By Kate Irwin
Randy Martin’s spirit was smiling down on his beloved baseball teams, the B.C. Arrows and Invermere A’s, as they brought home the winning titles at the Canadian Native Fastball Championships in Cranbrook early this week, said Randy’s father, Dean Martin.
“We could feel him there,” he said. “During the seventh inning the lights went out and it was as if someone from above turned them off to give the teams a break. When the lights came back on, we won in a dramatic fashion. I’ve never seen so much jubilation.”
The A’s, referred to throughout the tournament as Randy’s A’s, kept the tension high as they clinched the tournament in the small hours of Monday, August 6th. The team had a dramatic final game against the Westbank Cardinals, beating them 4-3, after some tough competition throughout the tournament.
While the A’s reclaimed the championships’ senior men’s division, the Arrows also brought home the masters division title for the second year running.
“Because the tournament was dedicated to Randy I think our teams’ attitude and play was far above what it would normally be,” Mr. Martin said. “We had no doubt we were going to win it for him.”
The tournament began with an emotional ceremony in which Mr. Martin and family paid tribute to Randy, who passed away unexpectedly on May 9th during a trip to Las Vegas. Randy’s son Gage (pictured at right) was on-hand to throw the first pitch of the tournament in his honour.
The Shuswap Band’s winning teams won’t have long to rest, as they head to California later this month for the North American Native Fastball Championships. Mr. Martin and family will also visit the site where Randy was buried to place a headstone on his grave.