Being a new daddy and juggling a work schedule at the hospital that saw him off once every three weekends kept Jeff Gillam away from playing with the Corner Brook Barons.
He was a steady performer for the Barons, wielding a hot bat and respected as a sound defensive player who had versatility on his side, for a number of years. His last time wearing the jersey back in 2014.
He won a provincial senior A baseball title with the Barons in 2013 — the last time the Corner Brook side got the upper hand on the mighty St. John’s Capitals.
He’s back again and he would love to help the Barons reclaim the title when the two rivals clash in a provincial senior A baseball best-of-seven final against the Capitals that gets underway Saturday at Jubilee Field.
The Barons, under coaches Frank Humber, Rob Myrden and Sean Mitchell, began the rebuilding process for the team this season with every intention of getting the best team on the field and having them proud to be a Baron.
The 32-year-old Corner Brook native was able to commit to the team this year because his son, Wesley, is now three years old and he was able to work around his work schedule by working two night shifts in order to be available for all three games this weekend.
He can’t speak about what happened over the past four years, but he really likes the environment and dynamics of the group put together by the coaching staff this year. He believes they are all committed to playing their role and he likes how the coaches have created a fun environment where everybody is loose and having fun on the field.
“It’s just fun again. Everybody seems to be enjoying it and that’s what I came back for,” he said. “I just want to be able to enjoy it, relax and play a good competitive game of baseball.”
Being removed from provincial baseball for four years, Gillam had no big expectations when it came to playing time, so he was pleasantly surprised to see the field in a limited role in the provincial senior B tournament.
He has made it clear to the coaching staff that he is willing to play any role to help the team win.
He’s happy to be back with the Barons. He looks forward to seeing how the rivalry between the two clubs looks now that he’s been away from the scene for an extended period of time.
The Barons clash with the Capitals in the opening game of a best-of-seven series today 2 p.m. at Jubilee Field. Game 2 is slated for tonight 8 p.m. and Game 3 goes Sunday 1 p.m. at Jubilee Field. The series shifts to St. Pat’s Ballpark in St. John’s the following weekend for the balance of the series.