The Inaugural season and 2022 playoff run have come to an end for the Ottawa Titans, with a loss to the Quebec Capitales in the Frontier League’s divisional round. Obviously, the team is disappointed, and fans are dejected. Everyone supporting this team hoped that the Titans could pull off something of a minor miracle and knock off the 1st place team in the East, then roll to a Frontier League Championship. The season may have ended sooner than we wanted but it didn’t end without some great positives. Fans and the front office staff should consider this first ever season exactly what it has been… a massive success.
Though the fans may not have always been plenty throughout the year, the team’s final months proved that not only can baseball work in Ottawa, but it can thrive. Despite a somewhat worrisome slow start for attendance numbers, the team hit multiple season highs in attendance in the final month, which all culminated in a home playoff game that saw over 3200 fans enter the stadium for a thrilling atmosphere. It is definite that an Ottawa-based ball club can succeed financially.
The biggest win for the team this season was obviously the play on the field. The team competed for first in the tightly contested East division for nearly the whole season. Despite some struggles in mid August, they won 11 of there last 14 games to secure the third seed and a wild card berth. Fan favourite players like AJ Wright, Jacob Sanford and Jackie Urbaez led the team offensively with Tyler Jandron, Chris Burica and local favourite Evan Grills pitching to great results in the teams first season in the Nation’s Capital.
The Titans were, however, not without there fair share of setbacks. Through the course of the year the team dealt with some major injury trouble, losing shortstop Clay Fisher and first basemen Brendon Dadson for extended periods of time. These injuries and more forced the Titans to make some tough personnel decisions eventually leading to the release of speedy outfielder Will Zimmerman due to roster constraints. Players, like Liam McArthur and Kai Moody, who were brought in late in the season and were with the team through the playoff run, were a prime example of how the Titans were always able to find that next solid piece to fill out the roster throughout the year.
The Titans, were led by a true team first mentality. They were 2nd in the league in both sacrifice flys and sacrifice hits and struck out the 3rd fewest times. This is proof that the success of the Titans is a compliment to the unselfishness of the players, being willing and able to play in unfamiliar roles and do whatever it takes to help the team. Moving runners, stealing bases and sacrificing stats for wins. All of this is a commendation of the ability of the management staff, especially Manager, Bobby Brown, to put together a winning lineup on a nightly basis, often switching up lineups frequently to play matchups and put the best possible team out there.
Independent baseball leagues can be fickle. Shoestring budgets, tight roster constraints and high rate of turnover among players can make it very difficult to have sustained success. Both for the team on the field as well as the ability to draw fans to the ballpark. The Titans ability to remain near the top of the league and to bring in some healthy crowds down the stretch despite major hurdles are clues that this team can, and hopefully will be, here to say. What a great first season of what many hope will be a long tenure for the Titans in Ottawa.