News & Notes Western Canada Baseball

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News Archive - 25 (to July 2021)

 

Update : 27 January, 2022

Bill WalkerRed Star   Back we go. 95 years to 1926 and the boom in baseball continued across the praries right out to the West Coast. Check out the revamped 1926 home page for highlights, including notes on the Regina Balmorals and quite a season from pitcher Wilfred "Bill" Walker (left) in Calgary ball.

Common to all the regions are the roster page (even some names for Northern Ontario) and the tournament page, both updated (we note that in Prince Alberta they had a $1,500 tourney in 1926 !).

Red Star   Beginning in Manitoba, we offer game reports and standings for the Winnipeg Wesley League, Brandon City League, Winnipeg Intermedia League, a dozen smaller leagues and Junior ball too.

In all the sections we've tried to include the provincial senior playoff reports as well.  Stats are posted for the Wesley League with Art Frick of the Arenas as the batting champion.  What caught my eye was how brothers managed to perform at very close to the same level :

Bunny Warren .289, Greig Warren .289
Olie Olien .169, Alex Olien .157
George Rivers .311, Romeo Rivers .313, Joe Rivers .338

A few additonal pictures for the Photo Gallery - Sid May, Joe Darlington, Tommy Shannon and Bill Borland.

Red Star   As we move across the prairie, we have game reports (at least league structures) on the Saskatoon City League, Saskatoon Rotary League, Saskatoon Commercial League, Saskatoon Church League, Regina Northside League, Regina Eastside League, Prince Albert & District League and nearly two dozen smaller circuits.

George ClinkA few additions to the Saskatchewan Photo Gallery - George Clink (right), Harold "Mush" March, Frank Lyle, Lawson Atchison, Merrill Falby.

On the Snapshot page, we found a nice little feature on Tom Grady, a one-armed outfielder.

Red Star   In Alberta we have game reports for the major circuits and at least league make-up reports on the small loops - Edmonton Semi-Pro League, Edmonton Senior Amateur League, Calgary Senior Amateur League, Central Alberta League, Southern Alberta Leauge, Alberta Southern League, Rosebud League, Wheat Belt League, Crow's Nest League, Calgary Intermediate League and a dozen more.

Happy to add some photos to the Alberta Gallery - Paul Thompson, Eddie Shore, Louis Buck Grant, Leroy Goldworthy, Herman Loblick, Bill Walker.

Jack StarkyThe latest research provided information to make some spelling corrections - Jack Starky (left -not Starkey or Sharkey), and Ed Kilen (not Killen).

A new team photo has been uncovered as well, the 1926 Edmonton  Elks from the John Ducey collection A7249 Alberta Archive.

On the Tournament page, we've added in the $1,000 event at Lethbridge, won by the Calgary White Sox.

Red Star   On the BC page for the Interior, we've added a report to show Trail downing Revelstoke to win the BC Senior "B" title. 


19 January, 2022

Tom MulcahyTom MulcahyRed Star   Feel blessed to have known him.

Thomas Patrick Mulcahy, as the newspaper story notes, was almost too good to be true.

Mulcahy, another former Lloydminster Meridian, died February 23 last year.

Tom Mulcahy was an integral part of the Meridians' first big season in semi-pro ball.


18 January, 2022

Max WeeklyMax WeeklyRed Star   1954. It was our (Lloydminster) first year in big semi-pro company and we finished dead last, 21 games behind the pennant winning Saskatoon Gems.

But, we had our first star. A teenage southpaw from Exeter, California, Max Weekly.  For a last-place team he led the league in starts and strikeouts and was one complete game behind the league leader.

Walter Maxwell Weekly passed away last March 8th at Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. He was 86. .

Max Weekly WSUIn the papers, the name usually came out as "Big Max Weekly". In those days, 6'3" and 210 pounds was a pretty good size.

Max was a star high school athlete who won a scholarship to play football at Washington State.

At age 18, in the months before his first classes at WSU, he came to the prairies for baseball, pitching for both North Battleford and Moose Jaw. He was selected as the league's Rookie of the Year.

In the fall, he was on the freshman football team, but didn't take to the weather in Pullman and decided to go back south and attend the College of the Sequoias at Visalia, California. At COS he'd become a football all-star.

Max Weekly footballMax Weekly LloydminsterIn the spring of 1954, Max headed north again this time to the border city of Lloydminster to headline the town's new baseball team in the Saskatchewan Baseball League (with teams from Saskatoon, North Battleford, Indian Head, Rosetown and Moose Jaw).

He became the ace of the pitching staff topping the circuit in starts and strikeouts.

Fans 14

Moose Jaw wanted him back in 1955, and Lloydminster agreed to a trade bringing back one of the league's top hitters.

In fact, Collins Jones (a former Negro Leaguer) ought to have won the batting title, but somehow the league awarded the title to Ted Willis, a pitcher-outfielder for Saskatoon, who had just 137 at bats, short of the standard at the time to qualify for a batting crown. Willis finished at .336, Jones at .331. 

Weekly and TaylorWeekly played well for Moose Jaw, appearing in 16 games, completing 9 of 10 starts and compiling a 7-5 record. A good hitter, he ended at an even .300.

Left - Weekly with Roy Taylor, Moose Jaw coach and also coach at Sequoias.

Weekly COS

Weekly had excelled on the mound for COS in 1955, at one point setting a school strikeout record racking up 21 Ks against Fresno City College. Oh, he also hit a homer, double and two singles. The record still stands.

The Yankees came calling and Max signed a contract with the New Yorkers.

Weekly ModestoIn his age 22 season, he pitched in 32 games with Spokane and Modesto in his professional debut. But, after spring training in 1957 with Modesto, the US Army came calling and Max was off to Germany. He pitched in service ball in 1957 and 1958.

After being discharged in 1959, he ended up back in the prairies with Saskatoon Commodores and before sitting down with an injury in mid July, was selected as an all-star with a .2.35 ERA, second in the league.

A stint with a semi-pro team in Exeter in 1960 appears to have been the end of the baseball trail for Weekly.

After baseball Max went into sales/sales management and retired from Dave Smith Frontier Sales in Coeur d’Alene in 2008.

Max was preceded in death by his parents and his younger brother, Marv. He leaves behind his wife, Barbara; one son; six stepchildren, 16 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren; his brother, Marty; a number of nephews and nieces; and many friends.


11 January, 2022

Kaye KaminishiRed Star   The last of the Asahi, Koichi Kaye Kaminishi, is 100 years old today, January 11th.

The beloved Asahi, Vancouver's legendary Japanese team was a force in lower mainland baseball for a quarter century until in 1942 the team was disbanded as the Canadian government sent Japanese, including Japanese Canadians to internment camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

After the war many were forced to re-locate to eastern Canada.

Kaminishi suited up for the Asahi as a teenager in the final seasons with such diamond stars as Roy Yamamura, Eddie Kitagawa, Nag Nishihara, Frank Shiraishi, Herb Tanaka, Kaz and Ty Suga. After the war he played in Kamloops from 1949 to 1954.


10 January, 2022

Red Star   Thank you Lou !  Lou DeRosa has sorted out another of the southern BC players from the 1930s.  And, he turns out to have been quite the hockey star on the international stage.

Mike BucknaMike Buckna (not Buchan or Buchna as we had in a few references) who suited up for Trail baseball in the mid 1930s, also played hockey in Trail before being hired to coach the Czechoslovakian national team. He was a player coach who won international recognition.  This from the BC Sports Hall of Fame :

" ... In 1978, as a guest of the Czechoslovakian Hockey Federation, Mike Buckna was honoured as the “Father of Czechoslovakian Hockey” in recognition of his contributions to the sport of hockey in general and to the Czech game in particular.

Buckna joined the Trail Smoke Eaters in 1932 while still in the juniors, and played with the team to the first of their six BC championship wins (1931-33, 1940-41, 1949).

In 1935, he was hired to coach Czechoslovakia’s national hockey team. Buckna reorganized the country’s entire hockey system, pioneering hockey clinics, coaching junior and senior teams, and introducing minor hockey.

He served as playing coach of the Czech National Team, which won two European hockey titles in 1938 and 1939. In 1939, his National Team ironically lost to his hometown Trail Smoke Eaters 2-1 in the world championships.

Returning to Trail during WWII, Buckna played for the Smoke Eaters’ 1940 and 1941 BC championship teams.

In 1946, he returned to Czechoslovakia to coach the national team, leading them to the country’s first ever world hockey championship in 1947. This marked the first time a European team had won the world championship.

The Czech national team won a third European title in 1948. Buckna predicted that the NHL would be coming to Europe for players and at the time he was laughed at. Decades later, he would be proved correct.

Back in Trail, as player/coach for the Smoke Eaters, Buckna won the 1949 BC championship. In 1956, he turned down a coaching position with the Canadian national team to coach the newly formed Rossland Warriors."

Lou adds that Buckna " ... owned a popular bar in the gulch, the Montana Hotel. His wife, Lola, made the best pizzas.".


08 January, 2022

Bill JonesRed Star   Feel badly now I wasn't able to help out more with his documentary.  

