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Welcome from The Wilson’s Group of Companies Hello HarbourCats Fans, I want to start off this year’s message with my sincerest gratitude and appreciation for your continued support during these strange and difficult times we are all facing. Back in March when we first began seeing closures and restrictions put in place due to COVID-19, we remained hopeful that we would be able to continue with our 8th season of HarbourCats baseball at The Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic park in 2020. However, as things sadly began quickly progressing, both here at home and around the world, our dream of baseball this summer started to fade. Lucky for us, we have some of the best fans in the league! Our ownership group is confident that with the continued support from our amazing fans and community partners, HarbourCats Baseball will emerge as an even stronger organization ready to bring you the best summer sporting entertainment that Greater Victoria has to offer in 2021. I often speak about what a special place Victoria is to live and do business. It is in trying times, such as these, that I am continuously remined of this. While the mild weather is great, the ocean breeze is refreshing and the flowers are beautiful, I believe it is the people of this community that make Victoria so special. On behalf of the entire Wilson Family, as well as our extended HarbourCats Family, I want to thank all of the incredible frontline workers, who have not had the option of working from home, as they continue to work hard at keeping our city safe and healthy. From the doctors and nurses, to those working in the grocery stores, pharmacies, truck and bus drivers, and all those who continue to donate their time and money to help those who need it most. Your amazing spirit and generosity make me very proud to call this great city my home. Your hard work has not gone unnoticed, and we will continue to show our appreciation when we return to the field in 2021. Lastly, I have a small request for our fans and whoever else may be reading this. Please look through this program, and even programs of years past, and note all our generous sponsors. Without their support, organizations like us would not exist. Right now, these businesses need your help more than ever as we all begin to recover. So, when you can, please show your support to our community partners and sponsors by shopping local. Let’s show these businesses that we are all rooting for them, just as we do for our HarbourCats. This time of crisis has reminded us of lessons many of us were taught when we were young. Appreciate the little things in life, do not take your loved ones for granted, be kind, patient and understanding, and most importantly, wash your hands. I look forward to welcoming you back to The Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park next year! John WilsonP President and CEO, The Wilson’s Group Co-Owner and Vice President of Business, Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club
2020 SEASON 8
Greetings from Mayor Lisa Helps On behalf of the City of Victoria, we are disappointed to miss the 2020 season of Victoria HarbourCats baseball due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. While we all do our part to follow the latest health advice from our regional experts, we must remember to support one another as well. It is time for us to cheer on frontline workers and our medical professionals with the same passion and energy we would typically bring to Royal Athletic Park. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s support our great local businesses and reach out to our loved ones daily. HarbourCat games help instill a sense of community, civic pride and friendly competition. The team further provides wonderful opportunities to young local and region baseball players looking to pursue a future in the sport. While this is likely a difficult time for everyone associated with the team, I trust that the HarbourCats will return to winning ways as soon as it is safe to do so. Remember that we are in this together and we are all playing for the same team. I wish all of the players, fans, staff members, and coaches the very best during these challenging times. Please stay health and safe. Go Cats! Sincerely,
Lisa Helps Victoria Mayor
No.1 Centennial Square Victoria British Columbia Canada V8W 1P6 Telephone (250) 361 -0200 Fax (250) 361 -0348 Email email@example.com
2020 SEASON 8
A Message from the GM Thanks for Being a fan! Your Support Means the World to Us! Well, what an interesting off-season it has been! And sadly, it will now be one prolonged by the cancellation of our 2020 season due to the COVID-19 crisis. If you are reading this, it means you are healthy, safe and doing what you can to keep the curve flattened so that we can all be at the ballpark again in 2021. Thankyou for that! Also, a huge thanks for all the support you have provided to the team, from being cool with us rolling over your season ticket purchases, group reservations or sponsorships to 2021, to making a purchase from our on-line store, or simply buying a 2021 flex-pack or season ticket. Every little bit of that will help us get through what will be a very long summer without games at the park. All the excitement we had for 2020 will now need to wait for 2021! Head Coach Todd Haney, fresh off a contract extension, is chomping at the bit to get us back to the West Coast League Championship for the third time in four years and bring a title to this city. In that regard, he and his coaches will have more time now to assemble perhaps the best team we have ever seen! Our reputation as the place to be and be seen is spreading - and the number of talented players that want to come to Victoria now is unprecedented. Our team remains fully ingrained in the community, the top summer sports option for people in Victoria and the southern part of Vancouver Island. We will do our best, even with the season cancelled, to make sure this still applies in 2020. Game re-broadcasts, virtual games, community events, fan ZOOM calls...whatever it takes to keep our fans involved and loving the HarbourCats. The key members of our operation are here, and here to stay -- loyal to baseball, loyal to this city of Victoria, and loyal to all those who make it happen. They will help us get through the summer and help my wonderful ownership group - Rich Harder, John Wilson, and my brother Ken -- see the HarbourCats into 2021, as well as launch an exciting WCL franchise in Nanaimo, a team that will be a fantastic rival to the HarbourCats. In the end, though, our fans and supporters bring smiles to our faces, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the important part. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a circle of sunshine all around, one that we hope continues through these tough times. Thank you again so much for your continued support! We truly appreiciate your continued love of what we do!
