It was a game worth watching – the Bandits brought home six runs – the London Majors brought in nine.

August 17, 2013

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, O.  Scott Robertson, owner of the Burlington Bandits,  did say there would be a comeback, as people were leaving Nelson Ball Park Thursday evening where the Burlington Bandits were playing the London Majors in what looked like the last game for the Bandits – they were down 3 and 0 in a seven game play-off round.

Scott Robertson – in full array, is the owner of the Burlington Bandits and also co-chair of the This Magic Moment event.

We left the game at the top of the 4th and wished Robertson well.  He assured us we go could on-line and see the turn around.  As we were walking to our car there was a roar from the stands and I turned to my wife and said: “Gosh, do you think they are going to actually win the game?”  Bandits crossed the plate three times in the 4th inning.  

Win it they did not but they did give the London Majors a bit of a run for their money adding a run in the 8th inning and two in the nine to end their last game of the season with a 9-6 loss.  Not too shabby.  London was a far better team with much more depth and more experienced players.

Robertson explained that the Bandits are younger and they are still learning to work together as a team.  That was obvious from what we saw – but what we also saw was a team with a fan base that got excited when the players on the field were doing well.  That roar of the crowd we heard as we walked to the car was genuine.

For Robertson the task is now to get a better stadium.  “We need more space; we need a field with real dugouts for the team.  There is just the one washroom for men and one for women added Richardson.  “If we had huge crowds we’d have a problem.”

Richardson maintains that his players are treated better than any other players in the league; all of whom are volunteers; young athletes picking up experience.  “If we had even one paid player on the team explained Richardson, all the players would lose their National College Athletic Association  eligibility.”  If players are paid they are deemed to be professionals.

The task now is to review the year, figure out which players have grown, which players they want to call back and whether or not the team wants to go looking for players elsewhere – maybe some imports.

Training staff will get a review as well.

What was attendance like?  Bandits’ management doesn’t release actual figures but they do ay that the numbers this year were 25% higher than they were last year.  Great number – but was last year abysmal and is the 25% real growth?

What Richardson and his staff have done is made the league look more professional.  The program they put out was very good.  They had all kinds of promotional gimmicks and shared the love with other organizations in the city.  Each game there was a 50/50 ticket draw – with the half that wasn’t given a way as prize money passed along to the United Way.

Richardson says the Bandits will be back next year.  Lots of room for growth – it takes time to develop a franchise.  Sponsorship was good – lots of banners around the ball park.

The objective has always been to make the ball games a family event – winning more games and making it past the first round of the finals would be nice too. Scott Robertson would like to see a better playing field with upgraded public facilities – but for now he is happy to see fathers, sons and Mom out at the ball park.

What we saw were a number of families out for the evening.  A fair number of seniors as well.  A lot of people gathered around the refreshment stand and beer sales looked decent.

It was a 23 game season for the bandits – let’s see how they do next year.

Ticket prices for the next season were announced.

$100 for the season; $70 for adults and students.  A FlexPak of ten tickets is $55 for adults; $35 for seniors – that’s $3.50 a  game – probably the best entertainment deal in town.

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1 comment to It was a game worth watching – the Bandits brought home six runs – the London Majors brought in nine.

  • Dave Millar

    Great entertainment. We have enjoyed the Bandits (previously Twins) the past couple of years. My son wants to find out how to become bat boy next year.