After years of successful teams and successful results at both the provincial and national levels, NDG Baseball has hit the jackpot this year – as far as the sport goes in Quebec, at least.

“We will be hosting the coveted Little League provincial tournament this year, whose winner will move onto the national tournament in Ancaster, ON, and possibly on to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA,” said NDG Baseball executive James Rankine.

“This year’s Little League provincial tournament will take place between July 20-27 at Côte St. Luc’s Pierre Elliot Trudeau Park, and we couldn’t be more excited.”

Rankine expects NDG teams to do well in tournament play this summer.

“Like all years, I expect all our competitive teams to do well in the provincial tournaments, and that can be attributed to our dedicated coaches who run the indoor baseball sessions during the winter. Ever since we started focusing on teaching the fundamentals during the off-season, our baseball program has improved,” he explained.

“I won’t say NDG will win every tournament, but I am sure that each team will compete at a very high level and that’s all thanks to our dedicated volunteer coaches and instructors.”

The local hardball association will give its teams plenty of opportunities to play in competitive tourneys this year, including hosting one of its own.

“We will be holding our seventh-annual Robert & Steve Michelin memorial tournament. It’s slated to take place on Friday, June 18, through Sunday, June 20, at both Loyola Park in NDG and Trudeau in Cote St-Luc. We expect eight teams to participate in this year’s edition, with teams participating squads from New York, Vermont, Ontario, and Quebec,” Rankine said.

“This is a very special event for NDG Baseball as it commemorates the dedicated volunteer service of two of our coaches, brothers who passed away due to cystic fibrosis between 2003 and 2004. I still remember back to the spring of 2004 when I heard about the passing of Rob Michelin, the second of the brothers to die within the year.

“I remember thinking ‘wow, I was just talking to Rob a few weeks ago and was planning on helping out with one of the competitive teams. I know he and his brother Steve will be missed dearly by everyone because they were such avid volunteers’,” Rankine said.

“Then I got the idea of commemorating the brothers’ commitment to our baseball program via an annual memorial tournament. I don’t think we could have come up with a better way to remember their legacy than this. It just seems like the right thing to do.”

For more on NDG Baseball and both tournaments, visit www.ndgbaseball.org.

Please feel free to contact me anytime at noahsidel@gmail.com.

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