Softball Sunday at Lions Park

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St. John's -

I had the opportunity to get down to Lions Park Sunday to take in Game 1 of the Molson St. Johns senior softball finals between Impact Signs and the veteran C.B.C. Senior Canadians. Impact took the win based largely on Donny Kings pitching. He might have surrendered three runs on seven hits, a walk and a couple of passed balls, but through the first six innings, he shut down the C.B.C. offense by getting ahead of every batter and jamming them up when they did make contact. Time after time, with an 0-2 count, hed give them something to hit on the next pitch and end up forcing a pop up or ground out. But by the end of the sixth, you could tell he wasnt going to have anything left heading home. Sure enough, with the Canadians having already scored a run and put another runner on base, C.B.C.s Kyle Ezekiel launched Kings next pitch for an easy ride over the left field fence. Out goes King and in comes Robbie Greene to shut down the comeback and lock up the opener. Overall, great game. Too bad there was hardly anyone there to appreciate it. I can remember going to see senior games as a kid and dragging the old man down early so we werent left standing by the side of the fence for seven innings. Not so anymore. There may have been 30 people in attendance by games end, at least 15 of those were intermediate players waiting to hit the field. The rest were the same faces you see at almost every game of the season. I couldnt help but wonder where the supporters were? Where were the wives, girlfriends, children, parents, friends and family of the players? So what does it say about the popularity of the sport? A lot would say its dying on the vine, that its heyday in this province is long gone. I, for one, think thats an unfair assumption. When it comes to local sports and local athletics, popularity cant be guaged by the number of people who attend the games but by the number of people filling out the rosters each year. So its refreshing to see the league be proactive in looking to the future and how it will be fed its players years down the road. Last week, the league executive appointed a review committee to conduct a complete review and a big part of that review includes evaluating the feeder systems. They want to be able to make sure that what theyre doing for the next number of years, strategically, is the best they can do in the province to keep attracting players so that we can continue with the status of the league in its current state, said Gary Corbett, the committee's chair. The question is whether or not all this is too little, too late? * * * * * As a side note, apparently all games in the senior final will be broadcast on CHMR, Memorial Universitys campus radio station. Thats a little strange. But then again, if youve never tuned in to CHMR, it is easily the most strangely programmed station on the airwaves. Even then, adding senior softball broadcasts in between the Sunday morning death metal hour and three hours of rave music in the afternoon doesnt add up. But thats a moot point. Unless you live within three kilometres of the campus, or have a high-powered antenna on your roof, their kitchen microwave-equivalent wattage wont bring the game to your radio.

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