Commissioner Riopel presenting Nathan Swap with the engraved bat he took home for being chosen as the game’s MVP.

The Manager of Leon’s Paint & Carpet All-Stars, Brett McElroy, poses with six members of his regular squad who dressed for the 2017 All-Star Game.

Lia Cole, winner of the City of St. Albert Canada 150 singer-songwriter competition belts out her winning entry during the pre-game show

Rhonda Egar-Lee leads the dignitaries off field following the pre-game show.

Click on picture for larger print

Red Lions Advance to Post Season

In front of a large vocal crowd in Westlock ,the Westlock RedLions and St Albert Cardinals met in a winner take all game for the chance to go on to the League Championship Semi-Final Series.

This was a tight affair, but the RedLions came out on top by a score of 4-1.

Adam Sawatzky was very efficient on the mound for the RedLions, going 5 strong innings while giving up only 5 hits wit 2 walks and 1 strikeout.

The RedLions took control in the second inning, when with two runners aboard, Austin Watamaniuk took Cards starter Brandon Badry over the right field fence for a 3 run home run.

The RedLions added a fourth run in the third inning and never looked back.

Cards starter Brendon Badry pitched well, going 4 innings, with 4 hits and 4 runs, while walking 2 and striking out 2.

Base running mistakes cost St Albert in this one, as a rally in the 4th was snuffed out when the Red Lions CF caught a fly ball and then threw out a runner at second who had strayed too far from his base.

The Cards mounted a comeback in the top of the seventh but could only score once.

The Cardinals have nothing to be ashamed of as they are a young ball club and will definitely learn from this experience.

The Red Lions will play the first place Stony Plain Mets in Series A of the LCSFS while the Emonton Blackhawks will meet the Sherwood Park Athletics in Series B.

Story contributed by Earl Thompson

Getzlaf and Short to Headline 50th Anniversary Banquet & Awards

From a powerhouse in sports to another in sports coverage, the NCABL has planned a delightfully entertaining evening to climax its 50th anniversary alumni week-end. Add a scrumptious down home meal to the festivities and the annual awards will have a very special flavour indeed. Joining the alumni and their friends next Saturday will be the most cherished and well respected journalist and broadcaster this province has ever had in the person of John Short. John’s vast experiences as a news editor with Canadian Press to his radio stints with CFRN and CFCW during his years spent covering the Oilers and a wide range of other sports served John well. His analytical style combined with his quick wit and humorous anecdotes brought him instant recognition from his listening audience and helped him to secure his spot as the most cherished broadcaster and sports writer of his day. Joining him will be one of the elite athletes of the CFL in the person of Chris Getzlaf, whose late game reception helped secure an Eskimo victory last Thursday in Ottawa. The Getzlaf name is synonymous with family sports excellence as both Ryan and Chris have climbed to the pinnacle of the professional sports world in both hockey and football. At our 50th anniversary gala dinner, we will get a glimpse of how a humble Saskatchewan bred young man rose to such heights and who the people most responsible for it really were.

Tune In To Inside Sports With Reid Wilkins On Monday

Commissioner Riopel will be guesting with Reid Wilkins on CHED Radio on August 14th from 7:00 PM until 7:30 PM while the Cardinals and Red Lions do battle at Keller Field to determine the fourth and final post-season berth in the LCSFS. The live interview will be focusing on the NCABL and its many accomplishments as a leading amateur sports league in the Province of Alberta over the past fifty years. Tune in to CHED Radio on Monday at 7:00 PM.

You Are Invited To A Week-End of Celebrations You Should Not Miss

Whether you were a player, manager, coach, umpire, baseball fan, or just a friend who likes to hang out with baseball types, we have an entertaining week-end planned for you on August 18th thru 20th in Westlock, Alberta. The North Central Alberta Baseball League is celebrating its 50th anniversary. We are hosting an alumni week-end where you can reconnect with old friends or have a great time meeting new ones. Before you read on to get a glimpse of what awaits you on that week-end, take note of the following important facts. Our celebrations are primarily held intdoors, therefore we are a go rain or shine. The best deal comes your way when you buy a package. You can buy a package in one of two ways. You can buy a package online and pay with a credit card or you can download the form and print a copy, fill it in, include your check, and mail your registration to the League. Anyone can buy a package, not only the alumni. If that sounds too complicated, you can purchase individual tickets from any one of the ten members on the 50th Anniversary Executive Committee. Phone League Office (780-458-6800) and inquire who the closest member to you might be and we’ll lead you there. Executive members will not be selling the package deal; only the tickets to the Meet and Greet called the NCABL Story and those to the Gala Banquet will be sold individually.

