By Fred Wallace
Fred Wallace talks about a recent trip to Kitchener, pleasant, despite his expectations.
Over the course of 30 years, on many occasions, I've carved Kitchener, primarily due to the perpetual division rivalry between the OHL Rangers and the Platers-cum-Attack.
Maybe I was ultra sensitive, but I always had the sense that the Rangers looked down their noses condescendingly at Owen Sound; not everyone in Kitchener, mind you, but enough for me to get that sense.
In fairness, I also sense a shift of late in that attitude, and to be totally truthful I rather enjoy my encounters with the Rangers and Kitchenerites in recent years.
To that end, I was invited earlier this month by Kitchener Fastpitch Promotions to do Public Address work for the ISC World Championships which were staged at the Peter Hallman Ball Yard.
Having never been to the ISC World Championships, I thought this was a prime opportunity, and so I made the arrangements to do some PA work in the middle of the tournament on August 15th.
First of all, for a big city, 25 times the size of Owen Sound, the park is very easy to access.
Second, the Peter Hallman Ball Yard is a terrific facility, utilizing what was once a marsh, I understand, and creating 3 excellent ball diamonds for Fastball & Slo Pitch.
Next, the calibre of play at the World level is exceptional. Of the 4 games I saw there was dominant pitching, terrific defense, and even in a mercy game there were players worth watching closely.
Finally, the people....
Whether they were Host Committee members, volunteers, competing club members or fans, and there were lots of them for a work day in the middle of the week, I truly enjoyed the atmosphere and buzz at the 2018 ISC Fastpitch Championship........in Kitchener.
In fact, the only drawback was I noticed far too many Kitchener Ranger hats.
Enjoy Labour Day Weekend.