The Hamilton Thunderbirds are going back to their roots. The franchise is rebranding, doing away with the blues and golds, and bringing back the red and white of years passed. Welcome back the Cardinals to the city of Hamilton.
After existing as the Cardinals for many years the team was changed to the Thunderbirds in 2005 when current owners Drew Brady and Dennis Lesmeister purchased the team.
“We’re very pleased to relaunch Hamilton’s IBL franchise as the Hamilton Cardinals Baseball Club today,” owner Drew Brady announced Wednesday afternoon. “To enable progress change is inevitable and the time has come upon us to change back to the storied franchise name cardinals so that our vision of IBL baseball in the great city of Hamilton can be realized.”
For years since the change fans have been vocal that they weren’t happy with the change to the Thunderbirds and wanted the team to return to the Cardinals name. Some have stated that they would return to the stands if that were to happen and now it’s time for people to put their money where their mouth is, so to speak.
Drew Brady didn’t mince words. “Our prices are inexpensive. Our food is great, we have Hutches french fries and we have a beer license. Now it’s time for the fans to show up at the ball park and support the Hamilton Cardinals.”
So what spurred the decision to change the name of the team for the 2012 season?
There were rumblings within the organization last September that change could be on the horizon. A few different factors came together and brought about the change.
“Along with the St Louis Cardinals recent World Series championship combined with the Thunderbirds name running it’s course, we knew the time was right to make this change,” commented Drew Brady.
“For years Hamilton baseball was synonymous with the Cardinals,” Cardinals’ field Manager Matt Fortuna shared, remembering the team from his youth. “When I was a young boy I would go to baseball games at Bernie Arbour Stadium with my dad and we’d go see the Red Birds and the Hamilton Cardinals. It gave me an opportunity to look at where I wanted to end up.”
The city now has one unified system of baseball where a group of ten year olds can grow up through the Cardinals rep system to eventually play for the senior level Intercounty Cardinals club.
Dean DiCenzo, President Hamilton Cardinals Rep Baseball, shared his thoughts. “From our association standpoint, our nine year old kids will now look forward to playing in senior baseball. We are very confident that the players we produce in the future will be front line players for the senior team. It’s a win win for everybody involved in baseball in Hamilton.”
More information about the Cardinals rep organization can be found at www.hamiltoncardinals.ca.
The IBL Hamilton Cardinals are set to open their season on the road Saturday May 12th when the team travels to Nelson Park to face the Burlington Twins. The big home opener for the Cards takes place the following afternoon, Sunday May 13th. First pitch for both games are scheduled for 2pm.
“I hope you, the fans and the media will embrace this franchise and help us bring great baseball back to the city of Hamilton.” – Drew Brady