Baseball often takes a backseat to other sports in Southern Alberta, except for one place. Okotoks, where the home team brings in the crowds every year.
Seaman Stadium is a remarkable decade-old facility on the south side of the town built by Byron and Doc Seaman. The local collegiate ball team competing in the Western Major Baseball League, had been playing in Calgary at the Burns Stadium until the 1,600-seat park in Okotoks was built. The team honoured the town by winning the championship the first two years it settled into the park, drawing crowds of 2,700 with overflow accommodated on the adjacent grass berm.
Despite unpredictable spring weather, the friendly confines of Seaman Stadium have provided the atmosphere and hospitality for fans that other facilities just haven’t been able to match. An afternoon of baseball in Okotoks is a rare treat.
In a blog earlier this year on the Toronto Blue Jays website, the Dawgs were called a hidden baseball game in Okotoks because of it’s baseball academy that opened in 2007. The program has seen at least 40 young players go through that have been drafted or signed by organizations in the MLB and 180 players continue at the collegiate level.
Scouts are starting to look beyond the border for players and it’s because of this excellent facility and the way the entire organization takes baseball so seriously, even in a town as small as Okotoks.
The team has developed a reputation of offering excellent coaching, education and facilities – a super destination for young Canadian prospects.
Field of Dreams Charity Game
At the end of this month, Seaman Stadium will host a charity game organized by two Okotoks philanthropists featuring a combo team comprised of alumni from the Calgary Flames and some current Calgary Stampeder players who will challenge the Dawgs on their home turf.
Calling it a real-life Field of Dreams, this evening game at Seaman Stadium is sure to be a home run.
Rob Laird, a long-time Okotoks residents and former-RCMP officer and Jeff Wilkie are combing forces to organize this event with some names people in Southern Alberta will recognize.
Bo Levi Mitchell, Keon Raymond, Deron Mayo are just a few of the Stampeders, plus Bearcat Murray – who can still wield a bat – Lanny McDonald, Joel Otto and Jim Peplinski to name a few from the Calgary Flames’ alumni roster.
The May 26 will draw fans from around the Okotoks region and proceeds will benefit two charities. One if Life Choice Dynamics, an organization that serves professional athletes from the Calgary Stampeders as they transition from being start football players to beginning another career outside of the limelight, a life-altering change that often doesn’t go smoothly, often resulting in depression and in extreme cases, addiction – something that Rob Laird has devoted his life’s work to eradicating.
The other charity is CC4MS, an organization that the Calgary Flames have already dedicated time, energy and money to which provides assistance to men who have survived sexual abuse.
In addition to the Field of Dreams game itself, which will have an unspecified number of innings, there will be entertainment and special games such as a home run derby.
Both organizers are looking for sponsorship of the event to help cover the costs of running it, so that all proceeds can go directly towards the two charities. Fans can help support the event by purchasing tickets and participating in the 50/50 draw. There will be an opportunity sign autographs and meet many of the other celebrities expected.
People can become an event sponsor for as little as $100.
The game will be held Friday, May 26 at Seaman Stadium beginning at 7:00 pm. Tickets are only $15 for adults who want reserved seating, $10 for adult general admission and kids under 12 years of age are only $5.00.