40 years of GFI

By Contributor
May 11th, 2015

The GFI is hosting it’s 34th tournament in 40 years (1975 to 2015). Over those 40 years there have been many challenges. There have been 5 coordinators and 6 tournament years missed due to the difficulty of finding teams at the end of the baseball season or other tournaments (Canadian Nationals) competing for teams. There is also the challenge finding/keeping the co-ordinator, committee and board, who are volunteers as well, who will give up summer holidays to work the tournament.

The change of dates to the start of the summer, which was done in an attempt to remedy those challenges has been a big adjustment to the fans as well as the committee and volunteers but there wasn’t much choice and we were all confident that it was best for the tournament. It’s a great way to kick of our summer with the richest invitational baseball tournament in North America.

There has been an increase in sponsorship support this year and when the fans get use to the new time slot we hope to see our attendance get back up there as well. There are many familiar faces along with some new ones on our Board for 2015 and all of us are very excited about this year.

The 2014 tournament had some of the best baseball yet with a final game that took everyone’s breath away from cheering the Burnaby Bulldogs to a heart pounding finish being the second Canadian team to win since 1976. They will be returning to defend that title this year!.

The tournament takes in Canada Day and the American 4th of July weekend this year and plans are made to have the available teams take part in the Canada Day Parade.

The early summer nights are also a lot warmer for that late evening game

We are having Amanda Thate sing the National Anthems and a Fly Over is planned for opening ceremonies as well

We are also planning to have a half hr set with Amanda and her band on July 4th Saturday at 7pm before the final 8pm game. (Amanda is local talent that is now a recording artist opening for bands such as the Oak Ridge Boys and being invited to perform at the Calgary Stampede).

The tournament is always looking for volunteers and this year is certainly no exception. Our biggest challenge is always filling the list for taking tickets at the Gate but doesn’t stop at that. We have many other jobs including Hardball Café, Field Crew, First Aid, Guest Relations, Maintenance, Security, Souvenirs and Right Field Tavern.

If you would like to participate this year, putting in 12 hrs, (3@4 hr shifts) will earn you a tournament pass.

Catch the Spirit and Get Involved! Pick up your volunteer form at 283 Market Avenue today

The torch has passed thru 5 coordinators since it’s beginning.

In 1975 Larry Seminoff started the GFI and the torch has had passed thru five coordinators over 40 years including McAndrew, the current one.

Larry Seminoff 1975 to 2000

No Tourney – 1992, 96, 98

Gerry Foster 2001

No Tourney 2002 (Larry Seminoff held the first World Baseball Challenge in GF that year)

Gerry Foster 2003 to 2006.

No Tourney  2007

Everett Baker 2008

Joan Thomas 2009, 2010 and 2011

Gerry Foster 2012

No Tourney 2013

Joan Thomas 2014

Brian McAndrew 2015

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