Manitoban All American Girls - Inducted: 1998
The All American Girls Professional Baseball League was a league that operated in cities located on or near Lake Michigan. It began in 1943. The main promoter was Philip Wrigley, owner of the Chicago Cubs, who was worried about the viability of (men's) pro baseball during World War Two, and decided to establlish an alternate attraction. The league lasted until 1954. Over the years the rules, equipment, and style of play in the league changed from softball to baseball (for example, the size of the ball at the beginning was 12" in circumference, but at the end it was 9 1/4"). Eleven girls from Manitoba played in the league. All of them were inducted into the Baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, in 1988. They were inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame at St. Mary's, Ontario on June 4, 1998. The Manitobans were the following:
C.U.A.C. Blues, 1942 - Inducted: 1999
1967 Canadian Pan Am Games Team - Inducted: 2000
The Bowsman Marroons 1948-1953 - Inducted: 2001
Missing: Don Clark, Ed Woods, Buddy Brass, Bob Burchell, Merlin Nunn, Walter Polkosnik, Jim Laidlaw, Murray Sharpe, Murray Parsons, Kelly Caughlin, George Hanke, Ken Hanke, Glen Woods, Harold Tall, Gordon Cook, Morley Mullin, Leo Langlois, Garry Blaine, Al Seymour, Al Jacques, Aggie Kukulowicz, Jack Denbow, Gene Fedorchuk, John Zeben, Jim Hagemeister, Jack Eisner, Leonard Pigg, Gene Conley, Percy Howard, Al Koonz, Ernie Boushy, Wimpy Stevenson, Ross Struthers
Baseball flourished in the Swan River Valley after World War Two and Bowsman emerged as the pace setter amoung baseball towns. Bowsman Ball Park was located in a natural amphitheatre and it had adequate seating and parking. In 1946 Bowsman purchased its first set of uniforms and later, through efforts of Dennis Ball of hockey fame, puchased uniforms from Winnipeg's Junior Maroons. Bowsman imported talented young players from Winnipeg. Amoung them were Gary Blaine, Al Seymour, Aggie Kukulowicz, and Al Jacques.
St. Boniface Legion 43 Legionaires 1982 - Inducted: 2002
St. Boniface Legion 43 Legionaires 1982 Canadian Junior Champions
Thompson Reds 1968-1973 - Inducted: 2003
Back Row (L-R): Manager- Red Sangster, Vern Bentley, Keith Redman, Earl Hodges, Doug Bentley, Forbes Stewart, George Coghill, Barry MacLean, Steve Sobko, Dale McDougall, and President- Ross Papineau.
Blight Bros. - Inducted: 2003
Floyd Blight: Born on May 4, 1927 - September 17, 1993.
Floyd was an excellent pitcher who started playing senior ball at 15 years old. He was a strong power hitter, who was the only player to hit one over the Oakville School, and drilled the longest homer ever hit at the Kenora-Keewatin Tournament. Floyd played 30 tournaments in 1949 throughout June and July. Floyd played mainly for Oakville and Poplar Point, but did some pitching for Portage and Neepawa (at Clear Lake).
Don Blight: Born on February 22, 1930.
"Ding" started playing senior ball at age 14 and played until age 40 with teams like Poplar Point, Portage, Neepawa, MacGregor, Fort Whyte, Carman Cardinals and Oakville. Don started as shortstop, later was catcher, and primarily played tournament base ball.
Ken Blight - Born December 14, 1933.
Ken was a southpaw pitcher who started with Portage at age 24 against Poplar Point. Ken played three years with Oakville in a junior league with Winnipeg Maroons, Portage and MacGregor, in late 40`s and early 50`s. Ken played first base, outfield and pitcher for 17 years, played tournament ball extensively, and pitched a 3-2 win over Winnipeg Buffaloes for Neepawa.
Carman Junior Goldeyes 1969 - Inducted: 2004
Back Row (L-R): Joe Pethybridge (Manager), John Kosowski, Les Lisowski, Carl Watson, Gary Sloik, Mel Smith, Gary McEachern, Blake Fox, Bill North, Gary Toews
The Smith Brothers - Inducted 2004
Dallas Smith: Born on October 10th, 1941
Dallas was a power hitting catcher and outfielder who had a .331 batting average throughout his career. He was a first team All-Star in 1962 and 1963. He retired from baseball to play with the Boston Bruins. He won the Stanley Cup twice, playing alongside Bobby Orr.
