With the 2019 baseball season just around the corner, it’s time to reflect on what a fantastic year 2018 was for the London and District Baseball Association. We continue to hold our own with enrollment, as most of the local associations are seeing significant increases in registration – not only at our youngest ages, but even in bantam and midget.
Some of our travel divisions saw team increases as well, and certainly our local leagues had tremendous growth. This is in part to the dedication of the volunteer board members and coaches for investing a lot of time and effort in the development of programs – both on and off the field.
The London Badgers were on the national stage once again in 2018, as they took part in the 18u Baseball Canada National Championships hosted in Fort McMurry, Alberta. The Badgers once again won gold, making it back-to-back championships, and they did so while representing the LDBA in impeccable fashion. The 18u Badgers also captured Ontario Elimination Gold.
Meanwhile, London was the host for the Ontario Summer Games in 2018, and the 15u London Badgers, who represented the LDBA in the baseball competition, won gold at home at Labatt Park.
The 2018 season also saw, for the first time in many years, a dedicated select baseball program at the mosquito and peewee levels. This was a pilot for 2018, and feedback received was very positive. The plans for 2019 are to continue with those two divisions while also looking at adding a rookie ball division.
Also in 2018, the St. Thomas Minor Baseball Association hosted the TD 21u Mens National Championships. The event was ‘first-class’ from Baseball Canada’s perspective, and Emslie Field saw some 800 people take in the gold medal game between Windsor and Mississauga.
The 2019 LDBA season is shaping up to be another very busy and exciting year. The London Badgers will be hosting the 18u National Championships – both in 2019 and 2020. St. Thomas Minor Baseball, meanwhile, has been awarded the Ontario Eliminations at the peewee age level (13u), and the local associations once again will be hosting some of the largest local tournaments in the province, with the Cardinal Classic in St. Thomas, the Trevor Barton Memorial London Badgers tournament, the London Tecumsehs tournament, and the Bob Stark London West tournament. Each tournament draws a significant number of teams who visit, stay and play in the London area.
LDBA Results – 2018
Here are some highlights of our LDBA local team results in Provincial and National Championships:
Minor Rookie ‘B’ – St. Thomas Champions
Major Rookie ‘B’ – St. Thomas Champions
Minor Mosquito ‘AAA’ – London Badgers Finalists
Minor Mosquito ‘B’ – St. Thomas Finalists
Major Mosquito ‘B’ – St. Thomas Champions
Mosquito Select – London West SOBA Champions
Minor Peewee ‘AA’ – London Tecumsehs Champions
Major Peewee ‘D’ – Lucan-Ilderton Finalists
Major Bantam ‘AAA’ – London Badgers Champions
Major Bantam ‘AAA’ – London Badgers Ontario Summer Games Champions
Major Bantam ‘AA’ – London West Tincaps Champions
Midget ‘AAA’ Eliminations – London Badgers Champions
Midget ‘AAA’ Nationals – London Badgers Champions