(Almost) Major League baseball
It was a historic night for baseball fans at the first-ever professional baseball All-Star game held in Canada’s Capital.
Starring top players from both leagues, the 2017 All-Star game began with a pre-game tribute to former Ottawa Mayor, Jim Durrell, an appearance by current Ottawa Mayor, Jim Watson who mingled with the crowd, and a special welcome message on the park’s big screen by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The action quickly got underway with some high-calibre baseball. With great pitching, and a great over-all performance by both baseball teams, players made their teams proud – and the fans happy.
It was a terrific night full of fun for the whole family!
This Canadian and American All-Star game could not have been a better fit for our family. We were hosting relatives that had traveled all the way from Texas to Ottawa for a week-long visit. Also in attendance with us, were my sister and brother-in-law from central Ontario. All were in town to experience some of Ottawa’s attractions and events.
Avid baseball fans, who often attend Houston Astro games, my nephew, his wife, and their two kids, enjoyed every minute of the game. Their evening at RCGT Park left them with a great impression of first-rate baseball action on the field, played in an impressive stadium (Canada’s largest minor league ballpark), surrounded by fun Ottawa fans who were clearly enjoying the game.
An all-around great Ottawa 2017 experience!
Mascots steal the show
Baseball fans were treated to non-stop action all evening. Whether it was on the field, or in the stands, there was always something for big fans – and little fans – to watch.
Like the ZOOperstars.
Several times during the evening at RCGT Park, fans were treated to the hilarious antics of the ZOOperstars, featuring such characters as, Tommy Laswordfish, Harry Canary, Cow Ripken Jr., and Mackeral Jordan.
While each ZOOperstar earned plenty of laughs, cheers, and applause from the crowds, it was Mackeral Jordan who entertained fans the most by “eating” one of the groundskeepers.
The crowd roared with laughter watching piece after piece of the groundskeeper’s clothing being thrown back up out of the mouth of Mackeral Jordan. First a shoe, then another, then a shirt, and then shorts, and finally, the groundskeeper, who was left wearing only boxer shorts…and running as fast as he could away from Mackeral Jordan.
As someone who once played the part of mascot, Smokey, for the University of Tennesee’s Lady Vols basketball team, my nephew – and his family – truly enjoyed the shenanigans of the ZOOperstars.
Can-Am and Ottawa Champions hit it out of the park
Of course, the Ottawa Champions’ “Champ” was there too!
A 3-2 win for the Can-Am league was the icing on the cake for fans of the Ottawa Champions, who watched as the Champions’ Daniel Grauer was named the All-Star MVP. Grauer scored the game-winning run with an RBI single during the 4th inning.
The most surprising thing for my family, was the fact that Ottawa has such a great baseball stadium and baseball team, the Ottawa Champions. This really should come as no surprise, however, given Ottawa’s storied baseball history, and the fact that the Ottawa Champions are the 2016 Can-Am League Champions!
Accessible and affordable
Getting to the park is easy. Several parking areas near the stadium make parking a simple, and inexpensive, option (we paid $5). Located very close to Ottawa’s 417 highway, RCGT Park provides fans quick east and west access to the highway. The Park is also located within walking distance of the OC Transpo Transitway – the main bus corridor that runs through the city. Cycling to the Park is a breeze as well via pathways and even the Coventry Pedestrian and Cycling Bridge that links with the Transitway.
Ballpark food and refreshments – including local craft beer – are available for purchase, and don’t forget to save cash for some great Ottawa Champions gear!
If you love baseball, and want to enjoy a great evening out in Ottawa, be sure to catch an Ottawa Champions game at RCGT Park. Regular season ends September 4th. Here’s hoping they live up to their name once again in 2017!