The Western Canada League was back for an encore, while the Green Caps tied for the top spot in Lloydminster's final season in semi-pro ball.
And, Satch just kept rolling.
The legendary Satchel Paige continued on the barnstorming circuit with a visit to Williston, two days after his 57th birthday (if, in fact, he was born in 1906 as thought.) The story in The Herald said Satchel and his son Satchel Jr. combined to handle the mound work.
Of course, Satch also appeared on the prairies with the hometown Swift Current Indians one of the teams to upset the travelers.
It was not the end of the line. Paige would make an appearance in the major leagues with Kansas City in 1965 and toss a few innings in the minors in '66. It's believed 1967 was his final season.
Two former Pepperdine University colleagues - Clark Rex (left) and John Carbray (right) -- were the driving forces behind the revival of the Western Canada League.
Rex, the Edmonton playing-manager in 1961, had brought Carbray up to play with the Eskimos and to suit up with Rex's winter league team in California. They transformed the circuit into mainly a development league for college players. The Philadelphia Phillies were to supply the entire 17-man roster for the Saskatoon Commodores while the Edmonton Oilers arranged an affiliation with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The St. Louis Cardinals provided players for Lethbridge and Calgary relied on the San Francisco Giants. Midway through the season, the Saskatoon franchise shifted to Medicine Hat.
Rex and Carbray, in Edmonton and Calgary, were one-man bands in their respective cities juggling ownership, general-manager and field-manager duties.
With George Wesley in Lethbridge not willing to continue his baseball sponsorship in the area, Rex turned to Dan Royer to run the Cardinals' franchise as general manager with Ralph Young, 27-year-old baseball coach from Stanford University, as the team's playing-manager. Spero Leakos headed the Saskatoon entry, with Lyle Olsen back as the playing manager.
The circuit attracted the best of college talent from the California schools including the California All-Star pitching combo of righthander Walt Peterson from the University of Southern California and lefty Tom Pederson from UCLA.
Peterson was fresh off a 17-win season in leading the Trojans to the College World Series title. Other first team & honourable mentions to suit up in the WCBL included second baseman George Thatcher of Stanford, shortstop Gary Malvini of Santa Clara, catchers Bud Hollowell and Marty Piscovich of USC, third baseman Tim Cullen of Santa Clara and first baseman Bob Cox of Stanford.
The Western Canada League proved to be a fertile training ground for major league clubs.
Quite a number of the 1963 competitors graduated to the majors, including such WCBL stars as Tug McGraw, Nelson Briles (left) Tim Cullen, Gary Sutherland, Jan Dukes, Ray Lamb, Larry Loughlin, Paul Edmondson and Rene Lacheman (right).
Jackie McLeod's Swift Current Indians upset the Moose Jaw Regals to take the Southern League title. Merv Sanderson hurled a shutout in the fifth and deciding game of the playoffs to give Swift Current the league crown.
Wally Blaisdell (left) of the Regals captured the batting title with a .373 mark and was named the league's Most Valuable Player. Wayne LeBere (right) of the Regals was the top hurler with a 7-0 won-lost record.
In June, South Dakota's Rapid City Journal published its selections for the all-time Basin League all-stars.
Based upon Basin League play only, the first team featured such stellar performers as outfielder Frank Howard and pitchers Jim O'Toole and Dick Radatz.
Also named were John Edwards, Jerry Adair, Steve Boros, Dick Howser, Purn Goldy, Tom Brown, Joe Lutz, Don Quayle and Harry Wise (left).
For the 1963 season, Pierre and Valentine each placed three players on the Journal's all-star team. First baseman Bill Davis, second sacker Dave Miller and starting pitcher Larry Sheckman represented the Cowboys. Catcher Ken Suarez, centre fielder Dale Mitchell and pitcher Al Closter were the picks from the Hearts.
Others named were pitcher Dick Joyce of Sturgis, third baseman Kal Segrist of Rapid City, shortstop Bob Floyd of Winner, outfielder Glen Lusk of Rapid City and outfielder Carl Morton of Winner.
A sign of the times.
George Wesley, who built powerhouse teams for Granum beginning in the early 50s, marked the demise of his efforts by putting all the baseball gear up for sale. "All professional type equipment in first class condition."
In September, 1963 the St. Louis Cardinals inked two former Western Canada stars on the same day.
Left-hander Dave Dowling, University of California, (Lethbridge 1961) and right-hander Nelson Briles, Santa Clara University (Calgary 1963) were assigned to the the Cards' farm team in Atlanta.
Dowling appeared in just two games in the majors, one each with St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs (1.80 ERA in 10 innings). Briles pitched in the majors over 14 seasons, winning 129 games with a career ERA of 3.44.
The Sporting News, October 24, 1964