News & Notes Western Canada Baseball

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Update : 22 June, 2024

Red Star    Western Canada baseball was well represented at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama Thursday as Major League Baseball honoured Willie Mays and the Negro Leagues with a regular season game at the legendary ballpark.

Among those honoured were Sherman Cottingham (North Battleford Beavers 1964-1965) and Ron Teasley (Carman Cardinals 1949, 1950).

Cottingham is shown being greeted by players from the San Francisco Giants at the ceremony. Teasley' son, Ron Teasley Jr., was behind the plate for the ceremonial first pitch from Bill Greason, age 99. .Ron Sr., now 97, is the only other living Negro Leaguer from the glory days of 1920 to 1948.

Cottingham had also played on the Canadian prairies in 1963 when he barnstormed with the Satchel Paige All-Stars. Often, he would be identified as Satchel Jr. in finishing up pitching assignments started by Satchel Sr. one of the most famous of Negro League stars.

05 June, 2024

Red Star    A little progress ! 

We had hoped to have the roster lists updated and finished a year or so ago, but a few stumbles along the way (including the accidental deletion of some key material) put things way behind schedule.

But, pleased to report a beginning of the end - the rosters for the Basin League, South Minnesota, Ontario, Maritimes and Quebec are done and posted.

AND, the main Western Canada League project now has updated lists for the 1900s, 1910s and 1920s. Now working on the 1930s.

Red Star    Playing some catch-up here to post items that have been sitting for awhile as our Rich Necker, Lou DeRosa and Robyn Jensen continue to search the old papers and around in various archives to present even more on Western Canada Baseball.

Red Star    Sad to report Lou's cousin Tony DeRosa passed away this spring. 

He had been in a care home for the past couple of years after suffering a stroke. 

From the mid 50s to the mid 60s, Tony, a lefty pitcher, first baseman and outfielder, had suited up for Trail, Vernon, Terrace, Fruitvale and Kinnaird

Red Star   Digging into the history of former players results in some fascinating stories. My thanks to Marie Thill for providing an enhanced background on Norm Brown, a prairie baseball star in the 1940s and 1950s.

Did you know that the former Notre Dame (Wilcox, SK) shortstop went on to become a teacher and, although he never played football, became the Head Football Coach at Wetaskiwin Composite High School in 1953 ? He then set an unreal record of 46 wins, no losses, 3 ties over a six year span. For a time, it was a North American football record. He ended up teaching for 32 years becoming a much loved figure in the Alberta community and beyond.

Brown played college and semi-pro baseball for eleven years with Notre Dame, Regina Caps and Saskatoon 55s before hanging up his spikes after the 1951 season, which was the subject of a letter in which the Regina Caps were trying to convince Brown to return to the club for '51. The letter is from Cliff Ehrle, Vice President of the Caps.

It reads :

c/o Ehrle Hotel
April 29/51

Dear Norm,

Pleased to receive your letter of April 24th but very sorry to learn of your intention to play at Saskatoon.

Have been relying on you very strongly as I am positive you can make the club easily and be a star. This also is the opinion of our executive when discussing the matter at a meeting we held tonight. Feel you'll improve over last year too as you will be playing with and around some good clubs.

Have Tony Maze who we figure on for the odd game but mostly for relief. Righetti, Buttereight, Vogt, Stone, Gus, also Harrison and Woolley if they can make it. We're only bringing in ten players outside of the Sask. boys. Barry Wolsencroft is our first baseman so you can see you'll be among old friends and just about the pick of the old league.

To show our faith we are enclosing a cheque for $100 00. Wolsencroft will be here from the 9th of May. Have exhibition game with Scepter on May 19th and open the league here May 22nd against S.Current.

Will expect you to line up with us and I know you can make the club easily.


Brown, went on to study at the University of Toronto and Mount Allison in Sackville, New Brunswick. After he received his degree in education, he returned to teach at Notre Dame.

For two years he accepted no salary in recognition of the school's kindness to taking him in as a student.

Brown was inducted into the Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame and Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame. The football field in Wetaskiwin is named after him. He died in 2001.

Red Star    Among the new items is a 1914 team photo of the Trail team from the Trail Historical Society. We even have a few names, but unfortunately cannot match them up with the photo as yet.

On the 1972 Tournament page we've updated the photo of the Lewis & Clark college team, winners of the West Kootenay Tournament.

