New season starts for IBL, Hamilton Thunderbirds

Play ball!

And they will on Sunday (May 6) at Bernie Arbour Stadium. The Hamilton Thunderbirds launch their 2007 Intercounty Baseball League season on the weekend, laying a home-and-home series with the Brantford Red Sox. The senior T-Birds play their season opener on Saturday in the Telephone City and the kickoff the home portion of the schedule at 2:15 p.m. Sunday at the East Mountain sport complex.

Part of Sunday’s Dofasco Opening Day ceremonies will include The Comic Connection of Westdale giving a free comic book to the first 100 children entering the park.

Teenage Head (Frankie Venom, Steve Marshall, Gord Lewis, and Jack Pedler) will participate in throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.

The ceremonies will include Mayor Fred Eisenberger dedicating the stadium press box as the “Bill Sturrup Press Box” in recognition of the long-time Hamilton baseball and sports announcer. Sturrup got his career started as a 15-year-old PA announcer with the Pennsylvania Ohio New York (PONY) League Hamilton Cardinals of the 1950s at the Civic Baseball Stadium.

Bill’s wife Kathy and daughter Deb and son Mike will be on hand to recognize the first recipients of the Bill Sturrup Golden Mike Bursary Awards for Radio and Print Journalism at Mohawk College – Deshane Bartley and Jeff McAlister. The awards are sponsored by the Thunderbirds. McAlister, a Burlington resident, will be working with the Thunderbirds as their in-stadium announcer for the 2007 season.

The Thunderbirds season will feature a number of other special says this season. Those days are Sunday, May 13, Mother’s Day / Turkstra Lumber; Sunday, June 10, Comic Connection Card Flipping Tournament Part I; Sunday, June 17, Father’s Day / Stoney Creek Furniture; Friday, June 22, Cub Scout Jamboree/ Hamilton Bulldogs Night in the Ballpark; Sunday, July, 1, Double Header / Tourism Hamilton; and Sunday, July 22, Pink Ladies Cancer Charity, and the Comic Connection Card Flipping Tournament Part II.

In addition, fans will be invited to run the bases following Hamilton home games on Sunday, June 10; Sunday, June 17; Friday, June 22, and Friday, June 29 and Sunday, July 22.