The Sport of Summer

Like many other kids living in Toronto during 1992 and 1993, I was obsessed with baseball. It was the years when the Toronto Blue Jays became back-to-back World Series Champions. My X-Men trading cards were replaced with baseball cards, I got my own Blue Jays jersey, and I started playing softball in the Kipling Grove league that first summer. Just like the smell of freshly cut grass or the jingle of an ice cream truck, for me, baseball is synonymous with summer.

With June marking the arrival of summer, there is no better month for us to devote our cover story to baseball. Diane Imrie, the executive director at Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, looks back at Thunder Bay’s baseball history, and Kat Lyzun delves into the city’s various beer leagues. And how could we cover baseball without including the Border Cats? Ayano Hodouchi Dempsey talks with the team’s management and owners about the new and improved Northwoods League team. We also take a trip to the stadium, profiling some of the unsung heroes at the ballpark, Kim Latimer gets the play-by-play from the Border Cats’ announcer Bryan Graham, and Bonnie Schiedel chats with some local baseball superfans.

Keeping with our theme, Laurie Abthorpe looks back at the history of the Port Arthur Stadium in our architecture spread, Stuff We Like is all about ideas for the baseball fan, and Chef Rachel Globensky talks ballpark food, sharing her delicious shrimp boil recipe.

Plus to help get you in the summer spirit, we get ready to celebrate Finn Fest on the solstice, go for a paddle on the city’s urban waterways, and, from Franciacorta to Champagne, sommelier Jeannie Dubois suggests some sparkling wines to enjoy in the summer sun.

June also brings Thunder Pride and to help celebrate the month-long event, Susan Goldberg chats with 2-spirit poet and novelist Joshua Whitehead, who will be involved in festival events, film columnist Michael Sobota (and Grand Marshall of the Pride Parade) provides his picks for queer sports films, and we also include an insert with information on events.

So as we get ready to celebrate the longest day of the year, we hope our June issue motivates you to unearth your ball glove, play some catch, join a league, or just go to a game and root for the home team.  

-Adrian Lysenko