DREAM ON SWEET DREAMERS
Summer wandered back into our lives to grace us with beautiful weather for the final game of another successful Field of Dreamers season. As we tuck this season in, draw the comfy sheets, and play some soft music on 2018, let us remember the spirit that ran through the Credit River Comrades, the Don River Valley Cats, the Humber River Humdingers, and the Rouge River Blush. Each of you gave to this league in an immensely spirited way and we are thankful to all of our players, subs, fans, and volunteers who help make each season possible.
Despite the sleepy start, the two final games were filled with action that was modulated by the affable Robin Smillie who took the mic to call play-by-play for both matches and her hosts Colin Hastings and Andrew Stokes who provided thrilling colour commentary!! But the real question remained, would the Comrades make one final push at the Eastern door to secure the bronze medal game or would the Valley Cats scratch and claw their way back into the third spot? Would the Humber River Humdingers be singing “We Are the Champions” or would the Rouge River Blush make all their doubters hush?
If you are curious as to the results then you’ll have to keep reading to find out!
BRONZE MEDAL GAME
(3) DON RIVER VALLEY CATS vs. (1) CREDIT RIVER COMRADES
The lights flicked on at the Sky Dome as Credit River and Don River faced off for Field of Dreamers’ bronze medal. Both teams were smarting from the week before and came ready to fight for their spot on the podium.
With pitch-perfect commentary coming from the bleachers and walk-up songs putting a swagger in their step, the Valley Cats stepped up to home plate and quickly ran up a lead. Solid hits by Niloofar Golkar and Shelagh Pizey-Allen had the Cats running around the bases, feeling confident in their lead. Strong defence by Caren Weisbart, who snatched a line drive out of the sky at third base, and Janine Caster, who realized she was purrfectly suited to shortstop, had Credit River looking scared.
But in the face of this feline menace, the Comrades stood strong. They began marching in lockstep and the Cats were soon up against the wall. Tanis Franco wielded the bat like a hammer, and sent the ball streaking past defenders. Yogi Acharya’s glove was a sickle, reaping outs in the infield. And Gita Madan looked like a black belt of the Soviet martial art Samozashchita Bez Oruzhiya, moving between defence and offence with ease.
As the clocked ticked down, Don River did their best to rally to resist the red tide, but it was no use. The Comrades said, “Do svidaniya Pussycat,” and strode their way to victory 15-8.
Both teams shook hands, commended each other for a great season, and settled in to see who would take home gold.
GOLD MEDAL GAME
(4) ROUGE RIVER BLUSH vs. (2) HUMBER RIVER HUMDINGERS
The radiant red of the Blush and the subtle ochre of the Humdingers blended on the field on a mid-but-warm September evening under a crescent moon to decide the final game of the season. Battle-tested and beaming with exuberance the Humdingers belted out an especially spirited Hummmmmmmmmmmdingers before taking the field for the home squad. The SkyDome saw the belles of Blush sporting some old friends with the return of Sarah Weinberger for the final soiree. But in the first inning, the Blush were hushed, as the Humdingers scooped up every possible ball with some excellent defence in the infield and some timely catches in the yard. Meanwhile, on offence, the Humdingers were humming along, with power blows off the bat of Colin Hastings, Rachel Small, Nat Saavedra, Ryan Hayes and sub-extraordinaire Susannah Mulvale, putting the score at 5-0 after 1.
In the second inning, the Blush arranged their hair and touched up their makeup before getting down to work and it was a glamorous affair. Umar Saeed and Jenny Chan piled on the bases for Joey Bats who emulated his namesake with a three run home run in the playoffs! A first career home run in a very pivotal spot. But the Humdingers weren’t just whistling dixie on the side of a country road, they too had some power pop to play and in a blink 182 of an eye, Colin Hastings returned the favour with his own three run home run scoring the speedy Annelies Cooper and the dapper Devin Clancy. By the end of two innings, the Rouge were looking a little red in the face as the Humdingers had taken a 10-4 lead.
