Father, son both played third for Sarnia Braves

Brian Maxwell was coaching his 10-year-old son McKenzie when their team, the Courtright Cardinals, won the all-Ontario championship.

And here’s the rest of the story.

As the young Cardinals were still whooping it up, the senior Maxwell pulled on his uniform of the Corunna Giants, who were playing nearby for all the marbles in the all-Ontario Senior B final.

The Giants, too, were victorious.

“So I ended up winning two Ontario championships in a matter of three hours, one as a coach and one as a player,” he said.

“It was kinda neat.”

The father-son duo will have plenty of similar stories to swap when the Sarnia Braves hold a reunion Saturday for the 1994 team at Lambton College. The ’94 Braves were the best team in the province, winning the AAA Eliminations and then claiming the bronze medal at the Canadians.

Brian Maxwell was the Braves’ regular third baseman.

“We had a lot of talent but not a lot of bodies,” he said, recalling they used just three pitchers and an outfielder on the mound over seven games in Windsor.

Today, McKenzie, who was just a toddler at the time, also patrols third base for the Braves, which play in the CAN-AM League against teams from Ontario and Michigan.

The club is comprised of players aged 18 to 38 with professional, semi-professional, college and previous AAA experience.

One highlight of the reunion will be screening of videotapes shot at the ’94 tournament.

“I’ve never seen them before,” Maxwell said. “So it will be fun to see just how bad my swing was.”

The Maxwells have had plenty of success on the diamond. McKenzie, 21, has won four provincial or national titles and his dad three, one as a player and two as a coach.

But after rupturing an Achilles tendon in a 55-plus two-pitch game this year, the senior Maxwell says his playing days are done.

“I’m not taking any more chances.”

IF YOU GO:

WHAT: Sarnia Braves Social

WHY: 20TH anniversary of the AAA Ontario Eliminations

WHERE: Lions Den Pub, Lambton College

WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 16

TICKETS: $5, at college SAC office, or at the door. For more, call Margaret at 519-542-0343.

George Mathewson