2020 SEASON 8
INSIDE TODD HANEY’S JOURNEY TO THE VICTORIA HARBOURCATS By Josh Kozelj When Todd Haney was asked to coach in Victoria before the summer of 2018, the first thing the former MLB infielder did was something a lot of us may do when researching an unfamiliar place — he Googled the city on the internet. “The architecture, the flowers and everything, those were the first things I saw and I go, ‘Oh yeah, I definitely want to go there,” says Haney over the phone from Texas, a couple months before what would have been the start of the 2020 WCL regular season, when the cherry blossoms are just starting to reappear in the Garden City. Haney, who played in the College World Series with the Texas Longhorns and five years in the MLB with the Montreal Expos, New York Mets, and Chicago Cubs, spent 2018 as an assistant coach for a HarbourCats team that missed the WCL playoffs by one game. A few months before last season, Haney was announced as Head Coach of the HarbourCats and led the team to a 39-15 regular season record — the third best record in league history — and to within one game of clinching Victoria’s first ever WCL title in his first year at the helm. Haney was drafted in the 38th round by the Seattle Mariners in the 1987 MLB draft, and made his major league debut five years later with the Expos in September of 1992. Baseball has always been in Haney’s family, and once he reached the major leagues after five years in the minors he was excited to not only be in The Show, but have a chance to honour those close to him that made his dream possible — specifically, his father. After going hitless through his first five career games, Haney collected his first hit in a game where he went three for four with an RBI against the St. Louis Cardinals at old Busch Stadium. In a podcast interview with the HarbourCats at the beginning 2020 of lastSEASON season,8Haney said the pressure and anxiety 6
flooded away after that first hit. “For me I just wanted to get my first hit, because I didn’t know how long I was going to be there, so I could give that baseball to my father for everything he had done for me to play in the big leagues,” said Haney. “It was funny, that first hit I got to second base and I look over and think ‘that’s Ozzie Smith standing there, I have his baseball card and now I’m standing on the same field as him!’” After spending parts of four more seasons in the Major Leagues, and 13 overall seasons of professional baseball, Haney took some time away from the sport and worked in his family business, Profiles International, a company that helps organizations find solutions, employees for jobs, or advice to help their workers reach their potential. During his career in baseball, Haney says the people he respected the most were the individuals who knew how to communicate and be honest. While working at Profiles International, Haney devolved some of those leadership skills he saw in those Major League General Managers and coaches he admired, which helped him grow as a person, leader, and ultimately coach himself. While working at his family business, he also coached the Waco Storm, a youth travel baseball team in Texas, which provided Haney a chance to put his communication skills to test. Working with younger players helped Haney learn different communication styles and understand that every player or person is an individual who may respond differently to a task or piece of advice. Continued on page 8 >> HARBOURCATS.COM
2020 SEASON 8
Haney...(from Page 6)
which is oftentimes considered an extension of a player’s collegiate baseball experience, Haney says understanding why a college coach wants an individual playing with you over the summer — be it to learn a new position, improve at the position they’re at, or compete in a playoff chase — along with sitting down with the player once they come to Victoria, is a key to fostering successful dialogue between player and coach.
“It’s interesting how you go through life and have certain things that you do impact you and help you grow as a person and a coach,” he says. “With my Waco Storm program I had to coach seven year old players to eighteen year old players, so you better be able to articulate what you want to a seven year old.” Haney worked with the Storm program until 2017, but credits the early experiences in learning how to foster a team culture predicated on communication and transparency — two elements that were evident in last season’s squad that came within one game of the WCL title.
Specifically, he points to the evolution of Harrison Spohn’s hitting approach throughout the year and how he ultimately helped Victoria reach the 2019 WCL Finals with a game-winning hit in game three of the North Division Championship Series against the Wentachee AppleSox.
He was impressed early on with the camaraderie on last year’s team, and praises a group of leaders who not only made it an enjoyable and fun atmosphere to come to the ballpark each day — which helped integrate players who came to Victoria halfway through the year — but also knew how to compete at their highest level come game time.
“Working on your swing, and working on your mental side when you get in that type of situation to be confident in what you’re doing and the work you put in to go out and get a game-winning hit to move your team to the championship,” says Haney. “Curtis [Pelletier] and I both did extra work with him, but he’s a player that
In terms of player development in the summer season,
Continued on page 11>>
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2020 SEASON 8
VICTORIA HARBOURCATS << Haney, continued from page 8
really wanted to learn. I think the year before he hit low .200’s, and last year got up to about .290 and in the playoffs he was just killing the ball. I think the summer really paid off for him from a development standpoint.” Heading, now, into 2021, fresh off a multi-year contract extension through 2022, Haney’s goal to deliver a championship hasn’t changed. “My goal is to win the championship. I feel there are a number of people that put in a lot of time and effort into the organization, from the front office, to people who work at the field, in addition to our fans who come out to see us. We lead the league in attendance and I want to bring a championship to the city of Victoria.” As for those players Haney has been recruiting to try and deliver that championship to Victoria, aside from highlighting only the hard-core fans and team staff, he’ll also tell them about the natural beauty of the Canadian coastal city that initially drew him to Vancouver Island two summers ago. However, instead of having players Google the city themselves, he’ll send out photos of the city — some of the same photos he saw on the internet prior to joining the HarbourCats in 2018.
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2020 SEASON 8
HarbourCats Ready (and Waiting) to Bring WCL Title to Victoria In 2019, as in 2017, the Victoria HarbourCats watched the Corvallis Knights celebrate a heartwrenching Game 3 victory in the West Coast League (WCL) Championship. In 2018, the ‘Cats came a game short of making the playoffs and in 2016, after a record setting 40-win season, Victoria was upset by Bellingham in the Division finals. In 2021 it will be OUR TURN!
The loss in the 2019 Championship has only motivated Head Coach Todd Haney and Hitting Coach and Director of Player Development Curtis Pelletier and the rest of the coaching staff even more to put together a championship winning team in 2020. The team that had been assembled - and now won’t have the chance to play here (see their names and photos later in this program) was one that built on the record setting group from 2019 - one that soared to 39 wins, a slew of offensive records and a North Division title - and also added top caliber players that became available due to the unexpected shutdown of NCAA College Baseball as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The potential 2020 team was probably the strongest the HarbourCats have ever assembled.
