Happy's Islanders with their B side trophy from the Canadian Oldtimers Championship. Left to right: Front row - Richard Murphy

Happy's Islanders with their B side trophy from the Canadian Oldtimers Championship. Left to right: Front row - Richard Murphy

Islanders defend B side trophy at nationals

Oldtimers baseball team lives by the motto 'It's just a game'

Kevin Dobbelsteyn

Special to the Record

It is just a game.

As I reviewed my first draft of this article about Happy’s Islanders trip to the Canadian National Oldtimers Baseball Championship, in Brampton, Ont. I decided it was too negative.

I talked about the bad weather we had – lightning, thunder, hail and incredible rain – and getting rained out two days in a row.  I mentioned the numerous walks that we issued, unusual for us.  I detailed some of the miscues, including five minutes from hell for our third baseman, five minutes that changed the course of the tournament.

I even included some comments on the many, many warehouses in Brampton.  And of course I lamented the fact that the best team on paper did not win the ‘A’ trophy!

But I won’t mention the first draft.

Because, you know, it is just a game.  A game being played by a bunch of rather mature gents.  No scouts in the stands, no TV cameras, not even any spouses to impress.

It is a wonderful thing to be able to play baseball at a pretty high level at age 50 and well beyond.  To travel to the national tournament as a team, and enjoy each other’s company, and share stories over food and drink, is a special (and limited!) time for all of us.

We had some great performances in Brampton.  Andy Marinus and Tim McDonald, our first two hitters, both hit well over .600, consistently setting the table for our big bats of Dave Bennett, Kelly Wenstrom, Buck Briggs and Ron Carter.

The pitching arms of Richard Murphy, Mike Caton, Irwin Koziel, Ray VanderMark and Kevin Dobbelsteyn supported the big chuckers Marinus and Bennett.  And the mostly superb defence was anchored by outfielders Scott Murray and Kelly McGiffen, and infielders Dave Odamura and Brad Kimmett.

And we won a trophy, repeating as B side champions!  And next year we may win another trophy – or not.

It is just a game.


– Happy’s Islanders



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