For the first time in a half-dozen years, one of the mainstay organizations in the history of St. John’s baseball is back with their familiar blue and white uniforms at St. Pat’s Ball Park.
The Guards Athletic Association is fielding a team in the St. John’s Intermediate Baseball League this summer. The Guards, of course, were part of the original baseball league back in 1947, with the Feildians, Holy Cross, St. Pat’s and St. Bon’s.
“We’re thrilled to have the Guards name associated with St. John’s baseball again,” said Guards AA president Bill Campbell.
“The Guards and baseball have been synonymous for decades in St. John’s.”
The Guards are one of seven teams in the intermediate circuit, joining four-time defending champions Shamrocks, Holy Cross, Feildians, Gonzaga, the Knights based out of Mount Pearl and the C.B.S.-based Storm.
“We’re a young team,” said Guards bench boss Craig Walker, a former senior and junior catcher with Mount Pearl teams, “and we’ll take our lumps. That’s to be expected. It’s all part of the learning process, so our aim is to be a little bit better every time we take the field.”
The Guards will be made up of players primarily from Mount Pearl and Paradise, which have two minor baseball associations enjoying unprecedented success under the tutelage of Walker, the Paradise minor president, the Mount Pearl minor boss Brian Hunt.
The intermediate season kicks off Sunday with three games on tap. Shamrocks and Holy Cross, in a rematch of last season’s final, tangle 1 p.m. at St. Pat’s, followed by Gonzaga and Feildians at 3:30 p.m. At Mount Pearl’s Smallwood Drive Ball Park, the Knights and Storm meet at 1 p.m.
The Guards play their first game 6 p.m. Tuesday at Smallwood against the Storm.