With the end of the European conflict, 1945 military units were rapidly being downsized and the service units in Winnipeg and environs were no exception. Accordingly, the high calibre Inter-Service Baseball League which operated for two seasons in the Manitoba capital ceased to exist as discharges from the military emptied barracks.
Having the Winnipeg senior baseball landscape all to themselves once more, the 1945 Greater Winnipeg circuit experienced a moderate transformation. The Norwood franchise was disbanded and was quickly replaced by the Arenas, a team bearing a name with years of tradition in the Winnipeg area. Absent for several years from the Winnipeg senior baseball scene, the Arenas had, in their heyday, been tabbed as the best amateur nine in Manitoba.
GREATER WINNIPEG SENIOR LEAGUE
1945 GWSBL Playoffs
In best-of-seven semi-final action, the second-place St. Boniface Native Sons eliminated the neophyte Arenas in four straight games while the pennant-winning Transcona nine were stretched to eight games before knocking off the defending champion Canadian Ukrainian Athletic Club Blues four games to one with three games tied.
A long delayed final series, originally a best-of-seven affair but subsequently reduced to a best-of-three showdown, saw the Transcona team emerge as 1945 GWSBL champions.
1945 Western Canada Championships (Calgary AB)
(September 25) On the strength of a huge eight-run second inning, Calgary’s Currie Army Barracks picked off the first game of the 1945 Western Canada baseball series at Buffalo Park. The final count was 11 to 1 against the Winnipeg Transconas. Dick Noon’s three-run homer and Vern Richardson’s five-hit pitching, which included 12 strikeouts, propelled the Foothills League champions to the convincing win. Noon, Angelo Giavedoni and Max Bentley each had two hits for the Calgary-based Soldiers with two-baggers included in Giavedoni and Bentley’s totals. Buster Glowa had a brace of hits for the Manitobans.
Lehman (L) and Blacquiere
Richardson (W) and Stewart
(September 26) The senior baseball season came to a close with Currie Army and the Winnipeg Transconas going ten innings in a 3 – 3 deadlock as darkness ended the game and sent the Transcona club scurrying to the railroad station to catch a train. The Manitoba club had run out of time because bad weather had kept the team idle for four of their six days in Calgary. With Currie leading the shortened series on the strength of their opening game victory, the Western Canada Seattle Ranier trophy was awarded to the Calgary Soldiers. A pair of lefthanders hooked up in a hurling duel as “Lefty” Hewitt of the Transconas opposed Currie’s Ray Humble. Despite the cold weather, irritating drizzle, slippery diamond and the seven errors charged the Manitobans, it was a fair contest from start to finish. Transcona had a 9 to 8 advantage in base hits garnered. Dick Noon of the Calgarians was the game’s leading hitter with a double and a pair of singles. Following the game, Max Bentley was granted leave of absence from the Canadian Army and headed for Chicago to re-join the NHL Black Hawks.
Humble and Stewart
Hewitt and Blacquiere
BRANDON & SOUTH WESTERN MANITOBA
The leagueless Greys represented Manitoba’s second-largest city in the baseball battles of 1945, playing against both military and civilian opposition in exhibition and tournament action.
Rosters of teams from Brandon and south-western Manitoba area involved in exhibition and tournament games
Brandon Greys : Beleski Frank, Bond Fred OF, Bowes “Biff” OF/P, Caldwell Don, Campbell Glen P/OF, Clark Gerry P/2B, Collister OF, Cory SS, Fisher Tray P, Fraser, Grant Charlie C, McCallum Andy 1B/C, Palidwar Bill OF/P/3B, Pineo Charlie, Purpur Johnny P/SS/1B, Robertson “Joker” OF, Rogers, Richards, Smith Jack SS/2B/OF, Sutherland Johnny 2B, Summer/Summers Jim 2B, Sweany/Sweeney “Bud” C/P/2B/MGR, Trelka Charlie, Venier C, Walker Ted P, Webster Clare 1B, Woodman Wayne 3B
Fort Brandon Military Hospital : Batters E., Blackhall “Blackie”, Bouchard Joe P, Bragg G., Brennan G., Bryant Jack, McCorrister J., Morier A., Rigby A., Severn B., Sinclair M.
No. 2 A.C.U. (Air Force) : Blackie, Brisebois, Dickens, Frenkowski, Musson, Nelson, Pull, Walecke, Walker P
Paratroopers : Brennan P
Shilo Army : Bittner Ben, Clarey, Gustafson Roy P, Hrychuk C, Kulyk, Lamb D., Lee, Leonard OF, Marnchuk, McKinnon Don OF/C, McVeigh 1B, Mikla Joe, Nichols, Olimb, Richards Henry P, Roy, Seed J., Seed P. C, Setter, Simmonds, Stein, Tucker, Young, Windsor
Virden MB : Bedford C, Budge 3B, Carefoot #1 OF, Carefoot W. SS, Cooke Lorne P, Gardiner OF, Stewart 2B, Sumner 1B, Wright Jim OF
Wawanesa MB : Cory Dean SS/P, Cory Glen 2B, English C. 1B, Fisher Tray P, Hall OF, Kretchman OF, McKay N. OF, McKibbon OF, Myers 1B, Patterson 3B/SS, Venier C, Wallace OF