Friday, January 18, 2013

Former Professional Teams in Alberta

The other day I saw a Calgary Cannons card of Ryan Dempster, and that inspired me to write an article on my Red Sox blog about how many Red Sox players used to play in our Province.  In researching that I learned about a lot of teams that used to play here that I was unaware of.   I'm sure most people fondly remember the Cannons or Trappers, or even the Med Hat Blue Jays of the Pioneer League, but there have been many more Minor League and other semi-professional teams that have played in Alberta.  No less than 12 MLB franchises have had minor league affiliates here.  And there have been hundreds of stars who have played here including Alex Rodriguez (left - pictured batting for Calgary) and Hall of Famer Andre Dawson who started his professional career in Lethbridge.

Here are all the teams I found, listed with the name and level of their league and affiliation. If you are aware of other professional teams that have played in our Province, please let me know.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Come see Goose Gossage or Brent Sutter and support local baseball

Once again, the Calgary Dinos will have a former MLB star who will be joining them at their baseball and fastball teams annual fundraising dinner.  Rich "Goose" Gossage has been announced as this year's keynote speaker.  As well, Brent Sutter will be the featured guest for Badland Baseball Academy's fundraiser.

Gossage is a Hall of Fame reliever, best remembered for his trademark Fu Manchu moustache and a blazing fastball. His resume includes helping the Yankees win a World Series in his first season in New York, and being only the second pitcher (after Rollie Fingers) to amass 300 career saves.  Aside from his time in New York, his storied career also took him through Chicago (both the North and South side), Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco, Texas, Oakland and Seattle on the way to Cooperstown.  After retiring he also wrote his memoirs in his very humorous autobiography "The Goose is Loose" and is sure to be an entertaining speaker at this event.

Brent Sutter is very well known to hockey fans in the area.  A native Albertan (from Viking), he played 18 seasons in the NHL before switching gears and becoming a very well regarded coach. Twice he led Team Canada to the World Junior Hockey Championship, and also won the Memorial Cup with Red Deer, as well as coaching in the NHL with New Jersey and Calgary.
Jeff McIntosh / Associated Press
The Dinos fundraising dinner featuring Goose Gossage will be held on Thursday January 31st at the Red & White Club at McMahon Stadium. To purchase tickets ($175) please call U of C Kinesiology Client Services at (403) 220-7749 and for more information on the event you can contact Mike Boyles at or (403) 220-4413.

The Badgers Gala evening with Sutter will be on Wednesday January 30th. The reception starts at 5:30 followed by dinner and a silent and live auction.  Tickets are $75 and can be purchased by contacting the Academy Office at (403) 664-2200.

Both of these events promise to be very entertaining and are a great way to support local baseball.