It was a double play for Victoria’s largest baseball franchise on Wednesday, as the HarbourCats made two big announcements regarding the future of their team.
Vancouver Island sports fanatics will now have a new team to cheer for, as the HarbourCats have added a college team to their roster, officially dubbed the Victoria Golden Tide.
The HarbourCats’ current assistant coach Curtis Pelletier will head the fresh new college team, which is expected to begin play in 2021.
The Golden Tide will be a part of the Canadian College Baseball Conference and will begin play at Royal Athletic Park in the September to May league.
“We are pleased to bring more college baseball to Canada, and to Victoria,” said Jim Swanson, Managing Partner of the HarbourCats.
“This grows the game. This gives players more opportunities to play college baseball without having to cross the border. We’re proud to have secured a membership in the CCBC, to work with great people who have delivered these programs for more than 15 years.”
The now eight-team CCBC also features Vancouver Island University, University of the Fraser Valley, UBC-Okanagan, Thompson Rivers University, University of Calgary, Edmonton Collegiate Baseball Club and Prairie Baseball Academy of Lethbridge.
The Golden Tide program will be open for full-time students with the UVic or Camosun College, but will have no official affiliation with either school; this is common, as some CCBC teams are either club teams or have arm’s-length relationships with the schools in their city.
Along with this, both teams will have an all new indoor training facility to train in, which opened on Wednesday and is located only a few blocks from Royal Athletic Park where the HarbourCats play their games.
The 5,000-square-foot indoor HarbourCats Players Club Training Center is housed in the former Cook Street Squash Club, and features three batting cages, four pitching tunnels and a small fitness and workout area.