1943 Manitoba Game Reports      

With the professional Winnipeg Maroons no longer active as a member of the Northern League, the baseball landscape in Manitoba’s capital city experienced a shift in focus entering the spring of 1943.


The composition of the Greater Winnipeg Senior Baseball League (also called the Winnipeg & District baseball League) remained intact for the 1943 season with all four teams from the previous campaign returning to the fold. The median age of players on rosters of the existing member clubs became younger as many of the more experienced baseballers were now active in the military.

GWSBL Semi-Finals (best-of-seven series)

(August 15)  The St. Boniface Native Sons got the jump on the first-place C.U.A.C. Blues by walloping the Ukrainian Club 18 to 10 after the two teams had played to an 8 – 8 tie in the first game of their playoff double-bill. The Blues rallied with three runs in the eighth inning of the opener to salvage the draw. Joe Popiel picked up three base blows for the pennant winners.

Smith and Merlevede
Nichols, Hind and Thomas

Frank Purdy belted a grand-slam four-bagger in the sixth inning of the second game for the Sons. Playing-manager Stan Shaley of the Blues had a three-run homer in the third frame.

Hind (L), Carrick, Shaley and Thomas, McConachy
Belanger (W) and Merlevede

(August 15)  Transcona scored early and often in dumping Norwood 9 to 0 in the opening game of their playoff series. Four first inning errors hit Norwood hard as Transcona put five on the board. Bill Burdeyny had three hits for the winners. Albert Lamoreux tossed a six-hitter to earn the shutout win for the Railroaders.

Keller (L) and Budzak
Lamoreux (W) and Grymaluk

(August 18)  C.U.A.C. evened their  Senior Baseball league playoff series with St. Boniface, defeating the Native Sons 12 to 8 in the third game of a four-out-of-seven series. The Ukrainians put together four walks and four hits in the fourth canto to plate eight runs. Joe Popiel had a two-run round-tripper for the winners. Leading the offensive production for St. Boniface were Gus Merlevede with a homer and double as well as Jerry Bedard with three hits.

Ryan, Smith and Merlevede
Hind, Nichols (4) and Thomas

(August 18)  Norwood drubbed Transcona 16 to 5 to knot the playoff showdown at a game apiece. The game was shortened to six innings because of darkness. Floyd Keller limited the Railroaders to three hits in picking up the mound triumph. Ted Attry and George Hewitt both collected three hits for the winners.

Gardner (L), Johnson and Grymaluk
Keller (W) and Budzak

(August 20)  With pitcher Albert Lamoureux excelling on the mound, in the field and at bat, Transcona outscored Norwood 9 to 3 to take a two games to one lead in their playoff series. Lamoureux held Norwood to seven hits, collected a double and single at the plate and was responsible for many putouts. The winners combed three Norwood hurlers for nine hits.

Lamoureux (W) and Grymaluk
Specht (L), McDonald, Keller and Budzak

(August 21)  Norwood’s 16 to 5 victory over Transcona on August 18 was thrown out by league officials as a minimum of seven innings are required in playoff games.

(August 22)  C.U.A.C. took a three games to one lead in the best-of-seven Winnipeg & District League semi-final series by defeating St. Boniface 6 to 4 and 8 to 4. Catcher Jack Thomas of the Blues singled five times in the opener.

Hind (W) and Thomas
Smith (L) and Merlevede

Thomas had two more one-baggers in the follow-up contest to bring his daily total to seven. Frank Purdy of the Native Sons had three of his team’s six hits off winning pitcher Nichols.

Belanger (L) and Merlevede
Nichols (W) and Thomas

(August 22)  Transcona, uplifted by a reprieve from an apparent loss on August 18, went on to hammer Norwood 11 to 7 to record their third triumph in the series. Pete Sosiak had a three-run circuit-clout for the victors.

Hansford (L), Keller and Vidruk
Gardner (W) and Grymaluk

(August 25)  Transcona entered the Winnipeg senior baseball finals by defeating Norwood 6 to 1 in the fourth game of their series. Albert Lamoureux pitched a two-hitter for his third win of the series. Pete Sosiak was the leading light for Transcona with his fine fielding and two base hits.

Specht (L) and Budzak
Lamoureux (W) and Grymaluk

(August 27)  St. Boniface prolonged the Senior Baseball League semi-finals by defeating C.U.A.C. 15 to 6 in the fifth game of the series. The Blues hold a three games to two lead. Gus Merlevede led the Native Sons’ attack on a trio of C.U.A.C. pitchers with four hits. Joe Popiel drilled a homer and two triples for the Blues.

