This weekend, residents at Monte Vista Resort in Mesa are lacing up their cleats and sliding on their stars and stripes or maple leaves in preparation for this year’s CanAm Softball Games.
On March 18, the Mesa community’s softball players will abandon their usual league uniforms and divide into two mega teams: the Americans and the Canadians, battling it out on the field for glory and national pride.
“My Team Canada teammates and I cannot wait for the big tournament this weekend,” said Jim Peever, Monte Vista resident and softball commissioner. “The Monte Vista CanAm games have been a long-standing tradition at Monte Vista that everyone at the community–both players and spectators–looks forward to every year. Although we take our patriotism very seriously, at the end of the day it’s a really fun event that brings us all together in the best way.”
Now in its seventh year, the CanAm Games were started as a friendly competition between the snowbirds in the community that call Canada home and those that live year-round in the United States; and while it really is all in good fun, both the players and the community as a whole get pretty competitive and love to get involved, making each year better than the last. Those not out on the field decorate the stands with flags, streamers and balloons patriotically sporting their home country’s colors. A small group of residents even dress up as cheerleaders and help support their teams by getting the fans revved up.
Each year two games are played. Last year, the CanAm games ended in a tie but you can be sure that the Americans are looking to win back their champion title from two years ago. The game will kick off following the opening ceremony when the American and Canadian national anthems will be sung. After all the homeruns have been hit and all the bases stolen, everyone will come together for a social by the fields to celebrate.
Saturday’s event begins at 11 a.m. at Monte Vista Village Resort Softball Fields, 8865 E. Baseline Road in Mesa.