Who doesn’t enjoy the Cinderella story?
It can easily describe most of the shining moments of the 2013 season for the boys of summer in Corner Brook.
It was immediately pegged to the Maritimes victory at Tournament 12, the inaugural national baseball showcase at the Rogers Centre recently. Young Barons Myles Vincent, Daniel Humber and Daniel McCarthy were a part of the Eastern Canadian representatives that shocked the country, claiming gold with a win over a team from the powerhouse province of Quebec.
The boys from Corner Brook proved they were not just token additions either, with Vincent not giving up a hit in six scoreless innings to pick up the win in the championship game. The lefty, who has been pitching with Prairie Baseball Academy in Alberta, probably could not have done more to make a name for himself in front of scouts and icons such as Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar, who happens to be my favourite baseball player of all time.
Vincent, who also picked up a win in a round-robin game while firing his mid-80s fastball to Humber behind the plate, can be seen with a wide grin kneeling directly below Alomar in the team photo — his fellow Corner Brookers off to his right in the front row. If it does nothing else it will leave lasting memories for these three teenagers from a small city, in a tiny province, on the east coast of the country, where baseball still reigns supreme.
It capped off an underdog summer for the boys in blue and red on the diamond. The Barons finally got back on the top of the senior baseball circuit in Newfoundland, taking down the mighty St. John’s Capitals in five games earlier this summer.
The word on the field was the Caps were disappointed when the Barons beat Mount Pearl in the B division championship because they didn’t want to travel across the province for “one game of ball.”
However, with a three-game road sweep of their own in the capital city, it was the Barons who had the chance to make it a four-game series win.
They closed it out in five regardless, hopefully making the heavily-favoured Caps feel the trip across the island was worth it for “two games of ball.”
So, it was underdog on the national and provincial stage. Now, it is the West Side Monarchs hoping they can complete the trifecta at the local level. A less-than-stellar regular season behind them, they are knotted at a game apiece with the perennial finalists and usual champion Hawks in the championship series.
Knowing they have another start coming this week by a nearly untouchable Mike Tavenor, the Monarchs definitely have a shot at a championship that has eluded them for so long.
The Aces, in 2009, have been the only team in recent history to defeat the mighty Hawks. The Monarchs are hoping the glass slipper doesn’t fall just yet.
Cinderella certainly is always a nice story to tell. For one summer, the underdog seems to be rising to the top.