The Blue Baron will ride again.
At least, that’s the hope of Corner Brook’s Ron Mercer.
Mercer purchased the bus from the Corner Brook Baseball Association for $1,500 earlier this month.
“I have some great memories from travelling on that bus and I didn’t want to see her go to scrap, and I think she has some years left in her,” Mercer said.
Mercer was confident he had the means and know-how to keep it on the road because of his knack for being handy on the mechanical side of things, so he saw it as a worthwhile investment.
While his long-term vision is to have the bus rolling across the island next summer, Mercer also hopes to give the Blue Baron one official last ride with the association name still on it and that will be an appearance in the Corner Brook Christmas Parade as long as he can get the inspection and insurance issues straightened away in time.
“It would be nice just for a few memories. Everybody who played minor ball would appreciate it,” he said.
The Blue Baron is a piece of the rich history of baseball in the city — the mode of transportation for Barons baseball teams travelling to tournaments across the island for 30 years before the association felt the bus had seen enough and didn’t want to invest any money to keep it on the road.
Mercer, a 42-year-old protection and control technologist with Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, decided to purchase the bus after hearing the association was looking at sending the bus to the scrap yard because they had no use for it anymore.
His two boys — Jacob, 13, and Luke, 10 — spend a fair bit of time on the road as part of travel teams during the summer, so his plan is to drive his boys to tournaments in the same bus.
He’s also willing to entertain the idea of renting the bus to other sports groups in the city at a reduced rate as long as they have a driver with a Class 4 licence and the proper insurance coverage is in place.
He plans on getting the bus inspected sometime this week and he’s confident the Blue Baron will pass the test.
He may be the new owner, but there won’t be any name change.
The Blue Baron will check out the sights and sounds of the island soon enough and create many more memories for those who played for the B on the crest.