I love this time of year. Even though the weather outside is looking rather nasty today (Wednesday) as I pen this column, the days are growing longer and the weather is getting warmer.
In my mind that means only one thing - baseball season is finally here.
Yes, the boys of summer are back for another season in the sun. As many of my colleagues here at Coast Reporter already know, I am somewhat of a sports freak.
I have a split share of Vancouver Canucks season tickets with my dad, although I've been to only a handful of games this season, thanks to B.C. Ferries! I love the NFL and NCAA college football, but nothing gets my mojo running more than the Major League Baseball season.
In a column last year, I detailed a baseball road trip that my father and I took through Chicago, Milwaukee and Minnesota.This year, due to other commitments, we have only a short weekend trip planned for Houston and Seattle to catch my beloved New York Yankees taking apart the Mariners. But for me, it really doesn't matter how many live games I catch, April to October is my favourite time of the year.
I'm also looking forward to covering a lot of baseball here on the Coast. We have a lot of talented youngsters here and a lot of parents and volunteers who go out of their way to make baseball and softball a pleasurable experience for all to enjoy.
I've been cooped up for too many hours inside the Sunshine Coast Arena this winter, so it's going to be nice to get outside and take in a little baseball.
Through my travels the past few weeks, I've already seen a few youngsters out practicing.
Baseball and softball leagues in Sechelt and Gibsons have been promoting registration the past month, and during spring break, the Central Hardball League has a special clinic set for Connor Park.
Last year, the Sunshine Coast had a banner year on the ball diamond. Gibsons saw an unprecedented amount of success with several teams winning provincial championships.
With any luck, we'll see even bigger success this year.
Not to be outdone was Halfmoon Bay's Madison Lamb, who made Team Canada. And how about Gibsons' Ryan Dempster?
Demp is currently in rehab nursing his injured arm back to full strength. He hopes to join his new team, the Chicago Cubs, in late July, just in time for a pennant run. With a new team, a new city and a new lease on his baseball career, the sky's the limit for Dempster. It's going to be great following his progress this season.
Who knows, with some luck I might even be able to convince my publisher to send me on a road trip to Chicago to cover Dempster's return to the majors.
One can only dream.