Amherstburg Minor Baseball Association

Minor baseball concerned about immediate future with pending loss of diamonds

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Minor Baseball Association (AMBA) is wondering where their players are going to play next season and took their concerns to town council.

AMBA president Mary Lippert appeared before town council and questioned where the local players plus ones coming to town to play in the multiple tournaments that have been scheduled are going to play. With the sale of 15 acres of Centennial Park to the Greater Essex County District School Board (GECDSB), it means the loss of four diamonds there.

While there is a recommendation to relocate the diamonds to the Libro Centre, a concern with that is the fact no construction has started on those yet.

“Our biggest concern is if something doesn’t get done soon, our kids won’t have any place to play,” said Lippert.

Lippert added there is a fear that if youth start playing elsewhere, they won’t come back to Amherstburg even when new diamonds are built. There were also questions raised over the shape of the diamond and the ability to have the AMBA work on some of the diamonds to ensure they are in good shape.

“Are we going to have input on how they are built?” she also asked.

The premier baseball diamond, already located at the Libro Centre, has seen Amherstburg players “get the leftovers” of the times that are remaining while out-of-town users have received better bookings.

Image courtesy of Amherstburg Minor Baseball’s Twitter account (@AmherstburgBall)

“We live here,” said Lippert. “That’s unacceptable.”

It all comes down to ensuring local kids have a place to play baseball, she added.

“It’s the kids I worry about,” she said. “We want to make sure they have some place to play. What about next year if we’re not starting soon? What do we do for these 400 kids?”

CAO John Miceli said the diamonds at the Libro Centre won’t be ready for next year but the town will have to spend one year working with user groups. He said this year was taken care of through an arrangement with the GECDSB to use Centennial Park but arrangements have to be made for next year.

“We do have a number of diamonds available,” he said.

Work also has to be done if the town and Amherstburg baseball players are to use Co-An Park in McGregor and River Canard Park. The latter is run by the Town of LaSalle, said Lippert, and AMBA received a bill for $8,300 to use it last year.

Councillor Rick Fryer said they are “behind the eight-ball already” with minor baseball and wanted to know why the town was “dropping the ball” in addressing their needs. Miceli said the town “does not want to build anything in haste” and wants to see a “centre of excellence” at the Libro Centre.

“I know it’s an inconvenience but we want to have the best facilities going forward,” he said.

Lippert voiced concerns over user groups at other diamonds and questioned the town over why the issue wasn’t addressed before the 15 acres of Centennial Park was sold.

“Why didn’t this get looked at before we sold this property?” said Lippert.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo said the sale of the Centennial Park land was an issue of timing and that the town wants to have the best facilities it can even though there will be a year where it will be tougher for local baseball players to get to their games and practices.

“We are going to have a year of inconvenience where we will work this out,” said the mayor.

 

AMBA hosts pee wee travel baseball tournament

By Jonathan Martin

 

The Amherstburg Minor Baseball Association peewee travel tournament’s final game has been postponed due to inclement weather.

The game, which was originally scheduled for this past Sunday, hadn’t been given a new time at time of writing.

It will see the Amherstburg Cardinals mixed major take on the Essex Yellow Jackets.  Convener Bert Schipper said the baseball diamonds had been completely saturated with rainwater, so there was no choice but to pull the plug and try again later.

Over the weekend, peewee players from across Essex County and up to Richmond Hill took to Centennial Park’s fields.  Participating teams included LaSalle, Amherstburg Major, Amherstburg Minor, Essex and Richmond Hill.

The Amherstburg Cardinals pee wee baseball team were one of the participants in the recent tournament the Amherstburg Minor Baseball Association hosted.

According to convener Bert Schipper, this is the first time in around a decade Amherstburg has hosted a Baseball Ontario-sanctioned travel tournament.

“This is an opportunity for me to learn and get good at it,” he said.  “We have the provincial championships for Bantam C coming to the Libro (Centre) on Labour Day weekend.”

Schipper said hosting tournaments in the town benefits everyone.

“It brings people in and it brings business in,” he said.  “Especially for the teams’ sponsors, who are all local businesses.”

He added that this is the first time in more than a decade that Amherstburg will host the Bantams.  “I’m glad I have this tournament to warm up,” he said.

Unfortunately, no amount of practice can hold off rain.

Local house league baseball teams converge on Amherstburg

 

 

By RTT Staff

 

House league baseball teams from around Essex County and Windsor converged on Amherstburg for a weekend tournament earlier this month.

The wrap-up tournament saw eight teams in the pee wee division with teams coming from Kingsville, Forest Glade, Turtle Club (LaSalle), Leamington, Belle River, Tecumseh, Windsor Central and Riverside. That division played primarily at Centennial Park.

