Saturday evening saw the official re-opening of the Waldo Henderson memorial Ballpark in Chatham Head. The field recently saw over $300,00 in improvements, and a large crowd was on hand to see the lights turned on (officially) for the first time.
John Sullivan, MC for the evening, praised the local rec centre and it's many volunteers for raising the money needed to get the project off the ground. The Rec Center contributed approximately $60,000 to the project, while the city contributed $63,000, and the federal and provincial branches of government each contributed over $100,000. The ballpark sports a new grass infield, lights, a renovated Bill Sullivan Hall which serves a museum of baseball for Miramichi. The players club house was also renamed in memory of life-long Tiger and volunteer, Emile Goguen.
The filed in Chatham Head will be home of the 35th annual Oldtimers Tournament during the last weekend in July, as well as a venue for several games during the Canadian Senior Baseball Championships held in August.
Former Tiger and community volunteer, Raymond Russell, died suddenly the day before the re-opening of the ballpark, and a minute of silence was observed in his memory.
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The Chatham Head Tigers them took the field against the Miramichi Combines. After the second inning, former member of the 1947 Tigers, Eric Henry, officially turned on the lights for the first time.
The Tigers went on to defeat the league leading Combines.
The Chatham Head Tigers scored four runs in the bottom of the forth inning to erase a
3-1 deficit and went on to beat the league leading Miramichi Combines 5–4.
It was a perfect ending to a great day that started with a free bologna BBQ. A large turn out showed up for the re-opening of the newly renovated ballfield and buildings.
Jason Gautreau went five innings for the win. He gave up four runs on five hits. Johnny Alain came in and got the save throwing the final two innings with a perfect one,two,three seventh inning. Daniel Comfort got things going in the forth with a lead off single followed by two more singles by Nathan Jones and Scott Manderson. Justin Cormier then got a bases loaded two run double to knock in the first two in the forth and also knocked out Miramichi starter Kortney McAllister. Scott McEachreon then followed up with a two run single. Brian Dunn had a good day at the plate going three for three with three singles and a RBI.
McAllister went three innings giving up five runs to take the loss. Top hitters for the Combines were James Scott, Brad Gallant and Darcy Foran with two hits each