T-Birds join IBL allstars in showcase game

Three members of the Thunderbirds will represent the Hamilton team at this year’s Intercounty Baseball League’s all-star game on Saturday (July 5). The select players will take on the IBL’s defending champions, the Maple Leafs at Toronto’s Christie Pits Park. Catcher Henry Duke, pitcher Zac Staniewicz, and outfielder Richard Rausch will wave the Thunderbirds’ flag.

Canadian baseball legend Ferguson Jenkins will throw out the ceremonial first pitch and also play in a special charity slo-pitch game before the allstars and Leafs take to the field at 2 p.m. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Leafs, who have made Christie Pits their only home diamond.

“It’s a special anniversary for our ballclub and there’s no way to better celebrate it than to have the New Era All-Star Game right at Christie Pits,” Dominico says. “We have a special charity slo-pitch game to kick things off and then the game itself. We know everybody will enjoy the day.”

Christie Pits is an open ballpark so there will be no admission charge, the norm for Maple Leaf regular season games. But fans are encouraged to bring along a non-perishable food item to help support the Parkdale Community Food Bank.

The celebrity game will feature Jenkins, Walter Gretzky, horse racing legend Sandy Hawley, boxing great Donovan Boucher and a wide array of NHL alumni, including several former Toronto Maple Leafs. All proceeds from the game will be given to the Parkdale Community Food Bank.