Baseball diamonds in Fort Saskatchewan saw a lot more cleats this summer.
According to the city, the local diamonds were used for 12,738 hours in 2017 (from April 1 to October 31). In a shorter time in 2018 (April 1 to September 14), the ball diamonds were used for 15,960 hours.
"Since 2015 our numbers have gone up because the Toronto Blue Jays have been doing so well," said Colby Glauser, Fort Sask Minor Baseball Association's (FSMBA) house league director. "They've got a lot of media exposure and attention so more people in the Fort are drawn to play baseball."
In 2014, FSMBA had about 180 total players registered. The number rose to 406 players in 2017 and tapered off to around 330 players this year.
"In general the association had a pretty good year," added Glauser. "We were really successful at the lower league levels and even from a house league standpoint our numbers are growing."
Softball teams also equated for a large chunk of field time. In the Fort, there's almost 15 diamonds available for rent.
This summer, the Midget AA Tier 1 Red Sox took home silver from provincials, the Pots Red Sox lost out in the league finals and the Junior AAA Red Sox lost out in provincials.