A scene from the 1985 championships
By John DeCoste
The 1985 Kentville Wildcats team that won the National Senior Baseball Championship on their home field was a special group in many ways.
Current Senior Wildcats’ head coach Ian Mosher was the right fielder in the 1985 tournament and is the only player from that year’s team still active as a player. Chris Randall, the batboy in 1985, remains the Wildcats’ equipment manager.
As a group, the 1985 Wildcats “got better and better, and simply refused to admit we weren’t as good as some of the other teams,” said Mosher. “We focused on being the best players we could be, and we became a very good team for a long time.”
To Mosher, the 1985 Wildcats, and particularly the local players, “had all paid our dues to be there. That night, for a variety of reasons, Ontario didn’t win and we did.”
It’s not easy to win a national title, he added, but it served a purpose.
“Baseball lives on in Kentville today, and we have a great baseball legacy here, largely because of what we did that night,” he said.
“(The Wildcats) may have had better teams than that one, but we did what we had to do at that moment – and here we are, 28 years later, still talking about it, which tells you something.”
Peter Goucher, who was both first baseman and head coach of the 1985 squad, says the team had its roots in 1980 and 1981.
“A lot of us had been around since 1977. We had gone to the nationals in 1981 in Winnipeg. We had a good team, and we made it to the final. New Brunswick, which also had a good team, had to beat us twice on the final day to win, and they did.”
After that, Kentville picked up a couple of younger players who solidified the line-up. Kevin Forbes and Kevin Poirier were both 19 in 1985.
“They had both come up through the Kentville minor system, and they were ready to contribute,” said Goucher.
Despite still being relatively young, the Wildcats were a veteran squad that had played together for several years and had been to nationals before.
“We knew we had a chance to win,” Goucher says. “After we beat Ontario in the elimination round, people suggested we were lucky. I know the way we ended up winning was kind of unique, but it wasn’t a matter of luck.”
In the six-run eighth inning, all the Kentville baserunners reached on solid hits or walks. No mistakes were made in the field; they did it by themselves, Goucher said.
“Looking back,” he says, “it was like we were destined to win.”
Overall, Goucher feels the Wildcats’ “playing as a team, and having the team to do it,” added up to an historic win.
“And it was even better to win it at home.”