They are a lasting symbol of being the final team standing in any given season.
They mark a fraternity that helped to accomplish the ultimate in any given sport.
Friday night in London, Ont., for the first time since 1975, the London Majors will have the opportunity to hand out championship rings marking an Intercounty Baseball League title 46 years in the making.
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“It’s going to be a busy night,” admitted Major co-owner Scott Dart. “But it’s going to be exciting for our fans and our players from last year.”
Dart hopes fans can get to the park a little earlier than usual.
“We will probably start (the ring ceremony) around seven o’clock,” outlined Dart. “Our first pitch is at 7:35 so we want to make sure that we have time to recognize the players from last season and then get everybody warmed up and ready for the home opener.”
The Majors will face the Kitchener Panthers to kick off their home schedule. London doubled up the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday, May 15 to kick off their season.
Going back to Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, London pulled off a comeback 8-4 win in a deciding Game 5 against the Maple Leafs at Labatt Park. On that night the Majors were able to accomplish something that had been so close so often, dating back to 1975.
Under the ownership of Dart and co-owner/manager Roop Chanderdat, London made it to the IBL championship in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2014 only to watch the other side celebrate each time. In 2014 the Majors forced the Brantford Red Sox all the way to Game Seven.
Last September things were different.
London had played long into the night on Thursday, Sept. 30 when they had to watch their chance at clinching a title sail over the outfield fence at Christy Pits in Toronto, in a 1-0 loss in 13 innings that forced the deciding game in 2021.
Thinking back, Dart calls that memory “fleeting” because of what happened less than 24 hours later.
“It was the electricity that was in the crowd for that Game 5,” Dart recalled. “It was truly amazing and the fans were just ecstatic. You could see the excitement building in our players as well. There were some key moments in that game as well that led us to the championship. It was so worth it to win it in front of our fans.”
Now the Majors are set to begin the quest for back-to-back titles. But not before one final ceremony to commemorate last year one final time.
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