1979 Alberta Game Reports     

CALGARY BASEBALL LEAGUE

This brand new six-team circuit encompassed three senior clubs (Cardinals, Odeons and Lakeside Caseys) and another three (Spikes, Con Mac Giants and Minchuk Broncos) composed of junior-age players.

Teams
Cardinals
Con Mac Giants
Lakeside Caseys
Minchuk Broncos
Odeons
Spikes

(May 15)  Jim LaDuke supplied the power as the Odeons won their second straight Calgary Baseball League game at Optimist Park. LaDuke went 3-for-4, driving in three runs, to lead the Odeons to a 7 to 4 victory over the Lakeside Caseys. Alf Sedran, who held the Caseys hitless until the fifth inning, picked up the mound triumph. He was relieved in the sixth stanza by Ron Medoff who went the rest of the way. Kevin McCartney went the route in absorbing the setback.

(May 16)  Stan Sjogren of the Spikes, a top-of-the sixth-inning defensive replacement, got his shot offensively in the bottom half of the same frame and delivered in grand style, nailing a key two-run round-tripper which tied the score at 14 – 14 and led to an eventual 15 to 14 comeback subduing of the Cardinals. Following Sjogren’s tater, teammate Harry Blacker singled and eventually scored the winning run on George Hiraga’s one-bagger. Trailing 7 to 0 after three innings, no one expected the Spikes to rebound so forcefully on such a cold evening but a fifth-inning explosion, ignited with a leadoff single by one-armed Pat Jarvis, got the youthful winners back on the road to recovery. Kevin Pendergast led the 18-hit offensive assault for the Spikes, picking up five hits including two doubles. Grant McDougall and Scott James had three safeties apiece for the Redbirds. Blacker, the third Spikes’ chucker, who followed Jarvis on the rubber, got credit for the win while Glen Garry/Gary, who came on in relief in the fifth panel, suffered the loss.

(May 21)  The Spikes routed the Minchuk Broncos 15 to 5 in the opener of a Calgary Baseball League doubleheader. In the second contest, the Con Mac Giants became the latest victim of the Odeons, suffering a 9 to 1 defeat. Pat Jarvis, although requiring relief help from Dave Prokopy, grabbed the hillock decision in the matinée event. Jody Cummings, derricked in the third chapter, was saddled with the loss. Spikes’ first baseman Tim Hansen, with three RBI’s, led the 22-hit assault of the victors. Murray Kuzek had a brace of base raps for the Broncos. Jim LaDuke’s third hit of the game, a bases-loaded double that plated three counters, insured the Odeons’ fourth victory of the season in the finale. He finished with four RBI’s. Craig Randle picked up his second hillock triumph, besting Tom McPhal. Jean-Marc Raymond led the Giants at the plate with a pair of singles.    

(May 22)  Shortstop Len Chase homered and Craig Spangler drove in four runs to ignite the Cardinals in their 10 to 5 conquest of the Lakeside Caseys. Dave Edney went the distance to post the victory while Kevin McCartney was nailed with the loss.

(May 23)  Len Chase rubbed it in against his former team by blasting two solo homers to lead the Cardinals to a 16 to 8 victory over the Minchuk Broncos. Chase also had a triple and single to go along with his brace of dingers. “Scotty” Rasmussen also nailed a circuit-clout for the Cards. Winless in four outings, the young Broncos had a four-bagger by catcher Murray Kuzek in the fourth panel which gave them a temporary lead before the roof fell in. Wayne Leason, with bullpen help from veteran Craig Spangler, earned the hillock triumph over Brent Winston.

(May 24)  Pitcher Randy Cody came back to haunt his old teammates as he hurled the Lakeside Caseys to a 5 to 3 victory over the Spikes in Calgary Baseball League play. Cody tossed a six-hitter and aided his cause offensively with a couple of base hits. Losing flinger Dan Lyon was nicked for eight safeties.

(May 27)  The Odeons won the fifth straight game, an 11 to 1 shellacking of the Minchuk Broncos in the curtain-raiser of a double-bill at Optimist Park. The Con Mac Giants prevailed 4 to 1 over the Cardinals in the sunset event.
Rob Medoff held the Broncos to five hits in the lid-lifter, besting Bill Stephenson. The Halas siblings had a hot hand with the hickory for the winners. Sam Halas clipped the orb for three safe swats while brother Pat Halas had a brace. Darrell Forrest tossed a five-hitter for the Giants in the late fracas. Second baseman Bob Johnson had three of the Gargantuans’ nine hits.

