Rod Callihoo receiving the 2016 Ken Schultz Memorial Award from Commissioner Riopel and Becky Smith representing the Schultz family.

Commissioner Riopel is seen congratulating Blair McGeough of the Mets, the 2016 MVP selection in the annual All-Star Game.

Joey Greilach, a Governor for the host Orioles, congratulates Jphn Osborne, shortly after the retirement of the latter’s jersey.

Winston Tuttle is all smiles upon being presented with his five year umpire recognition award from Commissioner Riopel.

Shane Hoetmer was recognized by the NCABL and presented with his ten year service award at the 2016 All-Star Game.

Barrhead Fans Cheer Leon’s Carpet & Paint All-Stars to Victory

The first game of the 2016 NCABL Championship Final Series was played at the Edmonton Professional Ball Park under slightly wet field conditions. The Blackhawks came away with a 3 - 0 victory with the best of three Series continuing on Sunday.

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Circling the Bases Returns with host Earl Thompson

The ever popular host of Circling the Bases returns for another season as coverage of the NCABL’s 50th anniversary season ramps up just before Sunday’s league openers. Earl Thompson knows a thing or two about baseball, but his instinct for asking the right questions always seems to elicit the best responses from everyone being interviewed. In addition to regular season coverage and analysis from Earl, fans can expect to tune in on enlightening interviews with league personnel, managers, and players throughout the season. Major 50th anniversary events will also be covered on an ongoing basis. The program releases happen every Monday throughout May, June, July, and August. Go to League on the main page and scroll down to “Circling the Bases” or click here.

Official Scorers Released by NCABL

Following yet another official scoring clinic led by chief instructor Ryan Petryshyn, our scorers are ready to put their skills to work beginning on Sunday. Scorers in the NCABL have an important job to do as their good judgment and sharp recording skills are constantly needed to produce accurate and reliable statistics. These statistics are in turn useful in assessing the relative performance of our fine athletes. We wish our scorers well this season and encourage all players to occasionally demonstrate their appreciation of the work that these fine volunteers perform for the League. For a complete list of all 2017 accredited scorers go to contacts on the main page and scroll down to the “Commissioner’s Corner” or click here for a quick reference check.

NCABL Hall of Fame Opens in Morinville

The first sport specific Hall of Fame to be opened in Alberta by an amateur league was dedicated during an official ceremony in Morinville on the evening of April 6th. Housed in the Morinville Historical Museum, the Hall of Fame will henceforth become the permanent home for the NCABL’s major annual awards. Also to be housed in this location will be the League’s extensive archival collection including administrative manuals, comprehensive statistical data on teams and players, press books, and artifacts of historical note.

Beautiful oak cabinets with soft interior lighting provide a rich backdrop for the League’s major awards.

The event was attended by mayors, deputy mayors, and councillors from numerous municipal jurisdictions. Joining them were representatives from the NCABL Board of Governors, Directors from the NCABL 50th Anniversary Executive Committee, members from the Morinville Historical Society, and other special guests. Covering the event were numerous media sources from the region. Murray Knight welcomed those gathered on behalf of the Morinville Historical Society before introducing Commissioner Paul Riopel who spoke warmly of the partnership between the League and the Historical Society. Mr. Riopel then turned his attention to depicting baseball as a significant contributor to the development and fabric of early pioneer life before morphing into the highly skilled game we have grown to know today.

Commissioner Riopel delivers the welcoming address before forty dignitaries to open the NCABL Hall of Fame.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was presided over by Deputy-Mayor Nicole Boutestein from Morinville, City Mayor Nolan Crouse from St. Albert, and Councillor Curtis Snell from Westlock. The three aforementioned communities were all designated as host sites for the NCABL’s six 50th anniversary events running from April through August of this year in conjunction with Canada’s 150th birthday.

( From left to right) Councillor Curtis Snell, Deputy-Mayor Nicole Boutestein, and Mayor Nolan Crouse are focused on during the official ribbon cutting ceremony which opened the NCABL Hall of Fame.

