Bill Atkinson grew up in Chatham and still calls C-K home today. Drafted by the Montreal Expos, Atkinson threw 98 games at the MLB level. He was signed by the Expos on his 17th birthday and climbed through the organization quickly, reaching AAA in 1975 and first appearing in the majors in 1976.
He was the top reliever for the 1976 Denver Bears, who won the American Association championship, picking up 15 saves that summer. Bill was called up to Montreal in September 1976 and did not allow a run in four outings. He made the Expos in 1977 and had a solid rookie season. After retirement, he returned to live in his hometown. ’
’It’s a wonderful time for Chatham-Kent to have an IBL franchise," said Atkinson. "This is the oldest league in Canada that started in 1919 and that develop many players that reached pro ball as well as the ones that made it and came back for great caliber. Let’s all cheer together for our team. I am honored to be the team Ambassador of the new IBL baseball club. Being a resident of Chatham-Kent all my life, I can testify that it is a great location and needed this baseball team. We have the fans, the facility and I am certain that the CK corporations will also be great support of our team."
Bill's role as Team Ambassador will be to greet and assist fans, and corporate partners throughout the ballpark at our home games. Bill will welcome fans as they arrive, shake hands, answer questions, provide information and directions, and offer tips to make the game-day experience efficient and hassle free, whether you are a first-time visitor or a season ticket holder.
You will find Bill on the perimeter of the ballpark to greet fans or hanging out in the Lounge section to offer corporate partners a great time at the ballpark. Atkinson will also participate to selected special events in the community to help promoting the team.
Bill invites you to enjoy a nice summer evening at the ballpark watching a great baseball game with the terrific calibre of play that the IBL offers.