Pettit (Trinity) and pitchers Hunter Omlid (Boise State), Reagan MacDonald (UT Tyler), Zach Swanson (San Diego Christian), Josh Laukkanen (New Mexico State) and Jacob Potter (SE Oklahoma). 2018 HarbourCat Connor Nantkes (Metro State) and 2017 HarbourCat Pitcher of the Year Adam McKillican (UBC) were also planning to be back. Wrangling that group of players was Haney, who was scheduled to begin his second year at the helm, after taking over in 2019 from former Head Coach Brian McRae. Haney would have been joined on the coaching staff by returnees Pelletier , Troy Birtwistle (First Base Coach) and John Schnaderbeck , while Pitching Coach duties were to be assumed by veteran Major Leaguer Mark Petkovsek, a former first-round MLB draft pick out of the University of Texas who went on to pitch for Texas, Pittsburgh, Anaheim and St. Louis at the MLB level. 2019 Pitching Coach Ian Sanderson departed the HarbourCats in the off-season to take on the Head Coaching position with the Wenatchee AppleSox.
That roster was headlined by the scheduled return of a slew of 2019 standouts, including 2019 WCL All-Stars Parker Bramlett (IF - Angelo State) and Tyson Hays (C Illinois State), as well as 2019 Pitcher of the Year Dakota Hawkins (Washington State). Also rumoured to be returning in 2020 were infielders Griffin Paxton (UTSA) (2019 HarbourCats Player of the Year), Harrison Spahn (Cal Baptist), Gus Wilson (USA&S) and Tanner Haney (Texas), outfielder Nate Pecota (Cameron U), catcher Tyler HARBOURCATS.COM
Also slated to join the ‘Cats in 2020 was Assistant Coach Chad Matton. Continued on page 15>>
2020 SEASON 8
VICTORIA HARBOURCATS also feature a range of cider, cooler and other alcoholic products, as well as the usual assortment of soft drinks and non-alcoholic beverages for the younger crowd.
<< WCL Title, continued from page 13
Matton, a Windsor, Ontario native, played at Lakeland College and Colorado Northwestern and is currently coaching high school baseball in his home town. Matton replaces Jason Leone, who departed mid-way through the 2019 season.
For our fans and their game day experience, the park will look much the same as it did in 2019, with the Strathcona Third Base Party Deck and the Wilson’s Group Upper Deck Experience on the first base line both being in full operation. One small change down the foul lines will be brand new “fair / foul” poles, graciously sponsored by Garrick’s Head Pub and The Churchill and a new Kid’s Zone, where parents and kids of all ages can relax, enjoy some fun activities, and watch the game while doing so, on large screen TVs graciously donated by Atlas Audio Video Unlimited.
At the park, heading into 2021 and the third season of branding as Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park, fans will once again be able to enjoy the best selection of stadium food in all of the Victoria sports world, with the ever popular Molly’s Fish and Chips and Greek on the Street making their return, alongside newcomers Kebab Me Krazy and the Rogue Food Truck (who take over ownership of the Floyd’s truck along the third baseline). Sub-Zero Ice Cream also takes over from Phoebe’s to provide the coolest and tastiest product at the park and the City concession will feature their classic hot dogs, popcorn and other assorted sundries as they have done every season.
“We are the best summertime sports entertainment in the City and the close to 80,000 fans we brought in through the gates last year and over 400,000 plus fans over our first seven years of play prove that,” said GM and Managing Partner Jim Swanson.
Speaking of thirst, those ages 19 and up will see the return of Red Arrow Brewing Co. and their signature HarbourCats Ballpark Blonde lager, as well as their Piggy Pale Ale and Kustom Kolsch. The City concessions will
“With any luck, we will look forward to welcoming our 500,000th fan and many more in 2021 and our whole staff is excited to host our fans then, in what should be another fun summer at the park.”
2020 SEASON 8
2020 SEASON 8
Your 2020 Victoria HarbourCats Note: Roster consists of all players signed prior to April 15, 2020 and who were expected to play for the HarbourCats this season. C TYLER PETTIT
IF PARKER BRAMLETT
Incarnate Word Junior 5’10” 190 lbs. Hometown: Round Rock, TX
Angelo State Junior 6’0” 180 lbs. Hometown: Bullard, TX
RHP DAKOTA HAWKINS
IF GRIFFIN PAXTON
Washington State Sophomore 6’0” 195 lbs. Hometown: Chehalis, WA
Texas-San Antonio Senior 6’2” 200 lbs. Hometown: West, TX
C TYSON HAYES
OF NATE PECOTA
Illinois State Junior 6’0” 201 lbs. Hometown: Denver, CO
Cameron College Senior 5’10” 180 lbs. Hometown: Lee’s Summit, MO
IF TANNER HANEY
IF HARRISON SPOHN
University of Texas Sophomore 5’10” 160 lbs. Hometown: Waco, TX
Cal Baptist Junior 6’3” 185 lbs. Hometown: Upland, CA
LHP REAGAN MACDONALD
RHP JOSH LAUKKENEN
UT Tyler Junior 6’9” 217 lbs. Hometown: Gunter, TX
