The Hamilton Mounties caught lightening in a bottle the last month of the season and took the GLBL by storm as they surged their way to the Canadian Wild Card defying what appeared to be a non post season year.
Once they caught fire the flame burned even brighter as they defeated the favored Owen Sound Waveriders in 4 games. If you were not convinced by then you only had to watch the championship series against the 89-55 Chicago Architects. The Mounties just could not be stopped as they dispensed with the other favored team in six games.
When the dust settled from this amazing performance the Hamilton Mounties had captured their third title putting them one behind the Thunder Bay Caribou as both teams are chasing the most successful franchise in the history of the league, Chicago the team that owns seven championships.
Lewis MacEwen went 18-8 and captured the coveted Lake Michigan Pitcher of the Year Award in the GLBL. HIs 4.7 in 223 IP qualified him as a legitimate ace and a bulldog on the mound.
Lewis has done nothing but improve over the past three to four years as the above graphic illustrates.
Twenty five year old Geoff Boyd was the GLBL’s MVP for the 2021 post-season. Boyd collectively batted .319 with 15 hits and swiping 7 bases in as many attempts. But of the two series he saved his best for Chicago as the final 7 games he collected hits in each contest 3,1,2,1,2, and 1 for a total 10 hits. He batted in 5 and scored 6. An avid fisherman in his spare time he plans to just ‘chill out’ over the coming months.
The Chicago Architects are trying to win their 3rd title but are down 0-2. History tells us being down in the playoffs means very little to this team. They have rallied from 0-3 deficits before so 0-2 probably seems inconsequential, or at least it does not evoke the feeling of doom that some GM’s might feel in this position.
Chi GM Al Borie had this to say this morning, “Oh, they’re off to a decent start. In their case they won’t have a chance to lose one at home until Game Six, and they may have wrapped it up by then. You gotta like their chances.
But I like mine too. I have no idea who the better team is, but mine has always had a tendency to fall behind and come back.” The small sampling of 4-0 in the regular season points toward Hamilton as the favorite, especially up by two games.
But, the Hamilton Mounties are all too familiar with being the last minute bridesmaid and not the bride as they, more than any other ball club, have come the closest to winning a championship only to fall just short. Witness last year as they took a 2 run lead into the bottom of the 9th only to see the game tied before losing in extra innings to the Duluth Sea Gulls. Hamilton has never had a losing season and this is their 4th trip to the post-season with many wondering, if not speculating, that maybe it just might be their year. The unlikely hero of game two was light hitting George Huffman batting .143 for the post season but it was the two singles in the 2nd and 4th that accounted for two runs batted in and the difference in the 3-2 win. He was but 1 for 21 heading into yesterday’s contest.
The series heads to the Windy City where Arvin Northeast will take the hill while being opposed by Roosevelt Gilbert, coming off a stunning 8.1 IP shutout of Toronto. At the same time it was Arvin Northeast who slammed the door on Toledo with his 8.0 IP/ 0 Runs effort that punched the Architects ticket to the Championship Round.
“Read the highlights and thought HAM was off to a decent start, but you’re never in trouble til you lose at home – so they say!”, were the comments of Owen Sound GM David Jones, but in the case of Chicago they not only can’t risk a loss at home but they have to win on the road. Using the above logic the Mounties simply need to take care of business in Hamilton to earn the status GLBL Champions for the first time in their history. The roadblock? Chicago loves to come from behind and is famous for crushing the dreams of their opponents.
The Toronto Maples seemingly own the Hamilton Mounties by virtue of their 14-8 edge over the season. The last time the Maples visited Hamilton they dropped the first two games of the series but somehow pulled out a 3-2 win in the finale managing but 2 hits as the Mounties wasted a fine performance by Tate Crosby (8 IP/2 hits/1 BB/8 K’s….but 2 HR’s). Prior to that contest Hamilton had a 5 game lead over the 37-39 Toronto club. But, things have flipped since that June afternoon.
Hamilton will have to do without their big bat and 4 time All Star Dave Teague for this series. Meanwhile, the Maples will do without a bevy of players and not the least their big first baseman Stephen Gilbert (22 HR’s in 116 games).
How close are these teams? Toronto has a season run differential of +17 while Hamilton one of +19. The Maples are 28-20 post all star while the Mounties have struggled with a 22-25 record. The teams are separated by 2.5 games so clearly Hamilton must win at least 2 of 3.
The Mounties have been averaging +37,000 crowds during their 30-24 home season and tickets will be scarce for this set. The Maples actually play better on the road at 35-29. Should be a good one!
Kevin Boivin, Hamilton Mounties…could it be???
Some of you may remember our discussion in 2017 that revolved around the defense, or lack thereof, of the Milwaukee Eagles. Kevin Boivin, acquired early in the season from the Traverse City Bears was playing 1B for the Eagles. Or, trying to play might be a better description. Boivin committed a whopping 23 errors in 123 games at first for Milwaukee and even added a single error in 3 innings of play in RF.
Well, Milwaukee sought another direction in the off-season and on Oct. 16 Kevin found himself a free agent and he stayed that way until March 9 when the Hamilton Mounties inked him to a one year deal ($8M).
Boivin has given the Mounties the offense they were seeking when they signed him (.264/.384/.488), pretty much his career average from the dish.
What is a bit surprising is that while playing three positions (mostly 1B) he has not committed a single error all year long. Twenty six games at first and a total of nine games in the OF and Kevin is flawless.
Maybe it was the change of scenery, or could it be he is happier in Canada???; it’s hard to say but he clearly is a player worthy of the ‘past results do not guarantee future performance’. Could this man actually win a gold glove in what can only be termed a defensive renaissance year for him? A long way to go but you can’t count him out.
The Milwaukee Eagles, all time Wins leader in the GLBL, have won the 2016 Championship in a closely fought series with the Hamilton Mounties. Game 7 Box Score:
Henri Francois was the Series MVP as his 1.26 ERA in handcuffing Mountie bats in most situations. As a matter of fact July 23, 2016, is the date that he last took an L in a game he pitched notching 9 Wins in a row.
Congrats to Mike T. for his championship season. Also, to Alex W., who got about as close as you can get to winning it all.