Remembering: Baseball In Ottawa

Baseball in Ottawa is back and they named their new team the Ottawa Fat Cats. The name is a good one for a number of reasons, the likes of which I will allow your imaginations to conceive. But the thought of baseball in Ottawa brings me back to the summer of 2007, the last year for the Lynx in Ottawa. Myself, The Man With The Golden Arm and Last Row 500’s were traveling to Ottawa to compete in an annual Slo-Pitch event hosted by a government agency that may or may not take your tax money every cheque and every year in April. Hint: they do. We compete in this mess of a tournament almost every year, the year before we traveled to Prince Edward Island where a team member showed up drunk to every game and thought it would be hilarious to hit the ball and run to third. Worst. Game. Ever. The Ottawa Lynx had been the Triple-A International League (IL) affiliate for three clubs, The Montreal Expos from 1993-2002, the Baltimore Orioles from 2003-2006 and the Philadelphia Phillies for 2007. While at the ball tournament in Ottawa we had a scheduled off day and we decided to go to Lynx Stadium to catch a ball game. The Rochester Red Wings were in town to open a four game series starting on Friday July 20th 2007. Game time was 7:05 pm, and we roll up to the ticket window around 6:00 pm in search of seats. I believe there were around 8 of us, and as such didn’t really believe we would get great seats. We walk up to the ticket window and ask for the “best available” seats they have. The gentleman behind the window says, “sure, how does rows 1 and 2 sound?” So, let me get this straight. I wheel up, an hour before game time and I can sit right next to the Lynx dugout on the field? Yes, that’s correct. And it’s only going to cost me $10 a ticket? Yes, that’s correct. Done. We get to our seats and we have two rows of four seats, rows 1 and 2, literally a stone’s throw away from the Lynx dugout. The Lynx, a farm system club for the Philadelphia Phillies featured new Toronto hero, Randy Ruiz. Pitching for the Lynx was RHP Bubba Nelson and LHP Dave Gassner on the bump for Rochester. The game would go on and it was a close one. After the Rochester half of the third inning there was a fly out to the centrefielder. As he was running into the dugout he spotted a couple of young girls asking for the ball he had just caught. As he drew closer to the stands he underhand flipped the ball to the waiting girl and you can just see the joy in her eyes. On this day however, The Man With The Golden Arm had other plans. As the ball was mid-air, Golden Arm stood up, stuck his hand up over the young girl’s shoulder and snatched the ball from her waiting glove. She looked up at him in disbelief, almost expecting him to give her the ball. He looked down at her and said "life is tough kid, now beat it." There was a paltry 1,934 fans in attendance that day, I’m sure that anyone in the entire stadium could have got a ball. It’s actually quite funny to hear ALL 1,934 fans boo at the same time, together. And boo they did! One guy in the row behind us called it saying "they must be from the city." Yes it was a dick move, yes everyone booed him, but fuck it was a nice catch! Question: So what do you do when EVERY person in the stadium is booing you? Answer: The only thing you can do.....stand up, turn around, address the crowd and boo yourself. And that is exactly what Golden Arm did. As the game went on the kids continued to run down the aisle looking for caught baseballs from the players but at the same time, we had more to drink, so I’m unaware if the kids received their prize. Final score was 6-3 in favour of the Lynx pushing their record to 39-57 at the time. Bubba Nelson got the win, Gassner took the loss, with Gary Burnham and Joe Thurston added a big fly each. And yes, 4 of us got baseballs. But here is where the story gets interesting. I was wearing a very distinct shirt to the game. It was green and white and featured a horizontal striped pattern that was very noticeable. We were staying a hotel in Ottawa that, apparently, players on the Ottawa Lynx stayed. So after the game we head back to the hotel and we do whatever it is we do after a game. I remember getting into an elevator at the hotel and just as the door was closing, I heard a “hold the elevator please”, so I did. Two players from the Ottawa Lynx get into the elevator with me. They look at me, I look at them. No words are exchanged. Elevator is slowly moving up. Around the third floor, one of them turns around to me and asks “were you at the game today?” I respond “why, yes I was! We were right by the dugout.” After a slight pause he turns back around and says “aren’t you the dude who stole the ball from the little kid?” I laughed and said “what? What kind of person does that? Of course not.” He looked at me odd, and turn around. They exited on the 7th floor. They must have recognized the shirt. As soon as I got back to the room, I informed Golden Arm that not only did the fans notice he stole a ball from a little kid but also the players. I cursed him for putting me in that position of having to answer to ball players about stealing baseballs. Minor league baseball is fun, its intimate and allows for the actual baseball fan to see players developing and future stars. Players such as Randy Ruiz, along with Matt Stairs, Rondell White and Javier Vazquez all played for Ottawa. And I’m sure that they would have been equally agitated had they seen Golden Arm steal a ball from a kid. Note to all those who plan on attending a game with Golden Arm. He will yell. A lot. He will wear a helmet occasionally, and he will steal baseballs from children.


  1. No, I stole a ball from Last Row 500's wife that game as well...

  2. there was 1900 fans there? that's about 4 times as much as there normally was. The Fat cats will probably only last one season, but it might be a memorable one. Some notes from opening weekend. 1. No beer allowed in the the seats, only on the concourse and in the family pinic section. no joke. 2. The right fielder might be the best pitcher on the team. 3. At one point on saturday the pitcher had beaned as many players as he had struck out, 3 or 4 i think. 4. There was a give away of a 12 pack of Dr pepper for everyone that showed up, with all the small kids running around lugging 12 packs it looked like the stadium was being looted.

    One last question: is jamie briggs taking the Hinske "K" picture? We used to share rent in ottawa.

  3. Nice recap thank you!

    I LOVE Doctor Pepper. Free 12 packs = money.

    I heard the Fat Cats have to pay the other teams expenses to get to Ottawa and stay there. Hotel bills, meal money, bus fair etc.

    Our boy Briggsy did not take the photo. His hand and half his face were captured in the moment though. The photographer was Christine Girl (we like aliases)

    You may want to check out Jimmy Triggs's work:




    Your welcome!