Don Smith: Born on May 14th, 1944
Don played the positions of pitcher and outfielder, but often served as catcher. He spent his twelve year career playing in Hamiota and Dauphin. He won the M.S.B.L. pennant in 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, and 1967. He also played on the Canadian National Team in the 1967 Pan-Am Games. Like his brother he was also an avid hockey player.
Bryan Smith: Born on October 5th, 1945
Bryan played the positions of outfield, catcher, and as a southpaw pitcher. He won the M.S.B.L. crown in 1962, 1963 and 1964 and was named to the first All-Star Team in 1965, 1970, and 1971. In 1967 he attended the St. Louis Cardinals training camp.
Mel Smith: Born on April 9th, 1948-October 7th, 2002
Mel primarily played in the outfield but also served as a pitcher. In 1967 he signed a contract with the St. Louis Cardinals and attended their training camp in St. Petersburg, Florida. In his fourteen year career he hit thirty-two home runs and in one game was intentionally walked five times.
The Pas Teepees 1959-1964 - Inducted: 2005
The Pas TeePees 1959 Polar League Champs
Missing from Picture: Hugh Turnbull, Dale Anderson, Stu Anderson, Don Black, Ron Chalmery, Brad Cox, Norm Engen, Dick LaFramboise, Dennis Madrigga, John Marlow, Don Miller, Jeff Miller, Edgar Rivalin, Ted Rock, Al Wolfe, Elymer Young
After World War II, a senior baseball team in The Pas played exhibition games against teams from northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan communities such as Bowsman, Flin Flon, Nipawin, Melfort, and Sturgis. Touring teams from the USA, including the Ligion Colored All-Stars, also played in The Pas. The team also travelled to tournaments in both provinces.
Elmwood Junior Giants, 1978-1980- Inducted 2006
Picture: Back Row (L-R):Les Lazaruk, Kevin Lunney, Jim Lavallee, Brian Hatmann, Al Kinley, (coach), Dave Adams, Joe Sandrk, Al Edie, Ted Nowicki, Ken Kulesycki, Bob Kinley (coach), Gord Menzies (coach), Vince Urso, Bill Kinley Middle Row: Doug Gawiak, Bev Fisher (coach), Carey Lucyk, Steve Stepaniuk, Kerry Fingler, Jim Paton, Bruce Schmidt, Bill Leonard, Dan Bourbonnais, Don Onsowich, David Olsen (coach), Ross Kinley Front Row: Glen Hunter, Daryl McCartney, Ken Johnson, Barry Muckosky, Randy Ladobruk, Jim Shozda, Gord Revel, Carey Candy, Roger Wiesner, Jerry Kollesavich Not in Picture: Tim Kirlin
The Elmwood Junior Giants won three consecutive Manitoba junior championships and after winning Manitoba in 1978 they took Western Prarie Regional title and competed in National championship in Surrey, BC.
In 1979, after the Manitoba victory they went 1-3 at Western Canadians, and in 1980 after Manitoba they moved on to Western Canadians and finished second.
Coached by Al Kinley, Bob Kinley, Gord Menzies, Dave Olsen, and Bev Fisher.
Players on all three teams were Carey Candy, Randy Ladobruk, Glen Hunter, Ken Johnson, Jerry Kollesavich, Barry Muckloski, Jim Paton, and Roger Weisner.
The Toews Family - Inducted 2006
The Inductees from the Toews family of Plum Coulee include Ron, Garry, Brian, and Bill Toews and their father Peter Toews.
Peter Toews coached the Plum Coulee Pirates, where he was known as Mr. Baseball, for many years. He coached the Senior team, many of whom were 20 years or younger, and was intramental in many of the players developement. All four of his sons became strong players as well.
