The players and coaches in the Abbotsford Cardinals organization really love the game of baseball, and that passion was on display on Sunday at DeLair Park.
The local B.C. Premier Baseball League program hosted its second annual 100-inning marathon game, which doubled as a fundraiser for the club. Players went out into the community to raise pledges, and brought in roughly $11,000 which will go toward facilities upgrades at DeLair.
The game itself took over nine hours to complete, and players were divided into three teams, helmed by Cards coaches Corey Eckstein, Derek Florko and Shawn Besse. Florko’s squad emerged victorious.
“It’s coach-pitched, and we find ways to speed it up, otherwise we’d go all night,” Eckstein said with a chuckle. “But it’s still a long haul – a lot of pitches being thrown by the coaches, and the kids played hard. The last out of the 100th inning was a kid diving to catch a ball.”
The Cardinals were recently named the B.C. Premier Baseball League’s organization of the year for 2013. The club hosted and participated in the league’s Final Four tournament at DeLair Park, saw two alumni (Kurtis Kostuk and Jared Mortensen) start their pro careers, and sent eight players on to the college ranks.
“It’s nice – we have good people in place who do a heck of a lot of work to make this ship go,” Eckstein said. “The PBL is starting to understand we have something special going on here. The past five or six years, this program has really started to take off, and we’re proud of what we’re doing out here.”