Merrickville-Wolford council has agreed to consider paying for an upgrade to their baseball diamond to allow more kids to use it next season.
The request came from the Seaway Surge Baseball Club, which offers elite “AA”and “A” Rep level baseball to young men and women throughout Eastern Ontario. This year is the first year they had their youngest players use the baseball diamond in Merrickville, after they raised funds and renovated the field for it to be big enough for their Rookie (8/9) and Mosquito (10/11) teams to play. “The teams love playing in Merrickville,” says Seaway Surge parent and Merrickville resident, Mike Seeley.
Seaway Surge would like to see Merrickville-Wolford invest in their field and expand it another ten feet, so that it would be big enough for their Minor Peewee (12) and Major Peewee (13) teams to play their games. “Right now, we have to have some bases on the grass,” says Vice President of Seaway Surge, Calvin Medynski.
The Seaway Surge Baseball Club was founded in 2016 by Calvin and his friend, Tim Hamilton. Both were on the executive of Kemptville’s Little League and saw the need for higher-calibre baseball in the area. Seaway Surge is a member of Baseball Ontario, and plays in the National Capital Ontario Baseball Association (NCOBA) and the Eastern Ontario Baseball Association (EOBA). They offer the opportunity for boys and girls, ages eight to eighteen, from all over Eastern Ontario to play baseball at a higher level than what is offered by Little League. Within their boundary, they draw from around 150,000 people, which is just below the Ontario Baseball Association average for an association. The club has only grown in numbers since its inception, going from just three teams in 2016, to seven in 2018. They are hoping to add another Rep team and four house league teams next year. “There is a growing need for higher level baseball in the area,” says Seaway Surge Secretary, Dan Piche.
Calvin says Seaway Surge is not only beneficial for the kids who play on their teams, it also promotes the municipalities where they play. They estimate that they bring about 800 families a year to dine and shop in Kemptville, Merrickville and surrounding municipalities.
Merrickville-Wolford council agreed that having the Seaway Surge use their ball diamond is excellent for the community. “I was delighted this summer to see baseball in the field,” said Deputy Mayor Anne Barr at the council meeting last Monday. They also agreed that supporting the Seaway Surge aligns with their strategic plan to promote a healthy and active community.
If the field is going to be ready for the 2019 season, the work should be done this Fall to avoid the soggy ground that comes with the Spring thaw. This was a cause for concern for Merrickville council, as work on the baseball field is not a line item in the municipality’s 2018 budget. In the end, it was decided that they would consult with the municipality’s Treasurer to see if there was any money left over in their recreation budget for the year. If they do have the funds, it would allow them to do the work sooner, rather than later, ensuring they have an appropriate size of field for the older kids to play on during the 2019 season.
To learn more about Seaway Surge Baseball Club or to get involved send them an email at [email protected].