After weeks of negotiating with the city, the Spruce City Men’s Fastball Association will open its season on Tuesday. On Friday the four-team league finalized its plans to play a two-month 20-game schedule that will end in late August.
The four teams will be Falcon Contracting, Sibola Electric Royals, Custom Edge Sports and Hitmen. Games are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday this coming week (7 p.m. start) with doubleheaders scheduled for the following weeks on Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Thursdays.
“We hope there are guys itching to play,” said league organizer Chad Ghostkeeper. “The whole process was waiting for the city to get stuff signed on their side. Everybody’s got to protect themselves.
“I heard baseball’s not going so if there‘s any players out there who want to try the game, just get ahold of me.”
Restrictions will be in place at Spruce City Stadium and players will be directed where they are allowed to go and what is off-limits to them to maintain social distancing measures. Each team fielding in its half of the inning will have its own balls and only members of that team will be allowed to touch them. Umpires will not be handling the balls.
Ghostkeeper said there’s no real worries about crowd sizes exceeding the 50 person limit imposed by the B.C. health authority.
“We don’t get many fans anyway, wives and girlfriends and that’s about it,” Ghostkeeper quipped.
He said his dad Peter, will be the one patrolling the park, enforcing the new COVID rules.
The Spruce City concession will be open during game nights.
Last weekend in Kelowna, a team of 13 Prince George-area players hooked up with a few out-of-town pickups to represent the city at an eight-team men’s tournament and came home with the title. The Big Guy Lake Kings defeated Kelowna 6-0 in the final and went 5-1 in the tournament.
Ghostkeeper, who played for Big Guy Lake, said there are no immediate plans for more tournament play but said the Spruce City Stadium might be the site of a small-scale local tournament later this summer.
“Everybody still wants to play ball, but everybody is nervous to host something,” he said. “They’re putting their name on the line of their team on the line.”
The Spruce City league was supposed to host the Canadian Native Fastball Championships, July 31-Aug. 3, but that was canceled by the pandemic. Ghostkeeper said the city will retain the host rights and the tournament will be played in Prince George in the summer of 2021.