I've just become aware that Collins William "Bill" Jones passed away last February 11 at Saskatoon after a short battle with leukemia.  He was just 63.

The son of former WCBL and Negro League player Collins Jones, Bill had begun work on a documentary, "They Came to Play the Game They Loved" but was unable to finish the project. We had corresponded and chatted on the phone over the last few years to lay the groundwork for his project and to dig out information on his dad. Such a shame he could not complete the project as it was such an important piece of his being. RIP Bill.


06 January, 2022

Red Star   Oh, that 1914 Regina team? 

Ken WilliamsOK, missed a big one. Eagle-eyed Rich Necker was quick to point out Ken Williams on that team. Yes, the same Ken Williams who carved out a 14 year career in the major leagues, including the 1922 season  in which he out-homered the legendary Babe Ruth 39 to 35, one season after the “Bambino” had set the MLB record of 59 dingers."

That same season, Williams became the majors first 30-30 man, 39 home runs, 37 steals and became the first AL player to homer twice in the same inning.

"It's hard to understand why Kenny Williams isn't enshrined in Cooperstown. He played with the Reds, St. Louis Browns, and Boston Red Sox from 1915 to 1929. One of baseball's finest hitters, he compiled a lifetime batting average of .319, 46th all-time. His slugging average of .531 is 23rd and his on-base percentage (.393) tied for 60th. During 3 sensational years at the height of his career (1921-1921) Williams averaged 116 runs scored, 194 hits, 34 doubles, 10 triples, 31 home runs, 121 RBIs, 25 stolen bases, and a .345 batting average. In 1925 he was beaned and played in only 102 games, but he drove in 105 runs, hit 25 homers, clubbed 31 doubles, and batted .331 with a .613 slugging average. Kenny's 39 home runs and 155 RBIs led the AL in 1922. He hit .331 and stole 37 bases, and was the first man to ever hit 30 home runs, steal 30 bases, and hit .300 in one season." - 1992 Conlon Baseball Card (The Sporting News, 1992, #442)

Red Star   And, two more IDs for the 1950 edition of the Saskatoon Legion. In the front row, #16 Stan Currie a lefty hurler who played in Victoria, Edmonton and Saskatoon. And in the back row, fifth from the right, Ray Hamilton.  I suspect, the player in the front row, 3rd from the right might be Harry O'Brien.


30 December, 2021

Jack SmithRed Star    First on today's tour let's take a little trip back to 1914 in Saskatchewan for a couple of photos of the Regina Red Sox of the professional Western Canada League (which that season included teams from Saskatoon, Medicine Hat, Moose Jaw, Regina, Edmonton and Calgary) Even better, we have names to go with the photos. 

One of those players, Jack Smith (left) went on to a nice 15-year career in the major leagues, mainly with the Cardinals. 

Lefty ArnoldRoss Lefty ArnoldRed Star   Moving up to 1950 (at least we think it's the 1950 edition) of the Saskatoon Legion of the Northern Saskatchewan League, courtesy of Max Weder.  One of the most recognizable players is Gordie Howe, who went on to have an amazing career in the National Hockey League.

However, we are still missing most of the names. We do think the player at the far right, back row, is Lefty Arnold, Archie Lefty Arnold. This prompted us to distinguish between Ross Lefty Arnold (near right) from Archie Lefty Arnold (far right) whose careers overlapped in Saskatchewan in the late 1940s. We had them confused in a couple of places, those changes now made.

Red Star   In searching for other material I came across the sports page of the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix in the spring of 1951, previewing Opening Day in the Northern Saskatchewan League. The clipping is posted in the '51 game reports.

Don KirkRed Star   And, this has been sitting on a corner of my desk for a long time, half finished. Time to finish up !  Alberta baseball 1952. We have made a start on the Edmonton and District Senior League with a few game reports (playoffs mainly), and completed the game reports for the Chinook League (Don Kirk (left), a lefty pitcher, finished the season 16-2, 1.46).   Of course, the team rosters have been updated.

With thanks to the old Edmonton Journal, we've extracted lots of photographic evidence of baseball in Edmonton and area in '52. The Photo Stan KulkaGallery is enhanced with the addition of pictures of Archie Lefty Arnold, Hal Callihan, Forrest Hunter, Cliff Johnson, Len Karlson, Stan Kulka (right), Lefty Lauer, Bob Murphy, Al Purvis, Barry Robertshaw, Jim Ryan, Jerry Seaman, Frank Smith and Doug Stewart.  Also, from Red Deer, we found a picture of playing manager, Pete Kruger.

The paper's sports page was certainly not frugal with baseball photos which has allowed us to build a new Snapshot Page with a ton of photos to presents the likes of Jack Moore, Bill Olson, Bud Bacon, Truman Dillman, Bill McIntyre, Dutch Lakeman, Ray Malik, Al Purvis, Lefty Lauer, Des O'Connor, Lefty Belter, Jerry Seaman, Howie Martin, Freddie Clarke, Doug Stewart, Jerry Wynn and Ross Kortgard.

Tuggle_HilsendagerRed Star  Happened upon this item from 2016 by Dustin Saracini published at Sasktoday.ca about the North Battleford Sports Museum and Hall of Fame and, in particular, a meeting between two former North Battleford Beavers.

Remembering the 1956 NB Beavers, the team Emile Francis built

A family. Those were the words catcher Gale Tuggle used to describe the 1956 North Battleford Beavers who represented team Canada at the Global World Series in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Gale Tuggle stands with Don Hilsendager behind the Canada jersey
worn at the Global World Series

The now 82-year-old, who still has a 23-year-old-athlete-in-his-prime grip for a handshake, grinned from ear to ear when reminiscing on the days playing for the community.

In the early 1950’s, baseball thrived in the city of North Battleford. Abbott Field, dubbed the original field of dreams, was continuously packed with Beaver faithful, with upwards of 5000 fans at each home game.

“We only had 5000 people in North Battleford,” Executive Director of the Sports Museum, Don Hilsendager said, “So the surrounding area just dragged people in … Wednesday afternoon, they always played a home game in North Battleford, and all the businesses shut down.”

“I remember when we used to have exhibition games in Biggar,” Tuggle recalled. “They used to say, ‘New York is big but this is bigger.’”

Hilsendager and Tuggle went on to explain how the game shaped the city in the days where there weren’t many other summer activities. They were celebrities. The citizens of North Battleford flocked and poured into Abbott Field whether it was a regular season game or a tune-up. The children looked up to the players and walked side-by-side with them from the dressing room to the field before game time, an experience one would not soon forget.

“I was a kid who was born and raised here, who went and watched the ball games,” Hilsendager said, remembering what the 1956 team meant to him. “These guys were my idols, that’s how I wanted to play ball, it was because of these guys.” In between games during a double header, the ball players came out to the fans to play catch with the kids. “Talk about a thrill,” Hilsendager said. In 1967, Don’s dream turned into a reality as he got to put on the grey and red jersey and play for North Battleford.

The Beavers were no slouches, either. This was high quality baseball in an incredible league that extended to the United States. The Western Canada League started in 1951, with three teams across the border and 21 teams overall.  A handful of players from the WCL moved on to play in the majors. Most notably, there was Ron Perranoski, who pitched for the Lloydminster Meridians against North Battleford in the final series, who later went on to play for Los Angeles.

The weather was near freezing on that September day as both teams looked to earn themselves a berth in the Global World Series. In the opening game, the Beavers came back from a 6-0 deficit to defeat Lloydminster, 13-9. This was due to Kenny Nelson, who cleared the bases in the third inning with a bases loaded triple.

The Meridians split the series with Perranoski on the mound in game two, pitching a complete game while narrowly beating North Battleford, 4-3. In true, 1950’s baseball fashion, Perranoski pitched the third game of the double header, but was tagged by the incredible offence of the Beavers, losing 9-1. Back-to-back home runs from Bob Herron and Jesse Blackman gave North Battleford a 7-0 lead, and they never looked back.

“We were incredible,” Tuggle reminisced, “We had batting averages of .360 against great pitching.”

He was quick to back up his own pitchers, too. Frequently describing the hard throwing Bennie Griggs as one of the best he ever caught. His 95 mph fastball always filling the stadium with the pop of his catcher’s mitt.

Tuggle also illustrated how the culture of baseball changed over the years, and what it was like to play in the mid 1950’s.

“Nowadays, if a catcher is standing at home plate and the runner rounds third base and he runs over the catcher, that’s not allowed,” he said. “In those days [1950’s] my football career basically saved me a lot of times at home plate. Strictly because they are going to take you out.”

Gale had a tremendous career as a linebacker in college and junior college, and has coached for Florida State. He now loves to cross country ski, and coaches the high school just outside of Denver. Tuggle has been teaching and coaching for 39 years since leaving North Battleford.

He brought his hard-nosed style to Wisconsin where the Beavers played in the Global World Series against teams from around the world. Ball clubs from Mexico, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Japan, Holland, Canada and Honolulu graced the field in Milwaukee. The dream season ended just two games into the world series, after being defeated by Hawaii and star pitcher John Sardinha. The tournament eventually became the World Baseball Classic that we see today.

