News & Notes Western Canada Baseball

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Update : 12 November, 2022

Red Star    Our page for the 1921 Regina Senators of the Western Canada League is back in place.

Somehow, it went AWOL for a time (with a Vernon, BC team sitting in the for the Senators)) but is back home.  Still looking for IDs for those long ago prairie stars. The lone individual we were able to pick out is the playing manager Bill Speas.

Red Star    Rich Necker has dug out a few more photos from the early days including a team photo of the 1914 Regina Red Sox of the Western Canada League. IDs needed here too. One might be Ken Williams a future major league star.

Red Star   In the 1935 Saskatchewan Photo Gallery, Ralph Hogg (left), Wilfred H. "Gizzy" Hart, W. "Bill" Cousins and Dillon Brady have been added. All played for the Weyburn Beavers

Red Star    On the 1920 Snapshot page we added a photo of Marvin “Red” Smith, shortstop of 1920 Regina Senators. 

Red Star    One of the best finishes of the likely best and longest-lasting tournaments in the country came in 1963 at the Lacome Lions Tournament. We've added in the newspaper report from the Edmonton Journal. Our Lou DeRosa suited up with Vernon for a few games in 1963, but wasn't in the lineup for the tournament.

One photo from that tournament now added to the 1963 Alberta Snapshots. It shows the Grande Prairie playing-manager Garth Roberts receiving the cheque for winning the event.


03 November, 2022

Red Star    We are just so pleased Colin Howell is with us to compile information on Maritime ball.  He has more progress this week with game reports for 1952, and statistics for the Halifax and District League for 1949 and 1952

We've also added more on the stats for 1948 (Jack Kaiser of Kentville edged a teammate by one point, .389 to .388 for the batting title) and 1951 (Tom Bujnowski of the Capitals had an outstanding summer in leading the pitchers. He led the league in ERA, 1.41, wins, 16, innings, 166, and strikeouts, 141).

Buddy Condy didn't win the batting title in 1948 but did capture the crown in 1947, 1949 and 1950. He hit .309 in 1951 but finished second. Condy, inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame in 1980 carried a career batting average of .356.

His first ever hit in senior ball came at age 15 in 1938 as the teenager filled in for a missing member of the Springhill Fencebusters. With the bases loaded, two out, a full count, Condy belted a grand slam homer.

Red Star    Thank you Lou DeRosa, Lionel Kearns and Bernie Monteleone !  Those two Kootenay area team photos below now have names to go with the faces.  And, we've been able to pin down the approx. years as well.  The first one is from the early 1950s the Fairview  Athletic Club out of Nelson.  And, the second is the FAC club from about 1954,

And, I should have known - Greg Nesteroff, the amazing newspaperman and historian of the Kootenays, would have published information on the Fairview club. There are two items from the Nelson Star of May 20, 2012 and August 29, 2012 on the Fairview Reunion.

In the process, we discovered a photo of the Fairview Athletic Club of 1956

Red Star   Again, thank you Lou DeRosa.  He had sent these photos awhile back, but I had set them aside awaiting information on Julie Bilesky, who showed up twice in the photos. We wondered when he ever played with Castlegar (the cap was the giveaway).  Seems not in baseball but perhaps in softball. We've managed to post all the below in the BC Photo Galleries, mainly in 1953.

Red Star    And even more news on that (what we thought was a Nanaimo team) photo from the early 1900s.  Our colleague in the UK, Andrew Taylor identified this as a military team, probably from 1917. We had a good idea Nanaimo player Phil Piper was in it.

Once posted, our Rich Necker quickly noted Piper as the player in the middle row, far right.  To me, the player in the middle row, far left, seemed very familiar. I thought Vancouver ball. Rich was on it and ID'd Camille "Lefty" Delcourt.  A check of military records by Rich and Andrew placed Delcourt in the Canadian Forces, but not in 1917. After further research by both it appears early summer 1919 is the more likely date.  And, that's the year it is now posted.

Andrew adds that the team is probably the Reserve Artillery Brigade, based at Witley, champions of the camp in 1919.


14 October, 2022

Red Star    Ah, not Nanaimo at all -- that 1920s, we thought, picture we uploaded a couple of days back.

At a nudge from our esteemed colleague from the UK, Andrew Taylor, it becomes clear than this is the photo from WW1. 

It turns out to be the 1st Battery, Canadian Field Artillery.  There is at least one player, Phil Piper, from Nanaimo in the photo, but it was take at " ... Camp Witley, Surrey, UK and it would have been taken approximately May, 1917. The 61st Battery played in the Brigade Championship final (and won I believe). It was an early season tournament and a second tournament was played in August, for which the winners qualified for the Canadian championship of the British Isles... The 61st battery didn't participate in this latter tournament having been sent to France in August."


12 October, 2022

Red Star    As we run out the clock there continues to be work to be done. We are so pleased to present the updates on ball in the Maritimes from Colin Howell (who literally wrote the book on the subject !)

In this edition, Colin has game reports for 1950 and 1951, along with updated rosters for 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950 and 1951.

Statistics too !  There is still some summary information to get posted but the raw stats are available for 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950 and 1951 so far and there is more to come. 

Red Star    We had some photos sitting around awaiting more details before posting, but at this point we'll just fit them in where we can and hope someday more info will be forthcoming.

From the 1920s we have a team photo of a squad from Nanaimo. We've been unable to pin down the year and player IDs have proven illusive.  For now it's posted in 1920.

Red Star    In 1946, we have a photo of the famous Bentley clan with the Delisle Masons Royals. Check out the photo see if your guesses match ours.

Red Star    From the 1969 season it's a photo of the North Battleford Beavers. There are a couple of players who seem easy to ID, but lots of help need here.

Red Star    And, we've updated the photo of the 1972 Binscarth Orioles, not a lot better, but a tad easier to see the faces.

Red Star    Rich has been amazing in tracking down correct spellings of many names that we've had two or three versions of the spelling. The newspapers of the day were not particularly keen on getting the names correct.

Among the changes, Ketcher for Ketchur, Leskiw for Leskew, McGeachy for McGeachie, Merx-Merks, Sdao instead of Sadeo, Van Walleghem for a variety of spellings, Borgfjord for Borgford, Esplen for  Esplin, Lanman for Lanmon and Lannan, Silovich for Silavich and Silovitch, Culos for Coulos, Sallaway for Salloway, Schindeler for Schendeler, Southern for Sutherin, Dubasov for Debasov and Dibasov (and first name to Bryan from Brian), Hollender instead of Hollander, and Zerebecki rather than Zerembecki. 

Red Star  A few individual photos added along the way thanks to Rich, including three from the 1968 Steinbach Millers, Ryan and Wally Rampel and Bob Smith.

Also we discovered a missing link to the Steinbach team photo.

Red Star    Thanks Brian. Brian Morrison, of Diamonds in the Dusk, has sent along an image of the 1913 Winnipeg Maroons to compare with an old one we had post previously. A check of the names shows a pretty large turnover as the season wore on.

Red Star    And a couple from our Lou DeRosa from the Kootenay area of BC - no years, no IDs, but we;ll post them here and hope somebody can provide some clues. They are of a Trail/Fairview team. Recognize anyone?


23 September, 2022

Red Star    We're tidying up some sections as we head toward a wrapup on Western Canada (and other) Baseball. 

It's back to the 30's & 40's with game report updates from Manitoba for 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940 and 1941.

A similar pattern for the Alberta game reports - 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940 and 1941.

And, an entry in the 1939 Saskatchewan page for the Junior championship won by Melville and a note on pitcher Bud Curry, reported to have compiled a 24-1 record that season before joining the RCAF in WWII.

And, of course, all those roster pages have also been updated.

Red Star    Along the way, additions of a few photos -  the 1937 Manitoba Snapshot page has photos of three Winnipeg Norwood players.

1937 Alberta adds Red McCarthy of North Edmonton Belmonts. The newspaper story said the 16-year-old hurler was to get a pro tryout.

In 1938 Manitoba, Andy Lambert of St. Boniface, who tossed a no-hitter,  and a better photo of Albert Lamoureux of Transcona. In his no-no, the lone base runner on Lambert reached on an error and was quickly picked off. He fanned 14.

In 1939 Alberta, there's the photo of Ken McAuley of Edmonton Maple Leaf Juniors and we've added Eddie "Lefty' Belter from the photo we had in 1938.


16 September, 2022

Red Star    Our Rich Necker just can't stop !  Here he's added in some game reports, rosters and stats for the Victoria, BC, Senior League of 1930.  And, noting some missing game reports from Manitoba, he's added material for 1931, 1932, 1934 and 1935.

Then he took up the challenge to expand some yearly home pages, especially to provide some historical notes to put the year in context - 1904, 1905, 1906, 1932, 1937, 1938, 1940, 1941, 1962, 1967, 1974

And, he's discovered photos of a pair of 1951 standouts on the prairies, a pair of California players who suited up for the Medicine Hat Mohawks that summer - Willie Reed and Bud Watkins.

Red Star    From the east coast, Colin Howell updates the Maritime game reports with snippets from the 1930s.The names include Babe Ruth, Copie Leblanc (right), Peaches Ruven, Del Bissonette, Burlin White, Guido Panciera, and John A. MacDonald.

Red Star    Thank you Heidi !  Great quality on a team photo, from 1938-39 no less. Heidi Jacobs of the University of Windsor sends along a picture of the Golden Prairie, Saskatchewan, team which included her grandfather, Paul Martin and her great uncle Victor Schwean. As an added bonus, the grain elevators in the background.

Martin, Schwean and some of his teammates are now including in the 1938 Saskatchewan Photo Gallery.

Now in sort of  chronological order.

Red Star    The 1929 home page notes the busy summer of barnstorming teams from the United States, including the famous Gilkerson's Union/Chicago Colored Giants.

Red Star    Some 1934 BC Snapshot additions, Frankie Plouf, Vancouver Athletics shortstop and Home Gas hurler Don Weaver along with a photo of managers Johnny Nestman (Arrow Transfer) and Coley Hall (Vancouver Athletic Club) discussing the ground rules with the umpires before a 1934 game.

Red Star    On the 1935 home page, you'll note the addition of the Neilburg Monarchs crest. They won the Saskatoon Exhibition Tournament that year, their third title. They went on to cop victories in 1936, 1937 and 1939 - six championships in nine years !

