Baycats 20/20 Vision: The Past, Present, and Future: Baycats Stun Powerhouse Maple Leafs in 2005

by Ryan Eakin

BARRIE - The Barrie Baycats have won seven championships in their first nineteen seasons and have won six championships in the last six years.

But for many in the Baycats organization, it is their first championship in 2005 that stands out the most.

Jordan Lundberg -- who was the IBL's playoff MVP in 2005 -- said the success of the 2005 team started in the clubhouse.

"We definitely weren't the favourites going into the season but we were the definition of a team," said Lundberg. "We had a bunch of guys that loved being around each other.

"We weren't the favourites going in at all but we were a team that did everything together. We partied together and we really started to become close friends that year."

After a relatively successful regular season, the Baycats made it to the league championship series where they met the powerhouse Toronto Maple Leafs, led by ex-big leaguers Paul Spoljaric, Rob Butler, and Rich Butler.

They led the series 3-2 heading into game six in Midhurst but they knew that game was a must-win.

Lundberg said they would have had little chance to beat the Maple Leafs in game seven given the circumstances at hand.

"Our mindset heading into the series was great but once we got to game six, we knew if we lost that game we would have around nine guys available for game seven because a lot of our guys had to head back to school. 

"I don't even know if we would have had a full team, so winning game six was a relief more than anything."

Lundberg says he remembers game six as though it was yesterday.

"I remember the park being packed," said the Barrie resident. "It was as packed as I have ever seen it and it is probably the most packed the place has been to this day.

"It was pretty cool playing affront of that many people. The atmosphere was unreal and to be honest, we were all pretty relaxed. We knew we weren't the favourites and we had the series lead. We were loose and we just kept playing the way we did all series.

In that game, Lundberg hit home the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Baycats the lead.

The hit capped off an incredible postseason run for Lundberg, where he led the team in home runs.

He said he recalls his postseason run quite well.

"That year to be the best we had to beat the best in Spolly [Spolajric]. I remember hitting three home runs off of him that series as well as the game-winning double in game six.

"It was the year that I wanted to win so bad. I have never wanted to win something so badly in my life. We were all 110% in. We took no at-bats off, no pitches off, and no innings off. We just did everything we could to win.

"I was just so focused -- I wanted it so bad just because we weren't supposed to be there. We weren't supposed to win."

But win they did.

Angus Roy struck out Nildo Puertas in the top of the ninth inning on a slider away to win the championship.

It was Lundberg who caught the pitch and it was Lundberg who was first there to greet Angus on the mound.

Lundberg recalled the moment and what happened after.

"I remember Angus throwing me strike three and just running out to him," recalled Lundberg. "We jumped on each other and everyone dogpiled on top of us. I was still in my catchers gear and I was at the bottom, so it was kind of crazy. 

"I was struggling to get up just because of how exicted everyone was.

"Then having the fans come on the field afterwards -- showing the amount of joy that they did -- it wasn't a feeling that I got to feel often in my baseball career. 

"It was amazing."

Lundberg played seven more seasons for the Baycats before retiring at the end of the 2012 season.

He said he would not have traded his Baycats career for anything.

"My time in that organization was amazing," said Lundberg. "We had the same crew of guys for the longest time and it was a big stepping stone for me in my life.

"The owners and everyone around the Baycats, I have the highest regard for them. They treated everyone right and they still do. 

"It really goes to show that if you surround yourself with good people, good things will happen.

"That is why I continued to follow what they did the last six years. The Baycats have been apart of me and they will always be apart of me, so to see them accomplish what they accomplished, it was great."

Up next week in our "Baycats 20/20 Vision: The Past, Present, and Future," former general manager Doug Dimma goes in-depth on how the 2014-2019 Baycats dynasty came to be.

Click below to view the scoresheet from game six against the Maple Leafs.

1 Toronto vs Barrie SS Aug28 2005

To read and watch our entire series, click here.

For more information, follow the Baycats on Facebook and Twitter at @iblbaycats and on Instagram at @barriebaycats.

And remember to shop at our new online shop here

Photo: Brian Backland/Brian Backland Photography