The Durham College baseball team played its final regular-season home game of the year over the weekend.
A number of alumni showed up for what could have been manager Sam Dempster’s last game at Kinsmen Memorial Stadium.
Global News Weather Specialist Mike Arsenault only played for Dempster one season.
But in those four months at Durham College, he was accepted with open arms by the manager, who certainly made an impact on the former Lords pitcher.
“Sam has probably seen hundreds, thousands of players go through here and when I came in, he still recognized me and it seemed like we hadn’t missed a step over the last 12 years,” said Arsenault, DC Lords Alumni ’07.
After 28 years, Sunday marked Dempster’s final regular-season home game. The 72-year-old has been around the program since day one.
“Yeah I was thinking about it last night, it’s not as dramatic as I thought it was going to be, just couldn’t get to sleep so I watched some baseball,” said Dempster.
Those who played for Dempster in the past wanted to show their support and be there for the man who was there for them so many times over the years.
“He instilled a lot of the life skills and ideals that kind of made me into the person I am today,” said Nur Osman, DC Lords Alumni ’07-’11.
“He’s given a lot of commitment to a lot of players and people not just on the field but off the field,” said Bob McGrayne, DC Lords Alumni.
“It’s been 25 years since I played for him which is unbelievable,” said Rob Leth, DC Lords Alumni ’94-’95.
Global Sports’ Rob Leth played for Dempster in high school and then two years at Durham College.
“To me, a successful coach or a manager he does three things, he makes the game a lot of fun, he makes you a better player and he commands the respect of the players and he checks all those boxes,” said Leth.
Dempster couldn’t believe how many alumni showed up.
“Maybe they’re glad to get rid of me, I don’t know .. haha. It’s just tremendous to see them and see how well they’re doing and how life is going for them,” said Dempster.
While Dempster may have coached his final regular-season home game for the Lords, he may return to Kinsmen Memorial Stadium again if they qualify for the postseason.
But when the season finally comes to an end, the legendary manager is looking forward to spending more time with his family while still dabbling in the game one way or another.