New Mexico State Sophomore 6’2” 190 lbs. Hometown: Nanaimo, BC
LHP CONNER NANTKES
RHP ADAM MCKILLICAN
Metro State Junior 6’3” 180 lbs. Hometown: Aurora, CO
UBC Junior 6’4” 200 lbs. Hometown: Courtney, BC
2020 SEASON 8
VICTORIA HARBOURCATS RHP ZACH SWANSON
RHP JACOB POTTER
IF GUS WILSON
RHP HUNTER OMLID
LHP THOMAS BURBANK
IF PETER GEIB
IF JAKE MCCAW
RHP JUSTIN ECKHARDT
San Diego Christian Sophomore 6’1” 167 lbs. Hometown: Victoria, BC
SE Oklahoma State Junior 6’2” 200 lbs. Hometown: Victoria, BC
USA & S Junior 5’8” 155 lbs. Hometown: Nanaimo, BC
Boise State Freshman 6’1” 189 lbs. Hometown: Hamilton, MT
Texas Sophomore 6’2” 215 lbs. Hometown: Beaumont, TX
Texas Sophomore 6’2” 215 lbs. Hometown: Houston, TX
Illinois State Sophomore 6’3” 192 lbs. Hometown: Bloomington, IL
Texas Sophomore 6’2” 200 lbs. Hometown: Sealy, TX
OF JUSTIN LEE
Angelo State Junior 5’11” 195 lbs. Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
C CADE CURRINGTON
Illinois State Freshman 6’3” 225 lbs. Hometown: Oakdale, MN
LHP NOLAN RODRIGUEZ
Baylor Freshman 5’10” 210 lbs. Hometown: Kaufman, TX
Baylor University Freshman 5’10” 170 lbs. Hometown: McGregor, TX
OF REAGAN DOSS
IF COLE POSEY
Boise State Freshman 6’1” 200 lbs. Hometown: Round Rock, TX
RHP ERIC KUBIATOWICZ
Boise State Freshman 5’10” 185 lbs. Hometown: Georgetown, TX
2020 SEASON 8
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VICTORIA HARBOURCATS OF ULISES CABALLERO
C OWEN NAPIERALSKI
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RHP KENTON CARRUTHERS
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IF WILLIE LAJOIE
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LHP MATT SHERMAN
LHP STONE SHIFFMAN
RHP ERIC LUNDELL
RHP GUNNER MORRIS
IF STONE MIYAO
LHP ALEX BRADY
IF TYLER BEST
Cal Baptist Junior 6’0” 195 lbs. Hometown: Riverside, CA
LSU Shreveport Sophomore 5’11” 185 lbs. Hometown: Delta, BC
Cal Baptist Freshman 6’1” 185 lbs. Hometown: Chino Hills, CA
Chico State Junior 6’2” 195 lbs. Hometown: Newbury Park, CA
Cal Baptist Junior 6’2” 195 lbs. Hometown: San Juan Capistrano, CA
Chico State Junior 5’11” 190 lbs. Hometown: Tustin, CA
Concordia University St. Paul Freshman 6’3” 205 lbs. Hometown: Eden Prairie, MN
Colorado Christian Junior 6’3” 210 lbs. Hometown: Lexington, TN
Concordia University St. Paul Freshman 6’1” 190 lbs. Hometown: North Aurora, IL
Cal State Northridge Sophomore 5’9” 175 lbs. Hometown: Foothill Ranch, CA
Grayson CC Freshman 6’6” 240 lbs. Hometown: Winnsboro, TX
Hawaii Freshman 5’10” 160 lbs. Hometown: Hilo, HI
Lower Columbia College Sophomore 5’9” 155 lbs. Hometown: Longview, WA
Hawaii Sophomore 6’1” 170 lbs. Hometown: Eagle, ID
2020 SEASON 8
We are all in this together Thank you Victoria for your support!
VICTORIA HARBOURCATS C JAYDEN WAKEHAM
RHP JACK SEWARD
Northern Kentucky Sophomore 6’0” 200 lbs. Hometown: Victoria, BC
Oregon Incoming Freshman 6’3” 205 lbs. Hometown: Port Moody, BC
IF JULIAN KODAMA
OF TANNER SMITH
Seattle Sophomore 6’0” 195 lbs. Hometown: Edmonds, WA
Oregon Sophomore 5’9” 190 lbs. Hometown: Newport Beach, CA
OF GAVIN RORK
RHP MAX CUENCA
Seattle Sophomore 5’10” 150 lbs. Hometown: Arlington, WA
Seattle Sophomore 6’4” 190 lbs. Hometown: Seattle, WA
LHP DESMOND PARISOTTO
LHP AG AYALA
Seattle Sophomore 6’0” 195 lbs. Hometown: Spokane, WA
St. Edwards Junior 5’8” 185 lbs. Hometown: Corpus Christi, TX
RHP CADHAN MCGAHAN
LHP BRADY PUTNIK
Trinity Freshman 6’0” 190 lbs. Hometown: Davidson, NC
St. Edwards Freshman 6’7” 210 lbs. Hometown: Houston, TX
LHP SAM CONTE JR.
RHP GARRETT HAWKINS
Trinity Sophomore 6’4” 205 lbs. Hometown: Boston, MA
UBC Sophomore 6’5” 230 lbs. Hometown: Biggar, SK
RHP KAI JANOWIZ
IF JAXON VALCKE UBC Junior 6’1” 199 lbs. Hometown: Stratford, ON
UC Davis Freshman 5’10” 175 lbs. Hometown: Avila Beach, CA
2020 SEASON 8
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Montana State Freshman 6’3” 160 lbs. Hometown: Magrath, AB
UC Santa Barbara Freshman 5’7” 165 lbs. Hometown: San Jose, CA
Sand Diego Freshman 6’3” 190 lbs. Hometown: San Diego, CA
UC San Diego Freshman 6’2” 195 lbs. Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
San Diego Freshman 6’1” 195 lbs. Hometown: Palm Beach, FL
San Diego Incoming Freshman 6’0” 190 lbs. Hometown: Laguna Niguel, CA
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2020 Coaching Staff MANAGER TODD HANEY
Todd Haney resumes his Managerial role in 2020 after stepping into the position in 2019 and leading the HarbourCats to the West Coast League Championship series. He joined the HarbourCats in 2018 as an Assistant Coach. A draft choice of the Seattle Mariners in 1987, Haney played parts of five seasons with the Expos, Cubs and Mets. Haney played one season for the single-A Bellingham Mariners, with minor pro experience in Calgary, Ottawa and Tacoma. Haney has extensive coaching experience leading the Waco Storm program, an elite travel offering in Texas. He is currently Director of Player Development at Texas State.