This team wouldn’t have been what it was without manager and recruiter, Emile Francis. For everything he did in hockey and inside the National Hockey League as a player, coach and manager, he equally did for the sport of baseball here in North Battleford. A handful of players came from colleges around the United States, or from different teams in Canada. Francis did his research, found out how much money players were making, and struck a deal to bring the athletes to North Battleford. Francis also held recruiting dinners from time to time to welcome players into the prestigious Western Canada League who had never heard of it before. He was one of the most intelligent managers when it came to recruiting players and worked his way up through the system by being a trustworthy, honest and approachable man. He later went on to play for the Chicago Blackhawks and New York Rangers as a goalie before managing the Rangers, St. Louis Blues and the Hartford Whalers. He was nicknamed “The Cat” for his quickness in between the pipes.

“Emile’s face had little lines that went horizontal,” Tuggle said. “Where most of us that are wrinkled go whatever which way, all of Emile’s went horizontal, and that was from stitches. He did not play with a mask. He was one of the greatest goalies ever to play without a mask.”

Pictures of Francis can be seen throughout the sports museum in North Battleford. You can find one of him shaking hands with the USA president at the time, Ronald Reagan.

Looking back on the team that won the WCL and travelled to the Global World Series, Tuggle remembers the camaraderie between the players and thinks of his teammates as brothers.

“By the time we played four or five games, that team was probably as close of a family-type team as you can be,” Tuggle said. “I don’t remember ever having any kind of hard feelings anywhere in the ball club … It was just a great bunch of guys.”

In the end, the story wasn’t about the individuals on the Beavers, rather it was what they were able to do on an international level, coming from the small city of North Battleford.


Update : 20 December, 2021

Barry SwantonRed Star  So sorry to hear of the passing of Barry Swanton October 1st in Langley, BC.

He had just marked his 83rd birthday. 

A lovely man with a passion for baseball, he grew up in Winnipeg before moving to BC more than 30 years ago. Barry is the one who enticed me to work with him on the Black Baseball Players in Canada A Biographical Dictionary, 1881–1960. He had previously published The ManDak League Haven for Former Negro League Ballplayers, 1950–1957 on the famous Manitoba-Dakota league and was instrumental in the coverage of the ManDak League on this site.

Barry was overjoyed to be honoured in 2006 with induction into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame (that's a baseball card from fellow researcher and author, Bill Guenthner (whose work on the Minot Mallards continues to be part of our site). Barry was the impetus for my induction into the Saskatchewan Hall of Fame in 2010 and I will be forever grateful.

Barry is survived by Irene, his wife of 59 years; his three children, Kelly, Dean and Jane and their spouses; as well as his three grandchildren, Lauren, Landon and Regan.


Update : 19 December, 2021

Red Star   With material from Lou DeRosa and Art Mercer our Rich Necker has baseball news from the Kootenays of BC for 1976 and 1977.

Red Star   With a void in senior level baseball in 1976, the West Kootenays cheered on teenage players in the Selkirk Senior Babe Ruth League.

We're happy to offer game reports, including playoffs, standings, rosters, and summaries of two major tournaments, the Trail Invitational and the BC Senior Babe Ruth event at Nanaimo.

Red Star   Senior level ball returned to the Kootenays in 1977 with the formation of the Kootenay International Senior League, with teams from Castlegar, East Kootenay, Trail, Colville, WA, Grand Forks, New Denver-Silverton and Republic, WA

Art MercerRed Star   Not one, but two team photos of the Trail Hotelman (one in colour) some snapshots, including Art Mercer as Most Valuable Player, Mike Mukanik, Andy Bilesky, and in the Photo Gallery Mercer, Kevin Oliver and Ed Wilcox.

The guys have dug out extended game reports, including playoffs and standings, rosters, and final batting and pitching statistics.

In addition, we've found summaries of two big tournaments, the BC Senior "B"-Intermediate event at Nanaimo and the Grand Forks Credit Union International Labour Day Tournament (Seattle topped defending champion Vancouver).

Red Star   The Selkirk Senior Babe Ruth League continued in 1977 with teams from Beaver Valley, Colville WA, East Trail and West Trail. We have a few game reports, standings and rosters.


Update : 24 November, 2021

Neil UrlacherDon McIntyreRed Star  Before we get on to the update of material pertaining mainly to the 1925 season, a note on a previous post.

The one noting the photo of the 1971 Neilburg Monarchs and illustrated by individual pictures of Neil Urlacher (far left) and Don McIntyre (near left).

Yes, our eagle-eyed Rich Necker noticed. He figured in the editing procedure the Urlacher photo got reversed. But, then in checking the team photo (link above) realized there is a story there somewhere as to how nearly half the caps had a reversed "N".  No answer yet.

Red Star   Thanks to the sleuthing of our Mr. Necker, we have a revamp of the 1925 home page and tons of material on prairie ball in that season.

Red Star   The 1925 Alberta game reports feature the two major circuits, the Edmonton Senior League and the Calgary version, plus the Alberta Southern League and, yes, the Southern Alberta League. We offer some bits and pieces as well for the Central Alberta League, Rosebud League, Wheat Belt League, Crow's Nest Pass League and more than a dozen more, even a few for which we could not ascertain a league name.

With stories on the games and the makeup of the various leagues we've added hundreds of names on the roster page including teams from nearly 50 communities which didn't appear to be in formal leagues.

Additions to the Alberta Photo Gallery include Lefty Brown, Ronnie Martin, Norman "Chubby" Scott, Red Stewart and Paul Thompson.

Silver Smith


"Silver" Smith or "Sliver" Smith the Edmonton Senior League ?

What we do know is that it was Albert Smith who first shows up in an Edmonton uniform in 1924 and, even after missing many season, suited up again in 1950, 26 years later. The nickname? Not so sure.

 

Sliver Smith

Silver Smith

Sliver Smith

 

The new material has helped to sort out a couple of names and we've decided that Kadlic, Kadlac, Kadelac, Kadalac, Kadlic of Calgary and Wetaskiwin teams is Ed Kadlec.  And for various Calgary teams it's Emil W. Borgens.

Red Star   Game reports from Saskatchewan highlight the Saskatoon City League, Regina's Northside League and Eastside League, Prince Albert, Saskatoon Commercial League, and down to the Wolverine League to the Moonshine League and Carrot River Valley League. There's some Regina junior ball too.

Ah, Saskatchewan, the place names - from Climax to Conquest to Sceptre, Success, Cut Knife, Elbow, Expanse, Holdfast, Leader, Lucky Lake, Unity and Radville (which would have a whole new meaning these days). Those communities among those on the roster page.

We've added material to the tournament page, specifically the Saskatoon Exhibition Tournament and the Unity Tournament.

New to the Saskatchewan Photo Gallery are the pictures of Ken Doraty, Jerry Cummings (see below) and Joe McCulloch

And, we're pretty happy to add to the team photos with the 1925 Crestwynd club. Names too.

Jerry CummingsIn the Saskatoon City League playoffs, Lefty Jerry Cummings pitched the Elks to a 9-1 win in the opening game, then followed with an 8-0 shutout in the second before firing another shutout to take a 3-0 game lead in the best of seven series (with one tie). No one was giving the poor CNR a chance in the final series.

But after scoring one run in three game against Cummings they battered the Elks' ace for 11 runs to put one in the win column.

Two days later they faced Cummings yet again and put eight runs on the board to post their second win. They squeaked out a 5-4 win to tie the series at 3-3. Then on the 2nd of September before one of the largest crowds ever assembled for am amateur ball game in the Hub City, the amazing CNR nine were held to three hits by Cummings but took advantage of two Elks' errors to walk away with a 5-3 decision and the league championship winning four straight playoff games.

In the process, we discovered that Pep Young, playing in Edmonton, was not the same as Athol Young in Regina. And Pep was not the Pep Young who carved out a ten year career in the majors.

Red Star  The Manitoba game reports concentrate on a pair of substantial leagues in Winnipeg, the Wesley Senior Amateur League and the Sherburn Park League. But, many others are covered including the Southwestern Manitoba League, Winnipeg Intermediate League even Winnipeg and Brandon junior baseball. There is a full report on the provincial playoffs.

The section also has reports on the tour by the famous Toronto Oslers for an exhibition series against the top Manitoba teams. The Snapshot page has a copy of a newspaper ad for the series and a link to a very nice historical piece on the Oslers.

Joe SpringAce pitcher for the Oslers was Joe Spring, And we've added a 1919 and 1925 Ontario Photo Gallery just for him (so far).

The tournament page gets some additions, including the Hamiota event.

Again, the roster page has hundreds of additional names as we cover teams from Fork River to Miami and Ninga and sort out Oakburn, Oak Lake, Oak River and Oakville.


13 November, 2021

Red Star  Next Tuesday, two names familiar to readers of our site will be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. They are among sixteen to be honoured.  Roy Yamamura (left) shortstop of the famous Vancouver Asahi 1923-1941 and Jimmy Rattlesnake, from what was then called the Hobbema Reserve, south of Edmonton, who emerged as a standout lefty pitcher mainly for teams on the prairies, with a stint in Victoria (1930-1946).