Red Star    Albert Lamoureux Transcona, Manitoba, pitcher is an addition to the 1937 Manitoba Gallery.

Red Star    The poster and story on the first Indian Head Tournament in 1939. It was suspended during the war years, not to be revived until 1947.

Red Star    The 1939 home page features the crest of the powerful Saskatoon Lions who in one doubleheader managed to squeeze by Bruno 17-5 and 24-0.

Red Star    From the 1940 Central Alberta League, three new photos for the Gallery, Phil Horn, Bob Fritz and Ken McAuley. We also tracked down a story on the playoff final where the Edmonton Dodgers claimed the title after finishing last in the regular schedule. The rosters too are included.

Red Star    Courtesy of Max Weder, and his tour to Indian Head and spots in Saskatchewan last month, a 1944 team photo of the Sceptre team (including well known names from the era such as Dean and Bert Olmstead, Earl Mahaffy, Fergie Shields and Bill Gatenby).

Red Star    In the 1940s, the Alberta Big Four League was quite the circuit with high level action. A pair of catchers were opposing managers, Eddie Morris of the Edmonton Eskimos and Laurel Harney of the Edmonton Chevrolet Cubs. A photo is posted on the 1948 Alberta Snapshots.  Both were veterans of the diamond, Morris in the United States, Harney in BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan. In 1939 he helped the Saskatoon Lions to the provincial championship (the team also included Max Bentley).

Another photo of Bob Solinger popped up and it's posted in the 1949 Alberta Gallery.

Red Star    Oh those Bentleys of Delisle. Hockey or baseball, it would be a surprise if less than three were on a team.  In 1949, there were five on the Delisle diamond squad - Roy, Doug, Reg, Bev and Max.

Red Star    On the 1949 home page we added the crest from the jackets of the Sceptre ball club which, with Delisle, dominated the tournament circuit that summer.

Red Star    In Ontario in 1949, a familiar name was in the sports headlines.  Joe Spring Jr., son of renown Toronto pitcher Joe Spring Sr., was both a softball and baseball star. His dad's photo (along with Hank Sinclair) now adorns the 1928 Ontario Gallery. 

The big story in Toronto was softball as the local club, Tip Top Tailors, won the World Championship helped by an imported star pitcher Charlie Justice (left) who helped Toronto defeat legendary hurler Herb Dudley (right) in a series played in Arkansas.

In search for the '28 photo we managed to put together the Intercounty rosters for that season.

Red Star    The Rosetown Tournament has been added to the 1949 events and includes a photo of the announced crowd of 10,000 !

Red Star    For 1952, Frank Parker, of the Brantford Red Sox, joins the growing list of photos in the Ontario Gallery.    


27 August, 2022

Red Star    So sorry to hear the news.

Mr. Baseball in Manitoba, Gladwyn Scott, passed away yesterday at the age of 90.

We last chatted in the spring when he updated me on the news around the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame.  Gladwyn was a six time Hall of Famer !!  He's been inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, the Manitoba Baseball HOF, the Manitoba Sports HOF, the Manitoba Hockey HOF, Manitoba High School Athletic Association HOF and the Brandon University Sports Wall of Fame. 

The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame made a statement today recognizing his many achievements.

" ... We are deeply saddened by the news of Gladwyn’s passing. He was a tireless and highly respected coach and executive in Manitoba and at the national level for several decades,” said Jeremy Diamond, the chair of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s board of directors.

“Few have given more to the sport of baseball in our country than Gladwyn. We would like to extend our condolences to his family and hope they can take some comfort in knowing that we will ensure that his legacy lives in our museum.”

Scott dedicated more than 60 years to baseball as a player, coach, executive and volunteer. Though he didn’t play organized baseball until he was 16, he eventually pitched on his hometown Hamiota, Man., squad alongside his brother Glennis, with his father, Jim, serving as the team’s catcher.

At age 20, he began coaching and proceeded to serve in numerous administrative capacities locally, provincially and nationally, including managing three Hamiota teams to provincial championships.

He was also a coach on Canada’s first national team, the country’s 1967 Pan Am Games entry.

From 1983 to 1987, he was president of the Manitoba Baseball Association and a vice-president with Baseball Canada from 1986 to 1989. The highly respected executive also acted as the general manager of Canada’s youth national team that won bronze at the World Junior Baseball Championships in Windsor, Ont., in 1987. In that same year, he led the charge to bring the Toronto Blue Jays to Winnipeg Stadium for an exhibition contest against the National Baseball Institute.

Known as Manitoba’s Mr. Baseball, he also scouted part-time for the Blue Jays from 1987 to 1993 and for the Atlanta Braves from 1994 to 2001.

He was also a founder of the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame and served as their newsletter editor for more than a decade. For his contributions to baseball in his province, he was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame."


26 August, 2022

Red Star    Last Saturday, at the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame dinner Nat Bates, up from California, represented the Indian Head Rockets for the team's induction into the Hall of Fame. In an address to the gathering, he expressed admiration to Canadians for their welcome of more than 70 years ago.

" ... I just want to express my appreciation for each and everyone of the Canadians ... the hospitality, the generosity and the respect for all the black players was unparalleled compared to the United States ... want to thank all of you, your ancestors, from the bottom of my heart for the wonderful welcome and appreciation that you gave all of us as baseball players coming to Canada."

Red Star  Thank you Colin ! Colin Howell has another installment on his history of baseball in the Maritimes. This one covers the early part of the 1930s with more to come.

Red Star    Good memories of old friend Jack Altman.

Jack (a pitching star in college and on the prairies) really helped expand the coverage of our site and was one of the main contributors and supporters of our little enterprise,  He passed away two years ago. Nearly ten years ago, Jack and Bev made the trek up to BC to visit and talk baseball and families.

Nakusp trioLast month, I purchased a couple of old National Baseball Congress annuals from a book seller in Oregon. As I began to leaf through them I noticed certain players had their names underlined (usually in red pen),

I realized these were books from Jack's collection. He studiously went through the annuals marking the names of players with which he had some association. I then realized the book seller was from his home town and Jack had often volunteered at that store.

This wonderful coincidence took me further to write Jack's best friend from boyhood days until the day he died, Greg Seastrom. Greg fondly recalled those books, "I remember those National Baseball Congress Guides quite well. On numerous occasions Jack and I sat and went through them together. It’s a nice thought that you and I both held the same book in hand."

From those books, some additions to the site. There is a team photo of the 1949 Kitchener Legionnaires, the National Baseball Congress Canadian champions (who defeated London Majors, winners the previous two years).  Toronto Maple Leafs hockey star Howie Meeker was among the Legionnaires. 

The book also had a photo of the London Majors, so we added that to the page with an existing photo of the team.

The third team photo from 1949 is of the Fort Wayne, Indiana, Electrics, the National Baseball Congress American champions. If you look closely the team includes a couple of players later to play in Canada, outfielders Lester Lockett and Gabby Horman (who suited up for my hometown team, Lloydminster in the late 1950s).  In 1948, London had defeated Fort Wayne for the North American title.

We also discovered a photo which included Bobby Schnurr, the playing manager of the Kitchener Legionnaires. He's shown receiving the trophy for winning the Canadian title in the Ontario Snapshots.

Red Star    From the second book, the 1948 edition, we found a 1947 team photo of Toronto Riverdale Grads, the National Baseball Congress champions of Toronto & District.

That book, covering the 1947 season, also had photos of Pete Beiden (right) who played on prairie diamonds and helped steer dozens of his Fresno State players to Canada.  Beiden accepted a trophy for his team's fourth place finish in the National Baseball Congress tournament.

The Hall of Fame Coach never had a losing season in his 21 years heading the Fresno State Bulldogs program. He compiled a 600-268 college record.

A couple of Ontario photos also turned up in the NBC publication. One featured a pair of Toronto stars, Jack Spring Jr. and Bobby Prentice (later well known as a scout for the Toronto Blue Jays) who received pro tryouts . Both have been added to the 1947 Ontario Photo Gallery.

The other image showed the managers, Hank Sinclair and Jack Ramsden, of a pair of teams in the competition for the Toronto & District National Baseball Congress tournament at Toronto's Maple Leaf Stadium.

William Archibald "Hank" Sinclair was an all-round athlete, suiting up for the Toronto Argonauts from 1924 to 1929, and local baseball teams in in the city from 1926 into the mid 1930s, coaching (and playing old timers games) into the late 1940s.  In 1928 he led the Viaduct League both in average and home runs.

He was past president of the Oldtimers Baseball Association and the Metropolitan Toronto Amateur Baseball Association.

Red Star   In the search of Toronto material, we came across a photo of Toronto Oslers star Joe Breen. It's now posted in the 1925 Ontario Photo Gallery. Breen was another football/baseball star, winning induction into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

Red Star   One more piece of Toronto and Canadian history and it isn't even baseball, but softball. A world championship against one of the best pitchers to ever play the game. Herb Dudley, a divinity student, who didn't pitch on Sundays, was the ace for the Clearwater, Florida, Bombers, the opponents for Toronto's Tip Top Tailors in the final of the 1949 tournament at Little Rock, Arkansas.

In his three previous seasons, Dudley had racked up won-lost records of 25-0 in 1946, 27-1 with 13 no-hitters in 1947 and 25-1 in 1948.  Coming into the final, the right hander had set a record with 55 strikeouts in a 21 inning 1-0 victory and then, 10 minutes later, fanned another 12 in a nine-inning triumph. Against Toronto, he would pitch all 18 innings of the final contest, racking up another 22 strikeouts.  The full story here.

Red Star   Two more Alberta photos from the research of Rich Necker.  Veteran starting pitcher Jack Carpenter, in 1951 with the Edmonton Oilers and Bob Solinger (likely better known as the Toronto Maple Leaf hockey player), 1952, with Edmonton Army & Navy.

Red Star    In search for other things, I happened upon photos of a couple of former Western Canada players who suited up in Quebec in the Provincial League. This was in 1958 with Drummonville. Norm Angelini (left) had played the previous year in Kindersley, Saskatchewan, while John Noce's career in Canada went back to 1951 with the Medicine Hat Mohawks.

Angelini advanced to the major leagues for parts of two seasons with Kansas City. Noce had a celebrated career in coaching in the United States, Canada and Italy.

Red Star   And, this action photo of former Edmonton pitching star Dale Zeigler turned up in another newspaper search.

