, even more a perennial powerhouse than the Stars, will hit Butler Park this weekend (Saturday at 5 and 7 p.m., Sunday at 11 a.m.)
The Stars are really good. The Studs have, in terms of semipro baseball, been awesome for awhile.
Just in the past month, Seattle has won its third straight Kelowna Invitational cash tournament and the Kamloops Invitational as well.
The Studs are almost always in the final four at GFI, and have won that tournament’s top prize, often against teams full of former big league and high minor league standouts, more than once.
The Studs are a Greater Seattle plus all-star aggregate, mostly current and recently former collegiate and minor pro players.
There are three 30-year-olds on roster and a 27-year-old, the rest are 25 and under, and they simply play very good ball.
You can eat, drink (maybe more than soft drinks) and be very entertained.
So why wouldn’t you go?
Well, one reason might be that this is the eve of the B.C. Little League Major championship, being hosted by Trail just a few kilometers from Butler Park.
The West Kootenay All Star team plays Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning (breakfast and a ball game) at Andy Bilesky Park, before early evening games (dinner and a ball game) Monday-Wednesday.
As my old friend Jerry, who announced the beginnings of the GFI, when it wasn’t so lamorous, used to say, “Come on out – and bring a friend.”