Hamilton Cardinals, their IBL baseball team, have decided to use the ownership model used by the best team in the league.

sportsred 100x100By Staff

January 21st, 2018



There is life for the Hamilton team in the Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) who announced the team will be on the field this spring under new – joint – ownership.

IBL logo - all teamsThe joint ownership program, modeled after the Barrie Baycats, which has a 20-person ownership group, will breathe new life into the Hamilton team, ensuring the team has the funding and support needed to once again become a competitive baseball club, and make team ownership an exciting and affordable reality for local baseball fans.

KyleDeGrace with IBL trophy 2017

The Barrie Baycats took the IBL trophy in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

John Kastner, the Intercounty Baseball League commissioner said “Hamilton has a long history of baseball, but in recent years, maintaining that history and commitment has been in jeopardy. Under this new model, we believe the team is now in a position to be able to continue that history with a solution that will see this team supported in a new and sustainable way.”

Carmen’s Group and the City of Hamilton have both committed to helping facilitate the joint ownership program, and that work is underway. “We are thrilled to help rebuild one of Hamilton’s oldest flagship sports teams,” said PJ Mercanti, CEO, Carmen’s Group. “This is a fantastic opportunity for community funders and baseball fans alike to come together, support the team and experience great baseball, at an affordable price, close to home. There is tremendous potential for community engagement that we have here before us and we anticipate a great deal of interest.”

The City of Hamilton will use existing capital budget dollars to ensure Bernie Arbour Memorial Stadium is ready to go for the Cardinals’ 2018 season, and together the IBL, Dean DiCenzo the team’s General Manager, Carmen’s Group and the City are working on a plan to recruit the new owners. As a starting point and in keeping with the proven Barrie model, the group is aiming for 20-25 joint owners at $5,000 apiece. A management board of five or six members will be elected by the ownership group.

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger previously met with team representatives and strongly supports rallying behind the team. “The Hamilton Cardinals have a long, 60-year history in this city and I could not be more pleased that they’re getting a chance to resurrect themselves through this new ownership model,” he said. “This team is passionate and resilient, and I look forward to seeing our community come together to support them this coming season, and for many seasons to come.”

To inquire about becoming a joint owner of the Hamilton Cardinals, please contact PJ Mercanti at pjmercanti@carmensgroup.com.

The Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) is the top level baseball league in Ontario, boasting ex-major league professional and elite NCAA college baseball players. The 2018 season will mark the IBL’s 100th season. The IBL is the fifth longest continually operated baseball league in the world and serves as a valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff. More than 40 IBL players have advanced to Major League Baseball or returned to the IBL following the their MLB careers. The league is comprised of teams from Barrie, Brantford, Kitchener, London, Toronto, Guelph, Burlington and Hamilton.

Hamilton basebal player

Hamilton Cardinal right-fielder Connor Bowie stretches to snag a fly ball during a 9-4 loss to the Burlington Herd.

Founded in 1958, and part of the Intercounty Baseball League (IBL), the Hamilton Cardinals are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year. They are the second oldest sports team in Hamilton and last won the IBL Championship in 1978. Players range in age from 19-35. Many are former major leaguers and minor pro players as well as current and former NCAA/U sports players. Home games are played at Bernie Arbour Memorial Stadium in Hamilton, Ontario. For more information, visit www.hamiltoncardinals.ca.

Carmen’s Group is a leading hospitality and entertainment brand in Hamilton, Ontario. Established in 1978, they have created and operate some of the Hamilton region’s most beloved establishments: Carmen’s, the Best Western Premier C Hotel, Baci Ristorante, the Hamilton Convention Centre, The Lakeview, and Dundas Valley Golf & Curling Club.

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