MACCAN - One of this province's most storied baseball teams has folded.
The Maccan Royals, who date back as far as 85 years, have been granted a one-year leave of absence from the Nova Scotia Intermediate Baseball League and it's very unlikely the team will return anytime soon.
"It's kind of disappointing really, but there just aren't enough players to keep the team going," the Royals' last coach Darren Collins said Sunday. "It was a tough decision to make, but there aren't any young players from this area coming up through the system."
The Royals were forced to bring in a number of players from Amherst over the last couple of years to fill the roster. The team struggled on the field last season after being an intermediate powerhouse for so many years. The Royals, who won a provincial and Atlantic title just three years ago, are a member of the Nova Scotia Baseball Hall of Fame .
Collins is unsure where the team's existing players will play this season. He and pitcher Jeff Hoeg have been invited to join the Amherst Dooly's Blues while other younger players may return to the midget ranks.
"This has been coming for a few years. We needed players more than bodies. This league is a very competitive one and to simply put a team together and go out there and get beat bad would be embarassing," Collins said.
Blues' skipper Barry Anderson is disappointed the Royals won't be in the league this year. Like Collins, he hopes the day comes when the Royals return.
"Maccan was good for the league and good for our team because we had a good rivalry with them over the years," Anderson said.