John Wilson, one of the owners of Nanaimo’s new West Coast League baseball team, speaks at a press conference introducing the expansion franchise on Thursday at Nanaimo’s Rotary Fieldhouse. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

Victoria HarbourCats owners launch new Nanaimo baseball team

West Coast League franchise announced Thursday joins the league in 2021

Nanaimo will get to step to the plate in the West Coast League.

An ownership group announced Thursday that Nanaimo will be the 13th team in the summer collegiate league and will start playing games in June 2021 at Serauxmen Stadium.

The Nanaimo franchise will be owned by the same group that operates the Victoria HarbourCats. The group includes John Wilson (of Wilson’s Transportation), Richard Harder, and Ken and Jim Swanson.

“We’re excited to take what’s been a really fun experience in Victoria and apply it to here and make the tweaks that’ll make it a Nanaimo feel and we’re excited to have that kind of a challenge…” said Swanson. “All the old stadiums, the new stadiums, every one of them’s got a different feel and this one will have a different feel from everywhere else as well and it’s going to be a lot of fun to cultivate that and be part of it.”

READ ALSO: HarbourCats team up with Bastion Books to bring back Harvey’s Reading Club

The Nanaimo WCL team doesn’t have a name yet, but is already gathering ideas via its website. Swanson said there have been “great suggestions already,” mentioning the Bathtubbers and Humpbacks.

Third baseman Liam Ballance, who has played for both the VIU Mariners and the Victoria Harbourcats, said it will be great to have a WCL team in Nanaimo.

“I think it’ll be good for the community and the fans and everything,” he said. “I had a blast playing the past few years and I hope if kids on the Island can get a chance to play for this team, then that will be good, too.”

Numerous political representatives were on hand for Thursday’s announcement and were already debating who will get to throw out the first pitch. Mayor Leonard Krog said the city is excited to welcome WCL baseball.

“Our businesses look forward to this, our community members, our sports fans, everyone looks forward to seeing that field used the way it should be by a first-clas team that is going to dominate the league, I am sure,” he said.

The team owners thanked all those involved in bringing WCL baseball to Nanaimo including the municipality and its parks and rec department, Serauxmen Stadium Amateur Baseball Association and various levels of baseball.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Starbucks at 3849 Cadboro Bay Rd. closed permanently on Sunday, Oct. 25. (Google Maps)
Cadboro Bay Starbucks closes despite petition signed by nearly 250 residents

Closure part of transition to more drive-thru locations, Starbucks spokesperson says

Theft of $120 in Sharpie is among the files Oak Bay Police Department responded to last week. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man steals $120 worth of Sharpies from Oak Bay Village

Police respond to daytime break-in and theft, among other calls last week

The drive-through COVID-19 testing facility at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Black Press Media file photo)
Island Health opens COVID-19 testing site at UVic

As with all other sites, an appointment is needed to receive a test

The iconic and well-loved live music venue Logan’s is permanently closing its doors due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Google Maps)
Fernwood pub Logan’s permanently closing its doors

Live music venue unable to weather COVID-19 storm

Shawn Magnus of Sidney Courier has partnered with Sidney Business Improvement Area Society for free commercial delivery for society members. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney business association partners with courier for free commercial delivery

Service started Oct. 26 and extends to a radius of 35 kilometres

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

A picture of John taken at Children’s Hospital Vancouver last week. Photo courtesy, Alicia Sewid.
RCMP investigating after young boy run over by SUV in Campbell River parking lot

The seven-year-old has multiple injuries including a broken pelvis and was admitted to Children’s Hospital in Vancouver

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A video message from Mrime Minister Justin Trudeau was streamed to attendees at the State of the Island Economic Summit on Tuesday morning. (Vancouver Island Economic Alliance image)
Prime minister greets Vancouver Island economic summit attendees

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance conference being held virtually this week

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Most Read