Red Star   From Moose Jaw, so good to hear from Corey Coates and a lovely tribute to our site : " ... . I recall even the first time I saw it (probably in its pretty early days) thinking (I was there @ the dawn of the internet): _this_ is what we hoped might come out of the internet ... may the site, like baseball, or Walter Johnson or Satchel Paige, be timeless, my friend."

Red Star   Looking for some help for Gord McNabb who is searching for information on his dad who played with Long Lake and Liberty, in Saskatchewan, back in the 1940s. Roland McNabb was an outfielder. His cousins, Morris and Earl also played around the same time.

Morris McNabb, a catcher, played into the early 1960s with the Regina Red Sox.


21 August, 2022

Red Star    A big night for Indian Head, Saskatchewan, and especially former player Nat Bates, pitching star of the 1952 Indian Head Rockets.

Saturday at Battleford, the Indian Head Rockets were inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame at the annual dinner.

Bates, who will be 91 in September, had come up from Richmond, California, to represent the team at the occasion. Bates and his long-time friend and teammate, Willie Reed, are thought to be the only surviving players from the '52 team.

The city councillor and former mayor of Richmond, is again running for mayor of the community. 

Red Star    As part of the festivities, CBC Television earlier traveled down to Richmond to interview Bates and his buddy and former teammate Willie Reed for a special item on the induction.

(CBC also has an item on-line on the Indian Head Rockets.)

They reflected upon their experiences as black players from the United States coming to play in Canada. 

Both, along with Pumpsie Green, a future major leaguer, had been high school and college stars in their hometown and first came to the Canadian prairies in 1951 to play on an integrated team in Medicine Hat, Alberta. All three joined the Indian Head Rockets in 1952.

Hats off to Robyn Jensen, head of the Indian Head Museum and Max Weder, collector and baseball historian, for major roles in the events in Indian Head and Battleford.


19 August, 2022

Red Star    The Okotoks Dawgs concluded a record-setting season last night, winning their 6th Western Canada Baseball League title.

They defeated Moose Jaw Miller Express 4-1 in the deciding game of their best-of-three final series.

The 2022 league wrap-up is here.

Red Star    The home page gets a little update. Not sure how the player photos got dumped awhile back, but they're back along with a couple of additions as we work toward a wrap on Western Canada Baseball.

Red Star    And we just stumbled upon a team photo of the Drummondville, Quebec, Royals of 1969 in searching for photos of John Noce. In the process we discovered names to go with the faces.


10 August, 2022

Red Star    With thanks to granddaughter Wendy Tredger, Emil William Borgens has his name spelled correctly, has an individual photo in the 1923 Alberta Photo Gallery and is in the team picture of the 1923-1924 Riverside team of Calgary.  

In addition, Wendy is also trying to track down names of others in the team photo and more information on her grandfather's career.

Red Star   Robyn Jensen, president of the Indian Head Museum and major force behind a tribute to the Indian Head Rockets of the 1950s, send a note about a visit from Paul Chartrand, the former Manitoba baseball star.

He was kind enough to send along kudos for our little operation here. Coincidently, Rich Necker sent along a photo of Chartrand from the early 1970s.

The right-hander (and catcher) also played in Alberta with a stint with the Calgary Giants in the mid 1970s.

The photo, when he played with Ste. Agathe Bisons of the Manitoba East Senior League, is posted in the 1971 Manitoba Gallery.

Harold JacksonRed Star   Rich also located a photo of Harold Johnson Sr. of the 1953 Harlem Yankees who were touring in Saskatchewan. The Yankees, at one point, turned into the Medicine Hat Phillies (one of three teams to call Medicine Hat home that season). Johnson also suited up with the Saskatoon Gems and the Moose Jaw Maples that summer.

The photo at the left, carried in the Medicine Hat paper in 1953 suggested the elder Johnson (a second baseman, with the nickname "Dynamite") had played with the famed Pittsburgh Crawfords at some point.

A Florida newspaper in 1953 reported Johnson as a key member of the revived Crawfords. He was said to have played with the Chicago American Giants, Indianapolis Clowns and in Quebec with St. George De Beauce.  in 1954 he was in the lineup for the Rosetown Phillies (right).

When he played in Saskatoon with the Gems, he was reported to be 20 years old.

Harold JohnsonHis son, Harold Johnson Jr., born in Canada, went on to become a television staple as he and partner Joanne McLeod graced television screens in Canada with their fitness program called Body Break. It was on-air for more than 30 years.

Harold Jr. grew up in Toronto and played ball in the InterCounty League in 1976. He had won a baseball scholarship to the University of Colorado.

In 1977 he led the Alberta Major League in home runs and RBI while played for the Red Deer Border Players. The slugging third baseman moved on to play with the Edmonton Tigers, Lacombe Dodgers and in Calgary. He also suited up with the Canadian national team.


24 July, 2022

Colin HowellRed Star    More on the Maritimes.

Colin Howell has began working his way through the decades of baseball in the Maritimes.

This latest post goes with his general overview of ball in the east.  This one takes a look at the events of the 1920s.

Red Star    One of the premiere players of the era was catcher Hank O'Rourke, the Babe Ruth of Maritime ball.

Information from the Nova Scotia Baseball Hall of Fame notes that O'Rourke played for the 1921 Springhill Fencebusters, one of the team's original members.

He was described as "a dominant baseball catcher from the mid-1920s to the mid-1940s." 

Red Star    And, a team photo addition, the 1936 London, Ontario, Winery entry in the Intercounty League.


22 July, 2022

Red Star    And just sixty years later, we get an identification of North Battleford Beavers player Johnny Rebeyka Jr. !

Johnny died in 1993 and son Mark Rebeyka has been on the lookout for information on his playing career.

Searching for news on the 1962 North Battleford Beavers, for whom his dad played, Mark happened upon a photo (from the Saskatoon Public Library) we had posted years ago showing three players, one of which was unidentified. That turned out to be his dad !  We've since added his name to the photo and put his dad's name on the roster for the Beavers that season and on the 1962 Saskatchewan Gallery. Mark says he still has his dad's uniform, #19 (he was 19 years old that season).

Red Star    Photos, photos, photos. Our latest update includes dozens of photo additions covering baseball in Saskatchewan, BC, Ontario and the Maritimes.

Thanks to Rich Necker we have much better quality photos of four former players for the North Battleford club. Left to right, below are Jesse Blackman, Curtis Tate (both showing in the 1954 Sask Gallery), Jimmy Newberry and Jimmy Valentine (the latter two in the 1959 Gallery.

 

And in the 1956 Saskatchewan Gallery a pic of one-time nemesis of our Rich Necker, pitcher Bob Davis, then pitching for Assiniboia.

Red Star    The Ontario photos go back to 1926 and the Ontario Gallery now features sixteen photos including Bill Billings, Buck Graham, Harry "Tiny" Monk (right), Leggo Morden & Doc Risebrough mainly of the St. Thomas Tom Cats.

The 1926 Intercounty rosters have been updated accordingly.

Red Star    Also in Ontario, we tracked down some photos of former major leaguer Alex Kvasnak.

One we've posted in the 1950 Ontario Gallery, and the other in the 1953 Gallery when he took over the reins of the Kitchener Panthers of the Intercounty League. The latter page also includes Waterloo Tigers star Billy Flick.

Besides Kvasnak, the 1950 page adds Harrison Fisher, Ronnie Hodara, George Patton & Billy Gibbs

Red Star    The 1950 Ontario Snapshots page features three key members of the Senior Intercounty champion Brantford Red Sox Jim Burns, Tom Quest & Juan Monje.

Red Star    Continuing with Ontario, the 1951 Ontario photos now sport pics of Wilmer Fields, Billy Gibbs, Jerry Wilson, George Carruth & Johnny Richardson.

Red Star   For 1954 we were pleasantly surprised to find a large photo of lefty Barney Brown (one of my fav players on the old Lloydminster Meridians) when he played for Brantford in the Intercounty loop. The larger pic is on Brown's profile page, with a smaller photo in the 1954 Ontario Gallery.

Red Star   In the 1955 Ontario Snapshots a photo from the Windsor paper showing five former Windsor sandlot stars who played prominent roles in a big win by the St. Thomas Elgins over the Essex County League All-Stars - Marv Larsen, Tommy White, Al Dumouchelle, Marc Reaume & Willie Casanova.

Red Star   The 1957 Ontario photos now show Intercounty legends Roy McKay, Frank Colman & Stan "Gabby" Anderson of the London Majors.

Red Star   1958 Ontario photos - Nick Rintsche

Red Star   1959  Ontario photos  - Norm Aldridge, Gabby Anderson, Jerry Anderson, Frank Colman, Don Mayes, Don McLennan, Bill Zubyk, Dan Mendham, Dave Mendham

Red Star   And ahead to 1974 when former 30-game winner in the majors, Denny McLain, suited up in the Ontario Intercounty League with London.

Red Star   There are a couple of new team photos from the 1950 season, the Waterloo Tigers and the Intercounty champion Brantford Red Sox.

Red Star   There are just a couple of changes in the BC information. The 1947 BC Snapshots present another unidentified member of the Vancouver Luckies of the Northwest Semi Pro League.

Red Star   In 1979 the rosters reflect minor changes to the Kootenay Babe Ruth rosters and those of the Calgary Baseball League (thank you Lou De Rosa and Paul Allan).

Red Star   Onto Maritime ball and the additions to the 1948 Maritime Gallery. We add four individual photos of members of the Kentville Wildcats - Wilf Anderson, Hal Burby (right), Eddie Gillis and Jack Kaiser

Red Star    And the 1954 Maritime Gallery now shows sixteen players of the Stellarton Albions, including Jim Beard, Dave Baxter, Monk Raines, Hank Hamrick, Russ Bachelor, Bill Brooks, Gaither Cline, Jim Edwards, Ken Frye, Joe Fulghum, Sherrill Hall, Connie Hemphill, Kay Rogers, Carl Wyles, Jack Turney and Harold Stout.

Red Star    Our Lou DeRosa caught up with ol' baseball colleague John Noce (left, in 1951 in Medicine Hat) in Kelowna over the weekend. 

Noce, a legend among college coaches in the United States (selected to the coaches Hall of Fame and to be honoured next year as the recipient of the Lefty Gomez Award, for his contributions to baseball locally, nationally and internationally.)

