'It was a tough decision,' Barrie Baycats' Ryan Spataro retires

The face of the Barrie Baycats franchise is retiring.

Ryan Spataro, who works as a firefighter for the City of Barrie, is hanging up his baseball cleats following a 15-year career with the Intercounty Baseball League's Baycats.

"It was a tough decision, definitely one of the hardest I've had to make," Spataro said. "It's time to spend some time with the family by the pool."

Spataro, now 38, began his career in Barrie in 2005, winning the championship and, despite years of heartbreak and disappointment, led the team on and off the field to six straight championships until the pandemic hit.

"It was definitely nice winning those championships cause that's what you strive for," he added. "To come out on top those last six years was fantastic."

The husband and father accumulated rings, MVP honours and countless victories but said his most cherished memory in baseball was finding his passion for the sport with the men on his team he called a brotherhood.