     Roy Yamamura   Jimmy Rattlesnake


05 November, 2021

Red Star  A little potpourri in this update ranging from the 1910s into the late 1970s.

Don McIntyreNeil UrlacherRed Star   What  a pleasant surprise here in my little village in the mountains of SE British Columbia.

As I was out in the front yard chopping down some hollyhocks, a gentleman approached and introduced himself - Randy Edwards of old Neilburg baseball days !  We'll have time to discuss much about baseball in the area in the months ahead but for now he's managed to track down a team photo of the 1971 Neilburg Monarchs.  Neilburg was a force in amateur ball for decades in Saskatchewan. Neil Urlacher (left) and Don McIntyre (right) were among the team's stars (those individual photos added to the Saskatchewan Gallery or 1971). And a name synonymous with Neilburg baseball - Pete Prediger suited up for the team from the mid 1930s to the late 1960s.

Red Star   With a little prodding from Jim Shaw (whose uncle likely played against them), we uncovered much more information on the 1932 tour of Western Canada by the Earl Mack Major League All-Stars. Yep, in October they were playing in Lethbridge, Edmonton and Calgary among other prairie stops !

Rich Necker, Indian Head TournamentRed Star   With a thank you to fan and collector Max Weder, we have a copy of a newspaper advertisement for the famous Indian Head Baseball Tournament. This one is for 1952. The Florida Cubans (with Rich Necker as batboy, left) won the big event downing a team from Baton Rouge, LA. It's posted on the 1952 Tournament page.

Andy McGladrieRed Star   And, Max stumbled upon a story and photo of former Lloydminster pitcher Andy "Mac" McGladrie. In a game in 1947, the classy -one-armed hurler, allowed only one hit in nine innings and only two Lashburn runners reached third base as the Oilers whipped Lashburn 16-0 in a Battle River Baseball League game.

That attracted the attention of the newspaper the Edmonton Journal which offered a nice little item on the player. It included a photo which we have added to the 1947 home page and the Alberta Photo Gallery. Later we turned up a photo of McGladrie when he was an umpire in the Western Canada League in 1955.

Red Star   Max also dug out a couple of other gems from the newspaper archives. One, a photo from 1950 of Indian Head manager Jim Williams and his catcher Louis Green discussing footwear !  Green went on to a long career with the North Battleford Beavers.

Red Star    I think we also "borrowed" the 1944 Foothills League crest photo from Max. It now adorns the 1944 home page.

Red Star   Lou DeRosa has tracked down a photo of the 1959 (we believe) Vernon, BC, Carlings. Clark Inglis was kind enough to dig out the team picture.

Red Star  Our thanks to Gord McNabb for information on his dad who played with Lucky Lake and Liberty in Saskatchewan in the 1940s. Among other things, we now have a first name for R. McNabb - Roland - and know that Earl McNabb and Morris McNabb, who played on the same team, were cousins of Roland.

Red Star  Not sure I previously mentioned the re-do of the Glen Wilkie photo for the 1930 Alberta Snapshot page.

Red Star   In our research, we happened to stumble upon a photo of Winnipeg pitching star Bill Crowe. This one, from 1930 when he played with the Dokey-Tigers, is posted in the 1930 Manitoba Snapshots

Doyle battingRed Star   So happy to hear from Mike Doyle whose dad played in Vancouver in at least the period 1914-1917.  He was able to ID his dad in the 1916 team photo and, of course, we now have the full name - Wilfred J. Doyle !  In the process we've added in the 1914 BC Photo Gallery as well as updating the team photo. Mike has also sent along some clippings showing his dad as, not only the batting champion in 1914 hitting .545, but the theft king as well. And, as in the clipping above, he was leading the league in hitting in 1915 half way through the schedule (we haven't yet found the final statistics). Among the clippings was the 1914 Federal League schedule, now posted in the game reports and some game summaries for the Federal League and a few games for the BC Interior League.

Red Star    In 1951 the National Baseball Congress held a series of playoffs to determine provincial champions and we've added some newspaper ads for those competitions on the tournament page.

Jim PaisleyBob StevensonRed Star   And a thank you to former Regina Red Sox star Jim Paisley (left) for the correction on the name of 1965 teammate Bob Stevenson. We had it listed as Bill.

This is now updated in the 1965 Saskatchewan Photo Gallery and Rosters .

Jim was a key member of those Regina teams from the mid 1960s into the 1980s as a player, coach and manager (we've added that (left) photo to the 1979 Saskatchewan Gallery). Bob we have listed just the one year, 1965.

Red Star   The Carruthers-Cruthers-Carothers-Alva-Ava-Alvey saga from the 1920s and 1930s takes yet another turn.

We noted previously that the Edmonton player we had originally named Alva Carruthers (along with brother Bobby), turned out to be Ava Cruthers. But, in our search we turned up another Alva Carruthers playing for a different Edmonton team. Rich and I went searching and discovered that this Alva Carruthers was among a group of black American settlers to immigrate to Canada and put down roots at Amber Valley, Alberta. So at this point our original Alva Carruthers turned out to be Ava Cruthers but we did now have an Alva Carruthers.  Well, for a time.

While first recorded as Alva Carruthers in the regional census, the Canadian census of 1921 had him listed as Alvey Carothers. And to put a cap on it, Rich located a newspaper obituary notice from 1996 which has the spelling as Alvie Carothers.

Bobby CruthersAmongst all of this, we found a photo of Bobby Cruthers (right) for the 1932 Alberta Gallery.

Red Star    In posting a photo in the 1933 Alberta Snapshots  of Edmonton pitcher Bud Spiesman and having encountered stories of a Matt Spiesman pitching during the late 1920s and 1930s, the thought occurred that they might be the same player.

So, back to the newspapers. As usual, it was a little more complicated that at first appeared, but in the end Matthew J. Spiesman and Bud Spiesman are one and the same. The spelling is slightly different from Orville "Cap" Spiessman who suited up in Edmonton just a couple of years previous. 

MJ SpiesmanMatthew J. "Bud" Spiesman, who pitched in pro and semi-pro ball from 1929 to 1941 was the son of, you guess it, Matthew J. Spiesman (sometimes shown as Mattias Spiesman), who played pro ball from 1901 to 1911 (see the baseball card at the left). His grandfather also was Matthew J. Spiesman and, fittingly Bud had a son named ... Matthew James Spiesman.

Red Star   From Jane Shury's notes from the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame we are sad to hear of the passing of former players Wayne Pusch, Glen Shockey and Harvey Nybo. The Hall has announced that the Indian Head Rockets have been selected for induction in the team category at the 2022 dinner.

Red Star    Wow, Brian Morrison, at Diamonds in the Dusk, is on a roll.

Among his latest posts is one on Lafayette Henion who pitched on the prairies in the early 1920s after a cup of coffee in the major leagues. Brian does an amazing job of tracking down whole careers, back to high school !

Eddie TannerRed Star    For the 1957 Western Canada League we have an updated photo of Lloydminster playing manager Eddie Tanner (left) .

Tanner, who had a pro ball background after amateur ball in the Lower Mainland of BC, continued to play in the Edmonton City League until the late 1960s and was still coaching and managing into the late 1970s.

Red Star    In digging out other material we came upon more stories of the famous Lacombe Baseball Tournament, this one of the 1972 event and we've added a few more bits to the game reports. And, added in pitcher Steve Sanborn to the Photo Gallery to join a few other American tournament stars (John Noce, Steve Callahan and Don Benedetti).  The Benedetti story had a tragic end. Once a high school and university star, the power-hitting catcher played just two minor league seasons in A Ball before leaving the game. In 1990 he was a suicide off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Red Star    The updates to some of the yearly home pages now contain salutes to Canadian born baseball stars Larry Walker (1966), Corey Koskie (1973), Ryan Dempster (1977) and Jason Bay (1978).

Red Star   With access to more papers, we've discovered more information of a pair of former Lloydminster Meridians of the old Western Canada League. Those profiles - of Curly Williams and his life-long friend Modie Risher -- have been updated.


29 October, 2021

Red Star  In this update, some additions to our 1975 stuff thanks to Rich Necker and Lou DeRosa and a look back to the 1930s and some clowns !

The game reports and rosters for the Okanagan Mainline League are especially welcome as it's an area that's proven a tad difficult to locate information.  Interesting to note the league that season included little Lumby, BC, a logging town near me.

There was not much to be found for 1975 statistics from the revival of the Mainline loop but we do have batting stats for the Vernon entry as we continue to chase more.

Red Star  The 1975 BC Photo Gallery has a couple of new addition - Ed Johnstone and Ken Holland, both Vernon Legion players

Gord NuyensLouis NuyensAmong the Vernon players in 1975 was Gord Nuyens (left) , a catcher for the most part, who began playing with the Vernon club in the early 1960s.

We believe he is from the same family as Louis Nuyens (right) , a Vernon player in the 1920s, George and John Nuyens in the 1930s & 40s and Joe Nuyens in the 1940s (left to right below) all who played for Vernon.