But with consistency and tone, Rouge battled back. Sarah Weinberger, Lainie Basman, and Andy Smith bounced around the bases. Samira Banihashemi and TH Vega sliced hits down the third base line, and Craig Fortier toppled a terrific double to close the gap to 10-9. And so it stayed thanks to the superb defence of Terrance Luscombe who played short stop like they had a close up during Much Music’s Electric Circus. Spiralling and bounding Terrance worked with Lisa Wong at first base to make baseball ballet. After 3 innings the score was now 10-9 for Humber.
The fourth inning saw the Blush take the lead with another eloquent spin around the bases. Lead by some advanced base-coaching care of the always ready for action Craig Fortier, the Blushes gave hugs and kisses another 5 times to overtake the Humdingers by a score of 14-10. The tides were turning and it was looking closer and closer like Humber’s power ballad was being faded out prematurely (so that it would be short enough to get radio play). But the Humdingers squeaked out a couple runs thanks to a Jo Jefferson single and an Alex Brant chopper. After 4 innings the score was 14-12 for Rouge.
In the fifth, the Blush continued to try to extend their lead, as they knocked in another 3 runs in the top half of the inning. The Humdingers responded with 2 and going into the final frame the lead was now 17-14 for Blush. Rouge started to see glamour shots, maybelline ads, and potentially a column in Teen Vogue as they went up by a score of 19-14 in the final frame. The Humdingers would have to score 6 to win the championship – a lead that felt secure as the Blush took the field. But just as they have done all season, the Humdingers never quit, they looped balls into the outfield, they ran hard on every play, they evaded tags, they found the gaps and so it was with the bases loaded and 1 out, the game was in a tie.
Natalia Saavedra hit a high pop fly that saw Joseph Bautista charge hard from left field in hopes of staving off the run. Jo Jefferson awaited on third base tagging. The ball dropped and Jefferson rushed home with the winning run. A spectacular victory for the Humdingers! 20-19.
See the list of champions here
See the game box scores here
See player stats here
See league standings here
See all-time career statistics file (updated as of end of 2018 season) here
2018 MEGA MILESTONES
At-Bats and Hits are two stats we use to track the longevity, commitment, and growing success of each player! Following each season the stats committee will celebrate mega milestones for every player to take an at-bat this season. So for the 2018 season here are you mega milestones in at-bats and hits! Bolded is the milestone level reached during the season. In brackets ( ) is the current number of at-bats or hits for each player.
475 – Craig Fortier (481)
375 – Ryan Hayes (375)
300 – Johann Juarez (306)
250 – LJ Robinson (257)
225 – Jenny Chan (249), Rachel Small (231)
200 – Colin Hastings (206)
175 – Devin Clancy (197), Jo Jefferson (196), Karl Garnder (199), Merle Davis Matthews (178), Terrance
150 – Annelies Cooper (168), Lainie Basman (159), Navjeet Sidhu (160), Robyn Letson (154), Yogi Acharya (170)
125 – Andrew Stokes (129), Darren Puscas (141), Gita Madan (136), Richard Peters (127), Rocio Velasquez Guzman (130)
100 – Alex Brant (109), Andy Smith (112), Janine Caster (102), Katie German (111), Natalia Saavedra (121), Noah Adams (120), Peter Demakos (122), Rachele Gottardi (119), Stuart Schussler (109)
75 – Andrew Norton (91), Jessica Duarte (82), Karen Campbell (98), Kate Uffelman (93), Laura Pin (80), Niloofar Golkar (98), Robin Smillie (77), TH Vega (80)
50 – Brianna Greaves (61), Joseph Bautista (73), Phill Morgan (50), Shelagh Pizey Allen (73), Umar Saeed (73)