Noce is in the Okanagan city where son Doug is coach of the Kelowna Falcons and son John is the third base coach.

Noce first came up to Canada in 1951 to suit up for the Medicine Hat Mohawks, the successor team to the touring California Mohawks of Roy Taylor in 1949-1950.  As coach of San Mateo College in California, Noce brought his teams up on barnstorming tours in 1972 and 1981, and coached the Edmonton Tigers in 1975.  He also played and coached in  Quebec's Provincial League in the late 1960s, early 1970s before a lengthy stint as coach of the Italian national team. He was the head coach at San Mateo for 31 seasons.


 06 July, 2022

Red Star   A big celebration at Indian Head, Saskatchewan last week to mark the opening of the Rockets display at the Indian Head museum. 

The event precedes the formal induction next month, of the Indian Head Rockets, of the early 1950s, into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame, at Battleford.

Robyn Jensen, the museum president and the major force behind the display, Max Weder, author of the Indian Head tournament piece in Our Game, Too: Influential Figures and Milestones in Canadian Baseball and, by video, former Rockets Nat Bates and Willie Reed, were among the highlights of the weekend affair.

Bates, a pitcher, and Reed, an infielder, played on the 1952 edition of the Rockets.

Their friend and teammate was Pumpsie Green who went on to integrate the Boston Red Sox the last of the major league teams to accept a Black player. That didn't occur until 1959.

The Rockets (the first team was imported from Jacksonville, Florida) were among the flood of Black players to Canada after Jackie Robinson integrated the major leagues and the Negro Leagues began to fade. For many Black players roster spots were no longer available and Canada was a friendly summer home.


30 June, 2022

Red Star   Again, thanks to Paul Allen, we have more Intercounty Senior League stats, these for 1950. And, they are extensive batting figures.

Former major leaguer, Alex Kvasnak (left) copped the batting title and also led in stolen bases.  The stats also provided an opportunity (after a considerable journey to find first names & positions) to update the 1950 Intercounty rosters.

Red Star  As part of the effort there are ten additions to the 1950 Ontario Photo Gallery -- Dick Anderson, Alf Gavey, Ray Kirkgasser, Stan Lipka, Johnny Lockington, Tom McGrattan, Manny McIntre (right), Juan Monje, Tom Quest and Bob Witcher.

Red Star   Rich has uncovered a trove of player photos for the 1953 New Westminster Royals. Unfortunately, we have no names to go with the pictures. For now the 13 photos are posted in the 1953 BC Photo Gallery under TBAs. The Royals roster also updated. That's TBA1 (left) among those with a "P" on their caps.

The Royals went through some major changes during the season, as a glance at the July 29th Northwest League standings, now posted, would suggest.

Red Star   Also four unidentified photos in the 1947 BC Snapshots. These from the Vancouver Luckies. Well, we did have IDs for a couple but they both pointed to Roy Brown, but after you see them I think you'll agree they are not the same player.

Red Star   One addition to the 1963 Saskatchewan Snapshots, Stu Willison, of the Fort Qu’Appelle Sioux.  Love to get a better quality version of this one.


25 June, 2022

Red Star   Thanks to Paul Allen, who suited up in the Intercounty League of Ontario, we have some stats for the 1951 and 1953 seasons.

The 1951 stats featured, among others, former Negro Leaguers Wilmer Fielders, Shanty Clifford and Ted Alexander plus Canadian stars Fred Thomas, Phil Marchildon, Tom Burgess and Billy Slack.

In 1953, Billy Flick was the batting champ and a pair of former Negro Leaguers, Mel Duncan and Gentry Jessup were the pitching leaders.

Red Star   A couple of additions to the Maritime folder. In the 1946 Snapshots there's a photo of a couple of USA stars, one a Canadian, who came back to play in the Maritimes and Quebec.

And there's a team photo of a New York team, the North American Amateur champions of 1948 and 1949 who played a series in Halifax.

Red Star   Rich Necker just won't slow down !  He's dug out two photos from the 1940 or 1941 Liberty Eagles. I can identify one of the plays in the group picture as Ian "Ace" Lowe one of the great homegrown talents of the 1940s and 1950s. Sure would be neat to get the other players identified. Lowe added to the 1941 Saskatchewan Photo Gallery.

Red Star   Phil "Peaches" Piper now graces the 1924 BC Snapshot page along with Nanaimo teammate Tommy Allen. Both are also posted in the '24 Photo Gallery.

Red Star   And more of Rich's sleuthing has produced an interesting "teams" photo of the 1920s. All three teams of the Winnipeg Senior Amateur League in one picture!  It is likely either 1920, 1921, 1922 or 1923.  For now it's situation in the 1920 folder.

And, there's a team photo of the 1913 Saskatoon Quakers of the Western Canada League.


22 June, 2022

Red Star   Thank you Colin ! 

Maritime baseball, the 1940s is up.  Colin Howell, author of the book on baseball in the Maritimes, has begun a year-by-year review to follow his initial summary posted a month ago. That forward alone provides quite the education on baseball in the area, a subject rarely explored in the rest of the country.

We are now so pleased to have some details on baseball "out there" as the area often foreshadowed developments later to emerge in the prairie provinces and beyond. 

Colin has added game reports and rosters for the period 1940 to 1949.  One team photo too - the 1947 Kentville Wildcats. Names to come.

There's even the batting stats for 1947 !

Colin's new book, Hardscrabble Diamonds, is to be on the book shelves soon. 

Kevin ReimerRed Star   There are also a few other updates including the addition of Kevin Reimer, the Enderby, BC product, in the Major Leaguers section. 

Red Star   Rich Necker has dug up a photo of the 1924 Rossland, BC, nine. We're still trying to put names to the faces.

Red Star   And Rich, in trying to add some first names to the 1927 Elmwood Juniors roster, discovered a composite photo of the team. We've extracted one photo for our '27 Manitoba Photo Gallery - Alex Turk, who went on to be inducted into the Manitoba Hall of Fame. Also the 1927 roster has been updated with some first names and initials.

Red Star   We've been lucky enough to discover more images of former players. Dan Rogers, a local star in Victoria and Nanaimo in the 1970s and 1980s is now posted in the BC Photo Galleries of 1975, 1978 and 1979

There's a better photo of a former Negro League star, Bill Powell, in 1959 when he suited up for the Combines of Lloydminster and North Battleford (right). The larger photo is in the 1959 Snapshots

Another former Negro League player, Ed Finney, is posted in the 1952 and 1953 Ontario Photo Gallery when he played in the InterCounty League with the Brantford Red Sox (left). Thank you Paul Allen !

And Norman Forbes, of the Edmonton Eskimos, gets a better quality photo in the Western Canada Photo Gallery of 1955.

Red Star   Also, managed to get some videos working again ( hope). The one from Nakusp in 1956, featuring our Lou DeRosa, and a short clip from an undetermined year showing Barney Brown, the former Lloydminster Meridian, when he was playing in the Negro Leagues.


12 June, 2022

Red Star   Rich Necker & Lou DeRosa have again come to the rescue to help us fill in missing data from the 1979 season, our final season of coverage. 

We're beginning to wind down our Western Canada Baseball project after nearly 25 years on-line.

What began as an attempt to salute my hometown Lloydminster Meridians of 1954-1961 morphed into an extensive chronicle of semi-pro and amateur ball (along with a bit of pro ball in the early years of the actual Western Canada League) in the West and across the country (with new reports on Maritime ball still coming).

There's been additional coverage of such important circuits across the border as the Basin League in South Dakota and the Southern Minnesota League. Along the way we've blended in considerable information on Negro ball and US College baseball.

At some point I'll go through all the news pages to dig out names of all the contributors who have made this such a distinctive and important historical site.

We have some pages to go yet as we are delighted to have Colin Howell add to our collection with reflections on baseball in the Maritimes.

Thank you all for such support and assistance in this journey. You know of the incredible impact Rich Necker has had in this labour of love. Since suiting up some fifteen years ago, Rich has spent hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours digging through old newspaper clippings to try and make sense of the sports pages of so long ago. I don't have the proper words to express my admiration for his involvement and contributions.  The Rich Necker page is still in the works.

Red Star    Our 1979 wrap includes material on BC Interior ball, most prominently the North Okanagan League, the Kootenay International Senior League and the Selkirk Senior Babe Ruth circuit in the Trail, Nelson, Grand Forks area.

The Kootenay League additions even include statistics Reg Veysey, of Grand Forks, hit .600 (well, just 35 at bats) to take the batting title.

Kevin ReimerRed Star   Included in the Interior information is a recognition of Enderby's Kevin Reimer (left), a local boy who advanced all the way to the major leagues.

Kevin, just 15, got a taste of the local action in 1979 and became a regular the following season. He saw action at the highest level from 1988 to 1993 after being drafted by the Texas Rangers.

Brian GibbonsRed Star    Of course, the rosters have been updated and the BC Photo Gallery features some additional faces - Daryl Leier, Wayne Aalto, Stu Sonne, Kevin Reimer, Gerry Reimer, Larry Gauthier, Tim Hamilton, Peter Brooks, Ken Umbarger, Gerry Hollett, Rick Babcock and Brian Gibbons (right).

Red Star    There are some additions to the Snapshot page too, which show, among others, Gerry Hollett, Pat Vlanich, Steve Como, Ken Umbarger, Art Mercer and Mike Mukanik

Red Star   Thanks to Jackie Pearase at the Enderby Museum, we have a team photo of the '79 Enderby Legionnaires.

Red Star   Tournaments were still a pretty big draw in the late 1970s and we've info on several of them including the Enderby Dominion Day Tournament, the Enderby Labour Day event, Trail International Baseball Tournament, Grand Forks Credit Union International Baseball Tournament (which featured teams from Seattle, Lewiston, Surrey and Vancouver) and the BC Senior Babe Ruth Tournament.

Red Star   Thanks to Lou we tracked down another correct spelling - Sallaway (rather than Salloway). That's Tom in the 1960s and 1970s and Pete in the 1920s, 30s and 40s.


06 June, 2022

Lou & JayRed Star    Finally !  Happy to meet up with our BC correspondent and Trail, BC legend - Lou DeRosa

Thank goodness, Lou, on a visit with friends in Nakusp, made a point of stopping in.

