When you believe in something, you fight for it. In a world where sports and politics argue, the pen is mightier than the fist. Enter former Toronto Blue Jay Roberto Alomar! Alomar has thrown a preemptive punch at Edmonton’s City Council as a decision looms regarding the fate of RE/MAX Field.
Here is the excerpt of the Roberto Alomar letter written to Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson which was used in the story posted on the Edmonton Prospects website:
“I (Alomar) am very pleased with the ever improving quality of baseball in Alberta along with the enthusiasm and passion that I encounter wherever I go. Not only is the upswing of baseball in Alberta a result of the recent success of the Blue Jays, it is also largely due to organizations such as the Edmonton Prospects who work with local grassroots baseball league players and coaches to help improve their skills. This is essential in providing a very important link and catalyst in a chain that can aid Canadian Athletes to the next level.
The recently renamed RE/MAX Field is an important Centre of Excellence for aspiring baseball players. It provides a showcase venue to not only demonstrate skills and talents, but to inspire hundreds of thousands of kids throughout Western Canada by showing them that they too can have that opportunity to play in front of thousands of fans who respect their skill and accomplishments.
While at the Gala the Prospects Owner, Mr. Patrick Cassidy, spoke passionately about this being a critical year for the ballpark as the City of Edmonton is in the midst of determining its long-term fate through its River Crossing Neighbourhood Structure Plan (NSP) project.
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of this ballpark for baseball in Alberta and, more importantly, how devastating it would be to the baseball community and the many young players if it were demolished.”
From that same article, here are quotes from the team’s Managing Partner Pat Cassidy:
“There is a proposal, I am told, by certain developers in this town to demolish the ballpark and build condos in its place,”
“I say we can’t let this happen, and it is our responsibility and mission – and when I say our mission, I mean anyone and everyone who cares about baseball, the river valley and the future of both. We simply can’t let this happen.”
The main tenants of RE/MAX Field are the Edmonton Prospects. RE/MAX Field was formerly called Telus Field which was originally named John Ducey Park. The Prospects play in the Western Major Baseball League –
The Western Major Baseball League (the “WMBL”) is Canada’s pre-eminent summer collegiate baseball league.”
Due to travel costs associated to traveling to Edmonton, the city lost it’s Triple A affiliated team after the 2004 season. It’s a reality that will likely keep MLB affiliated baseball out of the capital province of Alberta. Just like the city has Edmonton Oiler fans who are not hockey fans, the city has MLB fans who are not baseball fans. We all know that person (or people) who simply will not watch a game unless it is the “top dogs” playing. I truly feel sorry for these people. They miss so much great action.
Watching a Prospects game from RE/MAX Field on a warm weekday night or hot Sunday afternoon offers you more than just great baseball, it also offers you some of the best views of downtown Edmonton. Anyone who has caught a July 1st Canada Day game at the ballpark can attest, it truly is the best place to watch the Canada Day fireworks.
Admittedly, not all of us are going to write a letter to the Mayor to fight for the Prospects and RE/MAX Field like Roberto Alomar did. So if the fight becomes baseball fans versus City Council what can we do. We can go to games and be loud and proud about it. Tweet your pictures from the game at @EdmProspects and at the Edmonton Mayor (@DonIveson). Hashtag your photos on Instagram #edmontonprospects and tag them @edmprospects. This is not a fight that will be won with fists, it is a fight that will be won with words and pictures (welcome to the social media world!).
- Season/Home Opener – Thursday May 31st 7:05PM
- Home Game 2- Friday June 1st 7:05 PM
- First Matinee – Sunday June 3rd 2:05PM
It is an honest belief that if baseball fans from throughout Alberta all raised their voices against the proposed idea of hitting RE/MAX field with a “wrecking ball”, we can keep our ballpark! Be loud and proud Edmonton! Usually we fight for change, for the next several months baseball fans fight for their park.