Wednesday 7 September 2016

He must really love the game

I felt like going to a baseball game last Saturday and toyed with the idea of driving down to Binghamton, NY to see the Mets AA team play but instead decided to see the hometown Ottawa Champions play in the Can-Am League, or the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball.

The Can-Am League just named the Champion's skipper as their Manager of the Year. He is a baseball lifer that has been managing in Independent Leagues for the last 20 years!

The Ottawa Champions finished their second year in the league on Monday afternoon, finishing fourth and qualifying for the playoffs. But the fun story for Monday's game was that they had a Cy Young winner starting the game for them, former Dodger closer Eric Gagne.

As you can see with Lanier's card above, a team set was put out for this year's Champions. I'm not sure who made them, but being a card collector I picked up a set.

Lanier's stat line shows 26 years of management, but Baseball Reference only seems to show 24 seasons, but there are openings where the two missing years could fit. His playing stats are shown in the last half of the stat line above.

Let's take a look at the rest of the set.

The stats are not explained on the back of Billy Horn's card. From looking at Baseball Reference, it looks as though these stats are from pitching for Long Beach in the Golden Baseball League and for Grosseto in the Italian Baseball League. Although baseball fans can guess what some of the stats are, they appear to be: W, L, ERA, G, GS, CG, IP, H, ER, BB, K.

I'm not sure who made these cards, but I think that I would like a little more information than this.

I'm going to show the entire team in case somebody recognizes someone that they watched in the past.

The Ottawa Champions begin the playoffs tonight in a best-of-five series with the New Jersey Jackals. Good luck, Champions!

To finish this post, and to reward those reading to the end, I will copy my final paragraph from yesterday's post:

Finally, for those who have read this far, I'm going to have a giveaway to celebrate the first anniversary of my blog on September 9th! On Friday, I will randomize the names of anyone who leaves a comment on any posts that I make this week and I will try find a nice prize for the winner to fit their collection. So please leave a comment, and list a team or player to guide my choice if you win, otherwise who knows what I'll send you as a prize?


  1. I was just reading about Gagne's reemergence this morning - seems odd to pull a stunt like that in a game of that magnitude, to me anyway. Nevertheless, definitely made for an interesting story and it must have been quite fun to watch.

  2. I have to say I like the Ottawa "Blue Sunrise" uniform.. Minor league sets like this are always interesting to me..

  3. Cool post. I remember collecting some of Lanier's old Giants cards from his playing days in the '60s.

  4. Congratulations on the anniversary. Hope the inclement weather suspension lets the Champions refocus and come back in game 1.

  5. I also didn't know Lanier managed the Goldeyes for so many years.. 1996-2005

  6. Any oddball set is a cool oddball set. Although... it would have been a tiny bit cooler had they included Gagne in it.