By Ned Bekavac
Guelph’s celebratory baseball spring has taken a bit of a hit.
The 2012 ball season is welcoming a return of Guelph’s senior and junior Intercounty men’s teams after a year on the sidelines, but it was also to see the debut of a local women’s squad in the new Woman’s Baseball League.
But the WBL, scheduled to make its debut this spring with teams in Guelph, London, Niagara and St. Catharines, has already been shelved.
“It’s kind of disappointing, going to tryouts and then having it cave,” says Amanda Van’t Wout, a member of the Guelph team which was to compete in the league.
Not much has been heard about the league in recent months. The WBL web site no longer works, and the last post by WBL president Andrew MacDonagh on the league’s Facebook page was in late 2011. Early this week, the Tribune contacted MacDonagh to try to learn the status of the league, but didn’t hear back.
It turns out players received an e-mail from the prez quite a while ago that said the league was “suspending operations immediately.”
The league was facing too many challenges, the e-mail said, and running it proved to be impossible.
The Guelph team was to play its games at Hastings Stadium, home of the city’s senior and junior Intercounty teams, who return this spring after missing their 2011 seasons.
The WBL, which was dubbing itself a “professional” league, was to pay its players $200 for a season.
Van’t Wout, a former Guelph Gators softball player who went on to play at Michigan’s Wayne State University, says with no women’s baseball league in store this season, she’ll now be playing her 2012 ball exclusively at the recreational level.
“There is not much more out there,” she said.