He has provided invaluable assistance in our little project, especially in tracking down details on games and players in the BC Interior.

Red Star   Colin Howell, in his initial post has the broad strokes of baseball in the Maritimes from 1870 to the 1960s.  There's much more to come as Colin tackles the year-by-year progress of baseball in the east.


21 May, 2022

Colin HowellRed Star   We are delighted to welcome Colin Howell - Professor Howell - to Western Canada Baseball.

He literally wrote the book on maritime ball, more than 25 years ago, with the publication of Northern Sandlots: A Social History of Maritime Baseball.

His background provides a glimpse at the seriousness with which he tackles his subjects. Our request to have Colin provide a history, and such a rich tapestry it is, of the diamond game in the East has been long standing. We are thrilled he now has the time for this pursuit.

Welcome aboard Colin !

It begins here.

Each of the yearly home pages has been updated with a link to the page above.


20 May, 2022

Red Star   Big thanks to Lou DeRosa and Art Mercer along with Jackie Pearase, Administrator, Enderby & District Museum for digging out material from the BC Interior for the late 1970s.

Red Star   Included this day are game reports, standings, rosters and stats for the North Okanagan League of 1978.

Over on the Tournament page, there are reports on the Prince George Tournament, Enderby Canada Day Tourney, BC Senior "B" Championship, and the Enderby Labor Day Tournament

We had earlier posted a team photo of the 1978 Enderby Legionnaires, a strong tournament team.

Red Star    In the south-east, we have game reports and standings on the Kootenay International Senior League.  Some stats too (nearly final, but missing a game or two at the end of the season).

And there's one tournament addition, the Grand Forks event including a photo of the tourney all-stars. It's the tourney in which our Lou DeRosa got a call the day before the event with a plea to form a team to replace a dropout. That he did, and the team played well.

On the BC Snapshot page we've added a couple of photos of Kootenay action.

Also in the south-east, the Selkirk Senior Babe Ruth League info.

Mike MondinRed Star   The BC Photo Gallery gets some new faces - Bob Neale & Vern Mott – East Kootenay Angels, Mike Mondin (right) – Trail Hotelmen, Ken Umbarger, Rick Babcock & Gerry Hollett – Trail Hotelmen, John Migneault – East Kootenay Angels, and Wayne Bell – East Kootenay Angels.

Brian HamagamiRed Star    Among the material was a photo of right-hander Brian Hamagami who began his career in the Grand Forks area and played in Trail, Slocan, Surrey, Lethbridge, Barrhead, Edmonton and Team BC from the late 1960s into the 1980s. It's in the 1978 Alberta Photo Gallery.

Red Star    We realized we had some typos in the spelling of one of the 2022 inductees into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame - Elmer Torgerson. Seems he got confused at times with Earl Torgeson, who played in BC, and advanced to the majors with the Boston Braves. I hope we've caught all those errors.  On the way to looking for a better photo of Torgerson (none found), we turned up a tidbit on a Brooklyn Dodger baseball camp in Regina in 1949 and have posted a couple of photos (not great quality but include Fred Hucul and Art Obey).

Red Star   Looks like the current Western Canadian Baseball League is a go for 2022. The league schedule is to kick off May 26th. Our league page has been updated to include the 2021 highlights.


16 May, 2022

Red Star   How 'bout that sports fans. We've wrapped up prairie baseball in the 20's with another ton of material. Some of it reflected on the 1929 Home Page.

Rich Necker has dug out game reports, standings, tournament reports and rosters for the three prairie province's for the 1929 season.

For Alberta, we've concentrated on the Edmonton Senior League, the Alberta Southern League and the Southern Alberta League, Rosebud, Crow's Nest Pass, Bow Valley, Big Four, Edmonton Intermediate and a few more.

In Saskatchewan, it's primarily the Regina Northside League and some senior ball in Saskatoon.

The Winnipeg Senior League was a main focus for Manitoba, as well as the exploits of the Brandon Greys (and visiting touring teams) but, as with Saskatchewan, there are notes on several smaller loops.

Athol FosterThey make movies out of stuff like this.

In the Winnipeg Senior circuit, the Arena-Lions short on pitching called up a youngster from intermediate ball and Athol Foster, in his initial appearance in senior company fired a no-hit-no-run game. He faced just 29 batters with 10 strikeouts and a walk.

Still pitching in 1948 in Regina, a local paper suggested he was nearly ready for a senior's home.

" ... "Athol Foster, the ex-Broadview pitcher who set Notre Dame Hounds on their heels Wednesday night, is reported to be 50 years old. They say he tossed a no-hit-no-run game in Winnipeg when he was 18."

Cristobal TorrienteRogelio CrespoOwen SmauldingFor Manitoba, we've added pictures to the Photo Gallery and the Manitoba Snapshots. 

Some of the photos show players from the famous Gilkerson's Colored/Union/Chicago Giants who played at least 34 games in Manitoba the summer of 1929. The Giants won 31, tied one and lost just two.  They won at least five tournaments. Far left is Hall of Famer Cristobal Torriente. Left - Rogelio Crespo and right, pitcher Owen Smaulding.

Among the players on the Gilkerson's Giants was catcher Clarence "Pops" Coleman, reputed to be 52 to 55 years of age during the 1929 tour, with more than 30 seasons of baseball behind him.

Other touring clubs the summer of 1929 included the famous House of David, John Donaldson's Colored House of David, the Texas Colored Giants and the Detroit Colored Giants. Research turned up a better photo of the Texas Giants, although IDs remain missing.

Red Star   The one big Alberta tournament we've added is the 1929 Camrose event, reported as the largest ever tourney in the province. The newspaper report said 4,000 fans turned out for the final in the town of 2,002. Little Blackie, population 289, won the 12-team tournament.

In Manitoba, we've added/added-to a dozen tournaments, given the involvement of the Brandon Greys and the Gilkerson's Colored/Union Giants.

Leroy GoldsworthyRed Star   Going back a year, there's a little more to the 1928 Alberta reports to note Leroy Goldsworthy's interesting defeat in junior ball. 

In the provincial junior playoffs the right-hander fired a one-hitter, fanned 15, 11 consecutive (in, the newspapers reported, 5 1/3 innings). He lost 2-0, as his Wetaskiwin team made three errors in the first inning resulting in both runs. 

The hockey star (for six NHL teams) played for at least seven ball teams that summer beginning with a one-game stint in pro ball with Springfield of the Eastern League. He also suited up with Lavoy, Coronation, Viking, Manola and Wetaskiwin, Seniors and Juniors.

Phil MarchildonFerguson JenkinsDon TabronRed Star   In recognizing the induction of the Chatham Colored All-Stars (1934, 1935) into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame this fall, we dug up some additional photos for those two years and a few game reports from 1934.

The All-Stars were the first black team to compete in the official Ontario baseball playoffs. They won the Intermediate "B-1" championship in 1934, beating Penetang and their ace hurler Phil Marchildon (left) who would go on to star in the major leagues with the Philadelphia Athletics. Phil now has a spot in the Major Leaguers' section.

Among the Stars' stars was pitcher Don Tabron (near right above). In 1935, Ferguson Jenkins Sr.(far right above) joined the team. His son would have a splendid major league career leading to induction into Cooperstown, Baseball's Hall of Fame.

On the new 1934 Ontario Snapshot page, there are images of Wilfred "Boomer" Harding and Earl "Flat" Chase, two major factors in the success of the team.

Red Star   In filling in the text on the 1903 home page, we were led to stories on the Brandon semi-pro team of that season. Ace pitcher George Duquette was among the finds (he of the 21 wins and one loss). But there also was the story of the Brandon City League player running off off with a local's wife and leaving some unpaid bills behind. Neither of of them named.

The 1903 season sees the addition of the Manitoba Snapshot page, and additions to the Manitoba Photo Gallery (Duquette, McCarthy, Babe, Tipton)

Nick DiCarloRed Star   Guelph lost an icon last month -- Nick DiCarlo, a integral force in Guelph baseball and the community for decades. In his 92nd year, DiCarlo passed away on April 18th.

The 11th of 12 children, DiCarlo suited up for Guelph baseball teams in four decades, beginning with junior ball in the late 1940s. He was inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.

" ... DiCarlo, who went on to play 20 seasons in the Senior Intercounty loop, was named to the all star team in three occasions (twice as shortstop and once as second baseman) and he was among the all-time leaders in the triples and stolen bases. His playing career ended with a bang when the Guelph C-JOYs won the Senior Intercounty championship. He also won an OBA title as a playing manager in the 50s."  (From the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame)

Red Star   The list is out for the 2022 Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony this summer. There is (at least to me) one shocking omission. :

Roger Blaquiere - Edam, Saskatchewan
Jack Scott - Eston, Saskatchewan
Kevin Colliar - North Battleford, Saskatchewan
Brooks Washenfelder -Yorkton, Saskatchewan
Blair Bosch - Richmound, Saskatchewan
Mitch McDonald - Regina, Saskatchewan
Ron Knaus - Guernsey, Saskatchewan
Clayton Ermel - Lloydminster, Saskatchewan
Mary Ann Gaetz - Unity, Saskatchewan
Elmer Torgerson - Eyebrow, Saskatchewan
Ernie Wiemer - Fox Valley, Saskatchewan
Harry Lamberty - Nipawin, Saskatchewan
Myles Dezotell - Davidson, Saskatchewan

Missing is Ralph Mabee, one of the most influential baseball figures in Saskatchewan in the 1940s and 1950s. He even managed the Canadian team at the World Baseball Championships in 1955.  His name has been before the judges for the last couple of years. 

Robyn JensenIndian Head ExhbitA highlight of this year's ceremony will be the induction of the Indian Head Rockets, an all-black team, both talented and entertaining, which thrilled crowds in Saskatchewan in the 1950s.

The community of Indian Head, which hosted one of the prairies largest baseball tournaments of the era, is planning a huge weekend celebration to mark the occasion. June 24 to 26 the Indian Head Museum is offering a Rockets' Exhibit, an oral history day, big parade, family activities, car show, and more.

Among other things, Museum President Robyn Jensen (above left and right) has been working hard to finish the Rockets' exhibit (with a baseball dugout as a background).

As the story goes, Indian Head made contact with Big Jim Williams of the Jacksonville Eagles of Florida to come north to play in Saskatchewan as the Indian Head Rockets. Those Eagles' uniforms became Rockets as they crossed the border and began a short but impactful time on prairie diamonds.