Spring Bi-Annual Meeting Focuses on 50th Anniversary

The Board of Governors settled for a sixteen game regular season schedule following the departure of the Barrhead Orioles this season. Three new Governors currently sit on the eighteen person board which meets twice yearly to conduct the business affairs of the NCABL. For a complete highlight package of the annual Spring Bi-Annual Meeting, go to Contacts and scroll down to Commissioner’s Corner or click here.

An open letter of invitation to all NCABL Alumni
Issued by the Commissioner of the NCABL

The North Central Alberta Baseball League will be marking its 50th anniversary this year in conjunction with Canada's 150th birthday. To commemorate this remarkable achievement, the NCABL will be organizing six major events over the course of the regular season. The first of these will be taking place in Morinville, Alberta, on April 6th ,at the Historical Museum where the League will be unveiling its Hall of Fame. This is the first sport specific Hall of Fame ever opened by an independent league in the history of the Province of Alberta.

The second major event will be taking place on Sunday, July 16th, in St. Albert, Alberta. This event will incorporate the annual All-Star Game and will include a family friendly “old fashioned” tail gate party replete with outdoor entertainment for young and old. Plan on joining us for a full afternoon of camaraderie and great baseball.

All other events will be taking place during our alumni week-end from August 18th through 20th in Westlock, Alberta. This week-end offers the perfect opportunity for a team reunion while celebrating a significant milestone in our League's history. I invite all of our alumni to first join our registry by going on-line and providing us with a few basic pieces of information. Every registered alumni will be receiving a personal invitation in the form of a detailed package of information to be issued early in the month of April. Details of all events will also be posted on our main page at on an ongoing basis. Since significant advance planning is required to stage such a week-end, the NCABL is offering a tremendous Early Bird Premium Alumni Week-End Package. Look for it, register early, and plan on spending an unforgettable week-end with your NCABL family.

Major Events during the Alumni Week-End will include:

Friday, August 18th, 2017: Agricultural Fair Parade
Meet & Greet: The NCABL Story
Saturday, August 19th, 2017: Alumni Mixed Texas Scramble Golf Tournament
Championship Semi-Final A&B (free admission)
Salute to Our Communities: A Sports Expo (free admission
50th Anniversary Gala Banquet
Sunday, August 20th, 2017: Championship Semi-Final Series A&B (free admission)
Friday - Sunday: AG Society Events including chuckwagon races & more

We will be providing free holiday trailer parking (without hook-ups) within the Town of Westlock on a pre-registration basis only. We have also negotiated special rates at three local hotels. When booking, please mention the NCABL (North Central Alberta Baseball League) to obtain the best rates. These will be guaranteed until July 15th only. Take the first step and book you hotel accommodations as soon as the invitations are released early in April.

Have You Registered As An NCABL Alumni Yet?

Our 50th anniversary year is just around the corner and the NCABL is planning to celebrate this milestone event in a big way. We have been busy locating all of our players, managers, coaches, and umpires over the past year, but many of you have not yet found your way onto our alumni registry. E-mail invitations will be sent out to everyone on that alumni registry and these invitations will be issued early in the new year. We do not want you to be left out. So take a few minutes right now and click here, which will lead you through a very quick and easy registration process. Many clubs have enjoyed years of quality baseball as members of our great League and we would like nothing more than to have you gather everyone with whom you shared such great memories as players and bring them together for both a team reunion and League celebration. We will even honour individual requests for special group seating at the Gala Banquet so that you can spend quality time reminiscing with all of the old boys of summer. Over the coming months, more and more details will be released through our website regarding our six major events and ten smaller commemorative events organized by each of our current clubs. The 2017 season will be a blast for all five decades of players who donned uniforms in the NCABL. We want you all there. To help us locate a greater number of alumni, we are welcoming volunteers to serve as club representatives. Simply contact me, your commissioner ,to let me know which of the clubs listed below you would be willing to represent by searching for their E-mail addresses and a current telephone number. With your help, we hope to reach hundreds who once played this wonderful game in the north central Alberta area.

