Amherstburg Minor Baseball Association

Area bantam and pee wee baseball players converge on Amherstburg


By Ron Giofu


The baseball diamonds at the Libro Centre and Centennial Park were busy on the weekend.

The Amherstburg Minor Baseball Association (AMBA) hosted pee wee select teams at Centennial Park and bantam select teams at the Libro Centre over the weekend. Tournament convener Dan Hebert explained that Amherstburg had one team in each division unlike other centres that were able to combine teams into an all-star team and enter them.

Amherstburg and Leamington squared off in bantam select tournament action at the Libro Centre last Saturday.

There were six teams in the pee wee division with the Cardinals being joined by Windsor Central, Harrow, Forest Glade, Riverside and Tecumseh. Hebert said those teams are likely going to be playing in the last organized baseball games at Centennial Park as that park is now property of the Greater Essex County District School Board and will have the new public high school built on top of it.

“There’s nothing else scheduled after that,” said Hebert.

The bantams featured teams from Amherstburg, Belle River, Leamington and LaSalle.

Hebert said while younger age divisions are played elsewhere in Essex County, he wanted to keep the older age groups in Amherstburg. He said the premier diamond at the Libro Centre is “the best diamond in the county.”

The Amherstburg Cardinals bantam select team finished third
in the tournament held in town over the weekend.

Hebert also credited the volunteers and the local youth that umpired the games. The latter, he said, put in a ten-hour day Saturday umpiring four games.

In the bantam select tournament, Leamington defeated LaSalle in the final with Amherstburg placing third. In the pee wee select tournament, Forest Glade won by defeating Windsor Central in the final while Amherstburg placed fifth.

AMBA hosts girls softball tournament at Centennial Park


By Jonathan Martin


Centennial Park has seen its last girls’ softball tournament.

Last weekend marked the park’s final girls’ select tournament.  With the new high school set to erect on the site, the baseball diamonds will be demolished and the Amherstburg Minor Baseball Association (AMBA) will have to find a new home.

Mary Lippert is AMBA’s president and the girls’ house league convener.  She said the weekend’s weather cooperated, the girls enjoyed themselves and the tournament went off without a hitch.

The senior girls’ division of the select tournament bat it out last Sunday. Leamington hit its way to victory over Essex in the Juniors with a final score of 13-5. Kingsville caught the Intermediate title over Essex, 19-11. Leamington won over Essex with a score of 19-5 in the Senior Division. Last weekend marks the final time the Centennial Park baseball diamonds will be used for the tournament.

“I’m proud of the girls and I’m happy with how everything turned out,” she said.  “Personally, I am a little bit sad to say goodbye to these facilities after all this time.”

Amherstburg, Leamington, Harrow, Essex and Kingsville all played in the tournament.

Leamington hit its way to victory over Essex in the Juniors with a final score of 13-5.  Kingsville caught the Intermediate title over Essex, 19-11.  Leamington won over Essex with a score of 19-5 in the Senior Division.

Lippert said she has received reassurances from the Town of Amherstburg officials that new baseball diamonds will be constructed, but neither Lippert nor RTT has received any details regarding new facilities.

AMBA welcomes mosquito and bantam players for house league tournament



By Ron Giofu


The Amherstburg Minor Baseball Association (AMBA) kept local diamonds busy on the weekend.

A total of 22 mosquito and bantam house league teams came to Amherstburg from across Windsor-Essex County on the weekend for a wrap-up tournament. Games went Thursday through Sunday with games being played at Centennial Park, Malden Centre Park and the Libro Centre.

This particular tournament was organized by boys house league convenor Dan Hebert, but AMBA president Mary Lippert said it was one of six tournaments the association has hosted this year.

“We’ve hosted it the last few years,” she said, of the mosquito and bantam wrap-up tournaments.

Amherstburg’s Ryan “Buzz” Wharram crosses the plate with a run during a bantam house league game Saturday morning at the Libro Centre.

The girls select tournament goes this upcoming weekend at Centennial Park.

“We are hosting the OBA’s for the bantam division Labour Day weekend,” she added.

In all, Amherstburg had two teams in last weekend’s tournament – one in the mosquito division and one in the bantam division.

The Amherstburg Minor Baseball Assocation (AMBA) held a wrap-up tournament for the bantam and mosquito age groups. A total of 22 teams from around the area came out to compete.

The results from the weekend saw Kingsville-4 beat Leamington-1 12-1 for the mosquito championship while Essex downed Leamington-3 for the mosquito consolation crown.

The Windsor South Canadians beat Forest Glade 12-0 to win the bantam division title while the consolation division saw another Windsor South win, this being a 12-5 over Harrow.

Amherstburg Minor Baseball Association teams with Kids Curing Cancer


By Jonathan Martin


The Amherstburg Minor Baseball Association (AMBA) is throwing knuckleballs at cancer.

The group partnered with Kids Curing Cancer (KCC) during its annual baseball fun day to raise funds to help fight the disease.  KCC set up a tent near the baseball diamonds at Centennial Park, where twins Kierstyn, and Ty Baillargeon, two of the three siblings who founded the organization, sold sweets, raffle tickets and accepted donations.

Meanwhile, the twins’ peers knocked baseballs off tees and lobbed softballs around in diamond-wide games of catch.  The twins said they were unfazed by being left out of the fun; they prefer hockey anyway.

Lily Mallen, (Left), Ty Baillargeon and Kierstyn Baillargeon, all eight, sell baked goods at the Kids Curing Cancer booth, which was set up at Centennial Park last Saturday in partnership with the Amherstburg Minor Baseball Association.

Brook Lippert organized the day’s partnership between AMBA and KCC.  She’s the convener of AMBA’s T-Ball division.  This isn’t her first experience working with the Baillargeons.  She coached them during their own T-Ball playing days and has been friends with the family for years.

“My mom had cancer, so this is a cause that hits very close to home,” Lippert said.

Lippert’s mother’s bout with cancer in 2010 sparked “Brook’s Ride For Hope,” a fundraising snowmobile run Lippert started in 2012.

Now, though, she said she’s more than happy to help out the Baillargeons and Jodi Baillargeon, the kids’ mother, said she’s glad to have it.

“We showed up this morning and found that she had already done everything,” Baillargeon said.  “This is all Brook.”

Lippert put together pledge forms for each of AMBA’s teams to fill out.  The team that brought in the most donations would win themselves a bowling party at Amherstburg’s Fort Fun Centre.

Lippert donated the bowling party herself.

Angelo Lucier, 8, hits a ball of a tee in Centennial Park July 14. The Amherstburg Minor Baseball Association held its annual baseball fun day.

All funds raised during the baseball fun day will be donated to the Fight Like Mason Foundation, which KCC has partnered with for the second year in a row.  Annually, siblings Lauren, 13; Ty, 8, and Kierstyn, 8, choose a charity to give all the money they raise throughout the previous 12 months.

KCC has also teamed with the Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association and the Amherstburg Admirals in the past on similar fundraising events.

At the time of writing, the total amount of money raised throughout the day has not been announced, but RTT has been assured that the results will be made available on the organization’s Facebook page.


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.