Ron Toews was a pitcher/shortstop for many different Manitoban teams including the Plum Coulee Pirates Senior Baseball team, the Plum Coulee Junior Team, with Winkler for the Manitoba Juvinile Provincials (which they won), the Brandon Cloverleafs, and the St. Agathe Bisons for the 1970 Canadian Nationals.
Garry Toews also played on many various teams including the Plum Coulee Little League Team, the Pembina North All-Stars, various bantam teams, the Brandon Manco Kings Junior Baseball Team, and the Carman Goldeyes Junior Baseball Team (inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004).
Bill Toews played first base for Plum Coulee, Miami, Notre Dame De Lourdes, and the Winnipeg Knights. One of the hightlights of his baseball career is the two games in which he hit 3 home runs at 3 consecutive bats for each game.
Brian Toews played first base with the Plum Coulee Pirates Senior Baseball team, and the Plum Coulee Junior team.
The Ingram Family- Inducted 2007
Al, Doug, and Ken, three brothers, were part of a well known baseball family from the Elmwood/ East Kildonan Area and were highly regarded players in Junior and Senior Leagues in the 1950's and 1960's.
Al played junior baseball with the Morse Place Monarchs and senior baseball with Transcona, CUAC and the Elmwood Giants. He was a League All Star numerous times in his career. Al was also playing manager for the Giants in the late 1950's, who were league finalist for three years.
Doug, a second baseman played junior baseball for Morse Place and the Selkirk Fisherman and senior baseball for the Elmwood Giants, St. Boniface, and the Carman Cubs. He played on seven consecutive Senior finalists teams form 1957-63, winning three championships. He was a great defensive player, who twice had six hits in one game.
Ken, a catcher, played junior baseball for the Giants at age 16. He was an All Star catcher and led the Gaints to three championships. Ken started his senior career with the St. Boniface Native Sons in 1962, who won the championship. He then joined the Transcona Atomics and was the starting catcher for four championships. He was a good hitter and an excellent defensive player and handler of pitchers.
The Cote Family- Inducted 2007
During four decades from the 1940's to the 1970's, the Cote family of nine brothers were synonymous with baseball in Vasser, a small community in south eastern Manitoba and there was a period when they all played for Vasser at the same time.
Lucien, the oldest, possessed a ferocious passion for the game, pitched and played infield. James was an excellent right fielder with a strong arm and was a good hitter. He, along with Lucien, were often recruited by Minnesota teams for tournaments.
Alme played second or shortstop and provided inspiration with his constant chatter. Denis pitched left handed amd had very good arm control. Ovide, a left handed hitting catcher, with a solid physique, had a strong arm. Robert, an outfielder had an excellent batting eye, which allowed him to draw many walks and had the skill and ability to steal bases.
Emilien, a switch hitting, pitcher, was a gifted player and a powerful home run hitter. Emile, a speedy center fielder, was small in stature, but had a great range and was a good base runner. Louise, the youngest, was a right handed hitter and utility player, who along with Emilien, were the victims of a vehicle accident at the age of 22.
Elmwood Junior Giants, 1957-1961- Inducted 2008
Members:Don Borys, Al Bosiak, Bruce Chudley, Mac Gordon, Dennis Halford, Clint Hoskins, Ray Hoskins, Jerry Kruk, Gord Lowry, Bill McLennan, Lorne Norburn, Bob Reid, Norm Rogoski, Ray Shuel, Bob Smith, Doug Smith, George Tillbury, Al Tresoor, Ken Tresoor, Tom Trosky, Frank Urso, Mike Washnuk
The Elmwood Giants Junior Baseball Club was one of the dominant teams of the 50's. They won Championships in every 5 year span.
The 1957-61 group appeared in five consecutive junior finals winning three championships. In 1957 they lost a best of seven final in the last game to the Colombus Club. In 1958 and 1959 they defeated CUAC and lost in the final to Clombus Club ub 1960.
They defeated Isaac Brock in the 1961 Junior final. Over this period they also joined with the Elmwood Seniors to win numerous tournaments.They often had to enter under a false name such as Rathwell, to be accetped into tournaments.
The nucleus of this team was a part of a great minor program in the early 1950's that included two bantam, two midget and two juvenile Provincial Championships.
