Ball players set for exchange

CARIBOU — Players with the MacGregor-Kinsmen Midget AAA baseball team are looking forward to a summer exchange with players from Alberta that will start next week.

The midget under-16 team from the Dawgs Okotok Baseball Academy in Alberta will arrive on July 5 for a week-long visit and will host the Midget AAA team later in the month.

“We have a young team but we want to be a strong team next year,” event chairman Rick Feehan said. “We’ll see how many join our team next year and how many come back.”

Five Pictou County players are on the team, as well as three from Cape Breton, two from Amherst and one from Antigonish.

The team has been playing as much as possible but rainy weather has postponed some of its scheduled games.

The team sharpened its game on Sunday with some games and practice on P.E.I.

First was an Eastern Baseball Academy visit before an exhibition game against the P.E.I. core team for its provincial team going to the national championship.

The Islanders won 9-0, scoring five runs in one inning to put the game out of reach.

“This team is mostly third year midgets and our team had eight first-year players and one second-year player,” Feehan noted.

Chad Russell of New Glasgow is among the local players looking forward to the exchange. He’s playing his second season with the team and has been involved with the Kinsmen baseball program for 12 years.

“It’s been great participating,” he said. “All in all, it was a super development day.”

Russell said the trip to Alberta will be an eye opener. “It may be a culture shock out there, seeing guys who live and breathe baseball, even if it is only a couple of weeks.”

Spencer Murray of Trenton and Luke MacLeod of Westville are also on the roster, as well as two other Pictou County players who were already on P.E.I. for Sunday’s action.

“It will be fun, a good experience,” Murray said of the exchange.

It’s Murray’s first season playing with the midget team after nearly five years in the Kinsmen program. “It’s been a great time,” he said.

MacLeod said he looks forward to a baseball camp atmosphere.

The Alberta contingent will arrive in Pictou County at noon on July 5.

The teams will play two games on July 6, with the first game starting at 3 p.m.

Central Nova MP Sean Fraser is scheduled to throw out the first pitch before the second game at 5:30 p.m.

The baseball academy will conduct a clinic from 9:15 a.m. to noon on July 7. There will also be bus trips to various points of interest in the county through the day. The RCMP drug awareness program will be the topic of a seminar on drug and alcohol awareness at 7 p.m.

The teams will play two more games at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on July 8, while a day-long tour of Halifax is scheduled for July 9.


Members of the MacGregor-Kinsmen Midget AAA baseball team gathered Sunday before a ferry ride for a series of games on P.E.I. From the left, front row: Matt Campbell, Cooper Fraser and Spencer Murray. Back: Keagan Murrin, Ayden MacKenzie, Chad Russell and Luke MacLeod. (Goodwin photo)

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Steve Goodwin
Steve Goodwin was born in Amherst, N.S. and has been a journalist for more than 40 years. He has been a resident of Pictou County for nearly 40 years.