Playing-manager Jackie McLeod (left) led the Swift Current Indians to the Southern League championship.
The 35-year-old veteran, winner of just two games during the regular season, compiled four victories in the playoffs as the Indians downed Melville and then Regina to claim the title. McLeod tossed an eight-hitter in the deciding game of the best-of-seven final.
Second baseman Ron McKechney (above right) of Swift Current was a major reason for the Indian's first place finish during regular play with a .403 average to win the batting crown. He was named the league's Most Valuable Player.
Regina's Ed Stefureak (left) was the runner-up at .358.
Gary Modrell (right) of Melville Millionaires was named the top pitcher, finishing with a 7-2 won/lost record. Fred Cardwell of Regina was selected as the Rookie of the Year.
17-year-old Reggie Cleveland was a star in senior ball action with Swift Current.
He went 3-1 in the regular schedule and made four starts in the playoffs before embarking on a pro career in 1966. He advanced to the major leagues for 13 seasons, winning 105 games.
Neilburg Monarchs' import pitcher Roger Freed turned pro in 1966 with the American League Baltimore Orioles organization. A better hitter than a pitcher, he was converted to an outfielder and moved up to the parent club in 1970. Seven of his eight years in the show were spent in the National League, primarily with the Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals.
(August 26) Former Western Canada players were prominent in action at the National Baseball Congress Tournament at Wichita. Lefty Pat Gillick fired a three-hitter and fanned 13 as the Wichita Dreamliners shaded Eureka, California 3-2 in the fifth round of the NBC tourney.
Gillick, batting practice pitcher for the Houston Astros and an executive with the club, did not allow an earned run. Bill Scherich singled in two runs for the winners in the 2nd. Ed Gagle knotted the score in the 6th with a triple. Rod Kanehl scored the winner in the bottom of the 6th as he doubled and then scored on Jim Pendleton's single. Bobby Doig, who relieved in the 5th, took the loss.
Jerry Brown, Bob Doig (L) (5) and Jim Garrett
Pat Gillick (W) and Jay Drake
In the Manitoba Senior League, Oscar Walker, one of three imports on the St. Lazare roster, easily captured the batting title with a .452 mark, 50 points ahead of Mel Smith of Hamiota. Maurice Oakes of Dauphin was third, at .370. Bob Wilson of Brandon led in home runs, with 7. Walker was tops in runs with 35.
Jack Denbow of Hamiota had the most wins, 8 while Bryan Smith and Hamiota had the best won-lost mark, 7-0, just ahead of Dave Pearson (right) of St. Lazare, at 6-0. Dick Limke was tops in strikeouts, with 84.
Pearson also finished 12th in the batting race with a .312 mark, a season after he was the runnerup for the batting title hitting .440.
May 8, 1965, in a Double-A Eastern League contest, the Elmira Pioneers and Springfield Giants went 27 innings to set a record for the longest game every played in organized baseball. The game was scoreless through 25 innings with both teams scoring in the 26th frame. Pioneers managed a run in the bottom of the 27th to pull out a 2-1 victory. Pioneers used four pitchers and the Giants just three. The game took six hours and 24 minutes to complete.
In August, in the Basin League, Scott Morton fanned 26 batters in a 24-inning, route-going performance as Pierre topped the Packers 5-3 at Sioux Falls. Morton, who lost a 19-inning contest to Sioux Falls last season, struck out four in one inning as his catcher dropped a third strike. One Packers' batter was up 11 times during the 6 1/4 hour game.
The next year, in the International League, the Miami Marlins and St. Petersburg Cardinals went 29 innings and six hours and 59 minutes. Marlins won 4-3.
Then, in 1981, Pawtucket Red Sox and Rochester Red Wings set the current mark with a 33-inning affair that started on April 28th and ended June 23rd. The two teams fought to a 2-2 draw in 32-innings over eight hours and seven minutes on the 18th and 19th of April. When they resumed in June, the game ended quickly as the Sox scored in the bottom of the 33rd to capture a 3-2 triumph. Among the future big leaguers in the lineups were Cal Ripken Jr. and Wade Boggs. Talk about a bad day at the office - Rochester centre fielder Dallas Williams went 0-13 for perhaps the worst single game performance on record.