Happy’s Islanders are off to Fort Myers, Florida for the 24th annual Roy Hobbs World Series. Local members of the team leave the Comox Valley on Thursday.
Comprised of 10 players from the Komoux Masters Real Baseball League, six pick-ups from B.C., Ontario and Alberta (including Kelly McGiffin and brother Kirk, longtime teammate John Gowans, and three players from the Charlottetown national tournament in August), the team is playing in the Legends 55+ division, which features 44 teams.
Representing the KMRBL are Tim McDonald, Buck Briggs, Dave Odamura, Greg Grieve, Ray Vandermark, Tony Powell, Ron Carter, Scott Murray and Kevin Dobbelsteyn.
After a practice on Saturday, the Islanders will commence play Sunday against Rhode Island Indians, Monday against Carolina Rockies, Tuesday against the DC Mets and Wednesday against Nova Scotia Monarchs (an all-Canadian tilt). Playoffs begin Thursday, Nov. 8.
“But the real excitement, before the playoffs, is the Tuesday afternoon matchup with the DC Mets,” said Dobbelsteyn. The game will be played in JetBlue Park, a stadium within the Boston Red Sox spring training facility.
Opened in February 2012, JetBlue has identical dimensions to Fenway Park, including a Green Monster. “Seating capacity is 11,000 and expected attendance on Tuesday is seven – all good seats!” Dobbelsteyn quipped.
“For some of us, this may be a career highlight A brand new major league field – the grass will be perfect, the weather will be 28 degrees in bright sunlight, the Monster will be laughing at us. This writer would certainly suggest that Dobbelsteyn be penciled in to start this game on the mound!”
Watch for updates from Fort Myers in the Record and follow the action at www.royhobbs.com.word-series.
The yearly amateur baseball tournament series runs through Nov. 17, with the Legends division in action from Nov. 3-17. Games will be played on the stadium and practice fields at the Lee County Sports Complex, City of Palms Park, the Player Development Complex (the former Red Sox minor league spring training) and JetBlue Park.
Named for the fictional lead character in the book and movie The Natural, Roy Hobbs Baseball is for players who are “of age,” but who do not want to settle for slo-pitch softball. Age-level competition is available in several divisions, including Open (25 and up), Veterans (38-plus), Masters (48-plus), Legends (55-plus), Classics (60-plus), Vintage (65-plus) and Timeless (70-plus). There is also a Women’s Division.
“It’s amateur baseball for adults on major league-calibre fields with high-end umpiring,” Roy Hobbs’ president Tom Giffen said.