HITTING/CATCHING COACH CURTIS PELLETIER
Pelletier begins his third year with the HarbourCats, both as Hitting/Catching Coach and Director of Player Development, plus working out of the front office on maketing and running the HarbourCats Players Development Club. Working closely with Manager Todd Haney, Pelletier has helped fine tune the HarbourCats roster to put the best possible team on the field. A 39-year-old from Victoria who played college baseball at Grayson County College in Texas and saw pro action, including making the all-star game for the Victoria Capitals of the defunct Canadian Baseball League. Pelletier is also an Associate Scout with the Miami Marlins of MLB.
PITCHING COACH MARK PETKOVSEK
Joining the HarbourCats as Pitching Coach for the 2020 season is MLB-veteran Mark Petkovsek, 53, a former first-round MLB draft pick out of the University of Texas who went on to pitch for Texas, Pittsburgh, Anaheim and St. Louis at the MLB level. He threw summer collegiate ball for two summers for Chatham in the Cape Cod League and was inducted into the Cape Cod hall of fame. Petkovsek threw no-hitters at the NCAA and AAA pro levels. For the past four years, Petkovsek has been head coach and pitching coach at Monsignor Kelly Catholic High School in Beaumont, Texas.
FIRST BASE COACH TROY BIRTWISTLE
Troy Birtwistle, a native of Shawnigan Lake, BC is entering his fourth year with the HarbourCats and is an alumnus of the National Baseball Institute. Birtwistle was the starting pitcher for NBI in an exhibition game against the reigning World Series Champion Toronto Blue Jays, in a game played at Regina’s Taylor Field in the summer of 1993. Birtwistle pitched semi-pro in Australia and pitched at the national level including the 2001 and 2002 Baseball Canada Men’s Nationals. Troy is a fixture as our first base coach and through his company, TRB Construction, is responsible for much of the capital improvements and construction around the stadium.
ASSISTANT COACH CHAD MATTON
Hailing from Windsor, Ontario, Chad joins the HabourCats for his first season in 2020. Chad played at the college level at Colorado Northwestern Community College and Lakeland Community College and has played for the Senior Men’s Techumseh Thunder in Windsor. He coaches high school baseball in his hometown.
ASSISTANT COACH JOHN SCHNADERBECK
Returning for his third season in 2020, the 55-year-old from Vancouver, WA, is a former pro outfielder who was signed out of Southern Illinois University by the then-expansion Colorado Rockies organization. Schnaderbeck will join the team for selected home series and on most U.S. road trips, augmenting the staff.
2020 SEASON 8
2020 SEASON 8
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Ownership Group and Front Office Staff partnerships. Pollard works closely with our corporate sales team, Christian J. Stewart and Jim Swanson in these areas. John is a former little league coach and board member, as well as assistant coach in minor hockey and soccer. John has worked in marketing with many major media corporations. Contact John at: email@example.com
OWNERS Ken Swanson, Rich Harder, John Wilson, Jim Swanson, principles of Shwing Batter Investments Inc. JIM SWANSON – MANAGING PARTNER and GENERAL MANAGER Jim Swanson joined the HarbourCats as GM in their second year of operation and became part of the ownership group that took over in 2015. The energy and enthusiasm he has for the game has helped the HarbourCats rise to prominence and be the top summertime sports entertainment option in Victoria for the past five seasons. In 2020 Swanson will continue to lead the Baseball Operations department and the coaching staff, and oversee business functions with John Wilson, Vice-President/Business. Swanson has an extensive baseball background as a former professional baseball general manager and longtime media member, coach and baseball promoter. He was formerly Sports Editor of the Prince George Citizen, was VP-GM of the Grand Forks Varmints of the Prairie League (independent) in 1997 and ran the Prairie League office in 1996. He has coached youth and men at international level, as the Manager of national champion Prince George Axemen in 2012, and a coach on 2014 national champion Langley Blaze and in 2018 won a National Silver Medal as coach of the Victoria Mavericks. Contact Jim at: firstname.lastname@example.org
RICHARD MICHAELS – DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY RELATIONS, CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP Richard has established experience in sales and marketing and works at implementing various partnership initiatives with his focus on the continued development of community and corporate relationships that allow Victoria area people to use Harbourcats games as a way to connect. Richard began with the HarbourCats in 2015 and has been instrumental in reaching out to the seniors community, including various groups such as Rotary. Richard also coordinates all appearances of Harvey the HarbourCat at community events. Contact Richard at: email@example.com. CURTIS PELLETIER – DIRECTOR OF PLAYER DEVELOPMENT, HITTING COACH Building on his role as Hitting Coach with the team, and being a key part of the community partnership efforts, Curtis will now spearheads and formalize programs to develop young baseball players in the region and to take our summer youth development camps to the next level. Curtis is also part of our Corporate sales team with a number of partners in his portfolio. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
CHRISTIAN J. STEWART – ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER Many of you will know Christian first and foremost as our photographer but he stepped up his responsibilities in 2018 to take on the Assistant General Manager role. Chris has been with the HarbourCats since their inception in 2013 and is well known in Victoria baseball and local sports circles through his past work as a coach and executive for the Gordon Head – Lambrick Baseball Association and the Greater Victoria Baseball Association and of course through his photography for those
RAYMOND KIRK – MERCHANDISE Raymond joined the HarbourCats in 2019 and took over the management of all team merchandise and made sure the tent at the park was constantly humming with activity. He was to continue that role in 2020, but will also take on more responsibilities with the Nanaimo WCL team that will begin play in 2021. Contact: email@example.com
organizations, as well as through the work he does for groups such as the Victoria Eagles and the BC Premier Baseball League. Christian will assist Jim Swanson in all aspects of team operation and is the person to see for tickets or to book a group outing on our party deck, double decker bus or in any of our regular seating areas. He is also the person to contact regrding any use or purchase of HarbourCats imagery for commercial or marketing purposes. Contact Chris at: firstname.lastname@example.org
JEAN JABS, OLIVER FORBES, BRIAN TUCK, RYAN HAINES – CORPORATE SALES Our corporate sales staff provide companies the opportunity to grow through exposure to the strong crowds at HarbourCats games. If you would like to advertise and partner with the HarbourCats, contact any of our reps at: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.