Key players such as Ken Tresoor, Ray Hoskins, CLint Hoskins, Norm Rogoski and Ken Ingram played key roles in their championship years. During this time, the teams were coached by Bob Smith, Al Tresoor, Bob Reid, Mike Wachnuk, Ray Hoskins, Dennis Halford and George Dillbury as Manager.
The Robertson Family, Hamiota - Inducted 2009
For many years Hamiota was known as the Baseball Capital of Manitoba. The members of the Robertson family were very instrumental in creating this reputation for Hamiota.
Al Robertson played on Canada's Pan-Am Games teams of 1967 and 1971. He was MSBL batting champion in 1967. In 1985 he won a silver medal as manager of Manitoba's Canada Games team, was named Coach of the Year for both Manitoba and Canada, and won the Brandon Sun's Krug Crawford Award as Western Manitoba's Sportsman of the Year. He has been inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame, the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame, and the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.
Lorna Robertson coached Hamiota teams along with Al to provincial titles in Beaver, Bantam, and Bison categories. She was a coach also of two Bison teams that won medals at Western Canadians. She won the Brandon YMCA Woman of Distinction Award in 1985 and was Manitoba Basketball's Coach of the Year in 1993. She has been inducted into the Maniotba Basketball Hall of Fame and the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.
Jeff Robertson played as a youngster on provincial championship teams in three different age categories. He played on Team Canada at the World Youth Championships at Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 1983. In senior ball he was an MSBL first team all-star ten times and Manitoba's Senior Player of the Year in 1989. As a coach, Jeff was on the staff of teams from Manitoba at Western Canadian and National championships, as well as at the Canada Summer Games in both 1989 and 1993. He coached Team Canada at the Four Nations Cup in 1995. He also established the Manitoba High School Baseball championships, and administered them from 1993 through 1998. He was Manitoba Baseball's Manager of the Year in 1998.
Randy Robertson also played on provincial championship teams in three youth categories. He was the all-star catcher at the Western Canadian Beaver championships at Neepawa in 1979, and was on the Manitoba team that won a silver medal at the 1985 Canada Summer Games. He played in the MSBL for six years. His career batting average was .352 in league play and .336 during play offs. In 1987 he came second in batting average, and led the league in both hits and stolen bases. In that year he stole 25 bases, still a one season record. Randy also coached minor teams in Hamiota, as well as development teams in Westman at the Bantam and Midget levels.
Giroux Athletics, 1988-92 - Inducted 2009
The tiny hamlet of Giroux has been famous for baseball teams for generations. It fielded a Senior caliber team for 44 years. Another indication of enthusiasm is that from 1988 through 1992 the Giroux Athletics "Twilight" team won four Manitoba Twilight championships and three Western Canadian championships. Special recognition should go to the Seidler brothers Roy, Wayne, and Brian, who were the key organizers of this club. This is the first Twilight team inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Fortin Family, Interlake - Inducted 2010
Roy Fortin was born August 12, 1949. He was a hard-hitting left-handed pitcher who played with Oak Point and Lundar area teams. He coached minor ball for many years and installed a love for the game in his sons. Roy finished his playing career in Twilight baseball where he pitched Grosse Isle to a Manitoba Championship in 1990.
Troy Fortin was born February 24, 1975. He was a good defensive catcher who could hit - a nice combination. Troy played mostly in the Interlake area and has represented both Manitoba and Canada on several occasions. He was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 1993, playing six years in their minor league system and then 3 years for the Winnipeg Goldeyes. Troy proudly played for Canada at the Pan-Am Games in 1999, winning a bronze medal.
Blaine Fortin was born August 1, 1977. He played his minor baseball in the Interlake area. In 1994, he won the MJBL batting title, and was named both the Baseball Manitoba and Baseball Canada Player of the Year. He was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1995, playing 3 years in their minor league system. In 1996, he was flown to the Sky Dome in Toronto to catch for Roger Clemens. Blaine has played in many Western Canadian and Canadian Championships and even represented Canada at the World Junior Baseball Championships in 1994.