25 April, 2022

Red Star   This one has been a bit of a struggle with both Rich and I dealing with some eye woes.  But, it's in the books.

Additional game reports, and rosters (hundreds of additions) for the 1928 baseball season on the prairies.

Our Alberta reports include the Edmonton Senior League (which featured teams such as the Stockyard Bulls and Young Liberals), the Alberta Southern League (a semi-pro circuit), Southern Alberta League (yep different leagues, almost the same name), Central Alberta, Rosebud, and Crow's Nest Pass League among others.

Also there was an attempt at a semi-pro league in Saskatchewan with teams from Saskatoon, Rosetown and Biggar. There's also game reports for the Regina Northside League and note of nearly a dozen other circuits.

Andy MulliganTwo individual photos posted In the Saskatchewan Photo Gallery of players from the short-lived SK semi-pro league, Don Conklin and Andy Mulligan (right).

The biggie in Manitoba was the five team Winnipeg Senior Amateur league.

Gilberto YzquierdoRed Star   Another great find by Rich (the former batboy for the Florida Cubans) Cubans' Gilberto Yzquierdo the team's playing manager. This individual photo extracted from one of Yzquierdo receiving a trophy for the Cubans' victory in the playoff for the Saskatchewan championship of 1952.

Red Star   This team photo has been kicking around for awhile, but we've been unsure as to which year it applied. But now our best guess is the 1959 season of the Kelowna Cyclones, champions of the Shuswap-Okanagan-Monashee League. Wishing we had some names to go with the faces !

Red Star   Hard to believe (although I do recall a few Chinooks while living in Calgary) they played baseball in Lethbridge, Alberta, on January 27th, 1906 with a temperature if 53 ° F.  Some spectators were seen in short sleeves !  The photo evidence is here. 

Rich Necker also has tracked down a team photo of the Lethbridge nine. 

Red Star   Speaking of Lethbridge, there's now the composite team picture of the 1938 team, the Alberta Intermediate Champions, Harris' All-Stars (yep with an apostrophe too) !

Hector NegrelloTried to extract a couple of individual photos (Cy Brown, Andy Young, Babe Harris and 17-year-old Hector Negrello, left) and they're posted in the Alberta Photo Gallery

Negrello's involvement in local ball ran from the late 1930s into the 1970s.  On the ice, Negrello was a star who, as captain of the Lethbridge Maple Leafs in 1951, won a gold medal at the World Hockey Championships in Paris, France.  We also located a better 1951 image of Negrello and have posted in the '51 Alberta Gallery.

Red Star   Then it's a little jump ahead to 1965 and photos of two very hard to find pictures, that of brothers Ray and Dale Stokke, long-time stars in Alberta ball.

Ray StokkeDale StokkeIn '65 they suited up with the Grande Prairie Eskimos of the Wheatbelt Baseball League. (League rosters also updated).

Both were prominent in the statistics, now posted for the 1965 season. Ray (left) finished second in the batting race, Dale (right) was fourth while leading in home runs, runs batted in and was tied for the lead in runs scored.

Dale was a member of the Canadian National team at the 1971 Pan-American Games and the Amateur World Series. He played three seasons in US College ball at Sam Houston State University.


17 April, 2022

Red Star   More riches from our ace researcher Rich Necker.

Not sure how he gets all this together, but he has wrapped up prairie ball for 1927 in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Game reports and rosters plus tournament reports (Camrose, Castor, Coronation, Prince Albert, Pike Lake) and even some statistics (Saskatoon City League). 

The Manitoba reports include the Winnipeg Wesley League, the provincial playoffs, Winnipeg Intermediate League, and Central Manitoba loop among others.

In Saskatchewan, we've added on to the reports of the Regina Balmorals touring team with the Saskatoon City League, Saskatoon Commercial League, Regina Northside League, provincial playoffs and brief reports on ten other smaller circuits.

In Alberta, we go from the Edmonton Semi-Pro League, to the Edmonton Senior Amateur League, Edmonton Mercantile League, to the Alberta Southern League and the Southern Alberta League, Central Alberta loop, Rosebud League, Crow's Nest Pass League, and brief notes on nine others.

Rosie HelmerRed Star    He also discovered a photo of a prominent sportsman back in that era - E.R. "Rosie" Helmer, the playing manager of the baseball Calgary Athletics in 1927.

He was better known for his hockey prowess, specifically as a manager and owner. A brief bio from Wikipedia :

" ... Edward Robert "Rosie" Helmer (April 19, 1890 – December 25, 1951) was a Canadian ice hockey and baseball coach ... He developed into an outstanding baseball player and travelled to western Canada to participate in the minor leagues.

While playing in Fort William, Ontario (now part of Thunder Bay), he began his hockey career, and he subsequently became interested in attaining a coaching position. He spent one season behind the bench of a junior league team in Swift Current, Saskatchewan before moving to Calgary, Alberta in 1919.

He spent eight years coaching the Calgary Tigers. During his tenure, he also put together a barnstorming baseball team of top players from the province. After the demise of this franchise, Helmer took over the Winnipeg Maroons. While coaching Calgary, Helmer maintained a close friendship with Red Dutton, who went on to become coach and general manager of the New York Americans of the National Hockey League (NHL). Helmer served in multiple capacities with this team and was the Americans' head coach during the 1935–36 NHL season.".

Wayne AaltoRed Star    Rich also surprised with team photos of the Enderby, BC, Legionnaires, strong performers in the province's interior. 

There's the 1978 photo with names and the 1977 team picture, in colour no less, but so far without IDs. We are working on it !

Also we tracked down an individual photo of one of those Enderby players, Wayne Aalto (left).

Red Star    And, in concert with our Lou DeRosa, Rich has some game reports and rosters from the Okanagan Mainline League for 1976 and 1977

The boys also managed to dig out some tournament news, both 1976 and 1977, including the BC Amateur Finals and Enderby in '76, and three more in '77 - Enderby (Canada Day), 1977 Quesnel, 1977 Enderby (Labour Day).

Red Star    By happenstance, searching the internet, found a copy of a Sexsmith Rainiers team photo we had posted years ago which we had tagged "1960s" in lieu of a specific date.  A photo at the Sexsmith and District Museum Society pinned it down to 1964. And, we've made that change. We did notice however, the interesting spelling of "Zachowisky". That prompted a check of our records and there were two different spellings - Zaichkowsky and Zaichowsky. 

Names

Our search for the correct spelling found others having the same problem. Note the different spellings in the headline and the story in a Peace River country publication  "art of the Peace", Fall, 2012.

Names

Even more interesting, her Facebook page is under yet another spelling, Zaichkowsky.

We settled on Zaichowsky for the moment.

Keith ComstockRed Star  Hats off to Torben Andersen of Red Deer, Alberta for putting us on the unusual case of lefty pitcher Keith Comstock.

As a 19-year-old, with his freshman year at Canada Junior College in California behind him (a league all-star), Comstock was approached in 1975 to play in Canada, for the Red Deer Generals of the Alberta Major League.

While he's been on our roster page, he kind of skipped notice. For good reason. He pitched in just one game - six innings, no decision. Taken out with a shoulder injury, cut from the team. Little did we know, this is the Keith Comstock who went on a 17-year baseball journey which included major league stops in San Francisco, San Diego, Minnesota and Seattle. He's still in the game as a coach with Texas.

Comstock says he was once traded from the Oakland system to the Detroit organization for $100 and a bag of balls, which he had to personally deliver.

We've found a slot for him on our Major Leaguers pages.

Wayne GretzkyRed Star    Look slightly familiar? 

Well, he's just 17 at the time.  Turned out to be hockey's greatest star. #99. 

Wayne Gretzky, who says his favourite sport was baseball. He had dreams of playing shortstop for the Detroit Tigers. In 1978, while he played mainly in Midget ball in Brantford, he got into a game or two with his hometown Red Sox of the Intercounty Baseball League of Southern Ontario.

There's a photo of Gretzky on the 1978 home page and he's joined by a few other Red Sox (Wayne Bendo, Jamie Corke, Craig Kennedy, Jim Detlor, Kevin Higgins, Larry Ellins, Dan Finan and Ted Pallas) in the new 1978 Ontario Photo Gallery.

Shanty CliffordShanty CliffordRed Star    In searching for a Gretzky photo, happened upon a couple of newspaper pictures we've long sought, especially Shanty Clifford (1953 Clifford at left, and 1956 at right) and Bob Thurman and Jimmy Wilkes the former Negro Leaguers, then playing in the Intercounty League. See Ontario Photo Galleries, 1953 and 1956.

Also in the 1953 Gallery are George Fisher and Tommy McGrattan of Brantford.


10 March, 2022

Ty SugaRed Star   Even more from the  City of Vancouver Archives – Stuart Thomson fonds from their stash of 1937 photos of Vancouver baseball.

Red Star   Our Mr. Necker has been digging through the archives to salute another twenty-five of the 1930s diamond athletes.

Red Star   Included in this latest batch are Kenichi “Ty” Suga (left), Tim Carlin, Billy Adshead, George Smith, Alymer Cousins (one of nine baseball playing brothers), Coley Hall, Frank Hall, Sandy Henderson, George Hinaga, Ernie Kershaw, Reg Jowett, Eddie Holden, Hal Straight, John Plouf, Harvey Pezzola, Hec McDonald, Jackie Sherman, Wellington "Wimpy" Quinn, Bill Richardson, George "Lefty" Boston, Don Stewart, Norm Trasolini, Don Moore, Reg "Lefty" Wallis and Don White. Photos are posted in both the 1937 Snapshots (see Page 2) and Photo Gallery.

Red Star  That photo of the Vernon, BC team we originally thought to be 1912, is now posted as a 1910s team as it proves difficult to pin down a specific year. 

Red Star  Thanks to Randy Edwards, right here in Nakusp, BC, for a team photo of a Marsden, Saskatchewan nine of the 1950s. As happened, back in the day on the prairies, the team was a family affair !  Randy noted :

" ... The picture includes 4 of the 5 Biensch brothers who were inducted as a family into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame. Missing is John Biensch. The family theme continues in the front row as Glenn, Ross and Frank were 1st cousins.  The Forsters were not the coaches but the team was sponsored by Forster's Garage which at the time was the local Chevrolet Pontiac and Case dealership. The jackets the team are wearing are actually leather jackets, red white and blue in color."

