Jokingly described as “country bumpkins,” the Assiniboine Golden Aces senior coed slo-pitch team went to Saskatoon on August 2930 for the SPN (Saskatchewan Provincial–National) tournament and returned with the B-side title.
This tournament is essentially the provincial playdowns for senior slo-pitch, explained David Weiman, the team’s spokesperson. The Golden Aces was the only rural team in the provincials.
Other teams in the tournament were: two from Regina, one from Saskatoon and one from Prince Albert. “After the first day of play, the Aces stood at one and one, losing to Prince Albert in the morning and then defeating the Regina Rebels in a very close game,” Weiman said. As an example of the calibre of play, he noted that the Rebels had won the silver medal in the National Senior Fitness Slo-pitch Playdowns last year in Alberta.
Day Two began with a match against the Regina Renegades, which won the game by four runs, sending the Aces to the B side of the tournament, he said. Later in the afternoon, the Aces played the same Rebels of the day before and won the return match as well.
“So the Golden Aces walked away from the tournament with a two-win, two-loss record,” Weiman said. Generally, the players felt “they got average results from average play.”
The team statistician reported that the team did have a better batting average than last year when the Aces played in the same tournament, he said. Unfortunately, it was errors at “expensive times” that resulted in losses for a couple of the games.
Prince Albert did go on to defeat the Saskatoon Reds in the final. Players on the Golden Aces team felt that “in an over-55 co-ed tournament (with a few members already in their early 70s), we did quite well,” said Weiman. “We also know that we can play better so who knows what can happen next year?”
For a number of the players with the Aces, a three-month sabbatical will be taken and then they will “fly south” to play winter ball, he said. Others on the team will take up curling and hockey, and still others will just try and stay out of trouble.
Like all good ball teams, the players are already planning for next year, he said. This streak of optimism “probably comes from the farming background of most the players.”
Weiman invited slo-pitch fans to come out next summer and see the five regional senior slo-pitch teams in action when they host their local tournaments.