London Majors to host exhibition game to keep streak alive
LONDON - The London Majors of the Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) are pleased to announce they have confirmed an exhibition game against the Guelph Royals. It is scheduled for Friday, August 21, at 7:35pm.
The game will be important to London Majors fans for different reasons. Most notably, it will allow the 144-season streak to continue of baseball being played on the hallowed grounds of Labatt Memorial Park. The streak most notably is the longest of any baseball grounds in the world and is recognized by many, including the Guinness World Book of Records (https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/oldest-baseball-field-diamond).
"This is not just a regular baseball game but a game to ensure the historic longevity of Labatt Park remains intact," Roop Chanderdat, London Majors head coach, general manager and co-owner said. "Our focus since the IBL season got cancelled owing to COVID was to ensure we did everything we could to maintain the active playing streak at Labatt Park."
Due to restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic, the game will not be open to the public, but a limited number of family members and staff will be able to enjoy the game up to the limit of 100.
"Labatt Memorial Park is an important cultural landmark with a significant history in London," says Acting Mayor and Councillor Josh Morgan. "While baseball fans may need to wait longer to fill the stands, watching the exhibition game online is a unique opportunity for Londoners to watch as the world's oldest and most continually used baseball ground continues with another game of ball."
However, the game will be broadcast live on the London Majors YouTube channel with Noah Smith and Dylan Baker calling the game for fans.
"Considering the current environment we are living in, this is a small win for our players and fans to participate in a special game – even if our fans will be supporting us through our YouTube stream," Scott Dart, London Majors President and Co-Owner said. "We want to thank the City of London – Parks and Recreation and our IBL partners to help make this game a reality."
"For all of us involved with the IBL this year has been terribly disappointing," said Commissioner John Kastner. "That said, it's terrific that we can have one game in 2020 and of course, at Labatt Park, and keeping that park's incredible place in baseball history intact."
The Intercounty Baseball League (IBL), in its 102nd year of operation, is the best baseball league in Canada, boasting ex-major league professional and elite NCAA college baseball players. The IBL is the fifth-longest continually operated baseball league in the world and serves as a valuable training ground for coaches, umpires, and front office staff. More than 40 IBL players have advanced to Major League Baseball or returned to the IBL following their MLB careers. The league is comprised of teams from Barrie, Brantford, Kitchener, London, Toronto, Guelph, Welland, and Hamilton. For more information, visit www.theibl.ca.