Another team addition is the photo of the 1935 Oyama, BC nine.  Again, some names but unable to match them to the faces as yet.

Another team photo, the 1933 BC Telephones nine is also posted. They were the league champions that season.

And for 1925 the Powell River, BC team

Red Star    On the 1935 BC Snapshots page we've added a nice shot of Trail catcher Gordon McTeer (courtesy of the Trail Historical Society).

On the 1952 home page, we added in a photo of the crest of the 1952 Brooks, Alberta, Buffaloes.

Ken Nelson was among the key players for the North Battleford Beavers in both the Western Canada League and the North Saskatchewan loop in the 1950s and 1960s. He's shown here on the 1955 Snapshot page.

A few new photos in the galleries - in 1951 there's Nathaniel Legs Booker, Joe Brown, & Hal Worth of the Delisle Gems and back in 1927 Duke Keats of the Edmonton Elks

And, way back in 1913, there are new faces in that photo gallery - Edmonton's Foot Ruell (left) and Otto Moore and Henry Rossbach of Moose Jaw. All three had worked out with the Vancouver Beavers of the Northwestern League, but ended up in the Western Canada circuit.

A big thank you to Darrel McNally who sent along research he had done on Ruel, including a photo of the 1913 Vancouver Beavers which had the three soon-to-be Western Canada League players.

Red Star    So happy to see  Danny Spewak's book on Charlie Peete is now available. Peete was a key player for the Brandon Greys of the ManDark League and Danny found Peete's Canadian experiences among the most fascinating. Happy to help out a little with the project.

Red Star   A new book on the famous Asahis of Vancouver by Alain M. Bergeron. The Nikkei Voice carried Bergeron's story of how the project began :

"A tragic event that occurred over 80 years ago, nearly 5000 kilometers away from my hometown. Yet, it resonated so deeply that I dedicate five years of my life as an author, culminating in the publication of the book Les derniers des Asahis (The Last of the Asahis).

What triggered this ?

It all started with a simple visit to the Canada Post office in my neighborhood in the spring of 2019. It was seeing a booklet of stamps, those of the Asahis, that ignited this entire project. It depicted three baseball players of Japanese origin from another era. My curiosity was immediately piqued (probably due to my two-decade journalistic background...). The Asahis? Never heard of them! Once back home, I began researching online... and discovered a part of Canadian history I had never heard of: that of Japanese Canadians in British Columbia who had been forcibly removed from their homes and sent to detention camps after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. I also realized that the famous Asahis, photographed on the booklet of stamps, were members of a legendary baseball team from Vancouver.

Instantly, I was drawn in, if not haunted, by the subject. There was so much text and video material that I didn't know where to start! All this material inspired a story, that of a rookie player, 16 or 17 years old, Bobby Shuuto, who wears the Asahis' uniform during their final season in the summer of 1941 (the club had to cease its activities afterward, as the players were dispersed into internment camps).

I bought many books, including Pat Adashi's (Asahi: A Legend in Baseball). Initially, I intended to focus only on this single year with a brief epilogue recounting the circumstances that led to the team's demise. It was relatively easy to access the results of the Asahis' 1941 season. But along the way, I quickly realized there was so much more to say and write once the baseball season was over! Because it was anything but a simple sports story; I wanted to tell the story of a community banished from their homes, yet resilient, whose conclusion led us straight to Quebec, where many started a new life after the war.

10 February, 2024

Red Star    If you can, please help.

The Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame is in a financial crises. Jane Shury, the President and CEO has put out an urgent appeal.

" ... The past decade has seen a great decrease in memberships to the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Association Inc., That, along with declining donations but along with increases in the cost of everything this Hall of Fame and Museum needs your help now!

This is the only Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Saskatchewan!

Last year, 2023, this organization celebrated 40 years of operating only on funds raised through our annual fund-raising projects that includes both membership fees and financial donations. But, we need your help now!"

Any donation over $10 will receive an income tax receipt. Cash, cheques - Box 1388, Battleford, SK. S0M 0E0. e-Transfers

Red Star    We've added a pair of team photos. There's a second photo (in two pieces as it was pretty large) of 1939 Trail and over in Manitoba, Transcona 1944. The latter resulted in a many hour search and correct effort for Midi and Jerry Blaquiere.  The papers of the day had a variety of spellings including Midi and Mide for the first names and Blacquiere, Blacquire, Blaquire, Blaquiere for the surname.

