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FIDDLER'S FACTS: Battling for Fiddler title


CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The 13th annual Jimmy (Fiddler) MacDonald Memorial Baseball Tournament got underway Friday in Charlottetown and continues throughout the weekend with the championship game set for Sunday afternoon at Victoria Park.  

The tournament, named in honour of the hall of fame pitching standout from the 1930s, has attracted 12 of the best mosquito AAA teams from this region, including four from Prince Edward Island.

The Eastern Express, handled by Darren MacEachern, is in first place in the Island league and is the top-seeded P.E.I. team while the Capital District Islanders (6-3) are next. K.J. White, Jack (Poochie) Burke and Mike Murphy coach the Islanders while the other P.E.I. teams are the Cornwall Cougars and Summerside Chevys.

There are four teams from both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in the event with the semifinals set for 12:45 p.m. on Sunday at City Diamond and Kiwanis Field. The winners advance to the 3 p.m. championship game at City Diamond.

In other baseball action today, the Charlottetown Gaudet’s Auto Body Islanders host Saint John in a senior league double-header at Memorial Field with the first game starting at 2 p.m.

The Islanders will likely start Brody McDonald and Jordan Stevenson, two of the best pitchers in the league, as well as the Islanders two best hitters.

Saint John ace Jack Shannon has fanned 67 in 43 innings with an 0.41 ERA. The Port City’s other ace, Shaun O’Toole, is 3-0 with a 2.67 ERA, which tells me if these four pitchers are all in action, runs will be hard to come by.

You can watch the big Islanders and the little Islanders today at Victoria Park.

Golf

The Maritime NHLers for Kids, a fundraising project started by NHL coach and Maritime native Rick Bowness 18 years ago, returns to P.E.I. next week for two big days.

On Wednesday night, there’s a big gala dinner at the Delta in Charlottetown with what is termed a Forbes Kennedy Tribute Dinner. Forbie’s best NHL days came in his years with Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers in the 1960s although he had stints with Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Kennedy jumped right into the NHL after his junior career with the Montreal Junior Canadiens, a rarity in the 1950s and 1960s. His longtime Bruins teammate, goaltender Ed Johnston, now an executive with the Pittsburgh Penguins, is coming in for the event and his stories alone should make for a great evening. The fundraiser concludes on Thursday with the golf tournament at Crowbush.

On the topic of golf and big names, Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant is out for maybe a week with an injured finger. His cousin Greg Bryant, who resides in the Fort Augustus area, fired a 68 to earn the spotlight Wednesday at Avondale.

George MacGuigan, who is home from Fort McMurray, fired a neat 73 over the same Vernon River course early this week. George hit 18 fairways – not bad for the second outing of the summer.

Harness racing

Live harness racing continues tonight at 6 p.m. in Charlottetown with a 12-dash card.

The $2,250 open mares goes in Race 11 with Dixie Lullaby in from Mohawk, but with the outside post. The $2,400 top class has Give Em Heck and Smiley Bayama leaving from 1-2 in a tough group, which includes Invictus Hanover, Jeb and Eagle Jolt.

Grand Circuit Week near Truro, N.S., continues tonight with the $7,500 Nova Scotia Exhibition Cup where five horses go behind the starting gate. They are His Boy Elroy, Crombie A, Junebugs Baby, Hot Deuce and Good Friday Three. The curtain comes down on the big week Sunday with the Stanfield stakes and with the Ontario versus Truro drivers challenge.

Congrats to those connected to last Saturday’s Governors Plate winner, Do Over Hanover, on their big win right in their own hometown. Kensington’s Matt MacKay, Jason Rice and Blaine Thibeau are among a big group, including young Steve MacRae and Rene Allard, which bought Do Over Hanover to win the $22,000 Governors Plate.

This is a form of fractional ownership and why it be so good for our game. Do Over Hanover is a legitimate Gold Cup and Saucer contender and the boys are living the dream.

Dancing at Midland, a two-year-old by A Rocknroll Dance from The Stable.Ca group with ownership here in the province was second in 1:52:4 in a $20,000 stake race Wednesday at The Meadows.

The Adios elimination go this afternoon, also at the Meadows, and the big boys are there, including Huntsville, Miso Fast, Fear the Dragon, Blood Line (Mark MacDonald).

At Saratoga tonight, Sintra, fresh of a 1:47:2 win for Jody Jamieson, meets top invitational pacers like Keystone Velocity, Somewhere in LA, Clear Vision (Mark MacDonald) in the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr Memorial.

The Maritime harness community was saddened to hear of the passing earlier this week of popular and prominent breeder Bob Gordon of Elmsdale, the master of Elm Grove Farms, which produced many Maritime champions. My condolences to all connected to this gentleman.

Fred MacDonald's column appears every Saturday in The Guardian. He can be reached at fiddlersfacts@hotmail.com.

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