Amanda AsayRed Star   Lou DeRosa sends along the news that the Toronto Blue Jays have announced they'll hold a baseball clinic for young players in Nelson, BC in May in honour of Amanda Asay, the former Canadian National team member. 

Asay died in a ski accident earlier this year. Often she practiced with the mens' team in Trail.

Having joined the Women's National Team in 2005, Asay was the longest serving member of the club.

" ... participated in the Women’s National Team Showcase last summer in Trois-Rivières, Québec. She was part of national teams that captured five WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup medals including bronze in 2006, 2012 and 2018 and silver in 2008 and 2016. She was also part of Canada’s historic silver medal performance at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto."  [Photo and information from Baseball Canada]

Red Star  And, Lou has some names for the 1923 photo of the Trail Gulch Giants and the 1929 Revelstoke nine (would you believe the Revelstoke Museum even has the names of four kids in the background of the team photo !.

Recently back from Norway, he's been out to the Lower Mainland to take in some baseball action at the University of British Columbia. He reports the facilities are pretty impressive.

UBC

Tom ParkerRed Star   Hiding in plain sight. Came across a photo of former Negro leaguer Tom "Big Train" Parker (left) in searching for other material and realized the photo had not been added to the site!  So, it's now on the Mandak Photo Galleries, beginning in 1951. 

Parker played parts of three seasons in the Mandak League after a career in the Negro Leagues beginning in the 1920s as a teenager and after service in the U.S. Army during World War II.

He suited up with the legendary Homestead Grays for six seasons. He also played for the Indianapolis ABCs, New Orleans Crescent Stars, Nashville Elite Giants, Indianapolis Athletics, New York Black Yankees, Harrisburg Stars, New York Cubans and Birmingham Black Barons.


07 March, 2022

Red Star   Research for me seems always about tangents, as in "off on another tangent" ! (See Mike Cann, Brad Stewart, James Lowery and Jim Williams below).

Lou DeRosa sent along a newspaper item from 1915 from the Trail paper which mentioned an import player, a former pro no less, was joining the local team. Well, thought I should figure out just who he was. Even managed to dig out a photo. The following also posted on the 1915 home page (and the photo in the 1915 BC Photo Gallery) :  :

Mike CannIn the May 28, 1915 edition of The Trail Times, under "Baseball Notes", the paper announced the signing of former professional pitcher Mike Cann.

"A speedy boy ... added to fill a position that needed strengthening, namely the pitchers box. Cann is considered a great addition to the local club, being a hard one to hit and possessing all kinds of speed."

Cann, from California, played mainly what we now consider Triple-A ball from 1912 to earlier this (1915) season with Kansas City, Toledo, Peoria and Sacramento. He had a 5-13 won-lost record as a pro.

The item said he "has already proved himself considerably more than a "busher abroad" during his initial games here, working wonderfully well" with captain Kelly, the catcher.

Cann played college ball at St. Mary's in California.  Then Triple-A to Trail.

Brad StewartRed Star   The speedy Rich Necker has located more player photos from the 1937 Vancouver Charlie Mironseason and they are featured on the 1937 BC Snapshot page (and on the 1937 Photo Gallery).

For the most part, the actual photos replace newspaper copies we've carried for some time. Included are - Harry Marionetti, Tommy Kennedy, Charlie Miron (left), Pat Thomas, Jim Paul, Mel Fagundas (who had been incorrectly identified by the paper (Vancouver Sun) as Billy Adshead and we had posted such a newspaper photo'  This replaces that.

And, there's also Brad Stewart.

Stewart (right) was an interesting story as a non-Japanese import from California on the Japanese team.  He was described as the San Francisco sidewheeler.

In April, 1937, the Vancouver Sun reported that Stewart was the "first of the white imports for Asahi team".

"The Japanese have secured Brad Stewart, a six-foot one-inch right-hand pitcher ... recommended to the Vancouver league by Umpire Sam Jolley on the strength of a pitching record in the California Winter League, where he won 26 of 31 games.

Red Star   Pat Thomas, of Vancouver ball, has a photo added to the 1945 BC Gallery.

Red Star   Another ID from the New Denver team of 1949, it's pitcher Tommy Pearson. Photos are added in the Snapshot and Photo pages.

Red Star   Rich also went the extra mile to find some team photos from the ol' home town, Lloydminster.  First, it's the photo of the 1909 team, some names to go with the faces.  One of them turned out to be James Lowery, who went on into a career in politics in Alberta.

James LoweryOne of the members of the 1909 Lloydminster team also fought for Canada in the First World War (he was wounded at Vimy Ridge) and became a member of the Alberta Legislature.

James Robert Lowery sat as a Conservative member of the house from 1913 to 1921.

See the Wikipedia entry on Lowery.

Red Star   There's also a photo of the 1910 Lloydminster team, but no IDs as yet.  The chap in the back row, in the suit and bowler hat, could be a caricature of a big businessman of the times.

From the junior ranks, there's the Lloydminster Comets, the Northern Saskatchewan champions of 1938-1939. Yes, a little work to do on the names (back row nine players, eight names).

We're quite certain it's a fastball team (but it's Lloydminster and they have a trophy !) so we've posted a team photo of the Lloydminster Merchants, likely 1955 or 1956. Names too (crowd-sourced).

From the BC Interior, the team photo of Revelstoke is believed to be the 1929 (or thereabouts) Revelstoke nine. No IDs as yet.

And, also posted is a tad better quality version of the 1912 Vernon team.

Red Star   There is a short entry on the 1936 Tournament page to note the event at Virden, Manitoba, won by the powerful Bismarck, North Dakota, nine (the team that the previous season had won the National Semi-Pro Championship with the likes of Satchel Paige and Chet Brewer. We came across the tournament story as we searched for evidence of a Virden team that season as we had a photo of four players believed to be from the 1936 Virden team. But, we could not find any reports of a local squad that season, not even for their own tournament.

Jim WilliamsRed Star    To help out the Indian Head Museum for their new display on the Indian Head Rockets (to be saluted this year with induction into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame) we located a better photo copy of an old image which included Big Jim Williams (the manager of the Rockets) with major league stars Don Newcombe, Ray Campanella and Larry Doby.  Likely taken in the fall when Williams' Jacksonville Eagles would play against various touring teams, featuring major league stars, in Florida. We also, made a note in the 1951 game reports that Williams was 45 and still slugging homers.

In August of 1953, with his Regina club beset by injuries, Williams took to the field (at age 47) and promptly cracked a double and single, driving in a run. Two days later, he knocked in three with a double and two singles. The following day, it was a three-run homer.  He even played a bit in 1954, back with Indian Head, at age 48.

Gerry MacKayTommy TownGerry MacKayRed Star    Two long-time teammates and stars with Brandon in Manitoba baseball -- Gerry MacKay (far left) and Tommy Town (left) - passed away within weeks of each other early this year. 

Both were 91. Both inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame.

MacKay, primarily a third baseman/outfielder, and Town, a first sacker, were major pillars for the Brandon teams in the 1950s and 1960s. MacKay's tenure was a bit longer as he broke in with Brandon in the late 1940s and continued as a coach and manager into the 1970s.

That's Mackay (right) when at age 19, he debuted in with Brandon Greys in the team's fabulous 1949 season when the club won 87 of 108 games!  MacKay was a regular in the outfield playing in all but one of the contests. The Greys, fortified with the addition of several black stars from the United States won the Manitoba Senior League title for the second straight season.

Gladwyn ScottRed Star   So good to connect again with Gladwyn Scott, who brought the sad news on MacKay and Towns. Gladwyn, Mr. Baseball in Manitoba is a six time Hall of Famer !!  He's been inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, the Manitoba Baseball HOF, the Manitoba Sports HOF, the Manitoba Hockey HOF, Manitoba High School Athletic Association HOF and the Brandon University Sports Wall of Fame. 

Now, 90, Gladwyn combined with brother Glennis Scott to be a formidable combo on the ice and the diamonds of Manitoba. In the early days, their father Jim was the catcher for their mound efforts.


03a March, 2022

Red Star   Technical difficulties ... one moment please.

I think we've sorted out a few typos and mixed-up photos, so let's try this again.

Red Star   With a couple of additions - Nobby Hayashi and Chris "Wahoo" Suryama in the 1948 and 1949 BC Photo Galleries and George Sparrow in the 1926 Gallery

Hayashi is featured with a set of four images in the 1948 Snapshots and Suryama has a photo in the 1949 Snapshots.

Red Star   And, two team photos, the Vernon Blues of 1947ish, and a revised Lethbridge Niseis of 1953, their championship season. 


03 March, 2022

Frank Hufty Sr.Red Star    Well, that was a long time coming. A photo of Kootenays ball and hockey star, Frank Hufty Senior.  This one from 1926 when he suited up with the Slocan City nine.

Hufty and teammate Monty Morley have been added to the 1926 BC Photo Gallery and Snapshots  Gotta love the ball pants of the day.

Red Star   Further additions to our team photos, thanks to Rich and Lou digging through various archives - 1908 Phoenix, BC (the latter now a ghost town). 1909-1910 Kaslo, 1911 Kamloops, 1911 Rosetown, 1918 Enderby 1925 Enderby, 1927 Vernon, 1930s Woodfibre, and 1937 Spallumcheen

There's a second photo, better quality, of the 1949 Colonsay, Saskatchewan, Monarchs. 

And from the 1925 Enderby team photo we've extracted the image of pitcher George Sparrow, who turns up in the 30s and 40s playing for Vernon for the Photo Gallery. If Tommy John surgery were available in 1926, Sparrow might have been a candidate. He torn a ligament in his pitching arm, and tried to pitch through it, but with little success.

Red Star   With a photo of a pair of Eston, SK, players we've added in a 1917 Snapshot page for Saskatchewan.

Red Star   And, in the 1955 BC Snapshots a game photo featuring a close play at home plate.

Red Star  A little add to the 1953 home page, the Western Canada League schedule with Johnny Esaw, who became a powerhouse in sports in Canada from his work at CTV in Toronto.


01 March, 2022

Red Star   And some more ... as Mr. Necker and Mr. DeRosa keep the hits coming ...

Fred YehleReg YasuiRed Star   Additional Vancouver player photos, from the City of Vancouver Archives, Stuart Thomson fonts.

