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April 26, 2001 Varsity baseball is alive and well at Concordia






by John Austen

Howard Schwartz says rumours of Concordia’s baseball going the way of the dodo bird are totally unfounded. In fact, the veteran manager believes the program should be stronger than ever.

Last season, Concordia played most of its games against just two teams, McGill and Université Laval. This year, Schwartz is banking on the league re-aligning itself so that his squad will also play against Ontario schools.

“Our players don’t want to just play McGill and Laval again, and I don’t blame them,” said Schwartz, who has been at the helm of the Concordia team since its inception six years ago.

“We’re trying to get things done so that we’ll also be playing schools like Carleton and the University of Ottawa, who are now in the Ontario division. There has never been a doubt that baseball will continue here at Concordia.

“It still a fledgling situation,” he continued. “We just have to work out all the bugs to make sure baseball stays a bona fide varsity sport.”

The Montreal teams often have a tougher go of it than their Quebec City counterparts because the talent pool here is spread throughout the city.

“We have great players, but there are four schools — UQAM, Université de Montreal, McGill and us — all vying for their attention,” Schwartz said. “In Quebec City, you have Laval and that’s it!”

Schwartz, who has a lifetime university coaching record of 39 wins and 58 losses, says it’s a good brand of baseball similar to NCAA Division 2 in the U.S.

At least six players are expected back from last year’s team, including Adam Little, Dan Nathan, Marc St. Hilaire and Nick Cirino.

“The prospects are good that we’ll get some great players who have played Junior Elite ball here in the province,” said Schwartz. “There is a big powerful first baseman and a great left-handed pitcher. It’s going to be great to see.

“I want to emphasize though that there are still spots open,” he continued. “We want a good turnout when tryouts start at the beginning of August.”

Before getting down to business at Concordia, Schwartz will be in Israel managing the Canadian boys’ baseball team at the 16th Maccabiah Games.

Concordia plays its home games at the main field in T.M.R., while McGill plays at Centennial Park in Côte St. Luc. The season is scheduled to get under way just after Labour Day.

The Concordia team, which as of last year gets some funding from the university, will hold a fundraising golf tournament August 24 at the Hemmingford Golf Club, with all proceeds going to the baseball program. Tickets cost $85 per person, which includes 18 holes of golf, an electric cart and a steak dinner.

For information on the golf tournament or the baseball program at Concordia contact Howard Schwartz at 482-0227.