The Fat Cats staved off elimination at Ottawa Stadium Monday in a 6-5 win over the Guelph Royals in what could end up being their last game in Ottawa.
The semi-pro baseball team goes back to Guelph trailing the Royals three games to two in their Intercounty Baseball League first round playoff series and will need to win the next two games to continue their season.
The team faces uncertainty beyond this summer, however, as the city is in negotiations to bring a Double-A baseball to Ottawa. Beacon Sports Capital Partners has said it wants to work with the city to bring a Double-A team to Ottawa in 2014 after failing earlier to secure a team for next season.
Bringing a professional team in Double-A — often a springboard for young stars to enter the major leagues — would likely require major renovations to the stadium.
Renovations could put the Fat Cats 2013 season in jeopardy, if there is a season. Neither the city nor the Fat Cat's have confirmed whether the team will return next year.
Fat Cats fans point to attendance — the team attracts crowds of more than 2,000 fans a game — as evidence that the city shouldn't mess with success, and say they like to see local Ottawa players on the field.
But the modest success of the Fat Cats has also helped make Ottawa an attractive destination for minor league baseball.
Ray and Gail Soffer have a direct connection to the team: their son Josh is a relief pitcher and was credited with the win Monday after pitching three scoreless innings.
Ray Soffer said there is not much the players and fans can do but enjoy the season while it lasts.
"It's a little tough but they just can't control [what happens]... so they just go out and play and have fun as long as they can," he said. Ottawa hasn't had a minor league team since the Triple-A Ottawa Lynx who moved to Pennsylvania in 2008 after 15 years.