[Clark Inglis, a former Vernon player, has confirmed that Gordie Nuyens is the son of George Nuyens and the nephew of John Nuyens !]

George NuyensJohn NuyensJoe NuyensRed Star   On the 1975 Tournament page Sweet Lou DeRosa has some details on ball in the West Kootenays.

The lack of a senior team meant the spotlight shone on Senior Babe Ruth ball and especially the big Trail International Tournament.  A team from Oregon topped the local Selkirk Selects in the final.

Joe WeremyFurther north, up in Quesnel, there is news on the 1975 Billy Barker Days Tournament.  Little Joe Weremy, who first showed up on our radar in 1953 as a 19-year-old hurler in the Edmonton area, belted a homer in a losing cause for the Billy Barker club.

Weremy continued to play baseball until at least 1977 and then suited up in slo-pitch into the 2000's, something like fifty years on the diamond !  Joe passed away in June, 2020 at the age of 86.

Red Star    It was a big deal in Muscatine, Iowa, in April, 1930 when veteran minor league catcher Jack Hruksa announced the beginning of his Canadian-American Clowns touring team.

Hruska headline

Can-Am at LethbridgeHruska had been beating around the bushes for nearly two decades playing for 15 or 16 pro and semi-pro teams before latching on to the idea of a barnstorming team out of Muscatine.

He took the club on the road beginning in 1930, and a a few years after, and toured extensively in the US and Canada hitting the northern states, especially Montana, Iowa and Washington and numerous cities north of the 49th including Brandon, Regina, Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Vancouver and Victoria.

Hap Watson

The Clowns main funster, the "rotund prince of fun makers" was a Canadian out of Toronto.

Hap Watson was a coach and pitcher for the barnstorming Toronto Oslers, among other sports organizations, and had a long history as a baseball comedian in the Ontario city.

He had toured the West with the Oslers in the 1920s. He continued to play and entertain into the 1940s. He was also a well recognized voice as the arena announcer for the Toronto Maples Leafs of the National Hockey League.

Renown columnist Jim Coleman had a little fun in print at Watson's expense.

Jim Coleman column on Watson

Hap Watson pitched for the Canada Buds at Maple Leaf Stadium on Thursday night. Hap Watson lasted only three innings, but this was no surprise to any one, because Mr. Watson's hair is as grey as a badger's, and his waistline has expanded until he has assumed aldermanic contours--and for many seasons past he has done nothing more athletic than lifting a cigar to his lips.

As a matter of fact, there are some critics who insist that, even at the height of his playing career, Mr. Watson certainly ranked among the worst pitchers in the world.

But, in any event, Mr. Watson is assured of a niche in history as the only pitcher ever to win a game through the unorthodox but efficacious feat of stopping a line drive with a portion of his anatomy customarily reserved for sitting.

                                             *       *       *       *       *

In his hey-hey-day, Mr. Watson performed his baseball chores in the tunic and bloomers of the famed Toronto Oslers. The Oslers toured Western Canada in a commendable effort to bring culture to the natives of that vast area beyond the Great Lakes. The tour, we regret to report, was something less than a spectacular financial success.

                                             *       *       *       *       *

The situation at times became so acute that, in the picturesque argot of the entertainment world, the Oslers were "from hunger." On these occasions it was necessary for them to play games at such whistle-stops as Spuzzum, B.C.; Bleeding Heart, Sask.; Bottle-on-Rock, Alta,, or any place where the collection would yield them coffee and crullers.

In such circumstances, they descended on the hamlet of Virden, Man., where, to their horror, they discovered that they were scheduled to play two games against a team which included Happy Felsch and Swede Riseberg, respectively the great outfielder and shortstop who were expelled from organized baseball after the infamous Chicago Black Sox scandal.

                                             *       *       *       *       *

The regular members of the Osler pitching staff were exhausted from washing dishes in restaurants and making lower births in trains as the team worked its way across the continent. In this crisis, the Osler manager decided that Watson should be a sacrificial offering to the team piloted by Felsch and Riseberg.

At the time, Mr. Watson's alleged "fast ball" wouldn't have dented a sheet of cellophane, and his curve was so slow that, as the ball lobbed toward the batter, the lettering on the sphere could be read as easily as the top line on one of those charts in an oculist's office.

Riseberg and Felsch still were two of the mightiest hitters in the game, and they chuckled and chuckled when they saw Mr. Watson throwing what was referred to laughingly as his "warm-up pitches." Riseberg was so confident when he stepped up to bat for the first time that he let the first two pitches go by for called strikes while he carried on an animated conversation with a blonde in the third row.

Mr. Riseberg took a vicious cut at the next pitch, but connected with nothing but the prairie ozone, and, to his intense surprise, landed in a singularly undignified position on the seat of his panties in the dirt.

                                             *       *       *       *       *

To cut a long story short, Mr. Watson won the first game, and neither Riseberg nor Felsch reached him for a loud foul.

Bemused by this strange turn of events, the Osler manager sent Watson back to the mount in the second contest. Again his "nothing-ball" mystified Felsch and Riseberg.

Finally, in the ninth inning, Riseberg came to bat with a chance to win the game. He was raging at his inability to hit our Mr. Watson's offerings.

"Come on, you pot-bellied Dizzy Dean," he snarled, "throw me that ball--I'll knock it down your throat." (Dizzy Dean wasn't out of grade school at the time, but why ruin a good story?)

                                             *       *       *       *       *

Mr. Watson threw--Mr. Riseberg connected--Mr. Watson turned his back and ducked as the ball sizzled toward the box. With a resounding clang, it struck Mr. Watson square on his ample posterior. Gravely, Mr. Watson retrieved the ball and tossed it to first base to end the game.

Mr. Watson ate off the mantel for the succeeding week, but it was worth it--we hear that they're going to hang his britches in the Baseball Museum at Cooperstown, N.Y.

(Renown sports writer and columnist Jim Coleman writing in the Globe and Mail, July 15, 1942.)

" ...
Coleman was a member of the Order of Canada, recipient of the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award from the Hockey Hall of Fame, and was inducted into the Canadian News Hall of Fame, Canadian Football Hall of Fame, Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and Canada's Sports Hall of Fame." Wikipedia

   [* to eat off the mantel - to have been punished so hard that one can't even sit]


24 October, 2021

Red Star   Now that's much better !  Rich Necker's update of the 1922 home page.

Red Star   Adding in two team photos we neglected to highlight earlier - the 1924 Winnipeg Tammany Tigers, the Wesley Park League and Manitoba senior champions and Wapella, Saskatchewan, that super tournament team.


23 October, 2021

Alf BennettBill CroweRed Star   The updated 1924 home page provides a quick baseball snapshot of the summer on the prairies and BC.

It includes notes on the Wapella tournament team, the up and down seasons of Alf Bennett (left) in Saskatchewan and Bill Crowe (right) in Manitoba along with the "Believe It Or Not" story of Harold Nelson of Carberry and the success of Eddie Olson and the Hammond Mill team in British Columbia and Cliff 'Tiny' Turner in Alberta.

Of great importance, especially to those trying to confirm the baseball exploits of their grandfathers and great grandfathers, is the huge expansion of names on the roster page.

Pat McNeallyThe tournament page includes what we could dig up on the Wapella, Saskatchewan, club which was touted as the province's most successful team in 1924 winning just about every tournament they entered. Veteran Pat McNeally (right) was the playing-manager. They began the season winning 23 straight and, according to the Morning Leader of Regina, won 51 of 56 games.

Late in the season they took on the Brandon Greys and won three of four as Lefty Armstrong fired back-to-back, one-hit shutouts.

Luckily we landed upon some newspaper clippings with hitting and pitching statistics for the Winnipeg Wesley Park League and batting stats for the Calgary City League and Saskatoon City League.

Red Star   It's not a really good photo, but we are pleased to have something to show of Jerry Cummings of the Saskatoon Elks of the Saskatoon City League. It's on the Saskatchewan Snapshot page.

Cummings had quite the season, with a 13-4 pitching mark but also proved he could use the stick too. He finished with a .275 average and led the league in home runs, with three.

Mel KerrHappy to add to the Saskatchewan Photo Gallery, as Pat McNeally, Frank Hamilton, Con Bissett, Ray Watkins, Mel Kerr (left), Guy Poole, Frank Lyle and Joe Brown make their way on-line. Kerr, a tremendous all-round athlete in Saskatoon, might well be the subject of a trivia question as a player with just one game in the major league and yet no at bats. He was a pinch runner and registered a stolen base in his oh-so-brief stint with the Cubs in 1925.

The Saskatchewan game reports feature the Saskatoon City League, Saskatoon Senior Rotary League, Saskatoon Intermediate League, Regina Northside League, Northside (Second Division), Regina Eastside League, Moose Jaw City League, Weyburn baseball, provincial playoffs and even more. Included is a report of a game of all of 23 minutes !

The Alf Bennett story is an interesting one to follow.

Tiny ThompsonRed Star   The Alberta game reports provide an early indication of the kind of summer it would be for Cecil "Tiny" Thompson (to become one of the greats in the National Hockey League).  In the season opener of the Calgary City League, Thompson belted a pair of home runs to lead the Athletics to a win and he went on to capture the batting title hitting .462. The Athletics carried on to win the Alberta Senior Championship.

