New Owners for Red Sox

by Brantford Expositor

New Owners for Red Sox

Originally appeared in Brantford Expositor January 29, 2017 by Brian Smiley

The Brantford Red Sox have new owners.

Local businessman Rick Pomerleau and his wife, Connie, have purchased the Intercounty Baseball League team from Lee Delfino, who took over from Paul Aucoin in 2013. Although long rumoured, the sale became official only recently when all the paperwork was signed.

"At the end of the day, it was a lot of work for me to take care of with a young family," said Delfino, who has two boys - three-year-old Hudson and newborn Beau - with his wife, Rebecca.

"My time is limited and I didn't feel I could give the organization the amount of time it really needs."

Delfino has known Pomerleau for more than five years.

"I thought it would be a good fit because he's a local guy and his family is well entrenched in baseball here in Brantford, as well as the Intercounty," Delfino said.

"With his business acumen and his relationships and resources, his family will do a great job."

Pomerleau, who runs SIE Millwrights and Welding Services and Tru Test Technologies, is excited.

"I have a passion for baseball," said Pomerleau, 52, who has three sons who play in the Brantford Minor Baseball Association - 16-year-old Brady, 13-year-old Cameron and 12-year-old Chad. "I thought it was an opportunity that we couldn't let go by."

With his busy work schedule and his sons' baseball schedules, Pomerleau wasn't sure he could fit another commitment into his life. However, he and Connie decided they will run the team as a family.

Pomerleau said he expects any changes to be minor ones.

"We have to learn the whole thing."

General manager Mike Bonanno and field manager Romeo Shannelly will return, he said. And games likely will continue to be played on Wednesdays and Fridays, with some Saturday contests mixed in.

"I think that the ultimate goal would be to have a successful team with Brantford players on it," said Pomerleau.

"Because we've been coaching in the BMBA for so long, we know a lot of the players. We can see what good players are coming out of the system.

"I would rather see a really good Brantford player play for Brantford than play for Barrie or Toronto. At the same time, they have to be good enough to win a championship."

As a shortstop, Delfino helped end a 25-year title drought for the Sox when they won the IBL championship in 2006. He also was a member of the team that won six straight championships - a league record - from 2008 to 2013.

The 36-year-old said he will cherish his time as a Red Sox.

"It was some of the best baseball, most fun I've ever had," Delfino said.

"The Brantford Red Sox, Paul, the fans and the city, they brought a love for the game back to me that I hadn't had since I was 12 or 13 years old," he said.

"I was ready to stop playing baseball at 25, 26 years old, and get on with the working world but Paul, the Brantford Red Sox organization and the city gave me an opportunity to find the love in the game again.

"The teammates that I was able to play with and build relationships with that I still have, I would never have had that if it wasn't for the Brantford Red Sox organization."

Delfino said he is grateful for the community's backing during his tenure as Red Sox owner.

"Rebecca and I would like to thank the City of Brantford, the fans, sponsors, players and volunteers," he said. "It truly does mean a great deal to us that from Day 1, everyone gave us their unconditional support."

With Delfino selling the Sox and pitching coach and former reliever Stefan Strecker not expected back in the spring, that leaves GM Bonanno as the lone remaining link to the championship teams.

Fans can now purchase season's tickets at Brant Sports Excellence on Fairview Drive and Ackland Insurance on King George Road.