JOHN POLLARD – MARKETING DIRECTOR A well known media professional, John joined the HarbourCats in 2016 to spearhead marketing efforts and 2020 SEASON 8
Continued on page 35 >>
$1000* towards your next holiday Fill in the ballot below and hand it to a HarbourCats rep at the info booth
First Name: Last Name: Address: Phone: Email: Would you like to sign up for Club Red and receive exclusive offers from Flight Centre?
*Conditions apply. All entrants confirm their compliance with the official contest rules by submitting their entry. See HarbourCats rep for full contest rules. There will be one winner drawn on Aug 11, 2019. All eligible entries received during the contest period will be put into a random draw. Prize must be accepted as awarded. This contest is open to legal residents of Canada (excluding Quebec) who are at least 18 years of age and have reached the age of majority in their province, or territory of residence as of June 1, 2019. The contest beings June 1, 2019 and entries close on Aug 11, 2019. Maximum one (1) entry per person. Maximum value of prize is $1,000 travel credit from Flight Centre. CPBC#25125 TICO#4671384 OPC#702971.
2020 SEASON 8
2020 SEASON 8
VICTORIA HARBOURCATS CINDY KENT, NATALIE GLADSTONE – HOST FAMILY COORDINATORS For 2020, Cindy and Natalie have taken on the role as joint Host Family Coordinators and have the job of making sure our players are well accomodated during the year. They will work closely with Christian Stewart, Tyler Green, Todd Haney and the coaching staff to ensure our players are well-cared for while members of the HarbourCats. Contact: email@example.com.
<< Staff, continued from page 30
CHRIS BEVERIDGE – SOCIAL MEDIA New to the HarbourCats for 2020, Chris is taking over the management of all our social media platforms - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram - developing new and exciting content and has been key in developing our new HCATS.TV, which will serve as our main live game streaming platform in the future. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
LYANDRA WHITE – BOX OFFICE MANAGER Lyandra stepped up her duties in 2018 to take on the role of Box Office Manager, and will continue that role in 2020, responsible for all aspects of game day ticketing. Formerly the team’s Ticketing Manager, White will work with Stewart to ensure a smooth entry for all fans on game days at RAP and will work closely with all ticketing and box office staff to ensure fans have quick and efficient access to their seats. Contact: email@example.com
TYLER GREEN – DIRECTOR OF PLAYER PERSONNEL Tyler is a Victoria resident who has been an informal helper with compiling information on the team’s players, and has a strong grasp of the college baseball scene. That assistance is now formalized with him coming on board in late 2018 as our Director of Player Personnel. Tyler will assist with the formation of the 2019 roster and will support Jim Swanson, Christian J. Stewart, Todd Haney and his coaching staff, and Host Family Coordinator Katrinka Green (his wife), in the recruiting and athlete-experience aspects of the HarbourCats. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
GAME DAY STAFF DAN SALMON, PA ANNOUNCER Dan is an unforgettable part of the HarbourCats experience as the voice you hear when you enter the ballpark Continued on page 37 >>
2020 SEASON 8
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VICTORIA HARBOURCATS << Staff, continued from page 35
and throughout the game. Dan enjoys adding character and a ‘signature’ to a night with the HarbourCats. JASON KING, VIDEO PRODUCER Jason is instrumental in everything you see on the beautiful RAP video scoreboard, whether he produced it, pushed the buttons, or both. DAVID MARSHALL, MUSIC AND SOUND Now in his eighth season, David always knows just what tune to play to keep your toes tapping and enhance the ballpark atmosphere through music and also works closely with the video crew. JOSH KOZELJ, MEDIA Josh stepped in as an intern in 2018 to assist with all aspects of game day media, including the preparation of game day notes and program inserts and the preparation of game summary reports. He will continue in that role in 2020, assisting Christian J. Stewart with all aspects of game day media coordination and preparation.
LORI SWANSON, WAIT STAFF COORDINATOR AND GAME DAY AMBASSADOR You name it and Lori can be seen doing it at the park, from wrting out starting lineups on the white board, to overseeing and coordinating our party deck and Diamond Club wait staff and assisting with all aspects of game day presentation and promotions. RACHEL SWANSON, BARB HUDLIN, BRANDI MATTU - VIP AREAS SERVING STAFF Rachel, Barb and Brandy are responsible for food service to our key VIP areas at the park including our Campbell Club and Diamond Club seats, the Upper Deck Experience and the Third Base Party Deck. Rachel also coordinates a team of servers to assist as needed through the year.
ANDRES MARQUEZ, GAME DAY SCRIPTING and PROMO TEAM COORDINATION Another 2018 intern that will continue in 2020, Andres assists with all aspects of game day scripting and the coordination of our on-field promo team to ensure that all pre-game and in-game promotions run smoothly.
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The Summer of Spohn 2018-2019 HarbourCat Harrison Spohn talks about the summer of 2019 and how it changed his baseball career It was the deciding Game 3 of the 2019 North Division finals between the Victoria HarbourCats and the Wenatchee AppleSox and the home crowd of just over 2,000 people watched in stunned silence as the Victoria HarbourCats, leading 5-3 and three-outs away from advancing to the West Coast League Championship for the second time in three seasons, gave up four top-of-the-ninth inning runs to suddenly trail the AppleSox 7-5. There was a nervous, but positive tension in the air, however, as the HarbourCats, with their record setting offensive attack, were at the top of their batting order, and with the tune of “Baby Shark” playing in the background, Nick Plaia stepped to the plate and stroked a lead-off single to give the home crowd some hope. Gus Wilson then worked a gutsy, full-count walk and Player of the Year Griffin Paxton followed that with a double to score Plaia and put the tying and winning runs in scoring position, bringing HarbourCats fan favourite Harrison Spohn to the plate. With a 1-2 count, Spohn bravely took the next two pitches, working the count full and bringing the crowd to their feet with anticipation... Heading into his second summer with the Victoria HarbourCats last year, Harrison Spohn felt like he needed to prove his stripes. After batting just .200 and collecting 7 RBI in 38 games with the HarbourCats in 2018, Spohn returned to Vancouver Island in 2019 with unfished business. “I felt like I still had to show the coaches and others that I was here to play, that I can play, because in my first year here I didn’t show them I could be a quality middle of the order bat,” he says over the phone from California.
through his older brother. Spohn remembers watching his brother play baseball — dreaming of following in his footsteps — and playing wiffle ball in the backyard with his friends.