Let’s start from the very beginning. If you played, coached, or were an umpire in the NCABL at any time in our 50 years of history, join our alumni club by clicking here. Please know that you have not registered for anything yet. That comes next after you find out more about our 50th anniversary weekend events.

Friday: August 18th, 2017
10:30 AM Westlock & District Agricultural Fair Parade (and the NCABL is represented)
8:00 PM Meet & Greet: The NCABL Story
- Venue: Spirit Centre in Westlock, Alberta
- Admission: $20/person
- Cash bar with beer and cooler sales
- Introducing the "Diamond Dog" for connoisseurs only
- Hall of Fame Exposition
- Mobile souvenir gift shop
- Professional musicians launch the first hour
- Fifty years of press coverage telling the NCABL's story through the eyes of the media. This work, recently completed, required over 300 hours of man power. First time that this extensive treasure trove will be open for public viewing.
- Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Two baseball players from each of the five decades will become the first NCABL players to enter the Hall as impact players within their respective decades. Eventually others will be added until capped at ten impact players per decade.
Saturday: August 19, 2017
8:30 AM Alumni & Friends Golf Tournament
- Venue: Weslock & District Golf & Country Club
- Admission: $70/person by advance registration only
9:30 AM League Championship Semi-Final Series A&B
- Venue: Keller Field in Westlock, Alberta
- Admission: free for the general public
- Three games will be featured with the 2nd and 3rd games starting at 12:00 and 2:30 PM respectively.
11:00 AM Salute to Our Communities: A sport & Leisure Expo
- Venue: Spirit Centre in Westlock, Alberta
- Admission: free for the general public
to - Kiosks from several communities providing information on their sport & leisure initiatives and facilities
- Visitors can enter a free draw for valuable prizes at each kiosk
- Partial Hall of Fame Exposition
4:00 PM - Three amateur stage shows beginning at 12:30 PM, 1:30 PM, and 2:30 PM
- Mobile souvenir gift shop
- Indoor blitz ball games for children under adult supervision
- Autograph sessions with well known sports figures
6:00 PM 50th Anniversary Gala Banquet & Annual Awards
- Venue: Westlock & District Recreation Centre
- Admission: $45/person
- Full service cash bar
- Mobile souvenir gift shop
- Partial Hall of Fame Exposition in the Alberta Room
- Professional musicians during the cocktail hour from 6:00 to 7:00 PM
- Door prizes from Cooperstown drawn throughout the evening
- Media buzz: sports stories from some well known insiders
Sunday: August 20th, 2017
11:00 AM League Championship Semi-Final Series A&B concluded
- Venue: Keller Field in Westlock, Alberta
- Admission: free for the general public
- Based upon series A results, the first game may be played at 2:00 PM

Online ticket sales have ended. Please contact either Paul Riopel (780-619-1448) or Chuck Keller (780-349-3086) to inquire about ticket availability.

Tune in on Monday Evenings or Anytime for Earl Thompson’s Weekly Show

As audio-visual director for the NCABL, Earl Thompson provides weekly analysis, conducts interviews, and gives broad coverage of the North Central Alberta Baseball League through his program. Tune in to hear the latest on “Circling the Bases” by clicking here.

Parade marshall Celine McElroy on Cisco leads the grand entrance. To her right, Associate Commissioner Ed Ewasiuk while to her left, Darrell Dingwall and Shelly Lake representing our sponsors, the Beverly Optimist Club of Edmonton.

Commissioner Riopel is seen thanking 50th anniversary Director Ed Ewasiuk for his countless hours spent on the All-Star Event. Also mentioned was Kurtus Millar, SAMBA President, who lent the League his enthusiastic support.

“Mourning Wood” delighted the crowd with two dynamic sets during the tail gate rock concert which preceded the All-Star Game.
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.

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

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.

Club stats released August 10, 2017
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