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Former Calgary Vipers owner dies at 65

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Jeff Gidney, the long time primary owner of the Calgary Vipers, is dead at the age of 65.

Gidney, who had been suffering from a rare life threatening illness for over a year died in a long term care facility in Victoria, British Columbia on Thursday.

Gidney and Peter Young were the primary people responsible in bringing the Vipers to Calgary. The franchise played in the Northern League from 2005-2007, the Golden League from 2008-2010 and North American Baseball League in 2011.

I knew Mr. Gidney personally as I was the official scorekeeper and scoreboard operator for the Vipers in their inaugural season, and then  had  the pleasure of watching my brother Geoff pitch for the team over the next three seasons from 2006-2008.


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Kerrzy’s Notebook: 15 Minutes of Fame

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Happy Tuesday!

This week on a special NHL Trade Deadline edition of 15 Minutes of Fame, we try to pick out the winners and the losers of the big day and do our best to analyze the one trade pulled off by the Edmonton Oilers. We also look at the biggest pre-deadline trade and non-trade, which was Jeff Carter to the LA Kings and Ales Hemsky re-upping with the Oil.

In the GABBYs: Chicago Cubs fans, CC Sabathia, Jeremy Lin, Greg Oden, Rajon Rondo _ Tommi Virtanen. The Punchline this week is MMA fighter Dan Lariviere!


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Kerrzy’s Notebook: 15 Minutes of Fame

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Happy Monday!

This week on 15 Minutes of Fame: The Esks spank the Ti-Cats, we discuss a report that says college athletes should be paid, Drew Doughty is a no-show at Kings camp, Buffalo’s Tyler Myers cashes in, an early look at Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the NHL launches a social media policy.

In the GABBYs: Marc Savard, the Edmonton Capitals, Novak Djokovic, baseball injuries, Dustin Byfuglien, Adam Dunn…and this week’s Punchline is Ron Jaworski!


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Capitals win North American Baseball League Championship

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

The Edmonton Capitals are the 2011  North American Baseball League Champions.

Tuesday night at Edmonton’s Telus Field, the Capitals knocked off the Rio Grande Valley White Wings 7-3 to win the best-out-of-seven series 4-1.

The turning point in the game can in the fifth inning, with the game tied at two runs apiece. Capitals’ first baseman Brent Metheny hit a towering three run home run that put the Capitals up 5-2.

Then after the teams exchanged runs, the Capitals restored their four run lead in the eighth inning, when centerfielder Steve Brown hit a towering home run that restored Edmonton’s four run lead.

On the mound, Lou Pote threw seven innings, and gave up two earned runs, six hits, six strikeouts and five walks.

Offensively, Brown, from the leadoff position led the Capitals with three hits, while Metheny had three runs batted in.

The Capitals are the first Edmonton baseball team to win a league championship since the Edmonton Trappers in 2002.

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White Wings stay alive

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

The Rio Grande Valley White Wings prevented a sweep at Telus Field on Sunday afternoon.

The White Wings defeated the Edmonton Capitals 5-1 to win the first game of the North American Baseball League Championship.

The Capitals still lead the series 3-1.

It was an excellent pitching performance from White Wings’ starting pitcher Brian Henschel of Hartland, Wisconsin. Henschel, who had already played for the San Angelo Colts in the 2011 North American Baseball League Playoffs threw seven and two third innings, giving up four hits, three strikeouts, two walks and no earned runs.

It makes me shaking my head a little bit that Henschel was allowed to play for the White Wings in the championship series, after playing for the Colts in the South Final. In my opinion, for a professional sports league to be taken seriously by the public, there shouldn’t be any player movement among teams once the playoffs begin.

Game five of the series is Tuesday night at Telus Field.

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Capitals trounce White Wings

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

The Edmonton  Capitals have a chance of winning the North American Baseball League Championship at Telus Field today.

Last night, the Capitals hammered the Rio Grande Valley White Wings by a score of 10-3.

First baseman Matt Rogelstad of Port Moody, British Columbia  collected four hits, including a double. Right fielder Tom Collaro went three for four, with a home run and four runs batted in.

The Capitals got off to a fantastic start, scoring six times in the first inning alone. They would add to their lead with a pair of runs in the third inning and take a 8-0 lead before the White Wings got on the scoreboard.