Spohn, a rangy infielder from California Baptist University (CBU), became a mainstay in Victoria’s infield throughout two full summers at Royal Athletic Park, and one of the leaders on a 2019 HarbourCats team that came within one game of capturing their first ever West Coast League title. Heading into the summer season last June, Spohn took it upon himself to be a mentor for younger players on the Victoria roster.
Before committing to CBU, he wasn’t concerned about going to a NCAA division one or two school, but was attracted to CBU — which was a division two school at the time he committed — for their resources and coaching staff that would give him at-bats to help him grow as a player.
“I had to be that leader because I was considered a veteran in terms of the summer ball world, going to the same team two years in a row, so I understood how the coaches work and how the season goes.”
As for his interest in the HarbourCats, DJ Porter, who was in Victoria in 2017 when the ‘Cats also came to within a game of winning the WCL championship, was a teammate of Spohn’s in his freshman year at CBU and raved about his experience with the HarbourCats for the summer.
Baseball has always been in Spohn’s blood, and he’s played the game for as long as he can remember. Growing up in Upland, California, he developed a passion for baseball HARBOURCATS.COM
“He was telling me all about it, and how great of an experiContinued on page 41 >>
2020 SEASON 8
VICTORIA HARBOURCATS Pelletier, and he credits the two for helping refine his swing throughout the summer and give him more confidence with his batting approach.
<< Spohn, continued from page 39
ence it was. How the coaching staff will help you, and once I found out that my coaches we’re going to send me there [Victoria] I was super happy.”
“The biggest thing for me was my hips,” says Spohn, who still talks with Haney and Pelletier often. “So all summer we we’re working on my hips, getting those things right, and having that repetition, practice, and work ethic.”
Beginning the 2019 season, Spohn got off to a hot start at the plate, racking up seven hits in his first five WCL regular season games. Before games, Spohn would do early work with Head Coach Todd Haney and hitting coach Curtis
Following a season where he collected just 23 hits, Spohn had a .283 average, 43 hits, and 25 RBI in a regular season where the HarbourCats clinched their third playoff berth in four seasons. The summer was already one Spohn would never forget. He had developed a bond with a group of teammates with a similar hardworking mindset and coaches who were eager to help him reach his potential. “That summer changed my career as a baseball player,” says Spohn, who would amass a .283 average and collect 9 RBI through 15 games at CBU in the spring of 2020 before the NCAA cancelled the remainder of the season due to fears of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’ll remember that summer for the rest of my life as one of the best summers of my life, regardless of baseball or not, just having those guys around, having fun... just being around that group, being around that positive energy, I’ll remember that forever because it helped me as a person, as a baseball
Continued on page 43 >>
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VICTORIA HARBOURCATS << Spohn, continued from page 41
player, to have that positive mindset.” However it was in the postseason that Spohn truly earned his stripes and erased any doubts of his offensive abilities. Of that crazy Game 3 Division final against Wenatchee, Spohn notes, “They kind of took the momentum from us, but we got the momentum right back,” says Spohn. “It was a special group... it’s funny how close we got in a short period of time, but it shows just how special we were as a group,”
giving the HarbourCats the come from behind win. For a moment Spohn blacked out, and the next thing he remembers was the entire team jumping and celebrating on top of him, celebrating the HarbourCats win and even more for Spohn, the first walk off hit of his entire baseball career.
“I wanted to keep it simple and have fun, my team had the momentum and I didn’t feel like I needed to put any more pressure on myself. “I’ve been playing this game for so long that these are the moments that I live for, I’ve been waiting my whole life to have a moment like that. I was just looking for something to drive get it out on the outfield.” ...Spohn was locked in. The crescendo moment of the season arrived and it was on his bat. This was his chance to lift his team to the finals and continue one of the most memorable summers of his life. The crowd noise subsided and it was just him and the pitcher. The pitch was delivered, low, outside, but close enough to offer at and Spohn launched an opposite field single to right, scoring Wilson and Paxton and
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THE GAME HAT COLLECTION
Below are the 12 different caps that the HarbourCats have worn on the field in our first seven years of play, including those that would have been worn in 2020
2020 SEASON 8
VICTORIA HARBOURCATS TICKET INFORMATION
GROUP OPTIONS! HARBOURCATS GAMES make the perfect venue for your event or evening out with family and friends. There are a variety of ways for groups to enjoy baseball at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park this summer. GROUP TICKETS: Group tickets for 20 or more start at $13 per person (general admission) or $15 per person (premium reserved). Any game, any section subject to availability. THE UPPER DECK EXPERIENCE: Located on the concourse, just behind first base, the Upper Deck Experience allows groups of 25-60 to enjoy the game from the top of a classic, red, open-topped, doubledecker bus, previously used for the Gray Line Transport Hop-On, Hop-Off sightseeing tours in downtown Victoria and provided to us by our partners at Wilson’s Group Transportation.
BIRTHDAY PARTIES: If you have a birthday and want to celebrate at the ballpark, we are happy to host!
