As major league organizations open spring training across Arizona and Florida, the Victoria HarbourCats are primed for a 2016 that could turn out to be an historic year on a number of fronts.
For one, when the team opens the season in Walla Walla, WA on June 3, they will become the first Victoria-based baseball team to play a fourth season since the Victoria Athletics/Tyees played in the B.C. capital from 1946 to 1952.
Secondly, after increasing win totals in each of the first three seasons, narrowly missing the playoffs by two games in 2015, the HarbourCats will look to become the first Victoria baseball team to reach the playoffs since the 1952 Tyees won the Western International League pennant.
Finally, after three seasons of elite collegiate baseball talent putting on the HarbourCats uniform, several alumni find themselves in major league organizations as spring begins, and the HarbourCats are preparing to see their first alumni reach the majors.
Eight HarbourCats alumni are currently in spring training, including Nick Pivetta, RHP (Philadeophia Phillies), Nathan Lukes, OF (Cleveland Indians), Alex Real, C (Minnesota Twins), Logan Lombana, RHP, (Minnesota Twins) and Gabe Clark, 1B (Toronto Blue Jays).