Ottawa baseball fans, let’s play ball. Going, going, not gone? Canadian-American baseball is back in Ottawa

The history of baseball in Ottawa goes as far back as the 1930s. The city had its first Canadian-American (Can-Am) minor baseball league starting in 1936 and lasted four seasons. The team was first named the Ottawa Senators, then changed to the Ottawa Braves before resuming to their original name for their final year. The team had a great first season, but fell in the standings thereafter. Despite their lack of success, the fan base grew each season. It begun with roughly 15,000 attendees and grew to 30,000 in the last season; Ottawa citizens loved their baseball.

The next team that came into existence was in 1951, when Ottawa was introduced to the Ottawa Giants. This team was playing in the AAA International baseball league, but was relocated to New Jersey the following year due to a lack of fans.

baseball crowd Ottawa1

For fifteen years, starting in 1993 to 2007, the Ottawa Lynx took over baseball in the city. The Lynx competed in the triple A International baseball league, and had much more success in the early years. In fact, in 1995, the team won the Governors’ Cup, the championship of the league. However, due to yet another fall in attendance, the team was moved to Pennsylvania. In 2008, the Canadian-American league introduced another Ottawa team, this time named the Rapids. The team failed to last more than one season, folding due to bankruptcy and a lack of city support.

Finally, the last team to come through Ottawa was the Fat Cats between 2010 and 2013. The Fat Cats played in the Intercountry Baseball League, and brought many new baseball fans to the games. This team drew approximately 4,000 fans per game and advanced to the league’s finals in 2011. Despite their success, the team’s lease expired in 2013 and was not renewed due to renovations being done to the stadium. The Fat Cats were successful and well liked across the cityleaving Ottawa hungry for more professional baseball.

ottawa baseball stadium3

Today, the city is getting ready for a new Canadian-American baseball team that will begin their season at the Ottawa Stadium in 2015. The contributions made by the Can-Am team saved the city and taxpayers upwards to $40 million in renovations. Let us hope that the team is able to fill the stadium with as many fans as the Fat Cats did, and see more results on the field. The renovations done to the Ottawa Stadium will bring out beauty of the old stadium and it’s natural grass field. At the end of the day, it is exciting to see baseball back in Ottawa again.

The one missing piece for this Can-Am Team is the name. Currently, the organization is asking the fans and public for any suggestions. This may not be the AA-level team the city originally wanted, but it is a step in the right direction to help develop the sport and culture in Ottawa.

By: Sarah Nolette