Capitales de Québec Ready for 2013 Season

Capitales de Québec Ready for 2013 Season

“Play Ball”, it’s that time again.

Article and photos by Job Patstone

Capitales-baseball-stadiumWhen the snow melts and the robins come bob bob bobbin’ along, it’s a sure sign that it’s time to get out the baseball bats, and gloves, and dust off the old home plate, ‘cause it’s baseball time in Canada, and Quebec City is no exception.

On April 27, our most senior professional baseball team “Les Capitales” (so named, because this is a Capital City after all) held a free open house inviting the whole city to come visit the locker rooms and dugouts where the team will be playing its 15th season in their stadium, commonly known as “Le Stade”, which is also celebrating this year, its 75th birthday; a special logo was designed to promote the occasion.

Capitales-baseball-75Les Capitales belong to what is known as the Can-Am baseball League, which this year consists of five different teams, two in Quebec and three in the northern USA in the states of New Jersey and New York. There is also a western division known as the American Association.

The two leagues do not play together for any finals, but do play some games together during the regular season. The Can-Am division plays for the Arthur E. Ford trophy at the end of the season and “Les Capitales” have won this trophy five times in the last ten years, four of which were won in the last four seasons including 2012.

These leagues are primarily set up to encourage local and community sports and are not necessarily profitable endeavours. There is also a huge demand on the owners and generous support from volunteers. Quebec City’s team is owned by a local landscaping company called Groupe VertDure who put a lot of time and money into the team so the fans can enjoy some professional rate baseball right here at home. There is also a children’s fan club which goes by the name of Nation Capitales and for old and young alike there’s the Mascot named Capi who sports jersey no. 00, and keeping in line with his number, has so far never managed to hit a home run.

Capitales-baseball-scoreboardIn an interview with the marketing director, Marc-Antoine Gariépy, I had a chance to learn all about the team and its expectations for the coming season. Marc-Antoine is very enthusiastic and proud of Les Capitales and wanted me to know that watching a game of this caliber is almost as good as watching an MLB series without the fancy names and salaries, and even better, with affordable ticket prices. For a small amount of money you’ll get good seats, popcorn, or a hot dog, and a 2 hour show of some great baseball, America’s favorite game.
As for the players, most of them are from Canada including about ten from Québec itself, with three or four being from the US. Exchanges are made throughout the season so the numbers can change.

Capitales-baseball-CapiLes Capitales have boasting rights this year because they acquired a second left-handed pitcher in the name of, Casey Harman from South Carolina who is well known for his high strike-out reputation. Of course anyone who knows anything about baseball knows that a “lefty” is an advantage when it comes to pitching. Some of these players go on to the MLB clubs and are scouted continually by the major teams. Others are simply already under contract playing locally, for the practice and experience before being called up by the pros.

There is a special twist to watching baseball in Quebec City as seen on the scoreboard, and although everything in the dugouts is in English, certain terms are described in French rather than the traditional American style for the local market. Some terms important to know are things like, home-run which becomes “coup de circuit”, base-hit becomes “coup-sur” (CS), runs becomes “points”, strike becomes “prise” and the rest you can probably figure out for yourself.

If you need more info about players, schedules, game times and prices you can check their website at www.capitalesdequebec.com . Parking is free for the games and several bus routes stop right at the door including the popular 800 route. Now all you have to do is learn the words to the famous song, or as some call it, ‘The Baseball National Anthem’. “Take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowd, buy me some peanuts and crackerjack, I don’t care if I never come back.” Etc etc.

Categories: News, Sports

About Author

Job Patstone

Job Patstone was born in Hamilton, ON. and has lived in Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer AB. He is presently living in Quebec City, with his wife. He worked for Xerox for 26 years and was an ESL teacher for another ten.

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