Regional Little League team eyes up Agassiz fields

Team play would start spring of 2015 on underutilized ball diamonds

It’s been about 10 years since Agassiz has had a kids baseball team to call its own. In that time, any kids interested in playing ball have had to travel to places like Chilliwack and Mission.

But an overcapacity at those cities’ ball diamonds means baseball is coming back to town — and in a big way.

Two men are looking to create the Agassiz Little League Association, with a catchment area that will include Chilliwack, Hope and Agassiz/Harrison. Trevor McGuire and Chris McCurdy have been talking to the District of Kent’s recreation department about the feasibility of a local league, and are already gearing up for some winter training.

“We have all been extremely pleased with being able to bring this sport to Agassiz with the District of Kent helping us to develop the opportunity for all of our youth,” said Trevor McGuire. “Becoming a Little League Canada & International affiliate opens the door for us to participate in the USA and for USA teams to come to Agassiz to play baseball. The goal of our organization is promote elite baseball training in a year round environment. I believe Agassiz can provide us with the perfect location for this to happen.”

In a report to council presented on Monday night, they estimate about 160 kids aged seven to 18 would make up the league. Those kids would be split into eight to 10 teams. The league would also plan local ball tournaments.

The idea was in front of council for information, and was met with enthusiasm. “This is long overdue,” said Coun. Duane Post. “It’s great that it’s come forward.”

“Baseball has been missing here for the last 10 years,” said Kerry Hilts, director of recreation services. Chilliwack’s fields could not accommodate the team, and Mission didn’t work as a location either.

But in Agassiz, the fields are being underutilized. While there is a two-pitch adult league, District staff said they believe the two organizations can coordinate field usage to avoid conflict. The league is hoping to use diamonds 1 and 5 on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Fields are affordable in Agassiz, renting to youth groups at $5.50 an hour.

Little League was founded in 1939 with the first game being played on June 6 that year. The first Little League World Series was played in 1947.

A meet and greet will be held at the Community Culture and Recreation Centre in Agassiz on Nov. 7.

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