Martin C. Barry
For the second year in a row, the Pirates 440 Chevrolet de Laval and the Laval Regional Amateur Baseball Association – better known to fans as Baseball Laval – have announced their rosters of activities and events for the coming summer and fall.
The Pirates, who are part of the Ligue de baseball junior élite du Québec, played their season opener away from home last weekend against the Royal de Repentigny.
Pirates home opener
The Pirates have 43 scheduled games this season, according to Pirates president Jacques Continelli. They play their first home game on May 27 against the Gatineau Hull-Volant at Paul-Marcel Maheu Park in Laval. Continelli made the announcements during a press conference held by the two sports organizations on May 8 at 440 Chevrolet de Laval.
A special guest was French-language baseball sportscaster Rodger Brulotte, who is actively involved in the promotion of the sport among young athletes and who is also working behind the scenes for the return of major league baseball to Montreal. Sainte-Rose MNA Jean Habel also re-stated his commitment to encouraging sportsmanship in Laval in conjunction with the Pirates and Baseball Laval.
Baseball Laval president Richard St-Amour said that for the fourth consecutive year the number of baseball players (both male and female) who have registered with the organization has risen – suggesting that the sport may be undergoing a significant revival in Quebec and the region of Montreal.
Registrations are up
“It is with pride that I announce that we have more than 860 registrations for the 2017 season,” said St-Amour. In keeping with a longstanding tradition at Baseball Laval, the 2017 baseball season will open for the A and B minor divisions at Laval’s Centre de la Nature on the long weekend of May 20, 21 and 22.
“The Laval-east baseball club will once again host this event,” he continued. “All the teams should play a match during that weekend opening the season. As well, a match between the two Mosquito AA teams is on the program that weekend.”
This year, the Associés de Laval will have two teams in the Mosquito AA division, as well as one team in each of the other divisions, without forgetting a girls’ team in the Midget division. The inter-city baseball league began its activities on May 12.
Mother’s Day match
On May 14, which was Mother’s Day, the Associés held their very first Baseball Pink Day for the benefit of the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation. The goal was to raise $3,000 for the foundation. For this very special occasion, players on the Associés team wore pink jerseys during their five matches which took place at Laval’s Chénier Park.
With regards to girls’ baseball, St-Amour made another important announcement. “We are very happy to announce that this year we will have four teams entirely for girls,” he said. “It’s in the Atom, Mosquito, Pee Wee and Midget divisions where you will find these teams made up of players coming from all the associations in Laval.”
Adapted baseball program
At the same time, St-Amour made a point of noting the important contribution made to regional girls’ and women’s baseball in Laval by Sonia Massicotte. He went on to explain that for a third season, Baseball Laval’s adapted baseball program will be back. This groundbreaking program is specially designed for youths with an interest in baseball, but who are physically challenged or have another type of limitation that would prevent them from participating if not for the efforts of Baseball Laval.
St-Amour said he was confident that the number of participants in the adapted baseball program should increase this year. “As provincial representative for the program, I would like to point out that we took steps with the Association québécoise pour le loisir des personnes handicapées in order to make the adapted baseball program known,” he said. “We believe that this should generate dividends beginning this year.”
Baseball clinic in June
As Baseball Laval’s president suggested, the 2017 Laval season promises to be an exciting one. For example on June 9, the Pirates 440 Chevrolet de Laval will be holding their Soirée Laval at the ball stadium in Paul-Marcel Maheu Park. At that time, the Pirates will be welcoming all the amateur baseball players and supporters in Laval.
On June 17, the Pirates 440 Chevrolet de Laval will be holding a baseball clinic aimed at improving the skills of ball players from all associations in Laval. This event will also be taking place at Paul-Marcel Maheu Park.
A season of activities
Then on August 12, the Vimont-Auteuil Baseball League will be holding its Festival Rallye Cap at Prévost Park. According to St-Amour, the focus of the day will be to get young players to simply enjoy the game. As such, six-on-six matches will take place and there will be complementary activities in an ambience of family fun.
Although the season’s end is still far off, that will happen in October when Baseball Laval will hold its traditional season closer – the 440 Chevrolet de Laval Gala. As Baseball Laval’s president put it, the gala will offer an opportunity to honour all the players, coaches, teams, match officials and baseball volunteers in Laval who distinguish themselves the most over the course of the coming season.