|League||West Coast League (West)|
|Location||Victoria, British Columbia|
|Ballpark||Royal Athletic Park (capacity 2,867 baseball, expandable to 5,200)|
|Colours||Navy blue, aqua blue, white
|Mascot||Harvey the HarbourCat|
|Ownership||Shwing Batter Investment Group (Ken Swanson, Rich Harder, John Wilson, Jim Swanson)|
|Management||Jim Swanson (General Manager/VP)|
|Coach||Graig Merritt (Head Coach)|
The Victoria HarbourCats are an amateur baseball team located in Victoria, British Columbia. The HarbourCats play in the West Coast League (WCL), a collegiate summer baseball league. The team's home games are played at Victoria's Royal Athletic Park.
The HarbourCats were founded in 2012 as an expansion team. On October 12, 2012, the team announced it would be called the HarbourCats after a public naming contest was held that received more than 600 submissions.
In 2013, with co-coaches Dennis Rogers and Bob Miller, the HarbourCats finished their inaugural season in fourth place in the league's North Division with a record of 22-32.
The Victoria Harbourcats went 25-29 in their 2nd season of play in the WCL. Victoria set the record for the most at-bats by a whole team having 1937 at bats in just one season. Victoria drew 45,571 fans through the gates in 30 home games, averaging about 1,576 fans a night. This put Victoria first in WCL attendance in the 2014 season.
The Harbourcats went 29-24 in their 3rd season of play in the WCL. Victoria led the league with a team total of 36 home runs on the season. Victoria drew 49,647 fans through the gates in 26 home games, averaging 1,910 fans a night, a mark which led the West Coast League in attendance for the second straight season.
The Harbourcats opened the 2016 regular-season with a set of games in Walla Walla, Washington, starting on Friday, June 3.
On September 4, 2012, the HarbourCats announced that Dennis Rogers and Bob Miller would be co-head coaches for the team's inaugural season. Dennis Rogers is also the head coach of the Riverside City College baseball team and Bob Miller holds the same position at Cuesta College. Both coaches will returned for the 2014 season.
Graig Merritt, a native of Maple Ridge, BC was named head coach of the HarbourCats for the 2015 season. A former draft pick of the LA Dodgers (1996, 1997), Merritt played collegiately at Chico State, where he won an NCAA Div. 2 National Championship in 1999. Under his leadership, the HarbourCats enjoyed their best season yet in 2015, finishing with a record of 29-24. This represented an increase of 5 wins over the team's previous high for wins in a season, and placed the HarbourCats second in the WCL's West Division, missing the playoffs by just 2.5 games. Merritt returns to the team for the 2016 season.
Founder and original owner John McLean, who had changed GMs with Holly Jones leaving and Jim Swanson coming in, would lose the team in a civil claim, part of a larger lawsuit involving his other interests, in BC Supreme Court in the fall of 2014, taken over by the Bhootan Group, led by Matthew Stoudt. Bhootan would then sell the team to local ownership led by John Wilson, Jim Swanson, Ken Swanson and Rich Harder, who took care of local debts and put the team on solid footing and in proper management.
The new local ownership group has given the HarbourCats a secure foothold and a structure that is sustainable for the long-term success of the HarbourCats in Victoria. The HarbourCats strive to be role model in the West Coast League and in the summer-collegiate baseball world, and are growing stronger on and off the field each year.
Victoria Harbourcats roster
- Annicchiarico, Mario (October 12, 2012). "Introducing Victoria's new baseball team, the HarbourCats". Times Colonist. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
- Baseball coach thinks outside the diamond Victoria News (September 5, 2012)
- HarbourCats field boss Rogers to return for 2014 baseball season Victoria Times Colonist (November 26, 2013)
|This article about a baseball team in Canada is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|