An NDG’er Comes Home

Last year, NDG Baseball’s Board of Directors decided to bestowe its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award on a native son who excelled for many years in his chosen profession. However, owing to his recovery from some health issues as well as the short turn around from the selection to the annual coaches’ banquet when such honours are normally awarded, it was mutually agreed that the award would be presented in 2015.

At the time of the selection, or shortly after, I was asked by Graham Nevin to work on media for this event despite stepping away from the NDG Baseball Board and I happily agreed.

Fast forward to July when I started to contact the usual media organizations. As is normally the case, I received zero feedback from the French language organizations and near 100% response from the English language organizations. I continue to regret that the French media is simply not interested in NDG Baseball nor a Quebecer whose career was of international reknown. I also continue to appreciate the English language media for the support it gives to NDG Minor Baseball when called upon.

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What a Year!

What a year!

The last twelve months (or so) have been absolutely fantastic.

At the end of April 2014, NDG Baseball fêted Lionel Geller as he moved on to the next chapter in his life after dedicating thirty seven years to the children of Cote-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grace. The day of the intimate dinner, Borough Mayor Russell Copeman announced that Loyola-2 Field at Loyola Park will be renamed Lionel Geller field. This is truly a fitting way to honour such an icon.

In June I assumed the position of St. Patrick’s Society of Montreal Secretary, a position I was eager to do well in. We got the membership list in order, migrating it to an Access database from an Excel spreadsheet and trying our best to update members’ contact information.

However that gig was cut short in the Fall. There was some movement at the upper levels of the Society’s board and, after which, I was invited to continue sitting as an Officer of the corporation but now as a Vice President. It has been a pleasure to sit as a vice president. I continue to learn about the organization each and every day. My responsibilities have not changed all that much, although responsibility for the membership list remains with the new Secretary.

Also in the Fall I stepped away from my responsibilities with NDG Minor Baseball after dedicating some time as its president and director of communications. It was an absolute pleasure to be associated with the best Little League association in the province. The work those moms and dads accomplish for the good of their children and community is exemplary and it was a real joy to be a part of that recipe for success.

Now we all know that March is a very busy month in the Irish community. There are meetings, receptions, balls, luncheons, and parades. There are four parades that we generally associate with, in fact. The big Montreal parade, Hudson, Chateauguay, and Quebec City are all close to our heart. Unfortunately this Saturday we will not be able to attend the parade in Quebec City due to a scheduling conflict with the United Irish Societies’ Banquet.

My role in this year’s parade in Montreal was to act as a commentator for Bellmedia’s Bell Local production of the parade, along with longtime UIS member Richard McConomy, who has a background in acting to complement his legal career. His experience in this area put my mind at ease, even though prepared 18 pages of information on the various groups participating in the parade with the help of UIS Parade Director Patty McCann. In hindsight I may have overprepared for this assignment but it was worth the effort to keep my mind at ease.

Richard McConomy and Ken Quinn froze mightily in the performance of their parade day responsibilities.

Richard McConomy and Ken Quinn froze mightily in the performance of their parade day responsibilities.

The role as TV commentator took me away from walking in the parade. I have to say I had mixed feelings about not walking in the parade, the first time I failed to do so since I joined the UIS in 1992. Despite those mixed feelings and the freezing cold weather on parade day, I had an absolutely fantastic experience on the TV podium with Me. McConomy. His experience certainly made up for my lack of experience and general nervousness. I tip my hat to him, to roving reporter Catherine Cleland, and the entire crew associated with the production. If they ask me back next year I will gladly agree to do it. I may buy ski pants if the weather is this cold, though.

Little League Tournament Continues

The 7-team Little League Canada championship has concluded the round robin portion of the tournament in Valleyfield, Quebec, where the High Park Braves finished atop the leaderboard with a perfect 6-0 record followed by the NDG Major Lynx, the Southwest LL All Stars, and the South Vancouver All Stars all with 4-2 records. Because none of the three teams defeated both of their other opponents, the tie for 2nd was broken using the runs against ratio, total runs against divided by total defensive innings. The nod for 2nd went to the team from South Vancouver, leaving NDG and Southwest LL tied for 3rd, which Southwest LL takes as a result of their victory over NDG during round robin play. Final standings are:

High Park Braves 6-0
South Vancouver All-Stars 4-2
Southwest Little League 4-2
NDG Major Lynx 4-2
North Regina Little League 2-4
Lancaster Allstars 1-5
Les Elites de Valleyfield 0-6

Semi final action takes place tomorrow (August 9th) with the winners advancing to the championship game on Sunday (August 10th):

Semi Final 1 August 9 @ 13h00 NDG vs. High Park
Semi Final 2 August 9 @ 16h00 Southwest LL vs. South Vancouver
Championship August 10 @ 13h00 Winner SF1 vs. Winner SF2

If you’re a fan of baseball, from NDG, or find yourself with some free time on the weekend, the players in this tournament and the organizers will welcome you with open arms.

All games are taking place at Stade Roland-Boyer, formerly known as Parc Delpha-Sauvé.

The winners of this tournament advance to the Little League World Series, taking place in Williamsport, PA from August 14-24. No team from Quebec has represented Canada in this tournament since Valleyfield did in 1992.

Say it loud and say it proud: GO LYNX GO!

Little League Canada’s Little League National Championships

Earlier this month the NDG Major Lynx, a team of 11 and 12 year old boys based out of the Cote-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grace Borough and surrounding communities in Montreal playing under the NDG Minor Baseball League banner, steamrolled over their competition at Little League Quebec’s Little League Provincial Championships in Rouyn-Noranda. In the abbreviated 3 game tournament the Major Lynx outscored their opposition 56-0 on their way to the title.

The Provincial Tournament win earned the Major Lynx the right to compete at Little League Canada’s Little League National Championships, which are set to begin on Friday August 1st in Valleyfield, Quebec. The winner of this tournament advances to the famous Little League World Series, held in Williamsport, Pennsylvania later in August.

The road to Williamsport is never an easy one for any team from Quebec. No team from Quebec has won this tournament since Valleyfield took in in 1992. Despite the historical odds stacked against the Major Lynx, they have prepared all year for this opportunity and they are looking forward to the chance to build on the results from the 2004 Major Lynx, coached by Carey Ashton and his associates, who advanced to the championship game in Brossard, QC after finishing 2-3 in the round robin portion of that tournament, forcing a tie breaker game against Sydney Mines, a very exciting semi final victory against Langley, BC followed by a 4-1 loss to East Nepean in the championship game.

This year’s Lynx team schedule is as follows:

August 2nd @ 15h00 Team Quebec vs Host
August 3rd @ 18h00 Team Quebec vs Alberta
August 4th @ 15h00 Team Quebec vs Prairies
August 5th @ 15h00 Team Quebec vs Atlantic
August 6th @ 15h00 Team Quebec vs Ontario
August 7th @ 12h00 Team Quebec vs British Columbia

Playoffs take place on August 9th with the Championship Game on Sunday August 10th. Support the local boys from NDG, the Host Team from Valleyfield, and all the players visiting our province. It’s good baseball and our visitors will appreciate the support.