To book a group, contact Christian Stewart, Assistant General Manager, at 778-265-0327 / firstname.lastname@example.org
STRATHCONA ROOFTOP THIRD BASE PARTY DECK: Located just beyond third base, down the left field foul line, and extending partially into foul territory, the Strathcona Hotel Rooftop Party Deck puts fans right in the middle of the action and provides a unique view of the game. Designed to be a casual space for mingling, socializing and watching baseball (think, big, backyard bash), the Party Deck will accommodate 50-100 people. HARBOURCATS.COM
2020 SEASON 8
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HarbourCats Alumni and Team Records By Christian J. Stewart Fans who are not familiar with the concept of summer collegiate baseball will often ask us, “What professional MLB teams are you affiliated with?” We will often chuckle at that question and then answer, “All of them! Our players can go and play for whatever pro organization they desire or that takes an interest in them.” Over our seven years of baseball to date, we have been fortunate to watch many of our former players make their way through the pro ranks, notably of course, year one HarbourCat Nick Pivetta, who has been at the MLB level with the Phillies for a number of years now. This also includes Mr. HarbourCat Alex DeGoti (Astros), and former HarbourCats Nathan Lukes (Rays) and Quintin Torres-Costa (Brewers) who all played at the AAA level in 2019 and who, pending whatever the 2020 MLB season looks like given the
COVID-19 crisis, have a legitimate shot at playing in the MLB this year. DeGoti, who had a strong spring training told us in a recent interview that new manager Dusty Baker said for him to “be ready, we are going to need you” when the Astros ended their spring camp this year. Also making his way up the ladder is former HarbourCats pitcher Josh Mitchell, who at the end of spring training this year was added to the Kansas City Royals 40-man roster and could see some call up action in 2020. Mitchell, a 2015-2016 HarbourCat, pitched at the A and AA level in 2019. In 2019, 26 former HarbourCats played affiliated professional baseball at some level. Many other have and are playing pro at the independant level and a few others have moved to play pro and advanced amateur baseball in Europe. Our list of 2019 MLB affiliated professionals includes: MLB Nick Pivetta (HarbourCats 2013, Philadelphia Phillies)
Alex De Goti, SS (HarbourCats 2013-15; Houston Astros) Nathan Lukes, OF (HarbourCats 2014; Tampa Bay Rays) Quintin Torres-Costa, LHP (HarbourCats 2014; Milwaukee Brewers)
Joe Navilhon, RHP (HarbourCats 2013; Detroit Tigers)
Gunner Pollman, C (HarbourCats 2014; Miami Marlins) Will McAfer RHP (HarbourCats 2016; Toronto BlueJays) Alex Garcia, RHP (HarbourCats 2014; Philadelphia Phillies) Nick Pivetta in 2013 with the HarbourCats, First pitch in team history (Photo: David Nicholls
Continued on page 56>>
2020 SEASON 8
VICTORIA HARBOURCATS << Pivetta, continued from page 55
Josh Mitchell, LHP (HarbourCats 2015-16; Kansas City Royals) Ty Provencher, RHP (HarbourCats 2013; Miami Marlins) Alex Fagalde, RHP (HarbourCats 2014; St. Louis Cardinals) Mike Gretler, IF (HarbourCats 2015; Pittsburgh) Cameron Cannon IF (HarbourCats 2016; Boston) Joe Record RHP (HarbourCats 2013; Minnesota) Chase Lambert, IF (HarbourCats 2015; Pittsburgh Pirates) Nick Meyer, C (HarbourCats 2015; New York Mets) Chavez Fernander, RHP (HarbourCats 2017; Detroit Tigers) Kekai Rios, C (HarbourCats 2017; Milwaukee Brewers) Davis Wendzel, IF (HarbourCats 2017; Texas Rangers) Andrew Vaughn, IF (HarbourCats 2017; Chicago White Sox) Travis Kuhn, RHP (HarbourCats 2017; Seattle Mariners)
Jake Pries, OF (HarbourCats 2015; NY Yankees) Cole Kreuter, IF (HarbourCats 2014; St. Louis Cardinals) Ryan Anderson, OF (HarbourCats 2016; Texas Rangers) Andrew Shaps, OF (HarbourCats 2017; Los Angeles Dodgers) Indigo Diaz, RHP (HarbourCats 2017; Atlanta Braves) Josh Gessner, RHP (HarbourCats 2019; Philadelphia Phillies)
NOTES: 57 all-time HarbourCats have been selected from 2010-2019 (plus 11 players drafted a 2nd time and 2 players drafted a 3rd time for a grand total of 70 draft picks). 42 players have been drafted after playing for the HarbourCats. Andrew Vaughn is the highest HarbourCat selected at 3rd overall in the 1st round by the Chicago White Sox in 2019.
(Above) Mr. HarbourCat, Alex DeGoti, 2013-2015 (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)
(Right) Nathan Lukes, 2014 (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)
2020 SEASON 8
Continued on page 53 >>
2020 SEASON 8
2020 SEASON 8
STRATHCONA HOTEL ROOFTOP PARTY DECK Third Base Party Deck Puts Your Group in the Heart of the Action
ENJOY YOUR OWN BACKYARD PATIO PARTY IN THE HOTTEST SPOT IN THE PARK! THE STRATHCONA HOTEL ROOFTOP PARTY DECK - SUITABLE FOR GROUPS OF 50-100
TICKETS ONLY Min. 50 Guests - $1000 ($20 per person) Additional Guests (up to 100 max): $15 ea.
STANDARD PACKAGE Min. 50 Guests - $2000 ($40 per person)
INC INCLUDES: 1 meal & drink voucher per person*; 10% ticket discount on future games; group marketing and promo Additional Guests (up to 100 max): $30 ea.
VIP PACKAGE Min. 50 Guests - $2500 ($50 per person)
INCLUDES: Above, plus 1 additonal drink vouchINC er per person, ямБrst pitch, player/coach meet & greet and additional group promo. Additional Guests (up to 100 max): $40 ea.
*A 10% gratuity will be added to each drink and meal voucher purchased.
FOR DETAILS OR TO BOOK YOUR DECK: CONTACT CHRIS@HARBOURCATS.COM OR CALL 778-265-0327
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