Also covered in the game-by-game reports, the Edmonton Intermediate League (which had a team of "coloured" players trying to repeat as champions), a late season Senior League, along with the Southern Alberta League, the Alberta Southern League, Central Alberta circuit, Rosebud loop and more, including reports on the provincial playoffs.

It was a summer of small and major tournaments, including a pair in Edmonton - the King of the Bushers and the Little World Series. 

In the Alberta Photo Gallery there are additions of Jean Bride, Tiny Thompson, Andy Baxter and Clarence Campbell. On the new Snapshot page there's Chuck Henderson and Jack Starky, key members of the Edmonton Outlaws.

Cliff Tiny TurnerWe spent a way too much time trying to pin down the record of Cliff "Tiny" Turner (right) the pitching star for the Mirror (population 600), Alberta, Canadian Nationals. Among other things he finished with a 17-3 record (plus 2 ties) and fired 11 shutouts, two of them no-hitters. Signed by the Tigers, he had an impressive 1925 pro season in Texas pitching more than 200 innings but left for home early not feeling well. At just 22, Turner was diagnosed with typhoid fever and died in an Edmonton hospital.

Bobby CruthersIn the Alberta game stories in the papers we noticed an Edmonton player named Alva Carruthers, with a Bobby Carruthers (left) on the same team. However, that didn't match the names we had for the pair in later years. After many searches over many days we discovered the real names as Ava Cruthers and Bobby Cruthers, his brother.

The search became complicated as we found another player, also a pitcher, named Alva Carruthers on a different Edmonton team, the all-black Shilohs. The 1916 prairie census listed an Alva Carruthers, black, as one of 11 children of Samuel and Beulah Carruthers. However, the same man was identified in the 1921 national census as Alvey Carothers. At this point we just moved on.

Leroy Goldsworthy HockeyLeroy Goldsworthy BaseballThe hockey connection was clearly evidence in Alberta ball with Tiny Thompson in Calgary and up in Edmonton a pair of 18-year-olds Leroy Goldsworthy and Clarence Campbell, among others, suiting up in the capital city.

Goldsworthy (left and right) had a decade in the National Hockey League with the New York Rangers and the New York Americans, Boston, Detroit, Montreal and Chicago. In all he suited up for the ice game for nearly 20 seasons. In 1933 he was a pro both in hockey and baseball. At the rink he played for the Chicago Blackhawks and on the diamond that season he fashioned a 22-6 pitching record in 250 innings with Winnipeg of the Northern League.

Campbell, a bright youngster, won a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford in England. He had already graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in law. At Oxford he played for the university's hockey club. He returned to Edmonton and was an executive of the Amateur Hockey Association and later worked as a referee in the NHL in the 1930s before enlisting in the Canadian Army and serving in Word War II. In 1945 he was award the Order of the British Empire.  Upon his return to Canada, Campbell quickly moved up the hockey ranks, assuming the presidency of the NHL in 1946. He continued in the post until 1977. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Red Star   The Manitoba game reports cover the Winnipeg Wesley Park League won by Bill Crowe's Tammany Tigers (who went on to capture the provincial senior title), the Winnipeg Stadium League, Winnipeg Intermediate League, Southwestern League and more, including the Winnipeg and Brandon junior leagues. In the reports, a baseball name of note - Fungo Waaks of Winnipeg Norwood.

The new photos in the Manitoba Gallery include Gordon Caslake, Charlie Gardiner, George Bibeau, Darky Bouchard and Packey McFarlane.

Red Star   For BC, the stats and rosters were already posted for Vancouver and Victoria leagues and we've added some names to teams in the East Kootenay region. 


07 October, 2021

Rich NeckerRed Star    Yep.

That's our Rich Necker, 1955 - high school first baseman in in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Getting ready for a turn at bat for the nine run by the Soeurs de la Charité de Saint-Louis.

Rich, who has been of incredible assistance to our little project, has dug deep to tell us a story of the 1923 baseball season in Western Canada.

Yes, just 98 years ago and here we are filling in tons of information - game reports, rosters, photos, statistics - on the spring and summer of '23.

No-hittersRed Star   A long neglected aspect of the site - the yearly home pages - gets a boost with an attempt to review the happenings of this year on the 1923 home page.

Among other things, it was a season of some brilliance from the mound. No-hitters were not uncommon and one hurler, Harry Mason, pitching for Norwood in the Manitoba Senior Amateur League fashioned back-to-back no-no's.

Red Star    In Saskatchewan, the game reports mainly cover the Saskatoon City League, the Saskatoon Rotary League, Regina Northside League(s) and Moose Jaw City League. But, on the home page you'll find the list of all the leagues and teams we could uncover.

Roy Forsythe and Mel Kerr are adds to the Saskatchewan Photo Gallery

The roster page has been updated to reflect the additional material in all provinces. From the big cities down to the whistle-stops, Rich has compiled at least partial rosters for all he could find.

Again, the statistics for the Saskatoon City League (printed in the Saskatoon Daily Star, August 20, 1923) took some time to comprehend as the paper failed to show home runs and made many errors in tallying total bases, among other things. I think we've now figured out most of it, although it took some additional checking of actual box scores in the old papers to fill in the blanks.

Red Star    In our journeys through the old papers we came across a photo of the 1923 Saskatoon City League champions, the C.P.R.

Red Star    Manitoba continued to be a hot-bed of baseball activity. Game reports cover in detail the Winnipeg Senior Amateur League and the Manitoba Senior Amateur circuit. And there's a considerable amount of information on the Southwestern League, Central Manitoba League, Winnipeg Intermediate League, Winnipeg Junior League along with provincial senior and intermediate playoff reports.

The 1923 Manitoba Photo Gallery is enhanced with the addition of images of Pat Cann, Gordon Caslake, Steve Karahan, Bert Lloyd, Packey McFarlane, Sandy McNeil, Art Phillips, Ernie Stokes and Herb Stuart.

Red Star    The two big baseball loops in Alberta, the Edmonton Senior League and the Calgary City League are well covered in the game reports for Wild Rose Country. But, there is also detail on the Southern Alberta League and the Alberta Southern League plus play in Central Alberta and the Crow's Nest Pass.

We've added in some detail on two big tournaments, the Calgary Senior Amateur Tournament and the Edmonton Tournament ($300 top prize).

As in the other provinces, there is recognition of baseball in the smaller centres with news of the Rosebud League, Battle River, Western Alberta, Twilight League, the Alberta provincial playoffs and more. All noted on the home page.

In a few snippets of games from my old hometown of Lloydminster, there is note of my late ol' friend Bud Rendell's dad, Les, playing first base for the border city. 

Tiny TurnerThere is mention of Cliff "Tiny" Turner, the ace of the Mountain Park team, just beginning to make his mark in prairie ball. (In the Edmonton tournament, a pedestrian outing by his standards, a two-hit shutout, nine strikeouts).

The next season would be one for the books (including a stretch of 60 consecutive scoreless innings) culminating in a pro contract. Then tragedy after a super rookie pro season. Read the Turner story here.

Bus GeddesRed Star    The 1923 research also pinned down the correct full name and nickname for Charles Alva "Buzz" Geddes, a star hurler with the Edmonton Red Sox. 

Ancestry.ca helped pin down the right spelling. He was another who put his name in the record books that summer with a no-hitter.

The papers of the day seemed to alternate between "Bus" and "Buzz".  We've tried to make the change throughout the site.


28 September, 2021

Forsythe headlineRed Star    If it's any consolation to the descendants of Steve Ayres of the Saskatoon Elks baseball club of 1922, he did win the batting title after all.

Despite that headline in the Saskatoon Phoenix, Roy Forsythe was not the top hitter in the Saskatoon City League.

The newspaper stories said so. But, when they published the actual figures - the at bats and hits - it showed shortstop Ayres as the champion and Forsythe no better than fourth.

We had to go through the actual box scores of that season to figure out some major discrepancies in the numbers. 

Ayres, from California, played in the professional Western Canada League in 1920 with three teams (Edmonton, Regina and Saskatoon) plus a stint with the semi-pro Craik, Saskatchewan nine (he might well be in that team photo of Craik). He returned to Los Angeles to play semi-pro ball in the mid and late 1920s. One of his stops was with the local House of David team in Los Angeles.

The statistics of the Saskatoon City League, both hitters and pitchers are now posted along with the hitting and pitching stats of the 1922 Manitoba Senior League and the Manitoba Amateur Association League (second series only), plus hundreds of game reports, photos and rosters, all in the latest package for which we are again indebted to super researcher Rich Necker.

Alex BellFor the Manitoba Senior League, we believe the leading hitter was Alex Bell (although the paper identified him in the report on the final statistics as F. Bell.  Through the season the papers went with just Bell, no first name. Further research indicates it was Alex Bell (although not another Alex Bell, well known sports booster in Winnipeg, especially in lacrosse and hockey). We believe that is Bell (right), extracted from a team photo of Portage La Prairie of 1922.

1922 is the focus of today's post.

