2019 All-Star Game
By John Short
Weather difficulties appeared again to interfere Sunday with Western Canadian Baseball League activity – the developmental league’s first-ever mid-season all-star game – but somehow, as it has done through the entire first half of the season, the league came up with a success.
About 1,500 fans enjoyed a 5-4 victory by the Western All-Stars over the East, especially after a heavy rainstorm delayed the start of the game by about an hour. League and competitive team officials said openly that the commitment of the Edmonton Prospects to completing the weekend of festivities was a major factor in the positive, but damp, result.
Highlights were a home-run hitting contest which added slightly to the delay because work to repair the sodden playing area at RE/MAX Field was interrupted by the competition.
Another highlight, of course, was the presence of former Canadian major-league slugger Matt Stairs, who still holds the record for pinch-hit home runs by an individual. He signed countless autographs before and during a rain-soaked marathon game between Edmonton and the Western Conference-leading Okotoks Dawgs on Saturday, then was featured prominently in Sunday’s series of events.
From a prospect strictly devoted to the Prospect, the 5-4 result was a distinct positive.
Starting pitcher Hunter Boyd pitched two opening shut-out innings and David Wylie came in to save the victory in the ninth inning. Edmonton’s leading hitter, outfielder Travis Hunt, contributed a pair of solid singles and at least one impressive defensive play to limit a potential rally by the East.
Catcher Jake Gehri started as teammate Boyd’s battery-mate, but left in later innings for an replacement, part of the All-Star plan to use every possible player. But when Wylie arrived in the late moments, Gehri was summoned as his catcher. Together, they closed out the win.