You may have seen them walking around campus proudly wearing jackets that read ‘Concordia Baseball’, which either probably had you doing a double take or dismissing it as a typo.
However, neither of these could be considered the appropriate reaction because the truth is… Concordia does have a baseball team.
Now for those of you that do know about the university’s baseball team there is a good chance that you also happen to be aware of the fact that they’re pretty good.
It just so happens that the well-balanced team of youngsters and seasoned veterans is currently ranked fifth in the country and is hopeful of improving on that positioning.
“There is a confidence with this team that I have never seen before,” said head coach Howard Schwartz at a team practice this past weekend.
Schwartz has been coaching the team since it was created eight years ago and expresses a belief that this team is capable of going as far as they want this year.
“No matter how much I want, the guys want to look at the games one at a time. It’s hard not to look ahead,” he said.
It’s obvious how much Schwartz loves the game as he runs through an explanation of what the team’s various drills are and points out the good, bad and ugly things that he sees during the team’s brief exercises.
Over the years the team has gone from a squad that finished with a record of 4-14 in its inaugural season to one that has made it to the provincial championships four of the last five years.
It seems that the team is destined for another appearance in the provincials but the question is whether or not they can finally knock off Laval, which has beat them ever year they have made it to the finals.
“This is the most talent that we’ve had since I’ve been here,” said fourth-year captain and last year’s MVP Dan Nathan. “If we play to our potential we can accomplish anything we want.”
As for those of you who love the infamous Concordia-McGill sports rivalries, it isn’t a fact that has been lost on this competitive bunch.
“Laval is our biggest rival,” said Schwartz. “But I used to say that I didn’t care if we go 4 and a million just so long as we sweep McGill.”
Concordia has lived up to their coach’s expectations so far this year by outscoring McGill 19-5 in two victories.
The players also feel that despite the fact they have been deprived of some much deserved recognition that they are still proud to be representing their school.
“There’s nothing like playing for your school. You just really want to win,” said centre fielder Nick Cirino.
“There are some people who know a lot about the team, but that’s spread by members of the team. We know how good we are,” said Nathan. “The fact that we’re fifth in the country is something that people should be interested in.”
So Concordia baseball fans (we know you’re out there), prove to Nathan and the rest of the Concordia baseball team that you are interested.
Take the 104 bus down Cavendish Blvd., wait a couple stops after it turns left on Mackle and you’ll find yourself at the Pierre Elliot Trudeau baseball park where Concordia plays its next home game tonight at 7:30 p.m. against John Abbott.
Other home games this week: Sunday vs. McGill @ 12:00 and Monday vs. McGill @ 7:30.