John Wilson, one of the owners of Nanaimo’s new West Coast League baseball team, speaks at a press conference introducing the expansion franchise on Thursday at Nanaimo’s Rotary Fieldhouse. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

John Wilson, one of the owners of Nanaimo’s new West Coast League baseball team, speaks at a press conference introducing the expansion franchise on Thursday at Nanaimo’s Rotary Fieldhouse. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

New baseball team will take the field in Nanaimo in 2021

West Coast League franchise announced Thursday

Nanaimo will get to step to the plate in the West Coast League.

An ownership group announced Thursday that Nanaimo will be the 13th team in the summer collegiate league and will start playing games in June 2021 at Serauxmen Stadium.

The Nanaimo franchise will be owned by the same group that operates the Victoria HarbourCats. The group includes John Wilson (of Wilson’s Transportation), Richard Harder, and Ken and Jim Swanson.

“We’re excited to take what’s been a really fun experience in Victoria and apply it to here and make the tweaks that’ll make it a Nanaimo feel and we’re excited to have that kind of a challenge…” said Swanson. “All the old stadiums, the new stadiums, every one of them’s got a different feel and this one will have a different feel from everywhere else as well and it’s going to be a lot of fun to cultivate that and be part of it.”

The Nanaimo WCL team doesn’t have a name yet, but is already gathering ideas via its website. Swanson said there have been “great suggestions already,” mentioning the Bathtubbers and Humpbacks.

story continues below

Third baseman Liam Ballance, who has played for both the VIU Mariners and the Victoria Harbourcats, said it will be great to have a WCL team in Nanaimo.

“I think it’ll be good for the community and the fans and everything,” he said. “I had a blast playing the past few years and I hope if kids on the Island can get a chance to play for this team, then that will be good, too.”

Numerous political representatives were on hand for Thursday’s announcement and were already debating who will get to throw out the first pitch. Mayor Leonard Krog said the city is excited to welcome WCL baseball.

“Our businesses look forward to this, our community members, our sports fans, everyone looks forward to seeing that field used the way it should be by a first-clas team that is going to dominate the league, I am sure,” he said.

The team owners thanked all those involved in bringing WCL baseball to Nanaimo including the municipality and its parks and rec department, Serauxmen Stadium Amateur Baseball Association and various levels of baseball.

READ ALSO: Victoria baseball club interested in starting up a team in Nanaimo

READ ALSO: New baseball group wants to fix up Serauxmen Stadium



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A sport utility vehicle and a Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools work van crashed on Bowen Road near the intersection with Caspers Way this afternoon. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Drivers taken to hospital after head-on crash on Nanaimo’s Bowen Road

Crash happened near Caspers Way intersection Friday afternoon

École North Oyster. (Black Press file)
With more student drop-offs during pandemic, SD68 examines safety outside North Oyster school

Fewer school bus trips and more cars accentuating traffic concerns, say school district staff

The COVID-19 pandemic had an effect on film production on central and north Vancouver Island, says Vancouver Island North Film Commission. Pictured here, production of TV series Resident Alien in Ladysmith earlier this year. (Black Press file)
Film commissioner says COVID-19 cost central Island $6 million in economic activity

Jurassic World: Dominion, Chesapeake Shores among productions halted due to pandemic, says INFilm

(File photo)
RCMP warn of counterfeit bill use in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Police have received four calls in November regarding bogus bills

Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson takes her oaths of office virtually on Thursday. (B.C. Government YouTube screen shot)
Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson named B.C.’s mental health and addictions minister

Malcolmson succeeds Judy Darcy, who did not seek re-election

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Nanaimo ballerina Jillian Vanstone is giving a hometown performance at the Port Theatre on Dec. 12. (Photo courtesy Karolina Kuras)
National Ballet of Canada principal dancer returns for a hometown performance

Nanaimo’s Jillian Vanstone celebrates a favourite choreographer at the Port Theatre

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
Two Fraser Valley churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Freighter anchored off Kin Beach in Chemainus. (Photo by Don Bodger)
MP to host expert panel for virtual town hall on freighter anchorages issue

Residents can participate through MacGregor’s website or Facebook page Dec. 3

Lake Cowichan’s Oliver Finlayson, second from left, and his family — including grandma Marnie Mattice, sister Avery, mom Amie Mattice and dad Blair Finlayson — were all smiles on Nov. 16 when their pool arrived, thanks to lots of fundraising and the generosity of the Cowichan Lake community. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Lake community comes together to help family get vital pool

Oliver Finlayson, 9, has Duchenne muscular dystrophy and hydrotherapy is a big help

Penny Hart is emotional outside the Saanich Police Department as she pleads for helpt to find her son Sean Hart last seen Nov. 6 at a health institution in Saanich. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: Mother of missing Saanich man begs public to help find her son

Sean Hart last seen leaving Saanich mental health facility Nov. 6

Most Read