25 – Caren Weisbart (39), Jan Braun (25), Meghan Wright (34), Ness Dixon (43), Samira Banihashemi (30), Sarah Weinberger (36), Tanis Franco (37), Lisa Wong (30), Susannah Mulvale (29)
10 – Jill Aoki-Barrett (22), Krysta Williams (19), Saren Smillie (11), Simon Tattrie (13), Suzanne Narain (12), Viva Rae Davis Matthews (10), Amanda Saunders (19), Kelsey Patton (21), Lauren Kozicki (19)
5 – Tracey Mann (8), Luke Fox (8), David Ravensbergen (7), Marisa Berry Mendez (5), Kaleigh McGregor-Bales (9), Aylwin Lo (8)
1 – Javier Davila (4), Amina Mohamed (4), Jonah Maltese (3), Jayne Miles (3), Andrew Hastings (3)
325 – Craig Fortier (330)
250 – Ryan Hayes (261)
200 – Johann Juarez (214)
150 – Colin Hastings (155), LJ Robinson (150)
125 – Devin Clancy (139), Jenny Chan (147), Karl Gardner (141), Rachel Small (148)
100 – Annelies Cooper (122), Darren Puscas (111), Jo Jefferson (104), Terrance Luscombe (120), Yogi Acharya (114)
75 – Andrew Norton (75), Andrew Stokes (92), Andy Smith (90), Gita Madan (81), Lainie Basman (88), Merle Davis Matthews (91), Nav Sidhu (97), Peter Demakos (86), Richard Peters (94), Robyn Letson (91), Stuart Schussler (78)
50 – Alex Brant (69), Janine Caster (62), Karen Campbell (58), Kate Uffelman (58), Katie German (66), Natalia Saavedra (68), Niloofar Golkar (64), Noah Adam (65), Rachele Gottardi (59), Rocio Velasquez Guzman (58), Umar Saeed (56)
25 – Brianna Greaves (39), Jessica Duarte (42), Joseph Bautista (49), Laura Pin (47), Ness Dixon (33), Phill Morgan (33), Robin Smillie (43), Shelagh Pizey Allen (49), TH Vega (41)
10 – Caren Weisbart (18), Jan Braun (14), Jill Aoki-Barretty (17), Meghan Wright (21), Samira Banihashemi (13), Sarah Weinberger (15), Tanis Franco (24), Lisa Wong (21), Amanda Saunders (12), Kelsey Patton (11), Susannah Mulvale (15)
5 – Krysta Williams (5), Saren Smillie (6), Simon Tattrie (8), Suzanne Narain (8), Tracey Mann (5), Viva Rae Davis Matthews (6), David Ravensbergen (6), Lauren Kozicki (9), Marisa Berry Mendez (5), Kaleigh McGregor-Bales (6), Aylwin Lo (6)
1 – Javier Davila (2), Luke Fox (3), Amina Mohamed (3), Jonah Maltese (2), Jayne Miles (2), Andrew Hastings (1)
DON RIVER SINGLES NIGHT
Don River is the only team in the league over two seasons to have entirely different players play. This means that 26 unique individuals have played for the Don River Mastodons and the Don River Valley Cats and no player has served two consecutive years as a members of the venerable Don Squad.
MADE YOU BLUSH
The Rouge River Blush became the second team in consecutive seasons to finish the year in last place and then come to within one run from capturing the championship. Last year, it was the Credit River Rainbow Trout who shocked the 1st place Humber squad and then narrowly lost to the Rouge River Ballsheviks by a score of 16-15 in the finals! This year the Blush shocked the mighty Credit River Comrades before falling to the Humdingers by a score of 20-19.
HUMBER’s IMPROBABLE RISE
At the start of the season there was much consternation and anxiety that the draft had left Humber with too few mentor players. There was even a point where the coordinating committee approached the captains of Humber and asked them whether they wished to have a trade to “even things out”. Confident in their team, Humber suggested that they wished to move forward as constituted and through significant team building, practice, and care Humber rose from last place in the standings to finish second and then eventually to be crowned champions.
CAN YOU BUY THIS ON CREDIT?
Credit River had an impressive season racking up the greatest number of at-bats per teammate and were invaluable in lending players to other teams all season long. A testament to the commitment of their player, Credit finished the season in first place only to be shockingly upset in the semi-finals by a spirited Rouge River Blush.