Sudbury·Audio

New Sudbury baseball league hopes to bring back the rivalry

Thanks to Sudbury’s Chris Gagnon, the Nickel City Nickels have reignited a baseball rivalry between Sudbury and Timmins that stretches back at least a decade.

Between 2004-2006, Sudbury defeated Timmins three times for the Northern Elite League pennant

Chris Gagnon hopes that the Nickel City Nickels can re-establish a decades old rivalry with Timmins.
There used to be a thriving men's baseball league in the northeast. The Northern Elite League folded in 2006. Sudbury and Timmins managed to each assemble a team for a game recently. Chris Gagnon was one of the players. He joined us in studio for a chat.
Thanks to Sudbury's Chris Gagnon, the Nickel City Nickels have reignited a baseball rivalry between Sudbury and Timmins that stretches back at least a decade.

The Northern Elite League folded in 2006 due to declining interest. Ten years later, Gagnon said, the boys of summer are back, though slightly older and a little less competitive than before. 

Gagnon's Nickels played three games against Timmins this weekend, and according to Gagnon, history repeated itself. In the past, the two teams squared off numerous times in the Northern Elite League championship game.

"Sudbury played Timmins in 2004, 2005 and 2006 in the league championship," Gagnon said, "and Sudbury came on top each time."

With the help of a teammate, Gagnon was able to touch base with some of the players he competed against in the last years of the league. After a few bumps in the road, they were able to schedule games for this summer against teams from North Bay, Valley East, Timmins and Sault Ste. Marie.

Gagnon said that seven players from the current Nickels were part of that championship team in 2006, and playing against some of their rivals again brought back "the old flame."

The baseball, Gagnon said, was good.

"With all the returning players," he said, "the passion is still there."

Gagnon said he hopes to expand to a larger format next year, with a bigger tournament and hopefully a few more players to round out the league.

written/packaged by Casey Stranges

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