- Guelph Royals (baseball)
Independent baseball team
name = Guelph Royals
founded = 1919
city = Guelph, Ontario
current league =
Intercounty Baseball League(1919-present)
past league =
currentname = Guelph Royals (1919-present)
colors = blue
ballpark = David E. Hastings Stadium
leaguechamps = 8 (1919, 1920, 1932, 1970, 1993, 1997, 2003, 2004)
manager = Kevin Hinton
website = http://www.guelphroyals.com www.guelphroyals.comThe Guelph Royals are an independent,
minor league baseballteam of the, semi-pro, Intercounty Baseball Leaguebased in Guelph, Ontario. They play their home games at David E. Hastings Stadium in Exhibition Park.
The Guelph team was previously known as the C-Joys, winning the Intercounty title in 1919, 1920, 1932 & 1970; and more recently in 1993, 1997, 2003 & 2004.
Baseball was first introduced to Guelph when A.S. Feast moved here from Hamilton in 1861 and formed the Guelph Maple Leafs, stealing the name from a team that existed in the Steel City. The first game, against Flamborough, wound up in a 27-27 tie because the umpires were unsure if it would be permissible to play more than nine innings.
By 1865, the Maple Leafs were ready to challenge for a Canadian championship but were unsuccessful until 1869, when they won the "Silver Ball" at a tournament in London. A year earlier, the Maple Leafs lost 38-28 to Woodstock, who went on the win the Silver Ball, but much of the action was in the stands - supporters of both teams engaged in a number of fights and the Guelph players were threatened.
The Maple Leafs went on to win three consecutive championships and were given permanent possession of the Silver Ball in 1872.
In the summer of 1873, the Boston Red Stockings, the defending National Association champs, paid a visit to Guelph and whipped the Maple Leafs 27-8. The game was alluded to by legendary western writer Zane Grey in the piece titled "The Winning Ball," although the actual outcome in the story was changed.
Baseball had its ups and downs until 1919 - the Maple Leafs defeated the St. Louis Browns in an exhibition match in 1876 and in 1894, under a new board of officers, won the semi-pro championship of Canada - when the Inter-County League was established.
Guelph beat Galt for the Inter-County title the first three years of the new league then had the roles reversed the next three. All told, Royal City teams won four league titles and were runners-up six times before the Second World War.
In 1932, the Guelph Maple Leafs won the Ontario Baseball Association senior title. It was the only time in Guelph history that happened.
Professional baseball came to Guelph in 1911, when a Canadian league was formed by George 'Knotty' Lee. Guelph teams played a total of four seasons.
In 1930 Lee brought pro ball back to Guelph with the Biltmores, who played in the Class D Ontario League along with teams from London, St. Thomas, Brantford, Hamilton and St. Catharines. Jim O'Connor, who was the Inter-County batting champion in 1928, was the only local player to make the Biltmores.
In July of that year, just two months after the league began, it folded. St. Catharines, the top team in the league, started the trend on July 21 and the rest of the teams followed suit the next day.
For the next 30 years, Guelph's Inter-County team went through an extended dry spell. The Guelph Royals won the regular-season pennant in 1962 but the Brantford Red Sox went on to take the playoff title.
The Guelph C-Joys won back-to-back pennants starting in 1966 but didn't break through to win in the playoffs until 1970.
That was the last playoff victory for the local franchise until the Guelph Royals won the 1993 championship.
The Royals also won the 1997 Inter-County title and lost in the league final on two other occasions, including an infamous ninth-inning collapse that gave the Stratford Hillers the 1994 crown.
A number of Guelph players have gone on to the pro ranks during the city's history.
Currently, three Guelphites are playing professionally. Jeremy Ware spent seven seasons in the Montreal Expos organization before moving to the Cleveland Indians earlier this year while Shawn Pearson (Toronto Blue Jays) and Jamie Pogue (St. Louis Cardinals) are also playing in the minor leagues.
More than 130 years ago, when baseball was still in its infancy, the Guelph Maple Leaf Baseball Club ventured to
Watertown, NY, for a tournament featuring the best semi-professional teams in Canada and the United States. When the tournament ended, the Maple Leafs had captured the "championship of America in the non-professional class," as club president George Sleemancalled it.
* JOEL LYNCH
* MATT SPATAFORA
* JOEL-ANTHONY DEL GRANDE - C
* KEVIN TREICHEL
* RYAN ASIS
* JESSE ROBERTSON
* KYLE LEON - OF
* TED DREW SMITH
* MARK SHEPHERD
* MIKE ALATI
* FRANKIE HARE
* JOE KIRBY
* KEVIN HINTON
* STEVE COATES
* RYAN HART
* IAN HARVEY
* RYLAN PRANGER
* MELETI MELEHES
* PAUL BRUDER
* RYAN ARMSTRONG
* EITAN BARBALAT
* JASON PERRY - RHP
* ELLOIT LOVE
* DUANE FAGEL
* AARON LITTLE
* BRIAN DIKDAN
* ALEX BABOULAS
* SCHROEDER NICHOLLS
* PAUL ANTE
* KEVIN HINTON, MGR "Trainer":
* LACEY SCOTT
List of baseball teams in Canada
* "Intercounty Major Baseball League's 1998 Record Book" by Editor Herb Morell and Dominico Promotions Inc.
* [http://www.guelphmercury.com/cgi-bin/PFP.cgi?doc=news/special/175_anniversary/news_special_020406131837.html History of Guelph Baseball]
* [http://www.guelphroyals.com/ Guelph Royals]
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