Mel KerrRed Star   Among the stars of the 1922 Saskatoon campaign was outfield Mel Kerr (left), who went on to a five-year pro career which included one game in the majors with the Cubs.

Red Star    The Saskatchewan game reports concentrate on the Saskatoon City League and Regina Northside League (plus 2nd and 3rd Divisions), but also make note of the Saskatoon Mercantile League, Rotary Senior League, Eastern Kirkella & Mainline League, North Central League, Humboldt & District League and Fertile Valley League and provincial playoffs

Guy PoolRed Star    The Saskatchewan photo additions include Andy Aitkenhead, Danny Coleman, Johnny Gottselig, Mel Kerr, Jack Leachman, Les Leachman, Percy O'Donnell and Guy Poole (left) in the 1922 Photo Gallery, and Ed Peters on the Snapshot page.

(After finding information that the football club, predecessor of the Saskatoon Hilltops, and a hockey data base spelled it as Guy Poole, we have gone with that spelling, rather than Pool.)

Red Star    One new team photo has been added to the list, the 1922 Saskatoon YMCA the champions of the Saskatoon Rotary League

Red Star    The Alberta game reports cover a variety of circuits including the Edmonton Senior Amateur League, Edmonton Mercantile League, Lethbridge Senior League, Medicine Hall ball, Calgary Senior Amateur League, Alberta Southern League, Southern Alberta League, Central Alberta League, Rainbelt League, Rosebud League, Eastern Central League, Horseshoe League, Twilight League, Buffalo League and provincial playoffs

Red Star    And over the Manitoba, there are game reports mainly on the Winnipeg Senior League and Manitoba Amateur Association League but with bits and pieces on the Winnipeg Commercial League, Brandon City League, Southern Manitoba League, Neepawa & District League, Central Manitoba League, Mid-Western League, Windy City League and, of course, the provincial playoffs.

Red Star    The Manitoba 1922 Photo Gallery is enhanced with the additions of Hunter Burgess, Steamer Maxwell, Sid May, Jim McCullough, Ward McVey, Wilf Peltier, Alex Bell and Carl Franks.  And, a newspaper photo of Bert Stainsby of the famous Winnipeg Arenas marks the debut of the Snapshot page and an extract is included in the Photo Gallery.

Red Star    And, to reiterate, the roster page has tons of new info thanks to Rich's superb sleuthing and compiling.

Red Star    Thank you Lou !  Lou DeRosa has managed to get some corrections on names for the photo of the 1975 Barrhead Cardinals.  Team member Joe Cardle who provided the team photo wasn't certain about names for a few of the players. Lou tracked down the former manager of the team, David Robb, who sorted out even more of the names. 

David RobbRobb, who is still coaching ball in Arizona (Mesa Community College), has made quite an impression on the diamond in his baseball travels.

He's played and coached on the prairies and worked with both the Canadian and Italian National teams. He's served as the manager and coach of the Calgary Dawgs of the Western Major League and Western Canada League. A few years back his work with the Alberta team won him a spot in the Dawgs' Hall of Fame.

Red Star     And, speaking of Joe Cardle, Rich managed to dig up a photo of Joe's old Senior Babe Ruth team from 1974, the Victoria, BC, Firefighters All-Stars.


16 September, 2021

Wilkie headlineRed Star    Thanks go out to Glen McDonall for sending along material on his grandfather, pitcher Glen Wilkie a standout hurler in the 1920s and 1930s in Edmonton and area.

Among other things, he forwarded a copy of a letter from 1930 advising of the payment of all of $25 for the use of Wilkie to pitch in a tournament in Camrose.

Red Star    From the material sent, we were able to re-do the 1935 snapshot photo of Wilkie (also seen on the Snapshot page above) along with several entries for the Alberta Photo Gallery of 1933 - Eric Dolighan, Johnny Gerlitz, Fred Henderson, Phil Maher, Ed McHugh, Stan Mohr, Cliff Robinson, Hop Wilkie and Glen Wilkie

Red Star    Newspaper stories on Henderson allows us to combine three different Henderson Catcher entries into a Fred Henderson line covering a period from 1918 to 1935.

Red Star    In checking out some box scores in 1933, happened upon a newspaper photo of the 1933 Edmonton Young Liberals, a junior team.  It seems notable as several of the names became prominent senior players in the following years, including the likes of Carl Loblick, Rusty Wynn, Russell Dolighan, Duke Baer, and Fred Lupul.


14 September, 2021

Red Star    OK, back to school !

After quite the crazy summer, which included extreme heat and then forest fires pretty close to home, it's time to try and fill in some more blanks in our baseball coverage.

Our Rich Necker is doing his best, digging out gems this time from back in 1921 for prairie ball.

Red Star    The Alberta coverage includes game reports and rosters for the Edmonton Senior League, Mercantile League, Calgary City League, Hand Hill semi-pro league (which included a few former pros from the Western Canada circuit and local stalwarts such as Lester Slim Haynes), the Central Alberta League, Rosebud League, Lethbridge City League and more.

Red Star    Over in Saskatchewan, there's game reports and rosters for The Regina Northside League (and it's second division clubs as well), the Saskatoon City League and Mercantile League to name just a few.

Red Star    And, in Manitoba, we concentrate on the Winnipeg Senior League, Western Manitoba League and Brandon City League. But, in addition, there are snippets on many smaller leagues.

The amateurs of the Winnipeg Senior League drew big crowds, 5,500 for one double-header at Wesley Park early in the season. Keep in mind, the city also had a pro team, the Winnipeg Maroons, competing in the Western Canada League with Calgary, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Regina and Moose Jaw.

Mel KerrRed Star    Among the photos added to the Saskatchewan Photo Gallery of 1921 are those of Mel Kerr, Jack Leachman, Frank Lyle and Guy Poole. Kerr (right), an all-sports star in Saskatoon, advanced to the major leagues for one game with the Cubs in 1925 as a pinch runner. The 22-year-old scored a run, but that was the extent of his MLB career. The speedy outfielder played in the minors for five seasons.

We've added in Herb Foreman and Darky Bouchard to the Manitoba Gallery and the Alberta Gallery adds in Mooch Gill, Norman "Dutch" Gainor and Frank "King" Kelly.

In a bit of a weird twist, we did find some statistics for the Saskatoon City League of 1921, but no hitting averages, mainly just pitching stats with just stolen bases and extra base hits for batters.

Red Star    Yes, the Billy Molisky of Regina ball (1915-1922) turned out to be the same Billy Molisky of Rossland and Trail, BC baseball (1923-1932). 

Red Star    And, in search for more information on 1921 players, happened upon a team photo of the Saskatoon CPR entry in the Saskatoon City League of 1923.  The Cee Pees captured the league title that season. 

Red Star    From Jeff Swick, whose dad Jules Swick played with Gordie Howe and others on Roy Taylor's Saskatoon 55s of the Northern Saskatchewan League of 1951, we have the jacket crest of the club, now posted on the 1951 home page.

Red Star    Ah, the dreams of youth. That's Joe Cardle, then a 20-year-old at a 1976 tryout camp for the Lethbridge Expos of the Pioneer League. While the hope of a pro ball career didn't work out, one in education sure did.  Thanks to Joe we've been able to fill in lots of info on Barrhead baseball in the mid 1970s.


10 September, 2021

Jesse RichardsonRed Star    My how the time goes flying by. 

Rich NeckerIt was just 69 years ago, that young Rich Necker (right) chased bats and balls of an imported team from the states, the Florida Cubans who came to Saskatchewan for the summer of 1952, settling up shop in Indian Head, Saskatchewan.

Rich could identify all the players, but one of the Cubans, then identified as the Business Manager, was illusive. Until now.  With some sleuthing through the sports pages of old newspapers, Rich has discovered that the man in the Panama hat was Jesse Richardson (above, left), the team owner.

Richardson had formed the club out of Lakeland, Florida in 1951 and the team had won the Florida State Negro League title. One of the old clippings noted that when the Cubans took on the Tampa All-Stars at Plant Field in Tampa to kick off the 1952 season, a special section of the grandstand was reserved for white fans.

Rich picks up the story, " ... Turns out the ’52 team was still subjected to playing before racially segregated fans at their home base in Lakeland and throughout the southern states both before heading for Western Canada in early June and upon their return in August after copping the Saskatchewan National Baseball Congress championship. The team had won the Florida State Negro League the year previous and most of the players played winter ball in and around Havana before heading back to Lakeland to prepare for the trek to Western Canada (specifically Indian Head) in the spring of 1952. Indian Head was selected as a base of operation since Richardson had received positive input from Jacksonville Eagles’ owner Cutprice Washington about the acceptance of his franchise within the community the season previous."


09 September, 2021

Barry SealRed Star    The versatile Barry Seal of the Rossland Capilanos was quite the star in the 1973 edition of the West Kootenay Major Baseball League.

It appears he led the team to the league title, but we've yet to uncover the results of the final series.  Our thanks to Lou DeRosa and Rich Necker for delving into the old issues of the Trail Times and sending along some highlights.