These ones from 1937 - Jimmy Watters, Ed Henry, Johnny Keith, Jack Smith, Bruce Thirsk, Reggie Yasui (left) and Fred Yehle far left).

The smaller pictures are taken from the snapshot versions on the BC page.

Red Star   Nine new team photos - 1911 Kamloops, 1912 Kaslo BC, 1917 Peachland, BC, 1920 Vernon BC, 1921 Regina Senators, the 1923 Trail Gulch Giants, the champs of the Trail City League, 1924 Vulcan, Southern Alberta champs, Enderby BC of 1925, Okanagan champions and 1929 Vancouver West Point, league champions.

The respective rosters pages have been updated to reflect the names in the team pictures.

Red Star   From the 1925 season a snapshot of Calgary catcher Alf McLean.

Red Star   Then all the way up to 1973 for a photo of Calgary's John Elick.


27 February, 2022

Charlie MironJimmy WattersRed Star    Our ace undercover detective, Rich Necker, has found a cache of photos from the City of Vancouver Archives.

The stash, mainly from the 1930s, features many of the stars of Vancouver baseball, including Charlie Miron (left) and Jimmy Watters (right).

Red Star   Now added to the 1934 BC Snapshots and 1934 Photo Gallery are photos of Jimmy Watters, Charlie Miron, Hal Puder, Dave Gray, Eddie Van Pelt, Ernie Paepke, Nick Craig, George Boston, Larry Holden, Joe McCarthy, Earl Lewis, Joe Dailey, Gus Girard, Marion Felt, Eddie Holden, Jimmy McKissock, Johnny Kasmer, Fred O'Farrell, Andy Padovan, Don Weaver and Bruce Thirsk.

Red Star   Added in to the 1938 BC Snapshots and 1938 Photo Gallery are photos of George Boston, Coley Hall, Ed Henry, Paul McGinnis and a couple of Norm Trasolini, including his role as the league's funnyman.

Red Star   The 1941 Snapshot page replaces a newspaper quality photo with a better one of Stew McNeill.

Jerry FlanaganRed Star   Confirmation from a couple of guys from the area - Leo Wurtz and Earl Bedard - the names of the trio in the 1966 photo of three Kindersley Clippers. Yep, one them future major leaguer Joe Ferguson. Another, Kindersley baseball legend Jerry Flanagan (left).

In searching Kindersley ball, came across an article in Maclean's magazine from 1991 on Kindersley baseball. 

Red Star   In our on-line travels, we also came across a photo of 1955 Edmonton Eskimo pitcher John Doucette. He was a local boy from Northern Alberta who pitched and batted well in two seasons in the fast Western Canada League, 7-3, .273 in 1955 and 5-6, .278

Red Star   Thanks to Colin Howell for names to go along with the photo of the 1948 Halifax All-Stars, The 1952 Truro Bearcats, and a few for the 1956 Truro Bearcats.

Red Star   Thanks to collector Max Weder we've added in photos of two Nova Scotia teams from 1933, the Springhill Fencebusters the provincial champions and the Springhill iron Dukes who copped the Intermediate title.


20 February, 2022

Emile FrancisFrancis top billing

 

Red Star   Emile "The Cat" Francis, a hockey and baseball Hall of Famer, has died at age 95.

Rebuilt N.H.L.’s Rangers as Coach and G.M.

While mainly known for his work in hockey, Francis was one of the most prominent figures in Western Canada baseball, both as a player and manager.

Red Star   Even at the young age of 21, Francis got top billing in baseball when he lined up at shortstop with the Bentley brothers in Delisle in 1948 before setting out on a long career with the North Battleford Beavers. He was the playing manager at age 24.


04 February, 2022

Colin HowellRed Star   What a treat to hear from Colin Howell.

Dr. Howell, Professor Emeritus in History and recently retired Academic Director of the Centre for the Study of Sport and Health at Saint Mary`s University !

Northern Sandlots is just one of his many books (at least six) and other publications during an academic career at St. Mary's and Dalhousie in Halifax.

Colin has offered his expertise to expand our coverage of baseball in the Maritimes, of which he has researched and written extensively. In his first foray into our little operation, he's already provided names for the 1952 photo of the Truro Bearcats and noted that a photo who had thought was 1950 Truro, is, in fact, the 1956 edition.

Interestingly, Colin recalled a couple of the stars of that '56 Truro squad.

" ... notably the roster included Ralph Lumenti,a 1957 Washington Senators bonus baby ... and Chook Maxwell ... who was at one point one of only two black players in professional hockey, the other being Willie O'Ree who had a spring training tryout that same year with the Milwaukee Braves.  Moe Drabowsky, another bonus baby, is missing from the picture, having left Truro in July and finishing the season at the major league level for the Chicago Cubs."

Clark GilliesRed Star    You know the guy on the left - hockey Hall of Famer Clark Gillies, of the New York Islanders, who passed away late last month at the young age of 67. 

He played 14 season in the National Hockey League, including four consecutive Stanley Cup champions. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002.

On the right, is teenager Clark Gillies, a catcher, first baseman, outfielder, in the Houston Astros system beginning at age 16.

He played parts of three seasons of rookie ball at Covington, Virginia. before concentrating on the ice sport.

However, he continued to play baseball in Saskatchewan's Southern League over a six year period with Moose Jaw. In 1973 with the Moose Jaw Devons, Clark was the league's All-Star catcher finishing fourth in the batting race with a stellar .391 average.


01 February, 2022

Red Star   Fast forward to the fifties!  An opportunity to add and re-do some photos from the early 1950s. Big thanks to our Rich Necker for uncovering a ton of material.

A prime target is the Indian Head Rockets, the team selected for induction into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame this year. A group in the community decided to have their own ball team, beginning in 1950, and brought the Jacksonville Eagles of Florida up north to suit up as the Rockets.

Jim WilliamsThe Jim Williams led import squad proved to be a major hit with the fans and on the diamond.

In two specific pages, Indian Head 1 and Indian Head 2, we present nearly 60 new or revised photographs of the teams and the individual players (some still require some names to go with the faces).

The team photos are also presented separately in the yearly groupings. And, even there we display some new photos,

On the 1950 Rockets, for example, there's a second team photo, (again from the Indian Head Museum) obviously with a few different players. Still trying to get IDs for these two photos.

Lots of news looks at playing manager Williams - the 1950 Saskatchewan Photo Gallery, and the 1951 edition.

The former Negro Leaguer also gets not one, but two photos on the 1951 Snapshot Page.

Again, there are two team photos on the 1951 page along with a few more player IDs.

Added to the 1951 Snapshot page, the six members of the Indian Head mound staff, with our best guesses as to IDs.

Indian Head Pitching

Our best guess is L-R - Peanuts Davis, Johnny Coleman, Jim Morrow, Jesse Blackman, Daniel Jenkins and Toribio Leal. 

Jenkins is our shakiest pick, but the Indian Head Museum is trying to find other Jenkin's photos to allow us to compare.

The 1952 Indian Head team picture has been revised a touch to better show the player's faces. It's the club which included future major leaguer Pumpsie Green.

Again, the 1953 photos have undergone a little further treatment for a better display.

We remain on the hunt for a team photo of the 1954 team.

A pair of Rockets, Juan Prats in 1952 and Miguel Miranda in 1953.are featured on those Snapshot Pages.

Jimmy LovelaceLionel L'HeureuxRed Star   There are a number of individual photos added or revised, including Del Wardien, Lionel L'Heureux (near left) and Jimmy Lovelace (far left) in 1950,  Of course, I later discovered I had already the same L'Heureux photo on some other pages !

 Red Star   The 1950 Tournament/Exhibition page has some additions to bring to 66 the number of tournaments we've discovered so far for that season on the prairies.

Red Star  Also from this era, there's a new photo (the third one down the page) of the Florida Cubans of 1952 (yep, Rich Necker's team), and a much improved version of the Baton Rouge Hardwood Sports team of 1952.

Red Star   There's new photo of the North Battleford Beavers of 1954 (the top one), still not what we'd like, but much better than the previous pic (bottom one).

Red Star   The Bentleys of Delisle ?  In the 40s and 50s, hockey or baseball, you couldn't miss them.  We've dug up a 1954 (we believe) photo of three of them - Doug, Max and Bev - presented on the 1954 Saskatchewan Snapshot page.

Kindersley ThreeRed Star   A very nice photo of three members of the 1966 Kindersley Klippers.

Our best guess is - Jerry Flanagan, Joe Ferguson and Wally Jackson.

Leo Wurtz, a 2016 Sask Hall of Famer, is trying to see if others can help out with the IDs.

Russ GibsonRed Star   And, while we're at it, a new photo of Russ Gibson right) , going back to 1927.

Red Star   An add to the 1947 Alberta Photo Gallery is lefty Stan Currie, from Victoria, who played with both the Edmonton Cubs (regular season) and Saskatoon Cubs (playoffs).

Red Star   The 1949 Alberta Gallery now includes Jack Devine of the Edmonton Eskimos, a Saskatchewan product.

Red Star   Over to BC, there's the additional pic of Bill Prior to the 1952 Photo Gallery.

Red Star   Into 1957, new photos of four Edmonton Eskimos, Mike Castanon, Tony DeCarbo, Bob Gerst, and Wayne Tucker.

Red Star   And, in a mammoth job, revised most of the photos of Kamsack baseball from 1952 to 1954 - the Kamsack snapshot photos from 1952 and 1954, the latter year when the Roy Taylor led squad captured the Indian Head Tournament, and the team photos 1952, 1953 and 1954. One of the new photos includes Johnny Esaw, later to become a TV super-star.

Red Star   Found a better version of the Max Weekly & Johnny Ford pic on the 1954 home page.

Red Star   Stumbled into a photo of Bob Lehow, who played in Lloydminster and Regina in 1957.

Red Star   In the 1951 Saskatchewan Snapshots, added in a photo from the beginning of the Lloydminster Tournament. The pic shows umpire Harry Ornest, Emile Francis and Johnny Lupul among others.


27 January, 2022

Bill WalkerRed Star   Back we go. 95 years to 1926 and the boom in baseball continued across the prairies 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 Inter media 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 additional 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 League, 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 Goldsworthy, 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

Roy YamamuraJimmy RattlesnakeRed 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).

     


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 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.