Baseball has been a beloved sport in British Columbia (BC) for over a century when American miners and railway workers brought the sport with them.
By the early 20th century, baseball had become a popular pastime in BC, with teams popping up in cities and towns throughout the province. One of the most notable teams was the Vancouver Asahi, a Japanese Canadian baseball team that played from 1914 to 1941. The Asahi were known for their innovative playing style and were considered one of the best baseball teams in Canada during their time.
During the 1930’s and 1940’s, baseball was at its peak in terms of popularity and quality of play. Major league teams from the United States would frequently visiting BC to play exhibition games, and local teams would often draw large crowds. In 1931, the first night game in Canada was played under the lights at Athletic Park. It wasn't until 1935 that the Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies would play a game under the lights. That was the first Major League game played at night.
1934, Babe Ruth played an Exhibition Game at Athletic Park (which was located near Granville Island) along withLou Gehrig. The team was on a promotional tour headed to Japan.
The Vancouver Canadians (minor league baseball team to the Toronto Blue Jays) currently play their home games at Nat Bailey Stadium in Vancouver and have an extremely strong following among baseball fans in BC.
While names like Larry Walker and the Vancouver Canadians are the most common baseball names in BC, we are happy to share that the game's history stretches back much further.