1952 Western Canada Snapshots     

Nathaniel "Nat" Bates
of the 1952 Indian Head Rockets. The 20-year-old right-hander was in his second season in Canada having played for the Medicine Hat Mohawks the previous season. The Mohawks were primarily a team of college players from California.

Bates, Willie Reed, Winters Calvin and Pumpsie Green were Richmond, California area high school pals and baseball stars who went on to play junior college ball at Contra Costa College.

After baseball Bates began a lengthy political career serving as Mayor and Councillor in Richmond for some 40 years. He was still on council in his 91st year, the oldest serving elected official in the country.

in 2022, Bates came north to Battleford, Saskatchewan to represent the Indian Head Rockets as they were inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame.

He returned in 2023, a month short of his 92nd birthday, to be the keynote speaker at the annual ceremony and was surprised with an individual induction into the HOF.

Below - an aerial photo of Abbott Field, North Battleford during the 7th game of the 1952 playoff final with 5,000 fans in attendance. [Photo courtesy of Lynn Meredith]

Abbott Field

Jim Harford          The Bentleys

Left - Moose Jaw catcher Jim Harford, a 19-year-old local product.  Right - The famous Bentleys playing for Saskatoon Gems at the Moose Jaw Tournament.  Front row - Doug (left) and Reg. Back row - Max and nephew Bev.

     Estevan Infield 1952     Clint Hodges

Left- The 1952 Estevan Maple Leafs' infield. Left to right, Bill Shea 2B, Andy Lillie SS, Charlie Selph 3B and Lou Pesce 1B.  Right  -   Clint Hodges, Moose Jaw manager.

Maxc Bentley & newcomers

As the 1952 season was about to get underway, veteran Max Bentley (second from the left) talked over things with some newcomers (left to right) - Len Breckner, Colonsay, Bentley, Ron Curby, last year with Redding, California, Vic Freiheit, last year with Rena, Nevada, and Doug Dodd, formerly with the North Battleford Beavers.

Art WorthBill Clevenger     Moose Jaw Trio    

Left - Art Worth, lefty starter and outfielder. Middle- Bill Clevenger, catcher from California, and his brother Truman, suited up with Regina Caps. Right - Moose Jaw hopes for an improved offense with (left to right) Art Worth, Archie Templeton and Don Hinchberger.

Wayne Stephenson    Harry Monroe    Andy Lillie

From a 1952 Estevan program - stars of the Maple Leafs entry in the Saskatchewan League : Wayne Stephenson (left), Harry Monroe (centre), Andy Lillie (right). These Estevan photos courtesy of Gary McKechney

Gary McKechney   Bill Frady  Pete McLeod

Above : Gary McKechney (left), Bill Frady (centre), Pete McLeod (right).  Below : Rodolpho "Chico" Mesa (left), George Montz (centre), Harry Coe (right).

Chico Mesa   George Montz   Harry Coe

Ray Patterson     Bill Shea

Above : Ray Patterson (left) and Bill Shea (right). 
Below :  Lou Pesce (left) and Mel Torgenrud (right).

Lou Pesce     Mel Torgenrud

Below - Saskatoon Gems manager Ralph Mabee flanked by George Read and Frank Pickens.

Mabee, Read, Pickens

Thanks to Bob Fleming for the photos below - first is Bob "Big Daddy" Herron, premier slugger of the North Battleford Beavers.

Bob Herron

North Battleford's Curtis Tate, also a big man with the timber.

Curtis Tate

Four Beavers relaxing after a game - Bob Herron, Johnny Coleman, Louis Green & Curtis Tate

Four Beavers

And from Charlotte Lang, a few more photos from North Battleford, 1952, including a picture of a crowd at a Beavers' contest.

North Battleford crowd

Below left - North Battleford catcher Louis Green. Right - Outfielder/Pitcher Bob Herron.

Louis GreenBob Herron

Below, two views of third baseman Curtis Tate.

Curtis TateCurtis Tate

Juan Prats





Juan Prats, a pitcher-outfielder joined the Florida Cubans in 1952 after a brief test in professional ball in Quebec and the PONY League.

Prats went on to suit up with the Indian Head Rockets in 1953 and 1954.