Despite the recent weather, spring is on the way and with it the baseball season is coming. Western major Baseball League (WMBL) Yorkton Cardinals head coach Bill Sobkow has been working diligently for some time to bring some very entertaining top notch baseball to Yorkton again this summer.
The Cardinals have a good start on the 2012 roster with a few gaps remaining. Sobkow says he would like to add some more quality Canadian pitchers as well as a couple of catchers to round out his bench.
The season will offer a 46 game schedule in 56 days with 23 Cardinals home games at Jubilee Park. “It’s a solid summer collegiate baseball schedule that tells everybody that we are a legitimate summer collegiate league,” Sobkow states.
Ticket prices for the season have been set, he notes. Single game tickets will cost adults and seniors $8. Students ages 12 to 17 years will get into a game for $3, while youngsters younger than 12 years are free.
Season tickets for the 23 home games will cost $125, which works out to just $5.43 per game. Season tickets can be obtained by calling Keith at 782-3456 or Al at 783-8107.
The Cardinals have added a new assistant coach Sean Gamble, son of former WMLB player Oscar Gamble who played 17 seasons in the major leagues, Sobkow reports.
Sean Gamble is also a professional baseball player who was selected in the sixth round in 2004 and played with the Philadelphia Philles for five years.
The Cardinals broke some new ground in the league last season by adding a female, Ghazaleh Sailors, to their roster. Sailors created a lot if interest among fans and the other teams in the WMBL. As well she pitched fairly well for the 25 innings she took the mound, Sobkow recalls. “Her ERA was in the five to six bracket which isn’t bad. She was just a fill-in most of the time,” he says.
Sobkow reports that Sailors will be back this season. This year the world women’s baseball championships will be played Edmonton in August. Sailors, who is on the U.S. national women’s team will go to Edmonton to play in the worlds following the Cardinals’ season.
Sobkow says he’s happy with the support of the community and business sponsors.
Home games will offer program draws as well as some interesting, new fan rewards, Sobkow reports.
Sobkow and the Cardinals have initiated some major positive changes to the ball park over the years. The city has offered to match funds raised by the ball club for future improvements.
Some possible improvements might include stadium seating, dressing rooms for both visiting team and the home team, a ‘batter’s eye’ which is a league requirement and a field tarp, also a league requirement, which is a $6,000 touch.
He admits Yorkton has probably the best playing field in the league but needs some amenities. “It’s all expensive and we don’t have the money. We have money to put our team on the field, get our team on road trips and that stuff. We generate that but beyond that we don’t have a penny extra,” Sobkow suggests.
He urges people to come to the ball park to see some pretty good baseball.