The two storied franchises have been intertwined since the provincial championship was first played for.
Intensity is the word that popped up most frequently when Dan Reardon talked to baseball players about the rivalry between the Capitals and Barons in provincial senior baseball circles.
The Capitals have battled the Barons for baseball supremacy in this province for over 65 years and Reardon experienced it all himself as an ace for the Caps going back to his first start against the Barons at Jubilee Field in 1971.
He’s excited about sharing stories of the intense showdowns of two formidable opponents in his new book called “Rivalry”, which is now available at Island Treasures in Corner Brook and expected to be available in St. John’s bookstores later this week.
“I think it’s the most continuous and most heated rivalry in provincial sports,” Reardon said Wednesday of the sometimes crazy relationship between the two teams over the years.
Now 65 years old, Reardon said he was inspired to write the book because his best days on the baseball diamond in his 15-year-playing career were the days he spent trying to beat the Barons.
He has never forgotten the skilled players he shared the field with or the large crowds who came out to watch the games.
He believed a book was a great way to capture the rivalry in a nostalgic and historical way, and he wanted to give players from both sides a sense of how players felt about the rivalry.
“I wanted those guys who played to be able to open up a book on years past and look back at those memories,” he said.
Veteran Corner Brook Baron Darren Colbourne picked up a copy of the book earlier this week and believes Reardon painted a pretty darn good picture of how the teams had respect for one another but also thrived on beating the other side because it felt so good.
Darren’s history with the Barons goes back to 1974 when he was the mascot for the Barons team coached by his father Don Colbourne.
Darren was impressed with how Reardon was able to provide a colourful look at all the great memories and a lot of the details from various moments in time. He enjoyed reading about how former Barons and Caps felt about the rivalry years after the dust had settled on the diamond.
“We hated each other,” said Darren. “You loved to beat them and you hated to lose them, but some times you have to tip your hat to them and say they had the better team or they got a break or we got a break, and he recounts all that stuff and it’s pretty cool.”