Traditional Sanctioned Tournaments Face Extinction

In an unprecedented move, Governors at the 2016 NCABL Fall Bi-Annual Meeting held in St. Albert voted to end the guaranteed status of a long standing tradition in the League, that of the sanctioned tournament package. The NCABL had supported the sanctioned tournaments through enforced legislation for fortynine years. As time elapsed since the founding of the League in 1968, the package of protected tournaments had dropped from eight, to six (affectionately known as the six-pack), and finally to four in more recent years. Despite an impassioned plea from Commissioner Riopel, the Board saw no benefit to sustaining the sanctioned tournament package beyond 2016. Financial considerations and a lower commitment by players to week-end baseball events were the main reasons cited by those who spoke to eliminate the compulsory nature of these tournaments. The tournament circuit in north central Alberta was immediately impacted with the withdrawal of the Blue Heron Invitational Tournament in Barrhead and that of the Rainmaker Invitational Tournament in St. Albert. The Blue Willow Invitational Tournament had voluntarily withdrawn from the sanctioned tournament circuit this past season, but did not host a tournament in 2016. This will leave only two declared sanctioned tournaments for 2017.

The idea behind the introduction of a guaranteed package of sanctioned tournaments in the NCABL was spurned by a desire to offer clubs who might want to adopt a developmental strategy (also referred to as a designation) an opportunity to play approximately forty games per season within a tight geographical area. Short travel distances meant less time spent on the road at less cost to those clubs. This model also allowed clubs who were not interested in embarking in a developmental program an equal opportunity to belong to the NCABL by committing only to regular season play. Developmental clubs, on the other hand, had the opportunity of doubling the number of games played during the regular season by adding tournament play to their schedules. The League’s model of offering a regular season in conjunction with a sanctioned tournament package followed that of the USA’s collegiate model of conference and non-conference play where only conference games dictate standings, but where nonconference play allows for stronger player development through any chosen number of additional games. By cutting the support for a mandatory package of sanctioned tournaments, the League will no longer be as attractive to those clubs looking to adopt a developmental strategy. As for clubs opting for the competitive or even the quasi-developmental models, this change will have little to no effect. The only lament, if any is to be heard, will be that tournaments will be fewer in number and farther to reach for those who still are drawn to the flavour of a challenging week-end of baseball and the camaraderie both on and off the field surrounding these team building moments.

Which Club(s) Have You Played For?

The following alphabetical listing of clubs should jog your memory and wet your appetite for our biggest baseball gathering yet. For a summary of major events and dates, go to League and scroll down to our calendar. Have fun recalling those times when you wore a uniform for one or more of our family of clubs. In case you haven’t counted, sixty-three clubs have played in the NCABL over its 50 year history. That number will remain providing no new franchises apply to the League for the 2017 regular season.

Alexander Braves Legal Pontiacs
Alexander Jr. Braves Legal Primeaus
Alexis Athletics Linaria Flyers
Athabasca Angels Mayerthorpe Mets
Athabasca Lions Mayerthorpe Mustangs
Athabasca Ravens Morinville Manufacturers
Bon Accord Tigers Morinville Merchants
Barrhead Astros Morinville Merlins
Barrhead Blue Jays Morinville PBI
Barrhead Broncos Morinville Pioneers
Barrhead Cardinals Morinville Primeaus
Barrhead Orioles Namao
Barrhead Yankees Parkland Whitesox
Barrhead Jr. Yankees Redwater Pontiacs
Camrose Axemen Rochester Lyons
Easyford Colts Rochester Royals
Edmonton Athletic St. Albert
Edmonton Blackhawks St. Albert Cardinals
Edmonton Indians St. Albert Mariners
Edmonton Jays Sherwood Park Athletics
Edmonton North Stars Spruce Grove Cubs
Edmonton Primeaus Stony Plain Mets
Edmonton Stars Sturgeon Paladins
Edmonton Warriors Sturgeon Rustlers
Fawcett Pirates Vimy Blues
St. Saskatchewan Pirates Waskatenau Chiefs
Gibbons Westlock Astros
Grant MacEwan Griffins Westlock Chevies
Horse Hill Westlock Cobras
Lac La Biche Loggers Westlock Legionnaires
Lamont Westlock Red Lions
Legal Indians

Club stats released August 12, 2016
LCS Club stats released August 29, 2016
Camrose Axemen St. Albert Cardinals
Edmonton Athletics Sherwood Park Athletics
Edmonton Blackhawks Stony Plain Mets
Edmonton Primeaus Sturgeon Paladins
Westlock Red Lions