12 January, 2024

Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim displays the proclamation of Vancouver Asahi Day to Kaye Kaminishi, the last survivor of the legendary baseball team.

Red Star    The award was made specifically on January 11th, Kaminishi's 102nd birthday.

The Asahi, formed in 1914, played in Vancouver leagues to 1941 until the team was disbanded as Japanese Canadians, including the Asahi, were forced into internment camps during the Second World War.

Kaminishi, a third baseman, played with the Asahi for just three years beginning in 1939. But, had his Asahi career cut short by the internment.

After the war, he suited up with teams in Kamloops in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

(Photo from the office of the Vancouver Mayor)

04 January, 2024

Red Star    Can't forget the current Western Canada Baseball League ! Managed to post the 2023 end of season report for the WCBL. Okotoks again the champions, back-to-back titles.

Jonah Weisner (left) of the Sylvan Lake Gulls, was named the league's Most Valuable Player.

The Gulls shortstop was the runner-up in the batting race (with a .392 average) and led the league in RBI with 49.

And an interesting name as the home run king of the WCBL for 2023 - Torrin Vaselenak (right) of the Lethbridge Bulls.

The native of Coaldale, Alberta, is part of the baseball program at the University of Arkansas at Monticello (and made the Dean's List this year).

John VaselenakIt's likely he's related to the Vaselenak clan of Alberta, including John Vaselenak  a star outfielder with Lethbridge and Granum White Sox in the 1950s and 1960s, after a spin in pro ball.

We'll scour the newspapers and Ancestry files to see if we can find a link.

Red Star    OK. Got the rosters sorted out for Trail for 1940 and 1944.

Red Star     And, sneaking in a photo of a crest of the Sceptre ball club of 1952 (borrowed from the Max Weder Collection).

The tiny Saskatchewan "whistle stop", population 205 in 1950, was a baseball power on the prairies in the early 1950s. In '50, as tournaments became the rage, Sceptre was reported to have won $17,000 in prize money (about $225,000 in 2023 dollars).

The following season they won six events, including the Western Canada championship sponsored by the National Baseball Congress. In that tournament Sceptre upset the powerful Indian Head Rockets who had won their league championship

03 January, 2024

Red Star     Ha. Those baseball researchers are a strange lot. While you were carving the Christmas turkey, these guys where chasing down, among other things, details on guys named Smokey and Casey.

a) Who was Smokey Harrison (ballplayer in Trail) - and was he the father of major leaguer James Harrison?

b)  Was the Casey Jones of Winnipeg, Trail, Vancouver and Kamloops the same player? What was his real first name?

Well, we went to work, Rich Necker in the Regina Bureau and Lou DeRosa in the Trail Bureau, and have pretty well sorted out the people.

As to (a) we tracked down three possibilities - Thomas Everett Harrison (born 1912), Thomas Stewart Harrison (1901), Thomas Dudley Harrison (1903).

There was a Tommy "Smokey" Harrison who played Junior ball in Nelson in 1931, which meant Thomas Evettt Harrison (age 19 in 1931) would be our man as the other two would have been too old for Junior baseball. This Harrison went on to play in Trail until 1944..

And, a 1946 US border crossing ID showed Thomas E. Harrison as the father of Thomas James Harrison who would played two games with Kansas City in the major leagues in 1965 at age 20.

We managed to dig up a photo of our guy with the 1939 Trail Cardinals, now posted in the BC Photo Gallery. We did uncover another baseball Smokey Harrison as a trainer with the Winnipeg Buffaloes of 1950, but by then the Trail Harrisons had moved to California.

Travels through old newspaper files from Winnipeg, Vancouver, Trail and Kamloops connected the dots on Edward "Casey" Jones, who we've tracked down as a player from 1931 to 1951.

In the process we've consolidated six roster entries to just one.  And, we've added photos of Casey Jones to BC Photo Galleries of 1940,  1942, 1945  and 1951.

Jones was also quite the softball player.

Red Star     Lou and Rich combined to turn out Trail game reports and  rosters for West Kootenay ball in 1940. Cliff Bogstie, Ray Humble, Red Tulloch, Mushy Anselmo and Andy Bilesky were among the stars of the era.

In the process, we've added Trail team photos for the 1940 Trail Indians, league champions, and the 1944 Trail team.

