This letter to the Editor was sent to the Charlatan newspaper August 31, 2016 and while we may concur with the sentiment, we had nothing to do with it…
Some sports are more popular than others, we all know that. But when the question most frequently asked about our baseball team is, “we have a baseball team?” that’s a problem. Yes, we do have a baseball team, and they are actually quite successful. Playing in the Northern Division of the Canadian Collegiate Baseball Association (CCBA), the Ravens finished third at nationals and had two players nominated for end-of-season awards, top pitcher Wil McIntyre and top hitter, past team member, Ryan Kerstains. Yet when you go onto the GoRavens website, which is supposed to the “home” of Carleton’s athletics, there is no mention of baseball under the dropdown menu that displays all the sports teams.
The reason for this exclusion lies in the fact that baseball is not currently a sport run by the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS). The CIS never organized a league for university baseball, so the CCBA was created in 1995 for those who did want to play. At first the league was little-known and low-budget, using aluminum bats the first few years. While the league has established itself since then, it still has issues with funding, promotion, and talent. The CCBA, although growing, has neither the influence nor funding to accommodate for the growing popularity of baseball in Canadian universities.
The obvious question is, why don’t we just make baseball a CIS sport? It’s not for lack of trying. The CIS speaks to national sports organizations about every five years to see if there is a national interest in bringing a new sport into the CIS, based on things like number of participants across the country, the marketing potential, the number of officials, the number of coaches, the facility requirements, and the gender equity of the sport. This is a slow process, meaning athletes miss out on both financial and student support in the meantime.
The baseball team gets little financial support from Carleton University, which leaves team members struggling to afford things such as equipment and transportation costs. Without promotion from the school, other students often don’t know where the team plays or how they’re doing competitively, so baseball players lose out on the support they deserve.
As a student body, we should is take a greater interest in the teams and players that represent us. The best way to support our baseball team would be to make an effort to know about the team. That’s not to say we should take away from the celebration of other teams’ excellence—of course we should go crazy when our men’s basketball team wins their seventh straight championship this year, but it can get tiring to hear about how great the basketball team is every time our school gets brought up. Hearing about some of our other athletes’ successes is nice, especially when they all represent our school equally. I for one would definitely go watch a baseball game and support my school. Just let me know when and where, and I’ll be there.
Source: Sam Lee, Charlatan http://charlatan.ca/2016/08/letter-carleton-baseball-deserves-more-recognition/