Congratulations to the 2060 Weaver League Champions, the Vancouver Mounties!
As the season began, doubt began to creep into the minds of Vancouver fans that the Mounties would never be able to get over the hump. There always seemed to be something in the way: a veteran Long Beach team refusing to give up their spot atop the Roehm, a powerhouse Calabria squad competing against the ghosts of past dynasties, league administration seemingly dead set against the team’s rise… The Vancouver front office felt this vibe too, and the daily staff meeting always seemed to focus on the same topic: “should we rebuild, or should we stick it out and give it one more try?”
After some initial stumbles, the Mounties were in firm control of the Roehm Division by early May and cruised to a playoff spot, finishing 21 games ahead of the Lobsters. With a BLCS matchup looming against a looking-to-threepeat Calabria, betting worldwide heavily tilted towards the Godfathers. Vancouver didn’t back down, though, and successfully split the first 4 games of the series.
In Game 5, the Mounties offense scored 5 runs early to put the game out of reach, and Game 6 was set to enter extra innings, tied 1-1 heading into the bottom of the 9th. Could Vancouver shock the world and eke out a series win late? With closer RHP Reggie Traffley on the mound, things looked good until RF Billy Thompson slugged a massive 3-run walkoff HR to send the BLCS to 7. Game 7, in contrast to most of the games in the series, was a pitchers’ duel: RHP Matt Harvey held Calabria to 2 hits over 7 innings, RHP Max Scherzer logged a successful hold in relief, and RHP Jack Blair got his good buddy Reggie off the hook with a clutch save.
With a BLCS win in the books, Vancouver’s matchup with the Amity White Sharks featured a reunion of sorts: both sets of team executives had competed against each other as they were coming up the ladder in the minor leagues. Although earlier matchups had usually gone Amity’s way, Vancouver’s win over Calabria had given them a quiet confidence, and it showed as they split the 4 games in ping-pong fashion.
RHP Matt Harvey, looking to rebound from a tough loss in Game 2, led Vancouver to a Game 5 win on the road, striking out 10 and allowing only 1 run in 7.2 innings. Now, with 2 games at home, could the Mounties finally get it done? Game 6 started slowly enough, with Amity posting an early 1-0 lead and holding on until the bottom of the 8th. Amity’s bullpen, quietly efficient during the regular season, chose the worst possible time to blow up and allowed Vancouver to tie the game; if RHP Ethan Wilmot or LHP George Cross had logged the save, Game 7 would be on tap and anything could happen. Mounties LF Frank Barlow, however, was ready for his spotlight. With Cross’ fastball delivery just a little bit high in the zone, Barlow pounced, smashing a 390 ft HR deep to right field, sending the Vancouver crowd into hysterics.
After 29 seasons of interminable waiting, it was time to finally celebrate in Vancouver! Congratulations!