(May 29)  Extending their winning streak to six games, the Odeons pulled a comeback win out of the fire, overcoming the Lakeside Caseys 9 to 5. Sparked by Mike Julifs’ two-run homer in the second inning, the Caseys went ahead 4 to 0 in the third and were up 5 to 3 as late as the eighth inning. Then the Odeons exploded, running across a total of six markers in their last two turns at bat. Reliever Dave Heilman got the win, allowing just three hits in the final 5-2/3 innings of play. Lakeside starter John Skinner was saddled with the defeat.

(May 30)  The Minchuk Broncos squeaked past the Con Mac Giants 8 to 7 to record their first win in six starts in the Calgary Baseball League. Brent Winston earned the mound decision over Clay Sliger.

(May 31)  Kelowna native and Gonzaga University chucker Rob Vandale made his initial mound appearance of the season in relief of winning tosser Pat Jarvis and protected a lead which led to a 12 to 10 win for the Spikes over the Lakeside Caseys. George Hiraga started the Spikes off on the right foot by belting a three-run homer in the opening canto off losing twirler Kevin Cody. Kelly Derksen wrapped up the scoring for the winners with a solo four-ply shot in the eighth. Hiraga finished with three hits as did Ross Lepage and Jim Linzmeyer of the Caseys.

(June 5)  Dave Salahor cracked a three-run homer as the Minchuk Broncos upset the Spikes 7 to 5 in Calgary Baseball League action. Scott Rasmussen, with bullpen help from Brent Winston, grabbed the pitching win over route-going Harry Blacker.

(June 7)  Despite outhitting their foes by a 14 to 5 margin, the veteran Odeons were held to a 4 – 4 tie by the junior Spikes. In their strongest performance to date in league play, the Spikes played nearly perfect baseball in backing up a strong performance on the mound by Dan Lyon. Had it not been for the well-oiled Spikes’ defense, anchored by shortstop Harry Blacker, the Odeons likely would have rolled to another victory in retaining their undefeated status. Dave Heilman went the distance on the hill for the Odeons.

(June 12)  John Skinner, with a bit of mop-up assistance from Wayne Watson once the verdict had been locked in, tossed a one-hitter as the Lakeside Caseys routed the Minchuk Broncos 16 to 1 at Optimist Park. Skinner’s bases-loaded triple in the third panel got the Caseys rolling in their victory march.

(June 13)  The Odeons capitalized on a bevy of errors to score six runs in the first inning en route to a 13 to 8 win over the Cardinals at Optimist Park. It was the tenth time this season that the Odeons, who were out-hit 12 to 10, failed to taste defeat. Rob Medoff took the hurling decision over Don Thrower. The Cards’ Dave Edney led all hitters with three safeties. Top swatters for the Odeons were Don McLeod, Lynn Berridge and Dale Blomquist who had two base knocks apiece.

(June 14)  Veteran Sam Halas hit a two-run homer to lead the Odeons to a 13 to 4 victory over the Lakeside Caseys. The Odeons are unbeaten in their eleven regular-season games. Lynn Berridge and Pat Halas ripped the horsehide for a triad of safe swats each in pacing the victors’ offense. Dave Heilman was credited with the pitching victory while Ken Cody, who took the hill in relief of starter Ross LePage, was saddled with the loss.

(June 17)  Doubleheader play at Optimist Park saw the Cardinals dump the Spikes 15 to 8 to begin things while the Con Mac Giants ran roughshod 11 to 2 over the Minchuk Broncos to wind things up. Glen Garry went the route in hurling the Redbirds to victory in the matinée game. He also led his team at the dish, collecting two doubles and a pair of one-baggers. Dave Kozey added three more of the Cards’ eight hits. Rick Watson replied with two of the seven base raps gathered by the vanquished nine. Spikes’ starter Pat Jarvis was tagged with the loss. The Giants had little trouble in the nightcap, teeing off on three Bronco pitchers for 11 safeties when the control-challenged trio of hurlers was able to get the ball within the strike zone. In total, the Bronco tossers issued 11 walks and hit a batter, handing the Giants constant scoring opportunities.

