Going to the Dawgs

In winter, we sampled Ice Hockey. With Summer here now, different sports come to the fore and Friday evening saw us taking our first ever trip along to a Baseball game. A five minute drive down the road brought us to the Okotoks’ “Seaman Stadium”, home of the Okotoks Dawgs, the local baseball team. Here’s their website…

www.dawgsbaseball.ca/

They play in the Canadian Western Major Baseball League, on this occasion versus the Weyburn Beavers who travelled across from our neighbouring province, Saskatchewan…

www.wmbl.ca/

The field and 2,500 seater stadium are all but new, only having been completed in June 2007…

…and being there makes for a very relaxing evening where you can enjoy a beer……and a chat as you watch the action, in our case, on these very snazzy stools…The children have loads of space to relax and enjoy themselves on the hill adjacent to the playing field and they would go chasing any balls that made their way over into their part of the ground. The announcer reminded them that if they returned the balls to the stadium gift shop then they would get a “Loonie” (a Canadian $1 coin) for each one.The Albertan, Canadian and Okotoks flags were all active in a steady breeze…The action in Baseball comes in fits and starts but proceedings commence with a toss up…Before the action proper got underway, both the American (it was American Independence Day) and Canadian anthems were sung…The team mascot is Diggity Dawg who has his own page on the team website…

http://dawgsbaseball.ca/Diggity.html

It was his birthday on Friday so Sobey’s, a local supermarket, had donated an enormous cake that was cut up and distributed to anyone in the crowd that wanted some. We had to sample some of course. Also, to mark his birthday, he was allowed to do a ceremonial first pitch. He’s got quite an action there…The Dawgs play in white and here is their Pitcher, showing Diggity how it’s done by looking like he is ready to take out all obstacles in his path…And here is one of the Dawgs batters, several of whom did a fine job of striking the ball a considerable distance!On a number of occasions, the ball was struck so fiercely that it sailed over the stands in the direction of the car park. This prompted a local to our right to turn to us and exclaim, “man, those cars are getting a hell of a beating out there tonight!” The fact that the very next ball to exit the stadium whizzed off in the direction of our own car left us a little worried…now we know why that particular run of spaces were empty when we arrived! Thankfully, no damage was done. At one point, just after a ball had rocketed into another part of the car park, there was an announcement saying “can the owner of the Ford [Blah], Registration [Blah], come to the office please, we have an urgent mesage for you!”…there was a slight pause while everyone in the ground grimaced thinking, “oh no, he’s got a baseball through his windscreen”…only for the announcer to continue with, “you have the dirtiest car in the car park and you’ve won a free car clean from our sponsor!”, which had us all laughing.

As the game progressed, the Dawgs built and cemented a lead as shown on the stadium scoreboard, complete with it’s neat little baseball clock in the corner…The team were supported enthusiastically by the crowd who, in turn, were encouraged to participate by chief supporter (we hesitate to call him a cheerleader!) Brian Spencer, who would jump up from time to time shouting “Dawgs, Dawgs, Dawgs” to which the crowd would respond by barking three times! Brian used to work at our bank and he was the guy who was kind enough to take us to our first Hockey game shortly after we first arrived in Okotoks.As an evening out, it is very relaxing and enjoyable to sit there in the sunshine and soak up the atmosphere. As for the game of Baseball, we think it is probably an acquired taste and it might take us a few more visits to appreciate its finer points, but the Dawgs, who seem to be quite a talented team, cantered to a 6-0 victory to maintain their lead at the head of their section.

J&E

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