Jim Swanson, General Manager of the Victoria Harbourcats gave us an overview about the team, the league, and how much fun it is to go to a game.


Jim Swanson started by admiring all accountants, but you could tell he knew that baseball players had more fun.  This is the Harbourcats' second season in Victoria, and the play in WCL - the West Coast League of Summer Collegiate Baseball.  Players are college students, mostly on scholarship in the US, and play ball during the summer.  They are mostly between 18 and 22 and are billeted with local families. 

Victoria is the preferred destination for League players, and many comment how they would love to play in our beautiful city.  The team are enjoying the Canadian experience, and Jim told us about walking to the Inner Harbour to watch the fireworks on Canada Day.    Team members were  leading all those walking with them in the singing of O Canada.  These kids are all Americans. 

There is a lot of focus on making the games fun, and sometimes there is so much going on, people will leave without knowing the score, or even who was playing.  Tickets are $9.50 and $14.50, and food is cheaper than a restaurant, making a Harbourcats game an affordable place to bring the whole family.  Events and promotions take place at every game, and the team enjoys sponsorship by many local businesses. 

Harbourcats are a young team,and are proud of Dave Clark who currently ties the home run record for the league;  and that they had four of their players in the league's all-star game. Their home record this year is 8 wins, 13 losses, but they lead the league in attendance, averaging 1529 fans per game. 

The play at Royal Athletic Park and share the stadium with the Highlanders Football team.  The city has installed 1300 new seats in the stadium, and have been great to work with.  

The question was asked why pitchers pitched so few innings.  Jim advised that colleges often put restrictions in players' contracts,  limiting the number of pitches they could throw, in order to avoid injury.  

Dan Kelly asked if Jim knew where the "7th inning Stretch" originated, and then Dan proceeded to tell us the history.  Jim said they do have the 7th inning stretch at the games, once with a promotion doing Yoga stretches after the traditional song.   

Ernie Stigant said that 25 tickets were given to the MS Society to distribute to their patients, and he commented on how well these people were treated at the game.