The Alberta Braves 55 plus co-ed ball team was on the road again, travelling to Brampton ON. to participate in the Canada 55 Plus summer games. The team left Calgary on Sat. August 13th and attended a Blue Jays game at Rogers Centre on the 14th.
The Canada Games were to start on the 16th, but rain pushed all games back a day. This meant the Braves would have to play 8 games in three days. When the dust settled, the Braves ended with a 4 and 4 record and a Gold medal in the 55 plus open division.
On the last day of competition, the Braves finished the round robin schedule against Lansbough, winning the game 15 to 6. With the bats finally heating up, the Braves then played the Old Pros from Brampton in the Gold/Silver game, winning this game 16 to 8 and claiming the Gold.
This is the team’s second gold medal at Canada games to go along with two bronze medals. Ray Minue from Okotoks led the charge this year batting a solid .750 and making some “Pillar” type catches in the outfield. Newcomer Dennis Carroll from Nanton, although still hurting from a quad accident, played very well and hit an amazing .710 average. The team added Jack Bews to the roster last year for the Alberta Games in Strathmore. Jack was a workhorse for the team in Brampton, playing in the outfield, infield and pitching, also hitting well for a .590 average.
As a whole, the team played quite well, although struggling in a few games giving the opposition teams too many runs on errors. When nerves were calmed, the team got back to the basics of ball, played their game and had some fun, something this team knows how to do. It is all about the fun and the excitement of travelling and getting to play ball, in most of our minds the perfect day. Oh yes and having a few Barking Squirrels after.
Members of the team include: Mickey and Shelley Getten (Medicine Hat), Jim and Linda Nelson, Jackie Stickel and Donn Smith (Black Diamond), Debra and Dennis Morrison (Olds), Ray Minue (Okotoks), Phil Paul, Jack Bews, Randy Irwin (High River), Dennis Carroll (Nanton) and Nick Radmanovich (Cochrane).
Special thanks to Shelley Getten for scorekeeping duties and to Carrie Irwin and Rhonda Bews for cheerleading support.
During the Brampton games, the team found out that the next Canada 55 Plus games are moving a little further east, St. John New Brunswick. This again has the Braves wondering is it possible for the Braves to hit the road again in 2018.