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First-time Corner Brook Baron Anderson Traverse hopes to put best foot forward during senior B provincial baseball championship versus Gander Pilots

Corner Brook Barons' Anderson Traverse puts some work in inside the batting cage at Jubilee Field during a team practice on Thursday night.
Corner Brook Barons' Anderson Traverse puts some work in inside the batting cage at Jubilee Field during a team practice on Thursday night. - Chris Quigley

It has nothing to do with baseball, but rumour had it Veitch Wellness Corner Brook Barons outfielder Anderson Traverse had raced against famous Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse a few times in the past.

So, the question had to be asked.

“That is absolutely true,” the 26-year-old Traverse said.

They raced, Traverse said, in the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que., as well as a few other times at Canadian nationals.

“He beat me,” he added. “Pretty bad.”

It was about two years before De Grasse made his name on the worldwide stage, but he had just locked himself into position as the top sprinter in Canada.

“In the 100-metres it’s never too bad, you never get too far behind,” Traverse said. “But I was definitely looking at his rear-end a bit.”

This weekend, Traverse will be looking for a little more success, albeit on an entirely different field of play.

The first-time Baron will join his teammates in tangling with the Stafford’s Welding Gander Senior Pilots in the best-of-five Molson Coors Senior B Provincial Baseball Championship at Jubilee Field.

The victor will move on to play the St. John’s Capitals in the Senior A showdown.

For Traverse, suiting up with the Barons is the culmination of two years of hard work after he returned to the game he played as a child following a few years of pursuing track (and De Grasse).

“I just love baseball — everything about it,” said the Corner Brook native. “It’s a great game. So in-depth compared to everything else. So many games within the game.”

He snagged a summer job coaching minor baseball in the city and joined the senior men’s league, where he’s been honing his skills in the hopes of reaching this moment.

“I wanted to be a Baron,” he said. “That was basically the end goal.”

Before tryouts began, coach Frank Humber told those in attendance they would be on the roster if he felt they could contribute to the team.

“I’m excited to see where he thinks I can contribute and I’m pretty grateful for the opportunity,” Traverse said.

It’s a dynamic, young roster, Traverse said, and he’s excited to see what they’ll be able to achieve, even if he’ll likely be in the dugout for a lot of it, as he’s not expecting to be named to the starting lineup.

He’s still optimistic he’ll get his opportunity to make a difference at some point — on the basepaths, perhaps?

“If I get on base, I’m probably going to steal,” Traverse said with a laugh.

Maybe all that track running has something to do with baseball after all.

Schedule:

FRIDAY, JULY 14

at Jubilee Field

8 p.m. — Stafford’s Welding Gander Senior Pilots vs Veitch Wellness Corner Brook Senior Barons

in Game 1 of a best-of five series

SATURDAY, JULY 14

at Jubilee Field

2 p.m. — Stafford’s Welding Gander Senior Pilots vs Veitch Wellness Corner Brook Senior Barons

in Game 2 of a best-of five series

7:30 p.m. — Stafford’s Welding Gander Senior Pilots vs Veitch Wellness Corner Brook Senior Barons

in Game 3 of a best-of five series

SUNDAY, JULY 15

at Jubilee Field

11 a.m. — Stafford’s Welding Gander Senior Pilots vs Veitch Wellness Corner Brook Senior Barons

in Game 4 of a best-of-five series

(if necessary)

3 p.m. — Stafford’s Welding Gander Senior Pilots vs Veitch Wellness Corner Brook Senior Barons

in Game 5 of a best-of-five series

(if necessary)

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