The All-Time Manitoba All-Stars
In 2010, Bruce Penton, writing in Brandon's Westman Journal, looked back at fifty years of baseball in the Manitoba Senior ranks.
Fifty years. Twenty-two communities with teams. Thousands of ball players.
So where does one start in picking an all-time all-star team? Many people would cringe at the thought, or back away slowly. Too many variables. Too many different eras. Oldtimers don’t know enough about the players of today; youngsters don’t know enough about yesteryear’s stars.
But the Lord hates a coward and this is only one man’s opinion, so like it or not, here are my all-time Manitoba Senior Baseball League all-star teams. Yes, teams. Stopping at one team was impossible. Yes, cowardice is a good description. (And because the MSBL annually chooses ‘utility’ players for its all-star teams, these squads will have two of them as well.)
Catcher — Cliff Seafoot, Riverside
First base — Bill Carpenter, Souris.
Second base — Kerry Lowe, Hamiota.
Third base — Gene Cory, Riverside
Shortstop — Sam Jamieson, McAuley
Outfielders (3) — Mark Fisher, Riverside; Bob Wilson, Brandon; Mike Levandosky, Neepawa.
Pitchers (4) — Dick Limke, Souris; Shane Moffatt (many teams); Glennis Scott, Hamiota; Bob Thompson, Brandon.
Utility players (2) — Jamie Waddell-Hodgson, Brandon; Tony Kalechyn, Grandview.
Manager — Garth Seafoot, Riverside.
Coach — Neil Andrews, Brandon Marlins.
Catcher — Mike Labossiere, Virden/Hamiota.
First base — Tom Town, Brandon.
Second base — Dean McBride, Neepawa, Brandon.
Third base — Lynn Caldwell, Hamiota.
Shorstop — Jerry Shumanski, Dauphin.
Outfielders (3) — Gerry MacKay, Brandon; Dale Hunter, Riverside; Terry Lynd, McAuley/Moosomin.
Pitchers (4) — Bill Cundiff, St. Lazare; Grant Everard, Riverside; Ron Ramsey, Hamiota; Jim Deaver, Grandview.
Utility players (2) — Rick McFadyen, Brandon; Stan Furman, Souris.
Manager — Roy Cuthill, McAuley.
Coach — Al Robertson, Hamiota.
Yes, there are some obvious omissions.
I’d normally find a place for Irv Powers of Brandon on my coaching staff, and my pitching crew wouldn’t be hurt a bit by having Dave Rottman of Dauphin, Dan Kaupla of McAuley, Donato Salinas of Hamiota, Andy Boehm of Dauphin or Brian Hodgson of the Cloverleafs.
If I had a large enough roster, I’d squeeze a couple of Hamiota Smiths — Dallas and Mel — into a couple of outfield spots, and Binscarth’s Bob Paradine and Riverside’s Bob Williamson should always be considered for an outfield spot.
Around the infield, Lawson Davie of Neepawa and Denny Smith of Hamiota would be shortstops on almost any other all-star squad, and Doug Armour of Souris , Lloyd Brown of Brandon and Wes Rathwell of Riveside, along with Gord Hunter of Riverside, would be great on the right side of the infield.
How one leaves catchers the likes of Dale Lowes of McAuley, Jim Gailfus of Rolla and Don Smith of Hamiota off this team is beyond me, but numbers can be cruel sometimes.
And calling balls and strikes behind the plate? Has to be Ron Shewchuk, with Ab Richardson of Brandon waiting in the wings in case of an injury. They could call them — and miss them — with the best. (Westman Journal, June 23, 2010)