(June 19)  High-kicking southpaw chucker Don Thrower of the Cardinals stymied the Lakeside Caseys through six innings before giving way to “Bud” Stroich as the Cards’ prevailed 9 to 2. The Redbird duo was touched for just five singles during the clash. Meanwhile the winners were feasting on the offerings of brothers Randy and Ken Cody, rocking the Caseys’ mound pair for 19 hits. Len Chase had four safe swats for the Cardinals while teammate Roy Hewko added three. Veteran Craig Spangler wasn’t far behind, nailing a two-run circuit-clout to go along with a single.

(June 20)  Pitcher Scott Rasmussen struck out 14 batters as the Minchuk Broncos upset the Spikes 6 to 2 at Optimist Park. The Spikes out-hit the Broncos 8 to 7 including the game’s lone home run, a fifth-inning shot by Harry Blacker. Losing flinger Dan Lyon was hindered by his mates’ four fielding miscues.

(June 24)  Catcher Mark Lehman slammed a single, double and homer to lead the Con Mac Giants to a 10 to 7 upset of the Odeons in the first game of a unique triple-header at Optimist Park. The Odeons rebounded with a 12 to 9 squelching of the Spikes in the sandwich game while the Cardinals outlasted the Minchuk Broncos 17 to 16 in the last tussle of the day.  The Odeons had three-hit batting performances from Sam Halas and Bruce Meyers in the opener but Lehman’s bat and the pitching of Ray Corkey was enough to hand them their first setback in twelve games. Bouncing back without any ill-effect, the Odeons began a new win streak in the middle affair as backstop Al Price connected for four hits - a home run, two singles and a double. Craig Randle pitched all but the last inning to register the win. Kelly Derksen, despite cracking a four-bagger and a double, was tagged with the loss. “Scotty” Rasmussen of the Broncos hit the only home run of the offensively-charged finale but it wasn’t enough to dispose of the Cards. Craig Spangler and Grant McDougall of the winners spanked the apple for three hits apiece. Spangler got credit for the mound decision over Jerry Letkman.

(June 25)  The Cardinals erased an early 9 to 0 deficit in earning an 11 to 10 squeaker over the first-place Odeons. Al Price’s home run helped the Odeons establish their big lead but starting pitcher Lorne Hambley wasn’t able to hold the margin as the Redbirds struck for a six-spot in the second frame to creep back into contention. Rookie shortpatcher Len Chase then ignited a sixth-inning splurge with a two-run triple and a theft of home which proved to be the turning point in the game. Don Thrower posted the hillock win, coming on in the role of a fireman in the sixth. Chase wound up with three safe blows including the three-bagger and a double. Reliever Rob Medoff was stung with the defeat.

(July 3)  Looking mentally flat, the Cardinals suffered an 8 to 2 thumping at the hands of the junior Spikes. On the other side of the coin, the youngsters played flawlessly afield, pulled off three double plays, belted a couple of dingers and punched out 13 base knocks. Shortstop Harry Blacker spearheaded the Spikes’ attack with four hits including a sixth-inning home run. Kelly Derksen also slammed a round-tripper for the winners, a second-frame solo shot. Cards’ starting pitcher Craig Spangler lasted just 1–1/3 innings in absorbing the loss. Catcher Roy Hewko had the only solid hit for the Redbirds, a two-run double.

(July 4)  Sparked by Kevin McCartney’s three-run homer, the Lakeside Caseys upset the league-leading Odeons 12 to 5 at Optimist Park. Ken Cody tossed a six-hitter in getting the mound decision. Middle infielder Mike Julifs and Jimmy Linzmeyer had four and three hits respectively for the victors.

(July 5)  Don Thrower and Craig Spangler combined to power the Cardinals to a 12 to 4 victory over the Con Mac Giants in Calgary Baseball League play. Thrower scattered eight hit, including three by Ron Blasetti, while fanning five in taking the bump verdict. Spangler, meanwhile, collected a double and four singles in powering the 16-hit Redbird assault against starter and loser Darrell Forrest and Blasetti. Roy Hewko added three singles for the winners.