Red Star    Seal not only won the batting title, .419, but was among the pitching leaders too with a 5-1 record and league-leading 39 strikeouts. He was tops in home runs and runs batted in.

Red Star    Our update includes some game reports, rosters and final statistics.

Red Star    Lou, a resident of Trail, also sends along some additional names for the 1956 edition of the Trail Smoke Eaters. 

Red Star    And, I think we've finally got a version that displays of 1974 East Trail Senior Babe Ruth Leaguer Pat McLaughlin


08 September, 2021

Kaz SugaDick GernetRed Star    Max Weder keeps collecting and we continue to benefit!  From a 1965 program on Manitoba junior and senior ball we've extracted photos of Pete Stemkowski, Ted Irvine, Laurie Langrell,Terry Moore for the Manitoba Photo Gallery.

Also from Max and his program from the 1948 Kentville Wildcats of maritime baseball, Dick Gernet (right), a future major leaguer.

And, a photo of Asahi star Kaz Suga (left) when playing for St. Jerome in Quebec in 1951 (Max teased us with a newspaper photo which led to a hunt which resulted in a copy from the Pat Adachi book on the Asahi).

Red Star    Not sure we noted this previously but we managed to find a few stats from East Kootenay ball for 1959 and 1962 ,


07 September, 2021

Red Star    So pleased to add in a couple more team photos.

Red Star     With a big thank you to Michael and Beth Cook of Edmonton for the team photo of the 1944 Edmonton Arrows featuring among others Elmer "Lefty" Thomas, a relative of the Cooks. Soon, I hope to extract individual photos for the 1944 Alberta Gallery.

Red Star    And, Brian Morrison an ol' friend of our site, has dug up a photo of the Chemainus Green Lanterns of Vancouver Island ball in 1936. They were the champions of the island baseball league. The group, high schoolers three years previous, stuck together as a unit and, under the coaching of Clare Johns romped to the title.

They had finished third in the Vancouver Island League then downed the Longshoremen in a semi-final before topping the defending champion McBrides in the final.

Red Star    We managed to stumble upon the pitching stats from the 1936 Vancouver Senior League (Hal Straight 10-1)  and additional first names for the batting stats along with batting and a few pitching stats from Montreal's Atwater League in 1945.

Larry CunninghamRed Star    To the Negro League Gallery we've added an individual picture of centre fielder Larry Cunningham, the long-time star in Southern Ontario ball with Hamilton and Galt. The photo (left) is Cunningham when he suited up with Galt in the early 1960s.

Red Star    By 1952 former player Denny Evenson was the owner of the Regina team in the Saskatchewan League and we located a better photo for the Photo Gallery.

Red Star    So interesting, the fame of Satchel Paige. In search of a Paige photo, happened upon an obituary of Lloyd Sevalrud of Southern Alberta in which in was noted he had once played against Paige. In the process, made a correction in the spelling of Lloyd's surname in posts of the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Red Star    For the 1954 Saskatchewan Gallery, pitcher Charlie Peerless.


03 September, 2021

Bob MabeeRed Star    Finally, the names for the 1970 Victoria Centennials, the Canadian Senior Champions (from a story in the Victoria Times-Colonist in December last year).

From the team photo we've managed to extract some individual pics for the BC Photo Gallery. Among the photos is long sought after Bob Mabee (right).

Red Star    Added a bit to the 1973 BC Interior report to indicate the end of the Okanagan Mainline League.

Red Star   On the Tournament page for 1973, we now have details of the 2nd Annual Trail International Tournament which featured a team from Seattle with future major leaguers Floyd Bannister and Ken Phelps. They are shown on the 1973 BC Snapshot page along with Trail Babe Ruth stars Keith Van de Keere and Rick Babcock.

Red Star    New for 1974 are the game reports for the West Kootenays and an updated roster page. On the 1974 BC Snapshot page note the addition of Trail's Pat McLaughlin.

Red Star    And, so pleased to locate a better photo of Rich's 1974 Selkirk Selects squad, the champs of the Trail International Tournament along with a team photo of Rich's 1980 Western Canada champion, Lethbridge Senior Little Leaguers.


01 September, 2021

Red Star    Robyn Jensen, president of the Indian Head Museum, is chasing information on the uniforms of the old Indian Head Rockets. It's a reach, but does anyone recall the eagle emblem on the shoulder of the uniforms?  Robyn is working on a replica uniform and wants to know if the eagle was red or blue. 

Red Star    Managed to find a report on the 1954 Winnipeg Senior final, won by the CUAC Blues in a wild, 15-14, 10-inning contest. 

South End jacketRed Star    Anne Fraser had the jacket -- 1952 South End Softball -- from her dad William "Gordie" Fraser, but not much else to go on.

We managed to dig up a fair number of clippings showing her dad , a southpaw, as a renown hurler and bowler in the 1940s and 1950s in Vancouver.

In 1952, the Nanaimo Daily News ran a story on a rare bowling feat -- a 7-10 split in a ten-pin league -- by Fraser. It was viewed as such an accomplishment that it was to be forwarded to the American Bowling Congress.

Red Star    Our thanks again to Herb Morell, statistician Intercounty Baseball League, for spelling corrections and more info on the Southern Ontario circuit.

Red Star    Thank you Kenny Warner ! He managed to pick out his grandfather Larry Warner in the 1948 photo of the Oliver, BC team. He was pretty pumped about find the picture as they are the only baseball photos he's seen of his gramps. With that ID we've also got him in the 1948 BC Photo Gallery. Still a few IDs needed for that Oliver team.

Red Star    Happy to assist Matt Hungerford with a couple of higher res copies of team photos which included his grandfather, Fred Condon.


31 August, 2021

Dave McLayRed Star    Came across another photo of Dave McLay, a mainstay of ball in Kimberley in the 1950s and 1960s. From the cap it would appear he was with the Kimberley Angels, but we have him with the Hobos, for the most part, during his career in the city.

Red Star    All the way back to 1907, we add to photos to the Manitoba Photo Gallery, Stuart "Fuzz" Cuthbert and Earl Lobdell of the Winnipeg Shamrocks.

Red Star    Lou DeRosa, digging around the newspaper files, has some interesting tidbits from 1907 ball in the BC Interior even a little poetry and opinion piece too!

Doug HudlinRed Star   For a kid who had to help form his own team in Victoria, B.C., back in the 1930s in order to play baseball and then softball, Doug Hudlin carved out quite the career, topped by his induction into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017. After his playing days, cut short by an injury on the soccer field, Hudlin took up a stance behind the plate.

"Doug Hudlin is the most famous umpire the city of Victoria has ever known. His career, which began in 1954, spanned more than three decades. He was widely respected for his good humour, sense of fair play and gentle approach to the game ... It was no surprise that Hudlin was the first non-American umpire ever invited to work the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. In fact, Hudlin was at one time the first umpire outside of Williamsport itself ever invited to work the fabled event twice. As well as umpiring the Little League World Series in 1967 and 1974 he also twice umpired at the Senior Little League World Series in Gary, Indiana. He is a member of the B.C Baseball Hall of Fame." (Greater Victoria Baseball Hall of Fame)

Thanks to niece Barbara Hudlin for the photo of the 1939 Victoria Brown Bombers !  From that team photo we've also extracted individual pictures of the Hudlins - Doug, Joe and Parnell - for the Snapshot page. Barbara's dad, Parnell Hudlin was also a renown umpire in Victoria ball after his playing days.

"The Hudlins, Alexanders and Woods were among the first black families to settle in Victoria. They were not allowed to play on other baseball teams at the time, so Hudlin helped form the all-black Brown Bombers squad. It played at what is now named Alexander Park, near Bay and Fernwood." (Victoria Times-Colonist, June 12, 2020)

In honour of Hudlin, the B.C. Baseball Umpires Association each year presents the Doug Hudlin Distinguished Service Award to an umpire in the province. And, in Victoria each year in June (pandemic permitting) it"s Doug Hudlin Day with a charity game to raise funds for children to participate in sports.

Hudlin passed away on January 5, 2014 at the age of 91.


17 July, 2021

Red Star     And while we're at it, let's include an update of the 1926 Saskatoon Exhibition Tournament, both the game reports and the rosters.

Red Star    1939 Newark Eagles - An enquiry about the photo led me to a search for names which proved successful. And, at the same time, re-did the photo for a tad better presentation. The names are confirmed via Seamheads.

Ron PerranoskiRed Star    Ron Perranoski, the lefty ace reliever of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Minnesota Twins, among others, passed away last October at his home in Vero Beach, Florida. He was 84. His sister said he died as a result of complications from a long illness. 

I was batboy for the Lloydminster Meridians in 1956 when Perranoski, then just 20, joined the club late in the season from the Basin League to help the team in it's playoff run.

He went on to a 13-year playing career in the major leagues before lengthy stints as pitching coach for the Dodgers and the Giants and a front office role in San Francisco.

In 1963 in the Dodgers bullpen, Perranoski went 16-3, 1.67. Later with the Twins he set save records in 1969 and 1970 with back to back seasons of 31 and 34 saves.


 31 August, 2021

Red Star   The last batch of news bits has been moved over to the Archives, News Page #25.