It’s my Parting Shot to give my answer to the great rest of Saskatchewan question as to why there isn’t a Western Major Baseball League team in Saskatoon anymore?…
Time flies by…this will be the fourth summer without the Saskatoon Yellow Jackets playing out of Cairns Field in the W-M-B-L.
I must admit I never attended a Yellow Jackets’ game…which I feel badly about because I love baseball. It was the one sport I was actually half-decent at as a so-called athlete growing up!
But, I will also freely admit that I became disenchanted with baseball in this city after the Canadian Baseball League folded without notice one beautiful summer day in 2003, during their first season, prior to a Saskatoon Legends game.
Remember the Legends? Not many people do…although there are corporate sponsors in town who do…and were left with a lot of unpaid bills and broken promises from C-B-L!
The Legends were the last straw for baseball in Saskatoon for a lot of people. There was the Riot, the Smokin’ Guns and the Stallions…all of whom played between 1994 and 97 in either the North Central or Prairie independent loops. They were okay, but had a common problem that the Yellow Jackets put up with for 13 seasons between 2002 and 2014.
They played home games at Cairns Field. In those days, the diamond stood out in the midst of a bad area of town…I don’t think I’m saying anything that anyone who had their car vandalized in the parking lot would tell you any differently. The grandstand was a large slab of concrete that didn’t wrap around the back-stop. Any kind of decent crowd that had you sitting on either end of said slab of concrete made it feel like you were kilometres away from the action!
In short, it was a terrible facility for elite baseball and the Yellow Jackets suffered financially as a result…through very little fault of their own!
So, there you have it from my point of view. The great work being done by the Friends of the Bowl at the Gordie Howe Sports Complex on several other sports facilities needs to be extended to Cairns Field. Hopefully, that’s in the works and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is…I’m just not sure elite baseball, Western Major League or professional…will ever be played there again!
That’s my Parting Shot, I’m Les Lazaruk...