Tag Archives: Pittsfield Colonials

Worcester’s Welch Off To A Fast Start

Worcester’s Johnny Welch is off to a fast start with his second CanAm League Indy baseball team! (Photo Credit: Flickr)

By Matt Noonan 

The first few weeks of the Worcester Tornadoes season is officially in the books.

The local independent baseball squad concluded its most recent six-game home stand with three wins and three losses. Yet, despite a few excruciating contests against Newark and New Jersey, fans were able to enjoy a few exciting home runs on Sunday afternoon by the former Boston Herald All-Scholastic Johnny Welch.

Welch, who is in his first season with the Tornadoes, has appeared in 14 games thus far and has recorded 12 runs, 17 hits, four doubles, four home runs and nine RBIs. He’s also tallied one stolen base and 13 strikeouts, too.

Last season, Welch joined the CanAm League with the Pittsfield Colonials, who’re no longer in existence, and appeared in 69 games. He experienced one of his better seasons at the dish, as he registered 15 home runs, 45 RBIs and seven stolen bases.

Welch’s best season in a Minor League setting was with the Florence Freedom in 2010, a member of the Frontier League, where finished the year with 93 hits, 13 doubles, one triple, 14 home runs and 46 RBIs.

Colonials Continue to Succeed, but Need Fans

Are you ready to join the Pittsfield Colonials fan-base?

By Matt Noonan 

PITTSFIELD, MA – The struggle to put fans in the stands continues to be the biggest challenge facing the Pittsfield Colonials, who lost Tuesday evening to the 2010 CanAm League champion Quebec Capitales, 2-1.

“We’re going to play hard no matter if it’s 20 or 1,000 [spectators], but we’d like there to be a lot of fans out there,” Colonials catcher Chris Torres said. “[Hopefully] the community figures it out and start’s coming.”

“It doesn’t have to be 3,000 people, we’d love to have [that particular number], but the more the merrier. Bring [them] on and there going to see good baseball and these guys are exciting and fun to watch,” Colonials manager Jamie Keefe said.

The Colonials, who rank last in league attendance, could certainly use some help, as well as some old fashion support. They haven’t attracted a true quality fan base, which seems to make many casual supporter of the local team wonder if this particular squad is a good thing for the city of Pittsfield?

“The league is just as adamant about us staying here,” team owner Leslie “Buddy” Lewis stated. “I live here, I want it to stay here, but it is a business and we need [1,200 to 1,300 fans] to break even and [on] a night like [Tuesday], you have 300 to 400 people, it’s hard to put it all together and make sure it works.”

Baseball at Wahconah Park is special. It’s exciting and something everyone should take in at least once in his or her life, but besides its rich culture, it also houses some quality hitting, fielding, catching and pitching, as well as players that aren’t playing for lucrative contracts or endorsements, but instead, the love of the game.

“We’re playing to have fun, we’re playing to win, [but] of course, we want the community here behind us,” Torres said.

“If we can continue to go out there and battle and get good pitching from our side and play good defense, we’re going to win some ball games,” Keefe said.

So, what exactly will it take for the Colonials to acquire more fans? Do they need to win all of their games? Perhaps, win a championship? Again, what is it that they can do to attract more spectators for the rest of the season?

“We’ve reached out to the Little League and girl’s softball players by giving them lanyards and laminated cards with their names on it. We’ve reached out to the senior segment and we hope that now that schools out and Little League has stopped… that it will all work out at the end,” Lewis said.

The Colonials, who are currently parked in fifth place, are certainly a team that shouldn’t be overlooked. They’re [14-11] record may not be the most flattering compared to Quebec [19-6] or Brockton [15-10], but overall, they certainly seem determined to win every game on their schedule.

“The team itself, it’s a continuum of last year,” Lewis said. “If you remember the chemistry of this team last year was so great and we have half the kids back and the kids from last year really set the tone… this group is really great. I always tell them, I love [them]. I do, they’re all like sons to me and it’s really fun kind of being with them.”

“Obviously we’d like to have a lot more wins under our belt, but we’re playing pretty good baseball right now, we’re playing hard,” Keefe said. “All you can ask for is give yourself a chance in that last inning. You’ve got to get 27-outs against this team and if you don’t, we’re going to get [you].”

Pittsfield and Quebec will return to the diamond on Wednesday, first pitch is scheduled for 5:00pm eastern.

The Return of the CanAm League

The Pittsfield Colonials will certainly be a CanAm League team to watch in 2011!

By Matt Noonan 

Another season of CanAm League baseball has officially begun, but are you excited? Are you ready to invade seven ballparks across the northeast for the next three to four months and cheer on a variety of MLB hopefuls?

For roughly the next four months, eight Independent League teams will play a 94-game schedule and do whatever it takes to land a spot in the CanAm League Title series in September. They’ll make trades, release and sign players, as well as push one another to the brink. They’ll even entertain, attempt the impossible and oh by the way, have a lot of fun.

A majority of these players have either been drafted by MLB teams or are hoping some scouts will catch a glimpse of their greatness, but again, they’re playing baseball, which is the love of their life.

These teams don’t represent gigantic metropolises such as Boston, New York, Dallas, Philadelphia or Chicago, but instead, small town America. They play for cities like Brockton, Worcester, Pittsfield and Newark, which again, may not be on your vacation bucket list.

Although, what exactly is so appealing about Independent Baseball or the CanAm League?

Well, it’s Minor League baseball and it’s not always about the wins or loses, but instead, having fun and putting on a show for the youngsters. You’re not breaking Uncle Al’s arm and leg from the grave to buy Red Sox or Yankees tickets, but instead, slipping a small bill to the ticket window and watching quality baseball.

These players aren’t household names, excluding Josh Papelbon, who didn’t even last a full season with the Rox in ’10, but again, these guys are regular people. They hold jobs just like everyone else, as well as come from all over the country to follow their dream and passion, which is to play baseball.

So, I challenge you to go out and watch at least one game of CanAm League baseball this summer. It’s summertime and we all need something to help us relax, so put aside the work, loosen the tie and come out to the old ballpark and watch America’s pastime being played by tomorrow’s hero’s.

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