Despite the clouds moving across the sky and making a hot night even steamier, Winnipeg Goldeyes managed to pull off a win of 5-3 against the Lincoln Saltdogs Saturday night. It was a different story the night before when they lost 11-1 to the same team in a rain delayed game Friday.
The crowd of 4.282 was competing downtown with the 1200 people in white enjoying a meal outside at Table for 1200 stretching from the Richardson Building to Market Avenue in the Exchange as well as thousands at Pride Festival next door in the Forks. Not to mention 2600 at Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios opening weekend. And all on Stanley Cup night Game 3.
The Goldeyes still deliver a lot of entertainment for the buck and late eighth inning heroics from Wes Darvill with a double and newcomer Mason Katz scoring a single brought the winning run home. Closing pitching by Ryan Chafee relieving Mikey O’Brien who allowed only one run on six plus innings.
The American Association of Independent Baseball’s champions from 2016 are now 11-5 for the year. It isn’t always easy being in unaffiliated ball. The Goldeyes are one of the jewels in the crown with Shaw Park. Each year, it is interesting to watch one team after another fold in the southern part of the league. And yet somehow they roll on.
They keys to success for minor league baseball are a stadium, a first class operation from team management to concessions as well as a great additional entertainment component. Winnipeg has too many sport and recreational alternatives if you fail at any of those. The affordable price for families and the special event days keep people interested for the 100 game season.
The CJNU broadcast with Steve Schuster is first rate and the sport coverage by Winnipeg’s media treats the team like any major league contender. Want to sell a newspaper in this town? Treat local sports coverage seriously and make it water cooler talk. Shaw TV, Free Press, Sun and Metro and CJNU and TSN cover the team because the sports fans want to follow their team.
It a long season but if this Goldeyes team has shown anything, they intend to contend this year for a repeat at the championship both on and off the field.
This has been a editorial by John Dobbin.
To read more from John, visit his blog Observations, Reservations, Conversations