Looking for a league to play in this summer, the Kingston Colts under-14 baseball team approached the Fergie Jenkins Showcase Association.
They were welcomed with open arms.
“We were looking for a competitive loop and Fergie’s league fits the bill,” said Ken Spicer, the field manager for the Colts.
Named after the only Canadian baseball player in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, the Fergie Jenkins League was created in 2012 to showcase elite baseball players in Ontario.
It allows players the opportunity to gain exposure to Canadian and American universities with hopes of one day playing professional baseball.
Teams are based in the Niagara Region, the Greater Toronto Area, Whitby, Clarington, Kingston and Ottawa.
Last year, the Kingston squad’s 12- and 13-year-olds won the Ontario Little League Intermediate championship, then represented the province at the national tournament in Langley, B.C.
“Were loving everything about this new league,” said Spicer.
“We’re in every game we play,” Spicer added. “It’s extremely competitive and it allows us to teach the kids the right way to play the game. Winning is fun, but you can learn from a good loss as well.”
The Colts are holding their own in the seven-team league. They’re currently in fifth place.
“There are some really solid teams in the league,” said Colts ace pitcher Owen Murphy.
“I just want us to compete and play some fun baseball and hopefully win some games.
We play really well as a team, but some mental mistakes have cost us some games.”
Win or lose, coach Spicer says it’s about creating a positive environment and teaching the kids the right and wrong ways to play baseball.
“They just have to work on their mental game,” continued Spicer, a former manager of the Kingston Ponies senior baseball team.
“We need to win the mental battles like going to the plate with a positive approach, and learning to be a pitcher rather than a thrower. These are the things were getting better at, each and every day.”