DISTRICT OF SASKATCHEWAN, NORTH WEST TERRITORIES
As issues of the 1903 Saskatoon Phenix (yes, that was the spelling used by the newspaper) were completely devoid of any sports coverage, it is impossible to determine what level of interest in baseball existed in Saskatoon and environs during the summer of 1903. The Saskatoon News (another gazette) mentioned in passing within a spring 1903 edition that there were hopes of putting on exhibition games between Saskatoon, Nutana (their across-river rival which later became incorporated as part of Saskatoon) and nearby communities.
It appears that the premiere senior amateur team in the District during 1903 was the team representing Prince Albert. A small group photo on page 8 of the publication ”Wheat Province Diamonds” (Paul Hack and Dave W. Shury) touts the Prince Albert baseballers as being the Saskatchewan District, North West Territories champions for 1903.
DISTRICT OF ASSINIBOIA, NORTH WEST TERRITORIES
The Moose Jaw Baseball Association sanctioned and organized a seven-team amateur league for 1903 in which five-inning games were regulation.
Teams in the 1903 Moose Jaw Baseball League
Elite players from the 1903 seven-team loop were brought together occasionally for inter-town exhibition matches. It was not uncommon for a trophy or a Cup, along with money, to provide an incentive, other than pride for one’s community, to the participating players.
(July 1) Moose Jaw whipped Regina 15 to 6 in a Dominion Day challenge match , a win which earned the club a Cup donated by the Sons of Scotland plus a $50 bonus prize.
(July 21) The underdog Clerks #2 team upset the Clerks #1 squad 8 to 4 in the league final, capturing a Cup put up by the Moose Jaw Baseball Association for senior amateur supremacy.
The Regina Exhibition Association held a three-team invitational tournament on August 11th and 12th with $150 as first prize and $50 for second place. Apparently, Regina defeated Moose Jaw in the opening game played on the 11th, setting up a sudden-death final on the 12th. There are conflicting reports as to their opponent in that final game.
The Regina Leader identifies the team as being Virden MB who, behind the shutout pitching of ace pitcher Bert Orr, blanked the Reginans 6 to 0. The Leader article goes on to opine that:
“Some claim that (Regina pitcher) Gilmore pitched even better than Orr but it was plain to all that the Regina field was weak.”
An excerpt from page 8 of “Wheat Province Diamonds” (Paul Hack and Dave W. Shury), however, claims that the Regina opponent in that final game was a team representing Indian Head and that players from the Virden team had been brought in to strengthen the Main Line squad for the tourney. The co-authors go on to report that:
“Not satisfied, Regina challenged Indian Head to another game for $50 and the visitors won again 9 to 0. And to make matters worse, many of the Regina supporters placed side bets at 2 – 1 and 3 – 1 odds that this time Regina would defeat Indian Head.”