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Canadian National Oldtimers Baseball Federation championships kicked off in Yarmouth


YARMOUTH – In front of a crowd not seen at Gateway Park since the last time Yarmouth hosted this tournament six years ago, the Canadian National Oldtimers Baseball Federation’s annual championships kicked off late Thursday afternoon with opening ceremonies, followed by the first game of the weekend – a 14-2 victory for the Yarmouth Coastal Financial Gateways over Tusket Carl’s Store.

The game was called after five innings because of the 10-run rule.

The opening contest was preceded by ceremonies that included words of welcome from the CNOBF, the tournament host committee and government representatives.

“This has been a huge undertaking, which we enjoyed doing,” said Darryl LeBlanc, chairman of the tournament’s host committee.

Rich Knight, president of the CNOBF, shared the sentiments of other speakers when he congratulated tournament organizers for their efforts.

“They’ve done a fantastic job,” he said.

This is the fourth time Yarmouth hosts this event, the previous years having been 1994, 2006 and 2009.

“It wasn’t a hard decision to come back to Yarmouth,” Knight said.

The federation president then presented longtime Yarmouth-area ballplayer George Purdy with a special CNOBF award introduced a year ago. Purdy was recognized for his involvement in the national tournament over the years.

Moments later, Purdy and fellow local player Paul Gould – both members of the Pleasant Valley Lakers (who are taking part in this weekend’s tournament in the 50+ division) – each threw a ceremonial first pitch, along with former federation president Phil Beaudoin. All three took part in the CNOBF’s first national tournament in 1993 in Hamilton, Ontario.

Catching those ceremonial pitches were Paul MacDonald, Jason Nelson and Bob Durkee. At 72-years-old, Durkee still plays the game and continues to hold a starting position with the Pleasant Valley Lakers.

The opening ceremonies – flanked by a Memorial Club honour guard holding the different provincial flags, and which also included participation by younger minor baseball players – included remarks from representatives of all three levels of government, among them Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood, who seemed to sum up the message delivered by all of the day’s speakers. Addressing the visiting teams and those travelling with them, she said, “You’re going to have a blast … Have fun. Enjoy the area.”

Twenty-seven teams are taking part in the tournament, which was scheduled to kick into high gear Friday.

Championship games are set for Monday at Gateway Park and Veterans fields in Yarmouth, which are also being used for games Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Friday and weekend tournament action leading up to Monday’s finals is also taking place at fields in Tusket, Brazil Lake and Clare.

 

 

 

 

 

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