VICTORIA, B.C. – The Victoria HarbourCats are pleased to announce Jonathan Hodgson as the new ‘Voice of the HarbourCats’ for all online broadcasts throughout the 2016 season.
HarbourCats online broadcasts will return this season, with all 27 regular season West Coast League home games plus three exhibition games and a BCPBL showcase game at Royal Athletic Park streamed live on harbourcats.com with high definition video production, and Hodgson providing play-by-play commentary.
“I am extremely excited to be named ‘Voice of the HarbourCats,” said Hodgson. “I would like to thank Jim Swanson, our ownership group and the entire organization for presenting me the opportunity to represent the HarbourCats in this platform. I am excited to immerse myself into the West Coast League, which has a reputation as a very high caliber of baseball, and bring our broadcast viewers along for the exciting ride of the HarbourCats season.”
Hodgson, a native of Okotoks, AB now living in Cobble Hill, BC, joined the HarbourCats in December as Baseball and Communications Advisor. He has taken a leading role in official team communications and website content, while also working alongside managing partner Jim Swanson in an advisory capacity for a wide range of areas, including baseball operations with head coach Graig Merritt.
Hodgson brings a wealth of experience to the organization and an impressive baseball resume. The 24-year-old was previously the broadcast voice of the summer-collegiate Okotoks Dawgs for eight seasons, from 2008-15. During those years he also produced all written content for the team’s website and helped manage their social media platforms.
Among Hodgson’s mentors are Jerry Howarth, who is in his 36th season as radio play-by-play broadcaster for the Blue Jays, and Bob Elliott, recipient of the 2012 J.G. Taylor Spink Award for contributions to baseball writing presented by the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Jonathan has written for the Canadian Baseball Network, founded and led by Elliott, since 2009. In that time, Hodgson has also completed multiple assignments for the Toronto Blue Jays, and has had his writing published by Sportsnet.ca including his February feature on Victoria’s baseball history.
The Okotoks Dawgs, who compete in the Western Major Baseball League, are one of the leading franchises in summer-collegiate baseball, annually posting attendance figures in the top-five in North America. Hodgson observed the growth of that franchise and believes that the same levels of success are very possible in Victoria.
“I have been blown away by this organization from day one,” Hodgson said. “There is an outstanding people-first culture here that helps create an extremely enjoyable atmosphere and brings out the best in all of us. Victoria has an unquestionable passion for baseball, and this organization is relentless in their pursuit of excellence in everything they do, so I see this as a perfect situation. The people of Victoria can be perfectly confident that the HarbourCats are and will be relentless in their efforts to represent the community in the best way possible.”
HarbourCats broadcasts hit the air 53 days from now on June 7, when the HarbourCats host the Wenatchee AppleSox on Wilson’s Transportation Opening Day presented by Tally-Ho. Special guest Krazy George will be in the ballpark that night to help celebrate the Drive for 5,000 fans.
ABOUT THE WEST COAST LEAGUE
The West Coast League is the premier summer collegiate baseball league west of the Mississippi. The 12-year-old, 11-team, professionally operated wood-bat league located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest features pro prospects from major conferences across the nation and an unparalleled history out west of great fan and player experiences in addition to the best summer weather in North America. In 2015, 59 players with WCL experience were selected in the MLB June draft, and more than 200 WCL alums appeared in affiliated professional baseball including 25 in the major leagues, such as home-run leader Chris Davis (Baltimore), NL Rookie of the Year runner-up Matt Duffy (San Francisco) and rising star pitcher Josh Osich (San Francisco). Overall member attendance exceeded 400,000 in 2015. The 2016 54-game campaign opens Friday, June 3.