Capitals’ starting pitcher Rory Shortell had a quality start, pitching seven innings and only giving up three runs, with five hits, four strikeouts and a walk. Relievers Brandon Villafuerte and Chad Blackwell then pitched two scoreless innings of relief.

Edmonton Eskimo Ricky Ray and former Eskimo star Willie Pless were scheduled to throw out the opening first pitch on Saturday night.

Game four of the series goes today at Telus Field at 2pm.

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Capitals win Game One of the NABL Final

Friday, September 9th, 2011

The Edmonton Capitals are now only three wins away from winning the first ever North American Baseball League Championship.

On Thursday night, the Edmonton Capitals defeated the Rio Grande Valley White Wings 7-1 to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

The Capitals scored three runs in the first four innings. In the first inning, Todd Linden recorded an RBI single that scored Steve Brown from second base. In the third inning, Brown recorded his second hit of the game with a home run. Then in the fourth inning, the White Wings’ defense unraveled as Whitewings’ second baseman Wilmer Pino committed an error that led to an unearned run that scored Carlos Duncan. In the fifth, the Capitals put the game out of reach with a two run home run by Brent Metheny.

Capitals’ starting pitcher Lou Pote was outstanding on the mound as he threw eight innings, giving up zero earned runs, eleven strikeouts and only one walk.

Game two of the series is tonight at Telus Field. It is just too bad they will probably get a bad attendance, as most Edmonton sports fans will be at Commonwealth Stadium for the Labour Day rematch.

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Capitals move on to North American Baseball League Final

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

It hasn’t happened very often lately, but a team from Edmonton has eliminated a team from Calgary in the playoffs.

It happened it independent baseball on Sunday afternoon, as the Edmonton Capitals defeated the Calgary Vipers 9-2 to win the North Division Final four games to two.

The Capitals got off to a great start Sunday, as they scored twice in the second inning, notched two more runs in the third inning, and three more runs in the fourth inning.

The Capitals got excellent offensive performances from catcher J.D. Closser who had four hits, and three hits each from center fielder Steve Brown and first baseman Brent Metheny. One of Closser’s four hits was a home run.

On the mound, starting pitcher Dallas Buck was outstanding, throwing seven innings, six hits, no earned runs, four strikeouts and three walks.

The Capitals will now play the Rio Grande Valley White Wings in the North American Baseball League Championship.

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Capitals take 3-2 lead on Vipers

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

The Edmonton Capitals are now a win away from advancing to the North American Baseball League Final.

On Saturday night at Foothills Stadium, the Capitals’ bats came up huge in the latter innings and came away with a 12-6 victory to take a 3-2 series lead in the North Division Final against their Alberta provincial rival, the Calgary Vipers.

Capitals’ left fielder Todd Linden and shortstop Rex Rundgren each collected three hits for Edmonton, while Capitals’ right fielder Tom Collaro recorded four runs batted in. As a whole, the Capitals had 18 base hits.

Trailing 1-0 after five innings, it was the sixth inning where the Edmonton bats came alive off of Vipers’ starter Stephen Whalen. With the game tied at one, Collaro would hit a three run home run, and would cap off a six run inning for Edmonton.

The Capitals then scored four more runs in the seventh and two runs in the eighth inning to take a 12-1 lead.

Game six of the series is this afternoon at 2pm at Edmonton’s Telus Field.

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Capitals tie North Division Championship at 2

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

The Edmonton Capitals slugged their way to a 14-7 win over the Calgary Vipers on Friday to tie their North Division Championship Series at two.

The Capitals scored seven times in the fourth inning alone to erase a 4-2 deficit and go up 9-4. The inning was highlighted by a grand slam by Capitals’ leadoff hitter, center fielder Steve Brown. Another Capital who performed admirably Friday night at Foothills Stadium was first baseman Brent Metheny, who went four for four with three runs scored and three runs batted in.

The Vipers actually collected 16 hits themselves, four of them from right fielder Lino Garcia.

A major reason for the Edmonton victory was the outstanding control by the Capitals’ pitching staff and the inaccuracy of the Vipers. Edmonton pitchers combined for zero walks compared to ten by the Vipers’ staff. Vipers’ starter Dusty Gober had six walks in three and a third innings alone.

