Baseball Season Upon Us

The Braves, Metros, Carnavals, Capitales…

Quebec City’s love affair with baseball dates back to the beginning of the 20th Century and although there have been ups and downs, nobody can deny the passion shown by fans to their teams over the years.

When you consider that this city supports the Capitales to the tune of 4,000 fans every game, that’s as much people in our stadium than there was for our beloved Expos during their last few seasons at the Olympic Stadium.

Beginning last night at the Stade Municipal, the Boys of Summer were back with the 14th season of the Diamants de Quebec, from the Ligue de Baseball Elite du Quebec (LBEQ). The home team won the contest easil, 18-0, over the Aigles de Trois-Rivieres.

I was at the ballpark for the occasion and to see the beautiful field at the Stade was simply refreshing; a clear sign that Summer has truly arrived.

However, the game did not start as plan for the Diamants, a team now managed by Jean-Philippe Roy, who was the hitting coach for the Quebec Capitales last season and who's also a scout for the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Diamants' starting pitcher, a left-hander named Patrick Chabot, got the bases loaded with only one out in the first frame, only to escape unscathed with a strikeout and a grounder to the second baseman, who recorded the last out of the inning (contrary to what was reported in "Le Soleil" this morning by Real Labbe. These two outs came after the pitcher threw 7 straight balls out of the zone, bringing Christian Chenard (coach) to the mound for a little pep talk.

From then on, it was an offensive festival for the home team's hitters, also helped by the five errors committed by the Trois-Rivieres fielders.

Next Sunday, a doubleheader will mark the Alouettes de Charlesbourg’s season debut at the Parc Henri-Casault and on May 22nd, the Quebec City Capitales will officially open their tenth season in the city.
For baseball fans, that means witnessing the stars of tomorrow (Diamants and Alouettes), but also players that wish to revive their careers in the independent leagues, of which the Can-Am League (Capitales) is a success story.

Can’t wait until the 22nd for professional baseball?

On May 19th, you will be able to see the newly established franchise in the Can-Am League: the Ottawa Rapids. They will be in town to play a pre-season contest that will give a chance for both teams to fine-tune their rosters before the official season begins.
Both teams belonging to the LBEQ will offer 25 games each to the public and the Capitales will grace the field 46 times.

When you visit the Stade Municipal this Summer, be sure to go on the second floor of the ballpark to take in a fantastic gallery on the history of baseball in Quebec City. Prepared by Daniel Papillon, it is not only full of information, but also a great showcase of what this national pastime of our Southern neighbors has meant to the history of the 400-year-old fortified city.

My name is Dave Rouleau, a Quebec City native and passionate (but still learning) writer. I will explain my journey and what to expect from me in an upcoming post, either later today or tomorrow. Feel free to comment on my stories in the Comments section below or reach me by email: [email protected]