By IAN WILSON
There’s no place like home … or, better yet, home openers.
The Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) 2023 season is rapidly approaching and ballparks in Alberta and Saskatchewan will soon open their gates to throngs of summer seekers.
Break out the sunscreen and the scorecards! Here’s a rundown of the home openers and season openers for each WCBL club.
OPENING DAY: MAY 25th
The WCBL season gets underway with an all-Saskatchewan matchup between the Regina Red Sox and the Weyburn Beavers on Thursday, May 25th. The Red Sox, who finished first in the East Division in 2022 with a 34-22 record, visit the Beavers for a 7:05 p.m. matchup at Tom Laing Park in Weyburn.
OPENING WEEKEND: MAY 26-28
Season-opening action continues with a full slate of baseball action in the last week of May. The defending WCBL champion Okotoks Dawgs start with a home-and-home series against the Brooks Bombers. The Dawgs, who set a record for wins in a season last summer when they went 43-13, play host to the Bombers at Seaman Stadium at 7:05 p.m. on Friday, May 26th before hitting the road for Elks Field the next day. The Dawgs eliminated the Bombers from playoff contention – the first WCBL postseason appearance in franchise history for Brooks – last year. The home opener in Brooks is set for 7:05 p.m. on Saturday, May 27th at Elks Field.
The Lethbridge Bulls and Medicine Hat Mavericks also kick things off with a home-and-home matchup. The Crowsnest Highway foes will meet at Spitz Stadium in Lethbridge for a 7:05 p.m. season opener on Friday, May 26th and then give Athletic Park fans in the Gas City a home opener at the same time on Saturday, May 27th. The Bulls will then travel to Okotoks for an afternoon game against the Dawgs on Sunday, May 28th.
Sylvan Lake opens the gates of Gulls Field for a three-game set against the Fort McMurray Giants that starts at 7:05 p.m. on the Friday night and runs through the weekend. The series will mark the first action between the two clubs since the Gulls (38-18 in 2022) knocked the Giants out of the postseason last year. It was Fort McMurray’s first taste of playoff competition since they joined the WCBL in 2016.
SUNNY NIGHTS IN SASKY
In Saskatchewan, the Swift Current 57’s face the Red Sox for a pair of games to open their year. Swift Current’s home opener takes place the evening of Friday, May 26th at Mitchell Field.
Regina plays in front of their first home crowd of 2023 on Saturday, May 27th at 7:05 p.m. at Currie Field when they host the 57’s. Regina will close out the weekend with a Sunday afternoon visit from the Moose Jaw Miller Express.
The Miller Express – who represented the East Division in the 2022 WCBL championship final against the Okotoks Dawgs – kick off their season for the Moose Jaw faithful at Ross Wells Park on Friday, May 26th at 7:05 p.m. when the Beavers take the field. The two teams will renew hostilities the next day in Weyburn.
The Giants start the season with a lengthy 10-game road trip that takes them through Sylvan Lake, Brooks, Okotoks and Lethbridge. Fort McMurray fans will get their long-awaited home opener on Tuesday, June 6th when the Mavs head north to Legacy Dodge Field for the first half of a two-game set. The homestand will continue with a four-game series against the Dawgs between Thursday, June 8th and Sunday, June 11th.
View the full 2023 WCBL regular-season schedule.