The Edmonton-Calgary winner will now play the Rio Grande Valley White Wings  in the first North American  Baseball League Championship. The White Wings defeated the San Angelo Colts 9-0 Friday to sweep the South Division Championship 4-0.

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Vipers hammer Capitals

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

The Calgary Vipers destroyed the Edmonton Capitals on Thursday to take a 2-1 series lead in the best-out-of-seven North Division Championship Series of the North American Baseball League.

The Vipers dominated the first four innings outscoring the Capitals 11-0, en route to a 15-3 thrashing of their provincial rivals at Foothills Stadium.

Third baseman Chad Ehrnsberger led the Vipers’ attack going three for six with four runs batted in. The Vipers had 14 hits in all, and also recorded a pair of hits each from first baseman C.J. Ziegler and centerfielder Jonny Kaplan.

With the Vipers leading 3-0 in the second, Ziegler recorded a key two run double that scored shortstop Wilver Perez and pitcher Mark Michael, to put the Vipers up 5-0.


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Capitals tie series at 1 with Vipers

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

The Edmonton Capitals have tied their series at one with the Calgary Vipers in the North Division Championship Series.

Right fielder Todd Linden went five for five as the Capitals defeated the Vipers 7-5 in game two of the series at Telus Field on Wednesday night.

Ironically it was a former Viper that played an instrumental role in Edmonton’s win. With the game tied at four in the fifth inning, Carlos Duncan recorded an RBI groundout that scored Steve Brown from third base to put the Capitals up for good, 5-4.

Edmonton collected 15 hits on Wednesday, 11 on Vipers’ starter Manny Ayala.

Capitals’ shortstop Rex Rundgren was also strong offensively with three hits.

The best-out-of-seven series now shifts to Calgary’s Foothills Stadium. Game three of the series starts tonight at 6:30pm.

In the South Division Championship Series, the San Angelo Colts will host the Rio Grande Valley White Wings in game three tonight. The White Wings leads the Colts 2-0.

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Vipers win Game One of Northern Final

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

The Calgary Vipers have the 1-0 lead in the North Division Championship Series.

Tuesday night at Edmonton’s Telus Field, the Vipers scored three times in the fifth inning and five times in the eighth inning en route to a convincing 9-3 win over the Edmonton Capitals.

Down 1-0 heading into the sixth inning, right fielder Lino Garcia recorded a big two run RBI single to put the Vipers up 2-1 at the time. Calgary would never look back. Leading 4-1 in the eighth inning, C.J. Ziegler finished the deal with a grand slam home run to put the Vipers up a convincing 9-1 score.

On the mound, Mike Burns pitched eight very solid innings, only giving up one earned run. He also delivered excellent control, with five strikeouts and no walks.

Last night was the first game of the best-of-seven series. Game two is tonight in Edmonton at 7pm.

In the South Division Championship, the Rio Grande Valley White Wings defeated the San Angelo Colts 13-3 to take a 2-0 lead.

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Kerrzy’s Notebook: North American League In Trouble?

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011
The North American Baseball League is looking shaky as it nears the end of its inaugural season, but will it fold?

While the Edmonton Capitals have had a pretty successful run so far, sitting in a tie for first place heading into the final week of the season, the same can’t be said for teams like Orange County, Lake County and Maui. The problems being had by those clubs, especially the last two, has some people wondering about the future of the league itself.

The OC Flyers weren’t even on the schedule at the start of the season, because they were forced to “go dark” for 2011 when they couldn’t find a place to play for the year. When it comes to the Lake County Fielders and Maui Na Koa Ikaika though, the problems run much deeper than a venue.

The Fielders made headlines last month when play-by-play guy Qumar Zaman aired out the team’s dirty laundry in a post-game rant that ended in him announcing his resignation from the broadcast booth. As it turned out, the owners were a little slow when it came to handing out paychecks and players weren’t getting “meal money” on the road…which doesn’t sound too bad, until you realize the team started the season on a six-week road trip!

The situation in Lake County turned ugly in a hurry – the coach was sacked after complaining about going months without getting paid and a bit of a protest was staged the next night, with some guys refusing to play and the interim coach using everyone else out of position. That didn’t go over too well with the big wigs and Pete LaCock was fired, while 23 players were either released or traded in the following days. Lake County’s problems didn’t end there though…READ MORE… (more…)

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