Men’s fastpitch softball is virtually non-existent in Parksville Qualicum Beach.
There are still those who live in the region that play the sport, but they have to go out of town to do it. The closest is the Nanaimo Seniors Men’s Fastball League. Port Alberni used to have a summer fastball league but that has now folded and has been replaced by a slo-pitch league.
One local diehard fastball player Gord Alberg has decided to treat fans in Parksville Qualicum with an opportunity to watch men’s fastball.
“I have received a lot of interest from people here who would love to watch games,” said Alberg, who has been playing fastball for 33 years.
“Some people have to go to Nanaimo to watch and I said if I have time I would organize games here in Qualicum for people to come and watch.”
On Aug. 11, men’s fastball will be at Qualicum Beach at the East Rec Field featuring three teams — Parksville Red Sox, which consist of players that won the provincials in 2009, Longwood from Nanaimo, and Campbell River.
“I just put the Red Sox team back together this year,” said Alberg. “We have a few returning players from when we won the provincials. We still have a good squad and we have a good thrower from New Zealand. There will be some pretty good ball happening on that day.”
The schedule of the games are 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Alberg is hoping to revive the interest in fastball here in Parksville Qualicum Beach.
“I have been trying to promote the sport and I have tried to get young guys that would come out and play full time,” said Alberg.
“I have a couple of guys that want to play and that’s the biggest thing… to get young people to come out.
“There’s not as much interest as there was. There’s a lot coming up in the mainland. I was in a tournament in Ladner this year and there was three young clubs that were really good. So there’s some hope. A lot of the older guys just want to help keep the game going and giving back.”
At the moment, to keep their passion alive, Alberg said during the winter season they head down to Australia to play fastball there.
“That’s kind of what the game has come to,” said Alberg, who is a catcher.
“Pitching has become a premium so lots of the time we bring in Kiwis and Aussies up here and some of our players here go down there and play in the winter time.”
Alberg is asking the public to come out and enjoy the game of men’s fastball. He thanked sponsors MAG Flashing and Highway 4 rentals for the fencing.