(July 8)  Pitcher Wayne Watson led the Lakeside Caseys to a 7 to 4 win in one of two Calgary Baseball League games run off. In the other tussle, the Odeons knocked off the Spikes 5 to 1.

(July 11)  Upstart Lakeside Caseys’ moundsman Ken Cody whiffed an even dozen batters as he continued to baffle swatters in leading the Lakesiders to an 8 to 5 verdict over the Minchuk Broncos. Wayne Watson went 3-for-3 at bat for the Caseys. Bravin Goldade was nicked for the loss.

(July 12)  Mark Lehman and Ron Blasetti hit home runs for the Con Mac Giants as they doubled the Spikes 8 to 4 at Optimist Park.

(July 17)  Blayne Wickerson and John Skinner sparked the Lakeside Caseys to a one-sided 9 to 2 thumping of the Cardinals. While Wickerson drove in three runs, Skinner was busy tossing a three-hitter. Len Chase suffered the hillock setback.    

(July 31)  Len Chase hit a home run and went 4-for-5 for the Cardinals as they creamed the league-leading Odeons 12 to 4 in a Calgary Baseball League joust. The Redbirds broke the game open by scoring seven runs in the second inning off loser Dave Heilman. Sid Kazakoff posted the win.

(August 1)  Outfielder Lynn Berridge of the Odeons was dynamite at the plate, belting two grand-slam home runs in propelling his mates to a 16 to 3 clobbering of the Broncos at Optimist Park. Berridge was 5-for-5 at the dish and drove in a whopping total of eleven runs. Craig Randle tossed the complete-game win for the Odeons.   

(August 8)  Garth Caron hit a three-run homer for the Odeons as the league-leaders beat the Con Mac Giants 9 to 7 at Optimist Park. Craig Randle toiled on the rubber for the Odeons. Reg Gerlitz and Sam Halas both stroked three hits for the winners off the slants of losing chucker Ray Corkey. Also acquiring a triad of safe swats were Corkey and Kevin Johnstone of the vanquished nine.

(August 9) “Bud” Stroich hurled a five-hitter and struck out eight as the Cardinals whipped the Con Mac Giants 9 to 1 at Optimist Park. Dave Edney had three hits for the Redbirds.  

(August 11)  The Cardinals swept a pair of Calgary Baseball League games from the Minchuk Broncos at Optimist Park. Glen Garry/Gary went 3-for-3 at the dish as the Redbirds blasted the Broncs 14 to 2 in the opener. Sid Kazakoff fanned six to post the pitching win. Brent Winston of the vanquished nine matched Gary’s batting production and had a home run as part of his triad of swats. In the nightcap, Grant McDougall pitched a four-hitter as the Cards prevailed 11 to 3. Bravin Goldade was saddled with the setback.

(August 12)  The Lakeside Caseys clinched second place in the Calgary Baseball League by defeating the Spikes 8 to 5 in the opener of a twin-bill. The teams played to a 2 – 2 tie in the second contest. John Skinner earned the hillock win in the opener while John Vandale was nailed with the loss.

PLAYOFFS 
Semi-Finals

(August 16)  The Cardinals staved off a late rally to take the first game in their best-of-three semi-final series 5 to 4 over the Lakeside Caseys. Reliever Len Chase recorded the save by recording three straight outs with the bases loaded after the Caseys had scored two runs in the bottom-of-the-ninth. Sid Kazakoff, the winning pitcher, went 5-2/3 innings on the bump before being relieved by Dave Edney who created the ninth-inning jam inherited by Chase. Roy Hewko drove in two runs for the Cards. Wayne Watson was stung with the mound defeat.   

(August 21)  The Cardinals’ Glen Garry/Gary cracked a bases-loaded double off Randy Cody in the fifth inning to drive in all his club’s runs in a 3 to 2 victory over the Lakeside Caseys. Dave Edney, in relief of starter Craig Spangler, was the winning pitcher. The victory advances the Redbirds into the best-of-three final series against the first-place Odeons.

Finals

(August 22)  The Cardinals erupted for eleven runs in the second inning in walloping the pennant-winning Odeons 15 to 2 in the opener of the best-of-three Calgary Baseball League finals. The game was shortened to six innings because of darkness. Craig Spangler banged out three hits for the Cards.