Red Star     And, after looking at the 1940 rosters and the name H. "Brick" Edmunds, you knew Rich would not be satisfied until he could discover his real first name. Yep - Howard.

He played baseball in Trail in 1939 and 1940 and shows up playing softball in Vancouver with Mushy Anselmo in 1942.

15 November, 2023

Red Star     Fred Thomas was one of Canada's premiere athletes. Recognition, however, has been a long time coming.

We've added a short item on Thomas in the 1948  Ontario Snapshots.

Red Star     Thank you Lou DeRosa ! 

A report and a team photo from one of the Trail Tournaments Lou organized back in 1972. The Lewis & Clark college nine won the event over Washington State University and the Kootenay All-Stars.  We've also snuck in a photo in the Snapshots of Lou presenting a trophy.

And in posting the photo the Warriors, noted a team photo on the same page we had neglected to show in our various lists -Windsor Mic Macs the Canadian Junior champions of 1972.

Another one we missed - Mike Buckna, Trail round ball and hockey star.

10 November, 2023

Red Star     Moving right along with more good stuff from Rich Necker's sleuthing of baseball material from hither and yon.

He managed to dig out a poster which displayed players who suited up with the Brandon, Manitoba, Cloverleafs at one time or another (including some stars of other Manitoba Senior teams - Glennis Scott and Cliff Seafoot, for example, who joined the team for national competitions).

The photos have been added to the Manitoba Photo Galleries from 1960 to 1979.  

Glen Agar, Dave Bender, Jack Borotsik, Lloyd Brown, Bill Chapple, Rick Cruise, Jack Denbow, Grant Everard, Bob Fitcher, Ron Funk, Stan Furman, Bill Gray, Gary Greves, Dennis Hemerych, Brian Hodgson, Gary Holmstrom, Doug Lund, Gerry MacKay (left), Brock McConachy, Rick McFadyen (right), Roy McLachlan, Maurice Oakes, Irv Powers, Ron Powers, Mike Repin Glennis Scott, Cliff Seafoot, Mel Smith, Bob Thompson, Murray Thoms, Ron Toews, Tom Town, Warren Veale, Dennis Wiebe, Bob Wilson and Mort Wright.

Red Star     And, just about when we were about to post, colleague Robyn Jensen got word from California that three of the California kids who came up to star with the Medicine Hat Mohawks of 1951 had a reunion lunch.

72 years later - Nat Bates, Willie Reed and John Noce, all now in their 91st years.

Sad to hear Al Endriss, another teammate, passed away on Tuesday. 

The team included Cliff Barclay and Pumpsie Green who went on to play in the majors and legendary college coach Pete Beiden. Noce himself has been honoured time and again as an internationally recognized mentor.

The roster of the Mohawks of 1951 :

Medicine Hat Mohawks : Allmon Cliff RHP, Barclay Curt RHP, Bartels Fred LHP/1B, Bates Nat P, Bechelli Dick C, Beiden Pete MGR, Bolger Larry RHP OF, Carr Chet OF, Castagnetto Bob OF, Ellington Bud 1B, Endriss Al OF, Francis Bud P, Garcia Rudy (also Sceptre) P, Green Elijah Pumpsie INF, Jacobs Gene OF (also Swift Current), Jarvis Stan LHP/OF (also Swift Current), Kane Johnny SS, Marcus Jack, Mocha Joe (also Sceptre) P/SS, Newton Bob OF (also Regina), Noce John C, Nunes Tony OF (also Colonsay), Olsen Jim OF, Oneto Franny 2B, Perasso Ray OF, Peterson Jim JD SS (also Colonsay), Pisani Lou (also Colonsay) P, Reed Willie 2B, Rehder Bill P, Stavrianoudakis Steve RHP (also Saskatoon 55s), Swegle Brick Mgr, Thorseth Cy P (also Edmonton Oilers, Moose Jaw Millers), Watkins Reeve Bud RHP, White Ray OF

31 October, 2023

Red Star     A little more catch-up from months of material from Rich Necker.

We've added in a couple more photos from way back in 1921 of players of the Moose Jaw Millers. Nick Williams (right) was the manager that season and among others had Nate Shandling and Elmer Lang (in the one photo) and southpaw hurler Harry Huser (in the other). Lang (.300) and Shandling (.298) had strong seasons, Huser (4-10) not so much.

Frank JudeThere was much confusion as to the eventual batting champion of the Western Canada League in 1921. 