Hind (L), Nichols, Barchuk and Thomas
Bouchard (W) and Merlevede 

(August 29)  The Canadian Ukrainian Athletic Club Blues qualified to meet Transcona in the Greater Winnipeg League finals by defeating the St. Boniface Native Sons 8 to 5 in the sixth game of a best-of-seven series. The Blues prevailed in the playoff round, four games to two. The Sons pushed across four runs in the eighth in a late rally, but it was a case of far too little, too late. The winners collected 13 base blows in this deciding match.

Belanger (L) and Merlevede
Hind (W) and Thomas

GWSBL Finals (best-of-seven series)

(September 5)  With Cal Gardner and Al Lamoureux producing a pair of five-hit pitching performances, Transcona won the first two games of the best-of-seven series for the Greater Winnipeg Baseball League championship, defeating the C.U.A.C. Blues 3 to 2 and 9 to 0. In the tightly contested opening game, Gardner won the decision when “Red” Richmond drove in the tying and winning markers with an eighth inning hit. Nick Glowa of the Railroaders had a perfect game at the dish, going four for four.

Gardner (W) and Grymaluk, Rizzuto
Hind (L) and Thomas

Transcona had matters much its own way in the second engagement, a contest marked by considerable delays, scoring twice in both the opening and second stanzas while accumulating 14 base blows throughout the contest.

Nichols (L) and Thomas
Lamoureux (W) and Grymaluk

(September 12)  Veteran Terry Hind worked 17 innings on the hill in pitching the C.U.A.C. Blues back into the thick of the GWSBL championship finals. Hind scattered ten hits as the Blues took the opening game of a playoff double-bill 8 to 6 and his eight-hit performance in the eight-inning afterpiece was worth a 5 – 5 tie. He rang up 20 strikeouts in the 17 innings, punching out 11 in the first game and 9 in the follow-up tussle. C.U.A.C. clinched the opener with a five-run outburst in the second stanza. Jerry Beland had three hits for the winners while Glowa of the ‘Sconas did him one better, garnering four safeties.

xxx (L) and xxx
Hind (W) and xxx

Transcona had to come from behind to salvage a tie in the second engagement. Al Lamoreux, the Railroaders’ starting pitcher, was injured in the fifth frame when he was struck by Joe Popiel’s line drive up the middle which fractured his nose and cheek bone. Popiel and Stan Shaley of the Blues as well as Sosiak and Grymaluk of Transcona each had two hits.

Hind and Thomas
Lamoureux, Gardner (5) and Grymaluk

(September 19)  C.U.A.C. and Transcona broke even in their playoff twin-bill in which the Blues prevailed 7 to 1 in the matinee match while the Railroaders took the evening event 8 to 1. Cal Gardner hurled both games for Transcona while Terry Hind, after winning the first contest, came on in a relief role in the second inning of the late fixture. Pat Kearney drove in three runs to lead the Blues with the willow in their afternoon victory.

Gardner (L) and Grymaluk
Hind (W) and Thomas

Transcona sewed up the win in the evening tussle by plating seven counters in the second frame. Joe Teres had a bases loaded triple during that scoring outburst. Gardner fanned seven and yielded only two hits. “Red” Richmond doubled twice to pace the winners’ five-hit attack.

Nichols (L), Hind (2) and Thomas
Gardner (W) and Grymaluk

(September 26)  C.U.A.C. evened the Greater Winnipeg Senior Baseball League playoffs at three wins apiece by decimating Transcona 29 to 6 in the lidlifter of a scheduled double-dip. A second contest which had to be called on account of the Sunday curfew law was knotted at 3 – 3. The Blues were in a hitting mood and blasted the Railroad hurlers unmercifully in the game that mattered. Johnny Carrick was the leading slugger, collecting five safeties including three doubles and a home run. Joe Popiel blasted a homer, triple and two doubles while Stan Shaley cracked out a four-bagger and three singles.

xxx (L), xxx, xxx, xxx and xxx
Hind (W), xxx (4) and xxx

(October 3)  C.U.A.C. retained the Winnipeg senior amateur baseball championship by defeating Transcona 6 to 3 in the deciding game of the best-of-seven series. Terry Hind got the mound win over Cal Gardner who had eleven strikeouts but was betrayed by four errors. Both teams garnered eight hits. Johnny Carrick led the Blues at the dish with three base blows, one of which was a triple.

