Seaman Stadium Named Best Ballpark
OKOTOKS, Alberta – Seaman Stadium, the home of the Okotoks Dawgs has been recognized as the Best Ballpark in Summer Collegiate Baseball by Ballpark Digest, one of America’s top online baseball resources.
“The Dawgs are honoured to have our home, Seaman Stadium, recognized as the best ballpark in summer collegiate baseball. Seaman Stadium is a $20-million facility that was built as a labour of love to offer talented youth and summer collegiate players on both sides of the border facilities where they could hone their skills to the highest level,” said John Ircandia, founding and managing director of the Dawgs, about the tremendous honour.
“The stadium is the centerpiece of an amateur showcase consisting of two college-level stadiums, three youth fields and an indoor training center, all set in an MLB Spring Training like setting. The support of our market communities in Okotoks, the Foothills and the greater Calgary area has been described by a national newspaper as a ‘grassroots phenomenon’ and with fans now supporting our summer collegiate Dawgs to the tune of 4,500 fans per game, that statement was never so true.”
The Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) boasts some of summer college’s finest facilities, including Legacy Dodge Stadium in Fort McMurray, Gulls Field in Sylvan Lake and the former professional and newly renovated stadiums in Lethbridge (Spitz Stadium) and Medicine Hat (Athletic Park).
“I’m thrilled to extend my heartfelt congratulations to the Dawgs and the Okotoks community for Seaman Stadium’s well-deserved recognition as the best ballpark in summer collegiate baseball. This achievement is a testament to the entire Dawgs organization’s dedication, passion, and hard work in fostering a world-class facility that challenges young talent and enriches our beloved sport,” said WCBL President Kevin Kvame.
“In appreciation of this achievement, I also extend my gratitude to Kevin Reichard, the founder and publisher of Ballpark Digest, for their role in spotlighting the Dawgs success. Let’s celebrate Seaman Stadium’s remarkable title while acknowledging the WCBL’s array of outstanding ballparks, each contributing to the vibrant summer collegiate baseball experience like no other, right here on the prairies of Western Canada.”
Ircandia expressed gratitude to the fans of the Dawgs for supporting Seaman Stadium in the ballpark fan-voting contest.
“The Dawgs are proud to be the marquee franchise in the WCBL, the premier summer college league in Canada, and we thank our fans for expressing to our southern neighbors what we in Canada have known for some time: Seaman Stadium truly is the best ballpark in all of summer collegiate baseball,” he said, adding the facility has proved beneficial to Dawgs Youth Academy as well.
“In keeping with our Dawgs vision, our youth academy has been ranked third in North America by Perfect Game, with numerous graduating players receiving scholarships to top U.S. colleges. Since 2009, the Dawgs Academy has over 230 college placements, including 59 NCAA Division I players, with over $12-million in scholarship money earned. It is an illustration of the incredible success of the youth academy that U.S. college baseball powerhouse Oregon State University will be conducting a portion of its fall training and playing inter-squad games against Dawgs Academy teams at the Seaman Stadium Complex this fall.”
The news from Ballpark Digest comes on the eve of the WCBL championship series, with the Dawgs facing off against the Medicine Hat Mavericks. The Dawgs finished the regular season with 40 wins and for the fourth consecutive season led the WCBL in wins, earning home field advantage for the finals. The club swept Fort McMurray and Sylvan Lake while Medicine Hat bested Regina and Moose Jaw to set up the championship series.
“It is hard to believe that 280 regular season and 13 playoff games have been completed in 2023, leaving us with only two or three more left to be played and determine a WCBL Champion for this season,” noted Kvame.
“I extend my congratulations to the defending champs from Okotoks and the new Eastern Division champs from Medicine Hat on their achievements to date, along with the honour of competing for the Harry Hallis Memorial Trophy as WCBL Champions. I look forward to seeing the capacity crowds expected at Seaman Stadium and Athletic Park cheer on the two teams battling for the annual honour.”
The schedule for the Championship is as follows:
- Game 1: Tuesday, August 15th @ 7:05 p.m., Seaman Stadium, Okotoks
- Game 2: Wednesday, August 16th @ 7:05 p.m., Athletic Park, Medicine Hat
- Game 3 (If necessary): Thursday, August 17th @ 7:05 p.m., Seaman Stadium, Okotoks