WINDSOR, ON – St. Clair College is pleased to announce their New Baseball Franchise will join the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate Baseball League (GLSCL) for the 2017 season.

The St. Clair Green Giants will be based out of Tecumseh’s Lacasse Park and be the league’s 15th team and the only Canadian franchise.

The GLSCL had its inaugural season in 1984 and is sanctioned by Major League Baseball (MLB) with teams across the Michigan/Ohio region.  Each franchise is comprised of players from all over North America but must be competing with a college or university baseball school.  Currently players in the league are from the NCAA, NAIA, and the NJCAA.  With St. Clair College Franchise Purchase, the league will now feature some talent from Canadian conferences like the OCAA (Ontario College Athletic Association).

The St. Clair Green Giants will play a 42-game regular season schedule in the Northern Division (Michigan) against the Lake Erie Monarchs (Flat Rock, MI), Irish Hills Leprechauns (Adrian, MI), Grand River Loggers (Muskegon, MI) and the Muskegon Clippers (Muskegon, MI).  There are 10 additional teams which make up the two divisions in the South (Ohio).  With 21 home games beginning on June 7th at Lacasse Park the Green Giants will surely provide some entertainment for local baseball fans which sees its playoffs take place in the second week of August.

“We have partnered with the town of Tecumseh once again,” St. Clair College Vice President of Campus Development Ron Seguin said.  “Mayor McNamara and the Town Council have been valued supporters of St. Clair College and fans of the Saints baseball program.  So it makes sense to bring the Green Giant name back to Lacasse Park and the town of Tecumseh.”

Seguin continued, “We wanted to honor the past and the Green Giant nickname has always been synonymous with the Town of Tecumseh and specifically baseball in this area.”

The St. Clair College Saints Baseball program has seen its share of success over the past five years winning a CIBA National Championship, two OUA/OCAA crossover Championships and four consecutive OCAA Provincial Championships.
With the addition of the Green Giants, the Saints coaching staff will take on double duties with both teams.

The St. Clair Green Giants coaching staff will include Head Coach Dave Cooper, Pitching Coach Rick Lindquist along with General Manager and Assistant Coach Chico LaBute with plans to add two more coaches in the coming weeks.

One of the driving forces behind the decision to join the Great Lakes League was the prospect of involving current students from St. Clair College.  Kevin Corriveau is the Coordinator of the St. Clair College Sports and Recreation Management Program and will act as a liaison providing internship opportunities for the Green Giants.

“We are taking the very best students from our program and developing a placement where they will receive hands on experiences through the creation and organization of all business related functions of an actual sports franchise and we are very excited to be participating,” commented Corriveau.

“But the intern positions will not be limited to Sport and Recreation Management program,” noted Green Giants General Manager Chico LaBute.  “We are so fortunate to have amazing instructors at St. Clair College.  They work so hard developing the specialized skills in our students which prepare them to hit the job market upon graduation at full speed.  Our success as a new franchise will start with those talented students.  We will be looking across the college to include as many students as possible when filling intern positons for the St. Clair Green Giants.”

The model for the St. Clair Green Giants is not a new approach as the Great Lakes League’s Southern Ohio Copperheads capitalize on a pool of talented students from Ohio University.  Nearly 80 interns work in the summer to make that franchise successful.

With 42 games in 52 days the St. Clair Green Giants coaching staff has its work cut out for them.  “It’s a major league season for two months,” said Head Coach Dave Cooper.  “It’s everything the big league clubs do for two months.  It will really give the players a taste of a professional schedule.”  The Major League Teams count on this league to develop the up and coming talent in the pros.  Last year 38 players signed professional contracts from the Great Lakes League.  MLB hopes to increase that number each year.

Both Cooper and LaBute have been hitting the phones using contacts both in the US and Canada to find the very best talent in the college ranks.  “We are up against a time line that is not in our favor”, said Cooper.  “The other teams have a head start on us.”  Cooper is presently in Arizona scouting the top college players with hopes of adding some depth to his roster and bring the roster to 32 players.

Once the players arrive to camp in late May another hurdle faces the Green Giants brass with housing needs for 32 athletes over a for 2 ½ month stretch presenting a challenge.  The organization will be looking to billet these players with families close to Lacasse Park and those requests will be going out shortly.

“We have already been in touch with several minor baseball organizations in community to spread the word about our billet program”, said LaBute.