Kollesavich Family, Rapid City - Inducted 2010
This family had a huge impact on minor baseball in Rapid City. Dan was an organizer and often a coach to all four boys at one time or another. The family was presented special sports recognition awards from the Town of Rapid City when the family moved to Winnipeg in 1975.
After moving to Winnipeg, Jim played with the River East Junior team, John and Jerry with the Elmwood midgets and Rob with teams at Gateway and Transcona.
All four boys played with the Elmwood Giants Juniors. Jim and Jerry played on the 1978 Provincial and Prairie Region championship team. Both played on the Elmwood Juniors 1978-79 team that has previously been inducted in the MBHOF.
Rob played for the Elmwood midgets, juniors, and seniors. He played on back-to-back Canadian championship teams with the Manitoba Juvenile All-stars in 1981 and then with St. Boniface who won the Junior Canadian Championsip in 1982. He helped Elmwood win the Provincial Junior Championship in 1984 and was named MJBL top pitcher and MVP. Rob went on to play successfully in the MSBL for a number of years.
Dan became heavily involved in umpiring in Winnipeg for about 15 years at many high levels and championships.
Brandon Parklane Junior, 1965-1967 - Inducted 2011
Team Manitoba Bison All-Stars, 1981 - Inducted 2012
Back Row L-R: Joe Wiwchar (coach), Al Willer, Derrick Todoruk, Pat Temmerman, Derek Blight, Joe Mutcheson, Glen Lowes, Dan Mullin, Brent Smalley, Mike Thomas, Glen Peters
Front Row L-R: Les Charles, Rob Kollesavich, Brian Carswell, Scott Martin, Cory Wiwchar, Doug Hamm, Guy Constant, Gord Revel
In 1981 an all-star team was chosen to represent Manitoba in the Bison (18-19 yr. old) division. The Western Canadian championship was held in Emerson, with Emerson as the host team. Team Manitoba took the Emerson event and moved on to Sarnia, Ontario, and the Canadian championship. Their undefeated record through the early games meant that in the play-offs they had to be beaten twice by Quebec. Team Manitoba lost the first game but won the second when Gord Revel snagged a hot line drive for the final out.
The Mutcheson Family, Morden - Inducted 2012
Since the 1950's members of the Mutcheson family of Morden have been prominent in baseball in Southern Manitoba and have made immense contributions to the sport's popularity.
For his dedication over many years Jim Sr. was inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999. In 2009 he was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame. His wife Sylvia was a supporter of all sports played by the boys and coached minor baseball in Steinbach and Morden for a total of seven years. In the early 1960's Jim and Sylvia were honoured as Morden's Citizens of the Year.
Jim and Sylvia had six sons. All made their mark in baseball. As youngsters, several of them were part of age-group teams that represented Manitoba at Western Canadian of Canadian championships. Micheal was an excellent outfielder in Junior ball for the Carman Goldeyes, then in Senior for Dauphin in the MSBL and Teulon in the Redboine League. Ray was an all-star second baseman, especially with Carman Goldeyes Juniors, with Carman and Teulon Seniors, and with all-star teams that between 1985 and 1991 won five provincial intermediate championships and three medals at Western Canadians. Jim Jr. was also a Carman Goldeye in Junior, and then he played Senior ball in Morden for several years before becoming a coach in minor ball and an umpire in the South Central League. Jack starred in center field, first for Carman Goldeyes in Junior, then in Senior for many years with Morden, before he became an umpire who has worked many provincial and national championships. Between 1985 and 1991 he played with Ray on the league all-star teams that consistently won provincial intermediate championships. Joey was a perennial all-star at third base, with Carman Goldeyes Juniors, with Mayville State in U.S. college ball and with Morden in the Border League East. Matt was an exceptional player as a teenager and was part of three Team Manitoba Selects squads at Canadian championships. He went to Valley City College and Northern State University, and then had fourteen outstanding seasons in the MSBL with Birtle Blue Jays and Brandon Marlins. He was the MSBL Pitcher of the Year four times, MSBL Player of the Year three times, and Manitoba's Senior AAA Player of the Year three times.
Oakland Braves, 1957-1963 - Inducted 2013
Back Row (left-right):Danny Gullet, Gordon Martin, Glen Cory (Coach), Bruce Gullet.
