On Aug. 15, one of Montreal’s oldest broadcaster and one of its newest took to the field at Côte des Neiges’s Nelson Mandela Park to play a friendly game of softball. On Tuesday, the fun continues as CBC takes on Global Montreal on the same field.
To get you in the spirit, here’s what happened last month between CBC and City.
(Note: Some captions may be made up.)
City’s Bob Babinski directs our attention to Sonali Karnick’s footwear
Baseball, like many other sports, takes special shoes, though simple running shoes will work okay too if you’re not playing professionally. As the teams prepare, we see that All in a Weekend host Sonali Karnick has arrived with single-cleat shoes. Though she decides to replace them with flatter versions before the game.
Kelly Greig and Sonali Karnick share a laugh, presumably over something funny. But you never know with these CBC radio (and former CBC radio) types.
Montreal Connected producer and contributor Kelly Greig shows off her throwing leg.
Breakfast Television segment producer Kelly Albert stops mid-throw so the camera can get the best angle.
Kelly Greig is not entirely impressed with Sean Coleman’s Robert De Niro impression.
City cameraman Martin Daigle practices for all that time he’ll be throwing the ball toward the outfield.
CBC radio host Bernard St-Laurent ain’t takin’ no crap from nobody.
CBC reporter Steve Rukavina, after anticipating this game for weeks, is now confused at what’s going on.
Elias Makos can’t believe the rules that Doug Gelevan is just making up on the spot.
City Montreal boss Bob Babinski will probably retroactively fail me in his 2004 TV class for publishing this photo.
Montreal Connected editor Ian Graham IS ANGRY AT SOMETHING.
Sonali Karnick is entirely confident in Doug Gelevan’s team management skills.
Reporter Tim Duboyce tries his best to be friendly and creepy at the same time.
Peter Johnson tries to field incognito so the teenage fans don’t mob him.
Ian Graham is pretty sure he understands the rules.
Wilder Weir smiles and nods politely as Alexandre Despatie once again recounts one of his diving world championship stories.
Montreal Connected senior producer George Athans with a glove that appears to predate the game of baseball and is almost as old as he is.
Team City gives the big cheer, in which they yell “City!” and then awkwardly explain what channel they’re on to someone who’s never heard of them.
Here’s how the game played out: Wilder Weir got City on the board. But Jay Turnbull and Doug Gelevan made it 2-1 for CBC after the first inning. City exploded for runs in the second, with Alex Despatie hitting a triple and then scoring off a Sean Coleman single. By the end of the second inning it was 4-3 for City, though I’d lost count so that might be off by a run on either side.
At one point, I believe it was in the third inning, Weir hit a ball deep into right field. It was ruled a ground-rule double, having bounced in field and over the fence, but Jason Boychuk, who was the closest to the ball, said afterward it was actually a home run. The right-field fence is almost 300 feet from home plate.
It didn’t matter too much in the end. Ian Graham, Kelly Greig, Sean Coleman and Jean Prenovost scored in succession to make it 9-4 for City in the top of the 4th inning. It looked like CBC was toast.
But then the CBC dream team went into action. Weatherman Frank Cavallaro and reporters Elias Abboud and Jay Turnbull scored so fast I couldn’t tweet them individually. Suddenly City’s lead was cut to 9-7.
City scored two more runs at the top of the 6th inning to make it 11-7, and the score stayed that way through an impromptu fireworks display until the bottom of the 7th and last inning.
And the CBC dream team came up again. Frank Cavallaro hit a double to bring in traffic man Jeremy Zafran. Then, with Elias Abboud also on base and one out, Jay Turnbull hit a triple to bring in Abboud and Cavallaro.
Sonali Karnick was next at bat, with Turnbull at third, 11-10 with one out. She hit a single to bring Turnbull home for the tying run as the crowd went wild. But when the next batter hit a pop fly that was caught, Karnick wasn’t anywhere near first base and was easily out, ending the game with an 11-11 tie score.
It could be classified as a horrible finish for City or a triumphant comeback for CBC (which had embarrassingly lost its last charity game). But it was a fun time for all.
As a CBC radio host, Bernard St-Laurent is an expert at pitching softballs. #OHSNAP
Catherine Verdon-Diamond high-fives an opponent (Laurent McCallum) as she approaches third base.
Sean Coleman tries his best “So, you come here often?” at the City players’ bench.
I get into a camera-off with City’s Cosmo Santamaria.
Bob Babinski is impressed with what just happened. Sonali Karnick not so much.
Joanne Vrakas is confused about why the ball is now behind her.
Vrakas considers, for a split-second, batting with her face.
Joanne Vrakas and Kristin Falcao have a moment.
More momenting from Vrakas and Falcao.
Sean Coleman runs toward third base to steal all the glory.
Wilder Weir tries out his theory that hats are like condoms: Putting on more than one provides extra protection.
Team City cheers as CBC announces that taxpayers are picking up the beer tab later.
Frank Cavallaro tries to quickly forecast whether he can make it home before the ball.
Joanne Vrakas finally makes it to first base, and expresses the glee of a teenage girl who … makes it to first base.
Wilder Weir hits it deep, but after Joanne Vrakas fails to touch second and runs back to it, we get to see this all the way to home.
… at which point both of them are tagged out.
Frank Cavallaro just before he’s told that this money is for charity and not his baseball salary.
Martin Daigle with the beer he dropped between second and third – and then went back to pick up to finish drinking (no, really, this actually happened)
That’s Kelly Greig at the bottom there, wondering if there’s workers’ compensation for any injuries suffered today.
Wilder Weir still putting things on his head.
Jay Turnbull about to make a spectacular catch near second base…
… except he doesn’t. …
… And Doug Gelevan misses the ball too …
… but then makes the throw to third to salvage this …
… except that gets missed too. Lauren McCallum completes the team Bucknering.
Fireworks! Bob Babinski gets credit for distracting everyone while he’s at bat.
Teams shake hands. It’s 11-11! Everyone’s a winner!
Team City, including staff for Breakfast Television and Montreal Connected.
Montreal Connected staff (Kelly Greig, Wilder Weir, George Athans, Sean Coleman, Ian Graham) get photo-bombed by Steve Rukavina and Frank Cavallaro.
Joanne Vrakas kisses Morgan Dunlop on the neck. Because Joanne Vrakas does these things.
At the bar later, Jay Turnbull and Kelly Greig announce they’re getting work-married. Except they work for two different stations. It’s like Romeo and Juliet, really.
The game raised almost $435 for the NDG Food Depot, CBC says.
Jay Turnbull and Jason Boychuk high-five for the CBC camera
Both CBC and City had brief highlights from the game make it to air. CBC aired some clips to close out the 11pm newscast that night (starts at 29:06).
City created a highlight package old-timey style in black and white, which aired at the end of the next week’s Montreal Connected, and also aired a bit of it during the first week of Breakfast Television. You can see their highlights here.
CBC continues the fun, playing against Global Montreal Tuesday at 7pm at Nelson Mandela Park. Gelevan has already announced the lineup, which will include many of the same faces, but also Debra Arbec, Andie Bennett, Alex Leduc and Tanya Birkbeck.