Summer in the Foothills goes hand in hand with Dawgs baseball.
The Okotoks Dawgs celebrate 10 years in Okotoks with its home opener on June 2, when the rival Medicine Hat Mavericks come into the Seaman Stadium for the first of a two game set.
The Dawgs are a summer collegiate team boasting four championship seasons in the Western Major Baseball League. Okotoks won back-to-back-to-back WMBL championships from 2007-2009. Their home games are played out of the Seaman Stadium, located at North Railway Street and 32nd Street. With the 2,000 seat Seaman Stadium and the Duvernay Fieldhouse and Tourmaline Field, the Okotoks facility has become the top amateur baseball facility in Canada.
The Dawgs program has also put Okotoks on the national baseball map.
Dawgs managing director John Ircandia said the hope is to develop players through the youth program and give them the opportunity to play at the collegiate level.
The Dawgs’ senior team, which brings in players from NCAA Division I schools for the three-month season, is also a development program helping player move up to the professional ranks. A number of former Dawgs have been drafted by Major League Baseball, including Dawgs Academy product Tyler Hollick, a San Francisco Giant draftee. Dawgs alumnus Jim Henderson was the first player in organization history to play in the majors in 2012 and has since moved on to the Chicago Cubs organization.
The Dawgs play 24 home league games with the potential for another nine home playoff dates.
Highlights include a Father’s Day showdown on June 18 against the Brooks Bombers as well as a battle with the Swift Current Indians on Canada Day followed by fireworks. As well the Canada Breast Cancer Pink Day, in which players’ jerseys are auctions to raise money for breast cancer research. The auction has raised more than $100,000 over the years.
A hall-of-famer and a few of his world champion teammates will make a stop at Seaman Stadium this summer. Former Blue Jay Roberto Alomar is one of the ex-big leaguers who will be at the Honda Blue Jays Super Camp. The camp is for youths from nine to 16 years old. For more information on the Okotoks Dawgs call 262-DAWG (3294) or visit their website for a schedule and ticket information at www.dawgsbaseball.ca.