It’s play ball for Hamilton’s IBL team with many names

The Hamilton Thunderbirds open their 50th season in the Intercounty Baseball League at Christie Pitts in Toronto against the Maple Leafs on Sunday, May 1 starting at 2 p.m.

The Thunderbirds’ roots date back to 1958 when the Hamilton Beavers were formed to play in the Senior Inter-County Baseball League, now known as the Intercounty Baseball League. The Beavers were renamed the Cardinals in 1960 and from 1962 to 1965 the team played in the Ontario Baseball Association and captured the 1965 championship before returning to the Senior Inter-County for the 1966 season.

Along the way, the Cardinals became the Red Wings then evolved into the Marlins and then the Real McCoys and finally, they re-discovered their roots as the Cardinals in 1975. Three years later the team won its first IBL championship.

The team remained the Cardinals until late January 2005 when four Hamilton businessmen purchased the franchise and christened the team the Hamilton Thunderbirds.

This season the Thunderbirds look to electrify their opposition and bring a new attitude to Bernie Arbour Stadium. With former Thunderbird player Matt Fortuna as the new field manager the team looks to carry itself as a professional, well-disciplined team that is prepared to compete against the top teams in the league.

Tickets for all Hamilton Thunderbirds home games are available at the Bernie Arbour Stadium Box Office on game day. For more information on Thunderbirds season tickets visit Fans can listen to every Friday night home game on INDI 101 FM or online at