Baseball and history happen, even in Canada
One of the things that I do for hobbies is to play a game called Out of the Park baseball. It’s a baseball text simulator, which for those that weren’t around when MUD’s were a big thing, means that it’s completely text based game. No fancy graphics rendering or any other eye candy to be had, heck you could probably play this on the computer that your father uses in the basement that weights more then your dog and looks like it could withstand a nuclear blast. One of the big things about this game is the online communities that spring up, where folks that have the game participate in online leagues, controlling teams that all play for the championship every year, just like the real thing.
For a majority of the leagues that I’ve been in, I’m usually one of the few, if not the only Canadian in the league. It makes sense in a way, as baseball hasn’t really been popular since The Strike in this country, but it’s still pretty impressive the large gulf between Canadians and their American brethren even though there’s been Canadian clubs in the major leagues for going on four decades (with two for around three of those decades). However before then the history of baseball in this country is practically non-existent, barring a plaque at Labatt Park in London Ontario and some tidbits of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the summer that’d youd’ find in old Toronto historical tomes.
So when Mr. Kahle of my baseball league sent me a link that he found while surfing around on the Western Baseball league, I first figured it was something out in Nebraska or along those lines. Imagine my surprise when I found that it was out in the prairies, leagues that spanned over twenty years (and possibly earlier) and played ball in such places as Camrose, Swift Current, and Lloydminister. Towns that sound sort alien to these Eastern ears, but sound right at home in baseball standings. Back when the train was the primary way to get across country, the radio was the place to get your hockey and the newspaper and your neighbours for everything else. Doesn’t have the profile of the yesteryear of the MLB, but there really isn’t a vested interest of that for us north of the border, much like how Gordie Howe is just a name with some records for most south of the Mason-Dixon line.
For those that are interested, here’s the link to the site that I’m talking about, and if you have any information, I’m sure the guy that runs the site would love to hear from you.
Guess it’s proof that sometimes, games can be educational, eh?