When Jonathan Andrews decided to attend a meeting of people interested in getting a minor baseball program established in Deer Lake, he did so with the sole intention of showing his support.
By the time the meeting was over, he had been elected as a co-chair of the official committee, a role that has now grown into the position of president.
It’s not a bad fit, though, as Andrews is as enthusiastic as anyone of bring minor baseball back to the town for the first time in, what he guessed was, 20 years.
“There are a few kids in town now that share an interest in it and they’re travelling to Pasadena and Corner Brook to get involved with leagues there,” he said.
He recognizes it may be difficult to attract some of those children to the Deer Lake program, but the hope is still to have at least 60 kids — boys and girls of all ages — sign up.
“We’re expecting good numbers at registration,” he said, adding they’re looking to have that begin by mid-May.
The next step for the committee is a contest they will be sending out to Elwood Elementary School and possibly Xavier Junior High, seeking a name for the Deer Lake baseball team, in the same vein as the Corner Brook Barons or Pasadena Pirates.
He said, once registration is complete, they’ll look at what ages they have before they figure out age groupings. There is also the issue of the two former baseball fields in the town now being utilized as a dog park and a softball field. Andrews said he’s received assurances that if the program takes off, a proper baseball diamond will eventually be available again.
There is also talk of a spring program, to gauge interest in a summer league, being offered. Andrews said a month ago he was optimistic the fields would be cleared off by May, but he’s not so sure anymore. If the program needs to be held indoors, they will look at that as well.
“Right now we’re playing it day by day and week by week,” he said. “We’re all rookies on the committee, so it’s slow progress for us, but we’re getting there.”
In the meantime, the Deer Lake Minor Baseball Facebook page has “well over 100 people” following it, and Andrews said anyone with any questions can post there or reach him at 636-8205.
He said the Facebook page hasn’t had a whole lot of activity yet because the committee has been focused on the behind-the-scenes work first, but updates should become much more frequent as the baseball season nears.