(August 23)  Striking for six counters in the bottom of the third stanza at Optimist Park, the Cardinals wrapped up the inaugural Calgary Baseball League championship with a 7 to 4 triumph over the Odeons. Although out-hit  9 to 7 by the Odeons, the Redbirds were able collect many of their bingles with ducks on the pond. Craig Spangler drilled a two-run homer for the Cards during their big third inning and added a single later in the contest. Doug Brevick also collected a pair of safeties for the victors, including a double. Top hitter in the fracas was the Odeons’ Craig Randle who stung the sphere for three singles and a two-bagger. Sid Kazakoff pitched the first 5-1/3 frames for the 1979 champions to capture the pitching decision over Randle. 

Randle (L) and Burley
Kazakoff (W), Chase (6) and Hewko


NORTHERN ALBERTA SENIOR BASEBALL

It appears that teams from northern Alberta which were formerly members of the 1978 Alberta Major Baseball League no longer were part of any formal association of teams with a rigid schedule but played the entire 1979 season as independent clubs involved in exhibition and tournament play. In late July, however, teams representing Barrhead, Edmonton and Red Deer all threw their hats in the ring as part of an Alberta senior championship series.

There is note of a Sunburst Baseball League with three teams mentioned, St. Albert Saints, Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox and Edmonton Cardinals.

(June 5)  The Edmonton Tigers opened their 21-game exhibition schedule by dropping a ten-inning 2 to 1 decision to the Barrhead Blue Jays at Renfrew Park. A pair of ex-Tigers figured prominently in the Barrhead victory. Infielder Randy Rasmussen drove in the tying run with a sacrifice fly and pitcher Tom Erasmus, who followed southpaw starter Keith Van de Keere to the hill, allowed only three Edmonton hits in five innings of relief to pick up the win. The Bengals had taken a 1 to 0 lead in the seventh inning after catcher Gord Gerlach singled, stole second and scored on Wayne Commodore’s grounder. But the Blue Jays replied with single runs in the eighth and overtime sessions to ruin the Tigers’ home opener. On both occasions,  poor backup coverage by the Edmontonians allowed a Barrhead base runner to advance to third base after stealing second when the ball sailed into the outfield. Gary Picone, who scored the first Barrhead run, drove in the winner with a double to right-centre field. The Jays’ Steve Moberly  was the top hitter in the game, collecting three hits in four at bats. He also scored the winning run. The losing twirler was Ray Brown who took over mound chores for the Tigers in the sixth stanza. The pair allowed eight Blue Jay hits and combined to strike out six batters. Barrhead’s hurling tandem of Van de Keere and Erasmus combined to hold the Tigers to four hits. 

Van de Keere, Erasmus (W) (6) and xxx
Gregg, Brown (6) and Gerlach

(June 11)  In exhibition action at Renfrew Park Monday Wayne Commodore had three hits, including his third home run in two days, to lead Edmonton Tigers to a 17-6 slaughter of Westank Steelers. Gord Tanner also had three safeties for the Tigers and Kevin Johnson poked a homer for the Steelers. Bob Powers scattered six hits to post the pitching win. Clay Hardy was tagged with the loss.

(June 11)  With home runs from Warren Sarchuck and Ron Gregg, St. Albert Saints topped Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox 4-3 Monday in Sunburst Baseball League action. The game into two extra innings. Greg Lunde was the winning hurler. Gerry Lupul took the loss.

(June 15-16-17) Barrhead tournament

(June 17)  Edmonton Tigers improved their exhibition record to 6-3 Sunday sweeping a double-header from Cold Lake Cardinals, 4-0 and 19-3 at Renfrew Park.  In the opener, Tigers received a one-hit combined effort from starter Dolph Hess and reliever Randy GreggWayne Commodore had a pair of hits. In the second game, Gregg belted four hits, one a homer, while Harold Johnston slugged a three-run homer to pace an 18-hit Edmonton attack. An 11-run fifth inning sealed the deal. Bob Powers was the winning pitcher.

