With respect to the host team Kitchener Rivershark Twins claim to being Canada’s longest continuously running major men’steam, that claim is based on the Kitchener-Waterloo community sponsoring acompetitive team at the highest level of the game for 41 straight years,beginning in 1967. There have been many sponsorship changes over 41 years butthe primary sponsorship has remained local that entire time. The following is the chronology of sponsorship changes :
1967 – 69 , Bridge Sport Shop – Team name BridgeSports
1970 – 1990, Radio Station CHYM - Team nameWaterloo Chym’rs
1991 – 1996 , Twin City Trophies – Team nameWaterloo Twins
1997, Brick Brewing Company – Team name Waterloo BrickBrewery Twins
1998 – 2008, Hallman Family partnership (including Jack Fireman in 2002, 2003 ) – Team name Waterloo Hallman Twins 1998 –2001, Kitchener-Waterloo Hallman Twins in 2002, 2003, Kitchener Hallman Twins2004-2007 NOTE - In 2004 the Hallman sponsorship took a new direction and with a nucleus of players from the Sebringville Sting began a newera of Twins fastball. That 2004 group has 6 players on the 2008 roster.
2008 - Jim Hallman, Bob Nydick sponsors, Team name Kitchener Rivershark Twins
The faces and the names have gone through many changes overthe years but there are players such as Brian Stere who wore a Twins emblem for16 straight seasons. The Twins did join forces with the Fingal 99’rs in2000 and players like Tex Lessard, Chris Payne Trevor Wardell and coach Bill Horne all wore the Twins emblem for 4 years before forming the St.Thomas Evergreen Centennials in 2005.
The 2008 edition of Kitchener-Waterloo based fastball sees the partnering of 8 members of the 2007 Twins squad with 8 members of the Orillia Riversharks. Two additional players will join the club and the coaching staff will be a partnership of members of both staff from 2007.
The faces, the sponsorships and the names have changed but few teams can boast a 5 decade run of big time fastball in one community. Certainly not in Canada.