Amherstburg was represented in the bantam tournament held recently at the Libro Centre. (Back row): coaches Rob Faraday, Mike Bergeron , players Ed Laroye, Kain McDonald, Coach Brian McDonald, players Nolan Crain, Andrew Pickle, Andy Beneteau, head coach Dave Wharram. Bottom row: Jake Hamilton , Jacob Kelterborn, Matthew Pickle, Devon D'Alimonte, Ryan (Buzz) Wharram. Laying in front is Josh Bergeron. (Special to the RTT)

Amherstburg was represented in the bantam tournament held recently at the Libro Centre. (Back row): coaches Rob Faraday, Mike Bergeron , players Ed Laroye, Kain McDonald, Coach Brian McDonald, players Nolan Crain, Andrew Pickle, Andy Beneteau, head coach Dave Wharram. Bottom row: Jake Hamilton , Jacob Kelterborn, Matthew Pickle, Devon D’Alimonte, Ryan (Buzz) Wharram. Laying in front is Josh Bergeron. Frankie Jariett is absent. (Special to the RTT)

The bantam division saw five teams compete. Action was mainly at the Libro Centre, though one game was at Centennial Park. Teams from Amherstburg, Turtle Club, Riverside, Windsor South and Forest Glade took to the field with Amherstburg being eliminated with a 15-5 loss Saturday night to Forest Glade.

This was the second straight tournament in Amherstburg in successive weekends, with the South Shore Interlock Tournament the previous weekend for the pee wee players. That was at Centennial Park.

Ed Laroye pitches to the plate  during the recent bantam  tournament held in Amherstburg. Most of the games in the bantam division were at the Libro Centre while pee wee teams  competed at Centennial Park.

Ed Laroye pitches to the plate during the recent bantam tournament held in Amherstburg. Most of the games in the bantam division were at the Libro Centre while pee wee teams competed at Centennial Park.

“This team being put together in a very short period of time to represent Amherstburg in the tourney we were hosting. This team really worked hard and although didn’t make the finals on Sunday we still walked away winners. I couldn’t be more proud of the dedication these 12 guys showed the past month or so while preparing for this tournament,” said bantam head coach Dave Wharram.

Pee Wee house league playoffs come to Centennial Park

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Top pee wee baseball teams from across Essex County came to Amherstburg over the weekend to see which team was the best.

The Amherstburg Minor Baseball Association (AMBA) hosted the pee wee house league playoff tournament at Centennial Park over the weekend, with games starting Friday night and running through Sunday. There were 13 teams in all with three each coming from Leamington and Kingsville, two from Harrow and Essex and one from Cottam.

Amherstburg also had two teams in the tournament.

Will Thompson makes a catch in the outfield for the Amherstburg Audiology team during last weekend’s pee wee baseball tournament at Centennial Park. Amherstburg had two teams in the tournament.

Will Thompson makes a catch in the outfield for the Amherstburg Audiology team during last weekend’s pee wee baseball tournament at Centennial Park. Amherstburg had two teams in the tournament.

Each municipality across the county takes a turn hosting a playoff tournament, explained umpire-in-chief Dan Hebert. He added AMBA will also be hosting a house league selects tournament – which is a tournament of all-star players – this coming weekend at both Centennial Park and the Libro Centre.

Hebert added the umpires in last weekend’s pee wee tournament were youth volunteers from the community.

“All of my umpires are between 13-15-years-old and volunteered their time out there,” said Hebert.

In The “A” division, Kingsville Knights of Columbus completed a perfect 4-0 record in the tournament by defeating Leamington Primo.

In the “B” division, the underdog team from Harrow won their final three games, including beating the previously unbeaten Kingsville Delta Power team twice in the finals to win the division.

Two parades in Amherstburg this Saturday

Special to the RTT

 

There will be two parades in Amherstburg this Saturday.

The annual Amherstburg Minor Baseball Parade is at 10 a.m., following the usual route. That route is south on Victoria St. S., west on Simcoe St., north on Sandwich St. S., east on Richmond St. and south on Victoria St. S. back to Centennial Park.

The Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association is holding a parade at 1 p.m. Saturday to celebrate three championship teams – the Bluewater champion atom minors, and the OMHA champion midget majors and bantam minors.

The hockey parade starts at the old arena, proceeds north on Victoria St. S. to Alma St., west on Alma to Sandwich St. S., south on Sandwich St. S. to Simcoe St., east on Simcoe back to Victoria St. S then returning to Centennial Park.

Motorists are asked to be mindful of the parades and to take other routes if they have to be driving at those times.