OPENING 2 GAMES
By John Short

Quite possibly, the two biggest smiles at RE/MAX Field Sunday afternoon belonged to Edmonton Prospects managing partner Pat Cassidy and Western Canadian Baseball League president Kevin Kvame.

Both were impressed with the quality of play as the Prospects opened their season with a pair of victories over the Lethbridge Bulls. Perhaps more important was their response to the attendance as Edmonton won 5-4 on Saturday night and followed with a 7-5 victory on the Sunday.

“There were maybe 3,000 people here for the opener,” said Kvame, who has steered the WCBL through some hardships and many progresses during his 10 years as head of the league. Sunday’s figure dropped closer to an estimated 1,500. “That’s a good crowd for the first two games, very good,” he said. “Certainly it will give politicians something to think about – or it should, anyway.”

He confirmed immediately that his reference was aimed at city council, which has openly sought offers to supplant the Prospects, who have about a half-dozen Alberta players on their university-level roster – many more than any other franchise ever recorded.

Lengthy and confusing council reactions have left Cassidy’s organization, fans and franchises throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan wondering when city officials’ deliberations on the Prospects’ offer to occupy RE/MAX Field for many years will finally leave the political arena and become a firm decision.

“Right now, I’m happy,” said Cassidy. “We look like there’s a chance that we’ll be a good team. We have some good players and they look like they’re capable of improving.

“Crowds were good, weather was good, the quality of the baseball was good. The next step for (head coach) Jordan Blundell will be to have us ready when we play our next game here Thursday (against the Okotoks Dawgs).

“Obviously, he’s done a good job so far.”