Middle Row (left-right): Ed Patterson, Bill Sowiak, Jack Granger, Ken Orr, Lorne Martin.
Front Row (left-right): Gary Hodgins, Ron Powers, Noel Fisher, Ed Evans, Wayne Cory.
Inset: Murray Bridges, Deb Mealy, Cliff Hinks.
The Oakland Braves were an amalgamation of players from Nesbitt and Wawanessa. Traditionally these two teams had been rivals, but a lack of players brought them together in 1957. The played in the South Central League.
The team was often successful in league and tournament play. Their most notable year was 1961. They won the League Championship game that year, beating the Brandon Cloverleafs 13-0 in the final game. After defeating Cartwright the Oakland Braves advanced to the final series of the South Manitoba Baseball Association. They won the title of Southern Manitoba Champions after defeating Reston in two straight games. Oakland then went on to defeat Rivers in the battle of the Northern and Soutern Manitoba Leagues.
Virden Oil Dome All-Stars, 1957 - Inducted 2013
Back Row (left-right): Len Rivers, Garth Sararas, Neil Amy, Bruce Knight (Coach), Laurie Artiss (Manager), Charles Lee (Coach), Ralph Lee, Bob Evans, Elgin Knight, Larry Hart.
Front Row (left-right): Bob Bell, Keith Penny, Gary Greaves, Bob France, Bob Thompson, Alex Martynovich, Dale Lund, Allan Bawdon, Jack Bomford.
In 1955 a team was organized in Mid-Western Manitoba to compete in the Manitoba Little League. Due to a certain technicality the team was unable to join the league and had to satisfy their desire to play by competing in exhibition games. They even defeated the League Champions and went on to represent the province in several exhibition matches.
In 1957 the Oildome League was organized as a part of the PONY League (Protect our Nations Youth). PONY had begun in the early 1950's to give youngsters the opportunity to play competitive sport and be involved in the life of a team. Many saw sport as an excellent way to teach and entertain these children, therefore keeping them out of trouble.
Initially there were only four teams in the Oildome PONY League, Crandall, Decker, Kenton, and Virden. The quality of play amongst these young teams was extraordinary. An All-Star team was selected from the players of each of these towns to compete at a Provincial Play-Down. Laurie Artiss, Charlie Lee, and Bruce Knight were instrumental in bringing the team together.
The All-Star team proved to be highly successful, going on to win the Rural Manitoba Championships. This allowed the Oildome All-Stars to compete against the reigning Manitoba Champions, the Winnipeg South Division All-Stars. The Oildome All-Stars went on to win the series 2-1, giving them the opportunity to represent Manitoba in the Canadian PONY League Championships.
They Oildome Allstars went on the win the Canadian PONY League Championships.
CPAC (Canadian Polish Athletic Club), 1965 - Inducted 2014
The Canadian Polish Athletic Club sponsored a 12 and under Little League program in the core area of North Winnipeg.
The CPAC Little League program sent a team of all-stars to the City Championships and won the title in 1965. The all-star team moved on to the Provincial Championship and defeated Brandon in a dramatic single elimination game later that year. After claiming the Provincial Title, the CPAC all-stars made Manitoba baseball history by defeating a team from British Columbia to win the 1965 Western Canada Little Canadian Baseball Championship in Winnipeg.
A film, "1965 Behind in the Count - A Baseball Life", was released recently which outlines the CPAC team. This film can be viewed on the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame Website.
Souris Juvenile Cardinals, 1967 - Inducted 2014
With no team, no coaches and no organization, a group of high school players appealed to two local baseball enthusiasts to start a program. After the program commenced, the Souris Juvenile Cardinals were accepted into an intermediate level adult league in South Western Manitoba. Later, the team applied to enter the Manitoba Baseball Association Juvenile category playoffs.
The Souris Cardinals went on to win the Manitoba title by defeating the Carman Goldeyes in the semi-finals and the South-End Sioux in the championship final.
Following the provincial championship, Souris hosted the 1967 Western Canada Championships and captured the Western Canada title in front of 1000 local fans. Souris placed four players on the Western Canada Championship All-Star team.