As the snow continues to melt in Weyburn, many are looking forward to the return of baseball – particularly, the Weyburn Beavers. The Western Canadian Baseball League club will open up the regular season at Tom Laing Park at the end of May.
For team president Garnet Hansen, the team is getting everything set for what they hope will be a successful year on and off the diamond.
“Last year was kind of a weird year coming out of COVID, and you know, I think people weren’t exactly sure how the season was going to go and just seemed right from the start we were on catch up on everything,” Hansen explained. “I think from an organization standpoint, we’re much more ready.”
The recruiting work for the season has also been underway for a while. Head coach Cam Williams began the process of filling the roster back in the fall, and Hansen said they are pretty close now to a full roster. While there could be some players who end up pulling out of the season for reasons such as injury or having to take summer classes, things are looking good.
We’ve got right now at least eight returning players, which you know that was a big factor last year,” Hansen stated. There was just one returning player for the 2022 season – Nolan Machibroda – as many of the players who would have come back after the 2019 season weren’t eligible to after two seasons.
The positive environment the Beavers and fans have helped to develop in the community has helped with the recruiting process as well. Hansen mentioned that in many cases, the players who are returning tell their friends and other players and do a strong job of promoting the program. This leads to more and more players wanting to play their collegiate summer ball in Weyburn.
The 2023 WCBL season will start at Tom Laing Park on May 25th, as the Beavers host the Regina Red Sox at Tom Laing Park.