The History of Baseball in Ontario

The History of Baseball in Ontario

Baseball is a popular sport across North America, and Ontario is no exception. The province has a rich history of baseball that dates back over a century. From the early days of the sport to the present day, baseball has played an important role in the lives of many Ontarians.

Even the first recorded baseball game was in the province of Ontario and that happened in 1838, in Beachville, Ontario, It wasn't until the 1860’s that the sport of baseball began to gain popularity in Ontario.

The 20th century saw the sport of baseball continue to grow in popularity. One of the first professional baseball teams in the province, the London Tecumsehs, was formed in 1901.  The Toronto Maple Leafs Baseball Club won a significant amount of championships and professional baseball players like Dr. Ron Taylor and Ferguson Jenkins came from Ontario.

During the early part of the 20th century, baseball in Ontario was dominated by amateur teams. Many towns and cities had their own local teams, and rivalries were common. In 1918, the Ontario Baseball Association (OBA) was formed to help organize and regulate amateur baseball in the province.  It was originally called the "Ontario Baseball Amateur Association" and that was established at a meeting held in Hamilton, Ontario at the Central YMCA on Saturday, May 4, 1918.

Organizations like Leaside, Oshawa and Vaughan have an outstanding volunteer group that help minor baseball associations grow.

By 1977, the Toronto Blue Jays were formed, becoming the second MLB team outside of the United States and they quickly became a beloved team across Ontario and Canada.

The growth of professional baseball in Ontario also led to the formation of new amateur leagues and teams.  In the 1990’s, there were a number of Minor League baseball teams in cities like St. Catharines and Welland.  

Today, the Ontario Baseball Association along with the Toronto Blue Jays have helped grown the sport in Ontario.  Baseball associations attribute the growth to the recent success of the Blue Jays and the World Baseball Classic.

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