(July 21-22)  Edmonton Invitational Baseball tournament  

(July 23)  The Korean National Baseball team duked it out with the Barrhead Blue Jays in an exhibition tilt before an enthusiastic Barrhead crowd. To the fans, the game had it all: the spirit of international competition, good pitching and defense and a bottom-of the-ninth storybook 4 to 2 win for the Blue Jays.

(July 24)  Rain washed out a scheduled double-bill between the Korean National Baseball team and the hometown Barrhead Blue Jays. 

(July 25-26 )  Lacombe tournament 

(July 26)   The Korean national team downed the Edmonton Tigers 5-0 Thursday in exhibition action at Renfrew Park. Sun-Hee Lee held the Canadians to just three hits, fanned eight and picked off a pair of runners in going the full nine innings. The Koreans took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a run-scoring double by Jae-Bak Kim and a double steal.  The visitors added single runs in the fifth on back to back hits by Il-Kwon Kim and Jae-Bak, in the seventh on Il-Kwon's triple and in the eighth on an inside-the-park homer by Kwang-Eun Lee.  The Koreans registered nine hits and had nine stolen bases.

Sun-Hee Lee (W) and xxx
Johnston (L), Powers, Randy Gregg, Lychak and Gerlach

(July 27)  For the past three years they've struck out in Canadian tournaments, having failed to reach the final. But, Macy's of Rapid City, South Dakota, showed the Edmonton Tigers Friday why they are so highly regarded. The Americans clobbered the Tigers 22-2 at Renfrew Park. Macy's finished second at the National Baseball Congress tournament in 1978 after a fourth place finish the year before.  While they were missing their top three hitters for the game, the rest did awfully well with 22 hits off three Edmonton hurlers.  Nine were for extra bases, including two triples and three homers. Bill Worden and Dan Davidsmeier each drove in five runs for Rapid City. Worden had four hits, including two four-baggers.

xxx and xxx
Powers (L), Randy Gregg, Brown and xxx

(July 29)   Steve Moberly cracked a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning Saturday to lift the Barrhead Blue Jays to a 7-6 victory over Edmonton Tigers in the third and deciding game of the Alberta semi-final series. Barrhead now advances against Red Deer for the provincial title. Edmonton opened the scoring in the first inning on Wayne Commodore's run-scoring single. They added two more in the third on back-to-back hits by Doug McPhail and Commodore. Randy Rasmussen brought Barrhead back in the game with a two-run homer. The teams each scored in the fifth and sixth before the Blue Jays tied the count on Mike Teahan's solo shot in the seventh. Tigers again pulled ahead in the top of the eighth when third sacker Randy Gregg hammered one over the centre field fence. Keith Van de Keere, the third Blue Jays hurler, picked up the win  Harold Johnston took the loss.

Lychak, Johnston (L) (7) and xxx
xxx, xxx, Van de Keere (W) and xxx

(July 31) The Barrhead Blue Jays won the Alberta senior baseball championship and a trip to the National finals at Chatham, New Brunswick finals. They accomplished that feat in easy fashion when the Red Deer Generals conceded the provincial best-of-three final series. Red Deer was experiencing player availability difficulties and felt they would be unable to field a competitive team for the series.

(August 17-18-19) The Barrhead Blue Jays finished second in the Canadian Senior Baseball Championship tournament held in Chatham, New Brunswick. The Jays lost their first game to Ontario 8 to 4 with Brian Hamagami hurling the game for Barrhead. The local team then went on to blank Saskatchewan in their second game as Keith Van de Keere posted the shutout mound triumph. Quebec suffered a 9 to 1 trouncing at the hands of the Blue Jays as Barry Kuzminski earned the hillock victory. The Jays got revenge on the Ontario team in their fourth contest. Tom Erasmus pitched the Albertans to a 7 to 0 shutout win. In the semi-finals, the Barrhead squad left the host Chatham team standing still as they walked over the New Brunswick nine 12 to 4. Pickup Perry Lychak, added to the roster from the Edmonton Tigers, was on the bump for the Blue Jays in this tilt. The bubble then burst at this point as the British Columbia aggregation won the 1979 event by downing the Jays and Brian Hamagami 11 to 4. Gary Picone was chosen as the most valuable player in the tourney and Keith Van de Keere the tournament’s outstanding pitcher.