Gardner (L) and Grymaluk
Hind (W) and Thomas

Inter-Services Baseball League

1943 saw Winnipeg also become home to an Inter-Services Baseball League encompassing teams representing:

With the exception of the American team, the military players came from various locales in western Canada but a healthy proportion of them were enlisted Winnipeggers who had previously played in the GWSBL. Games were held at the Osborne Stadium diamond before decent-sized crowds and the level of play was, for the most part, high calibre. The Navy team, HMCS Chippawa, was the class of the circuit during the regular schedule, finishing comfortably ahead in top spot. In the league finals, however, they ran into the hot hand of RCAF pitcher Orval Minish, formerly of the Northern League’s Winnipeg Maroons, who silenced their bats while earning four mound victories in the series.

Inter-Service Baseball League Semi-finals (best of three series)

(August 16)  Army upset pennant-winning HMCS Chippawa 4 to 3 in the first game of a best-of-three semi-final series. Army’s Indian heaver, Joe “Smokey” Eastman, fanned 14 Tars in earning the mound triumph. Navy out hit the Soldiers 11 to 10.

Eastman (W) and Firby
Desjardins (L) and Hendry

(August 20)  RCAF blanked the U.S. Army team 5 to 0 in their playoff opener behind the four-hit pitching of tall portsider Orval Minish.

Bauer (L) and Manning
Minish (W) and Mogk

(August 26)  Army committed nine errors behind their Indian hurler “Smokey” Joe Eastman and fell 12 to 1 to HMCS Chippawa. Eastman out pitched his mound rival, Larry Desjardins, but the poor defensive play of his teammates led to nine unearned runs.

Desjardins (W) and Hendry
Eastman (L) and Firby, McDonald

(August 27)  A five-run explosion in the sixth inning gave the U. S. Army a 6 to 2 victory over RCAF, a win which squared the series. Bauer tossed a five hitter for the Yanks.

McLeod (L) and Mogk
Bauer (W) and Manning

(September 3)  With Orval Minish flinging a one-hitter and running up a string of 17 strikeouts, RCAF eliminated the U.S. Army baseballers from the playoff picture, defeating the Yankee Soldiers 4 to 0. The Flyers collected 4 hits off loser Ed Bauer with Don McIntyre garnering two of those.

Bauer (L) and Manning
Minish (W) and Mogk

(September 6)  Larry Desjardins fanned 13 Soldiers as the Chippawa Swabbies won the rubber-match over Army in their series 12 to 4. Frank Purdy of the Army team had three hits.

Eastman (L) and McDonald
Desjardins (W) and Hendry

Inter-Service Baseball League Finals (best of seven series)

(September 8)  Southpaw Orval Minish hurled a one-hitter as RCAF blasted 15 hits off two Navy pitchers in an 8 to 3 triumph for the Airmen. Minish also went four for four at the platter.

Minish (W) and McDonald
xxx (L), xxx and Hendry

(September 10)  HMCS Chippawa trounced the RCAF diamondeers 13 to 0 to even up the final series at a game apiece. Winning chucker Larry Desjardins got the three-hit shutout win. Loser Keith McLeod fanned 14 batters but was lit up for 13 base blows. Bill Heindl led the Tars at the dish with four hits while teammate Elmer Weiss delivered three base raps.

Desjardins (W) and Hendry
McLeod (L) and Mogk, McDonald

(September 13)  Scoring five unearned counters in their first turn at bat with the aid of a major Navy defensive collapse, RCAF defeated HMCS Chippawa 6 to 2 in the third game of the Inter-service finals.

Minish (W) and Mogk
Peterson (L) and Hendry

(September 17)  Ex- Maroon Orval Minish picked up his third win in the Inter-service League final series when the RCAF Flyers defeated HMCS Chippawa 4 to 1. The Airmen never trailed, taking a 2 to 0 first-inning lead.

Desjardins (L), Peterson and Hendry
Minish (W) and Mogk

(September 22)  RCAF pitching ace Orval Minish whiffed 17 Tars as his Flyer mates provided ample offensive support in downing HMCS Chippawa 5 to 2 to wrap up the best-of-seven series in five games. The Swabbies were only able to collect four hits off the tall left-hander.

Minish (W) and Mogk, McDonald
Desjardins (L) and Hendry

War Industries Sports Association Baseball League

In addition to the two most prestigious loops operating during 1943 in Winnipeg, a War Industries Sports Association Baseball League was formed and scheduled its games at Sherburn Park. Taking part in the league’s inaugural season were teams representing: