Controversy Leads To New Chatham-Kent Cubs U16 Baseball Team

For the past few months, a rift has been forming between U16 travel baseball players and the local Chatham Minor Baseball Association.

The divide stems from the fact last seasons U15 team will not be offered a U16 team under the Chatham Minor Baseball Association umbrella, but rather were expected to join the U18 grouping.

“The decisions being made with regards to the 2007 age group are not political and were made with the best interests of the entire organization and not one lone group of players,” CMBA said in a statement in August. “CMBA has not ever offered a 16U team and this is not the first time that CMBA has denied a groups request to field a 16U team.”

Due to the decision, however, the U16 group has decided to form their own club known as the Chatham-Kent Cubs, aiming to play in the Fergie Jenkins Showcase League.

The team will look to join the five teams from last year’s U15 division including the Halton Badgers, Ontario Cardinals (Ajax), Southwest Canes (London), Tri-City Giants (Kitchener), and Bulletproof Elite (Welland).

The Fergie Jenkins Showcase League has been running since 2012 “to showcase talented amateur elite baseball players in order for them to make it to the next level…” playing “a summer schedule that enables their players the opportunity to gain exposure to Canadian and American Colleges/Universities with the opportunity of playing baseball professionally.”

If Chatham Minor Baseball Association’s statement stands true, the emergence of this newly formed baseball club could spell the end of the line for U18 baseball players in the community.

“Not having an 18U team next year would surely spell the end of the baseball careers in Chatham for those nine or so 2005/2006 aged players and the Executive feels strongly that no one group of players is more important that any other,” their statement read.

“Allowing this 16U team to field a team would be at the likely expense of those nine or so players not having a Chatham team to play on.  They too have been a part of the CMBA family for 9, 10 years, have won Ontario Championships and deserve the same consideration when it comes to having an opportunity to play.”

Tryouts for the new club, which could also draw players from Windsor-Essex and Sarnia-Lambton, will begin September 13 from 8:15-10pm at Fergie Jenkins Field in Chatham. There are no fees for tryouts. Questions can be sent to

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