Week One Washed Out By Mother Nature
By Dan Estey
Canadian Baseball Network
Week one of the COBA Major League season was dominated by the torrential rains and wind that swept through the GTA over the past few days. All of the soggy weather forced many local municipalities to shut down local sports fields due to safety concerns and also to make sure the grass as well as the mound and hitting areas were not destroyed. There were supposed to be four games during the opening week of the season but all will now be made up at a later date for each team affected.
The league will have a familiar look this season as all eight teams from last season will return for the 2017 campaign. The eight teams will be divided into two divisions of four teams and will play a balanced 28-game schedule for the regular season. The divisions remain the same as the Johnson Division will consist of the Niagara Metros, Milton Red Sox, Burlington Brants, and Oakville A’s while the Andrews Division will feature the Etobicoke Rangers, Mississauga Southwest Twins, Erindale Cardinals, and Brampton Royals.
Teams will also be taking place in various tournaments around the province including the Vaughan Vikings Invitational Tournament, the London Lakeside Invitational Tournament, the Hap Walters Invitational Tournament hosted by the COBA League, and the annual Provincial Senior Elimination Tournament which will be hosted by the Strathroy Royals this year.
As far as league news, it can be found on the league website at www.cobamajor.ca or you can follow us on twitter as well @COBABaseball. Here you will find scores, standings, and other league news like statistical leaders and Player and Pitcher of the Week winners. This year I will be writing weekly recap pieces for the Canadian Baseball Network as well as covering the major tournaments from around the province both on the site and on twitter as well.
A big day for the league takes place May 29th. Steve (Whitey) Breitner had an excellent career on the mound whether it was at Talbot Park or Connorvale Park.
Now, he will get the chance to throw out the first pitch on the big stage at the Rogers Center for the Blue Jays game. The Etobicoke Rangers coach is heading into his 27h year at the helm of the senior team and will be honored by the Jays for his years of service to baseball both in Etobicoke and around Ontario. The opposition for the Jays that night will be the Cincinnati Reds and former Etobicoke Ranger standout Joey Votto who took some swings in senior ball under the watchful eye of Breitner, when Bobby Smyth’s junior team was not playing.
While first pitch is slated for 7:05pm Breitner will be on the Rogers Centre mound around 6. A number of former current Rangers present as well as other players from around the COBA Major League.
As New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter told President George Bush before he headed to the mound in 2001: “You better not bounce it or they’ll boo you.”