West Toronto and Baseball Ontario response to COVID-19
The Baseball Ontario Community
Baseball Ontario Return to Play Protocol (June 12, 2020)
As many of you may be aware, Baseball Ontario issued a press release on Friday lifting its suspension on in person activities effective June 16th, 2020 subject to compliance with provincial and municipal guidelines and restrictions. This means that Regions in Stage 2 (which does not include West Toronto at this time) are permitted to resume outdoor team sports, if physically distanced, for training only (no games or scrimmages) subject to the provincial gathering limits in effect (10 persons right now). Regions in Stage 1 (which includes the TBA teams) are not yet allowed to resume team sport activities until they move to Stage 2 - which hopefully will occur within the next couple of weeks if the COVID-19 numbers in those Regions continue to go down.
Also, following review by medical and legal advisors, the Return to Sport Protocols have been finalized and approved by Baseball Ontario Board of Management. We have attached to this email a copy of the Baseball Ontario press release and the finalized Return to Sports Protocol. We are in the process of reviewing the finalized Return to Sports Protocol to determine what is required once Toronto moves into Stage 2 and we are able to resume outdoor team sports.
At this time, we encourage all parents / players to read and become familiar with the Return to Sports Protocol. Prior to resuming any team based baseball activities, participants (including parents) must read and understand the Return to Play Protocols. In addition, all information and resources with respect to the Return to Play Protocol are available through Baseball Ontario's ONDECK platform available online at https://ondeck.baseballontario.com/ and through Baseball Ontario's ONDECK mobile app on Google Pay Store and Apple App Store. The site includes extensive information including helpful explanatory videos relating to the Return to Play Protocols.
Overall this is good news about potentially getting back on the baseball field in the near future. As mentioned, we are reviewing the Return to Sport Protocols / monitoring government announcements and will provide further updates shortly.
Baseball Ontario | www.BaseballOntario.com
High Park Juniors Alumni Game
Friday September 13 at Jack Wilson Field
Join us Friday, September 13 at 6 pm for a special alumni game paying tribute to the High Park Braves Junior players (ages 17-20) from the mid 1980’s who captured gold on three separate occasions under the leadership of High Park baseball legend, Jack Wilson.
The event will held on Jack Wilson Field located in High Park and will feature players from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s who will put on a show and relive the glory years. Legendary coaches Jim Wynnyk (30 yr. Coach Jr. HP and 1988 Canadian Jr. Champions), Gordie Roche (1960 Parkdale Lions 2B and member of the Canadian Team in the Little League World Series), Ed Bajon (Jr. Coach and Canadian Champions 1988) and many more will attend.
Thanks to Matt MacDonald (2019 Team Manager) and this year's Jr. team members for putting this historic event together.
For more information contact Matt MacDonald: email@example.com
Should be a fun night that we’ve wanted to put on for a long time. Hope to see many of you out there from the different years!
Congratulations to Maya Rossetti, Annette Baseball alumni and current West Toronto 13U player. She will play for the 14U Team Ontario girls team in the Nationals this summer (2019) in Saskatchewan! We are so proud of you, Maya!
Peter Zakkak: September 1966 - February 2019
It is with great sorrow that we advise of the passing of long time York and West Toronto coach Peter Zakkak, affectionately known as Zak. Our deepest condolences to the Zakkak family and the extended families of West Toronto and York baseball.
Zak was a well known groomer working for the city of Toronto. His skills were sought after by many leagues as he was meticulous with his passion to make ball fields look good. He also maintained Keelesdale Park for the past 20 years. He learned the skills for field maintenance from Mike Ohara and Bob Smyth. Mike Ohara, who maintained Keelesdale Park, took Zak under his wing and together they turned Keelesdale Park into one of Ontario best diamonds. Unfortunately, Mike Ohara passed away in 1999, but Zak carried on his legacy. He changed the name of the York “Big 8” Tournament, into the “Mike Ohara Classic”. While being the President of York Baseball and with the help from the Toronto Blue Jays, they were awarded a grant which assisted in the renovations of Smyth Park.
In 2019, Zak was the head coach of the York Blue Jays 18u and West Toronto Baseball 16u teams. Zak coached at York and Etobicoke starting in the early 90’s. He taught many great players and a few who have gone on to Major League careers, such as Joey Votto, Shawn Hill, and George Kottaras.
In 1985, after graduating from Weston Collegiate, he went on to play college baseball in Visalia, California. He was one of the first Canadians to travel to the US for baseball and opened the door to so many more. At that time, Zak also started working with the Toronto Blue Jays, as a clubhouse attendant and became friends with Rance Mulliniks, who was born in Tulare California, a few miles from where Zak went to college. Zak was welcomed into the Mulliniks home and said that he once dated his daughter. During his time with the Blue Jays, Zak became friends with many players such as, Jesse Barfield, Roberto Alomar and Carlos Delgado who nicknamed him “Bakers Dozen” because 13 was Zak’s favourite number. Zak continued playing baseball into his 40’s, with the York Diamonds and still holds many offensive records.