Bike lanes are dry, beaches are getting full, and baseball is back with a bang in East Vancouver. Make sure to catch East Van Baseball Opening Weekend April 20 – 22 at Sunrise Park – located at 5th & Rupert, East Vancouver.
East Van Baseball (#3VBL) is up for their third season! What started as friendly grudge match for boasting rights between two sprightly upstart sandlot baseball clubs comprised of friends from around East Van’s music scene has now evolved to a full-blown, 10-team league comprised of Vancouver-based artists, musicians, small business owners, and baseball enthusiasts, brought together by a shared passion for baseball.
“Hard balls, wood bats, no shorts, and naturally – no crying” stipulates the organization’s Instagram profile. East Van Baseball’s mission is to make recreational baseball accessible for ballplayers of all skill levels, aged 19 and up.
The League has a number of new things in store for #3VBL – including the first annual East Van Baseball Home Run Derby & Beer Garden, presented by league partner Strathcona Beer Company; and Saturday Night Baseball – a series of summer evening “marquee match-ups”, which will feature walk-up music, vendor tents, and stoked rivalries – which the League says will give players and spectators something extra to get hyped-up about.
Despite having a staggering 150-person waiting list, the League has elected not to pursue expansion in 2018, and instead focus on perfection.
“We want to get better before we get any bigger” says Co-Founder and Creative Director, Evan Wansbrough. “We’re going for a Heavy Metal Parking Lot meets The Warriors type of vibe this season. The quality of baseball is improving steadily, the smack talk remains industrial-grade, and our job is to make sure the players keep having a good time. We’re a 100% player-run organization so we have a good idea what we need to do to keep improving”.
While the rivalries may be friendly, the competition remains fierce, and in a group of players with a range in skill from beginner to veteran, East Van Baseball has demonstrated baseball can be done successfully in a competitive yet inclusive nature nature without compromising the traditional aspects of the game.
As for predictions – East Van Baseball’s first two seasons saw back-to-back championships by the Mt. Pleasant Murder, but when probed for speculation on the possibility of a three-peat, Co-Founder / Commissioner Court Overgaauw stated plainly: “If it came down to a three-peat for the Murder, or a case of Commissioner Intervention to prevent that outcome, well, I can tell you smart money’s always on the house, isn’t it?”
Whatever the outcome, East Van Baseball appears to be poised for a highly entertaining summer of sandlot baseball in East Vancouver.
To join the league as a ringer, please visit www.eastvanbaseball.com
V.I.A. is a proud sponsor of the EVBL