Frank Jude of the Saskatoon Quakers was a possible batting champion (at least crowned as such by The Sporting News and The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball) with a .335 mark.

Bill SpeasHowever, Regina's playing-manager Bill Speas offered a .350 batting mark, but with the collapse of the Regina franchise may not have accumulated enough plate appearances to be considered for the title. Nonetheless, the Winnipeg Evening Tribute and the Manitoba Free Press named Speas as the leading batter

Floyd 'Babe' HermanOn the other hand, the Morning Leader out of Regina, the Edmonton Bulletin, Calgary's Morning Albertan and Spalding's Official Baseball Guide pegged Edmonton's Floyd "Lefty" Herman as the batting champion.  The Morning Leader noted "several other players are credited with high averages", but concluded "they did not figure in so many games. Herman was in 107 games, at bat 409 times, made 135 hits for 216 total bases and an average of .330. Jude of Saskatoon, who played in seven less games, batted .335." (Regina Morning Leader, December 2, 1921)

Red Star     One new team photo posted - 1958 Yorkton Junior Cardinals.  Interestingly, at least to me, met the coach of the team Freddie Windjack up in Peace River, Alberta in the early 1960s when he played for the local nine, the Stampeders.

Red Star     And a couple of things for which we've now made assumptions and now post. One is a Photo Gallery picture of Dave Pow of Drumheller now added to the 1939 Alberta Gallery.

And the other is a photo believed to be of brothers Ralph and Bernie Almas of the Saskatoon Cubs. The evidence points to this being 1942, so in it goes into the Saskatchewan Snapshots of that season.

Red Star     And, took some time to re-do a photo of former Lloydminster lefty, and Negro League veteran, Barney Brown. This one is in the 1955 Snapshots.

This was Brown's second last year in baseball. He was 47 (the batboy was 14).

With the collapse of the Negro Leagues in the late 1940s and 1950s, as Jackie Robinson integrated organized baseball, Brown along with many others headed north to continue their careers.

He played in the ManDak League with Brandon in 1952 and 1953 and at Brantford, Ontario in the Intercounty County League in 1954.

His first season with Lloydminster was quite the success as he pitched in 10 games, all starts, all complete games. and with a 5-5 record for the last place team but with an ERA of 2.90, fifth best in the league.

29 October, 2023

Red Star     We think this is Roberto Zayas of the Lloydminster Meridians in 1955 in a game at Edmonton. That's Eskimo first-sacker Jim Ryan

The skinny waist and arms brought up the thought it could be veteran pitcher and outfielder Barney Brown, but for now we've settled on Zayas.

It's one of two additions to the 1955 Snapshots. The other is a similar photo with a runner stretching for the bag at first. The second photo might be catcher Dick Barry, but it's uncertain.

We hope Meridian batboy that season - Walter (Pete) Pederson - can help out.

Red Star     Back to 1921  we've posted another Snapshot of the Moose Jaw team of the era, this one with Nate Shandling and Nick Williams.

Red Star     There are two new team additions, the 1960 Saskatoon Ambassadors and the 1976 Waskada Orioles who captured the Manitoba Southwest League championship. Also there's a re-do of the 1951 Medicine Hat Mohawks.

Red Star     The 1953 Saskatchewan Photo Gallery has four new faces - Murray Coben of Delisle, and three Saskatoon Gems, Len Breckner, Mario Herrera and Bobby Doig.

27 October, 2023

Red Star     Right-hander Al Purvis (left) was among the moundsmen for the 1950 Edmonton Dodgers of the Alberta Big Four Intercity League.

He's one of the entries on the 1950 Alberta Snapshots along with Ken Samis, Jim Ryan, Bernie Anderson, Eddie Morris, Bob Lillis, Jim Hall and Barry Robertshaw,

Red Star     More catch-up this week and we add more individual photos and team pictures as well. The team images include :

1915 Grand Forks

1916 Grand Forks

1923 Trail Gulch Giants   

1928 Oyama    

1934 Vernon Outlaws   

1935 Ponoka Panthers    

1939 Kelowna   

1946 Humboldt 

1947 Trail

1952 Vernon Canadians  

1961 Dauphin Redbirds   

1975 Warren, Manitoba  

Red Star     The individual pics, in the Photo Galleries or the Snapshot pages, run from 1931 to 1972.

1931 Jimmy Morris Trail

1932 BC Photo Gallery, the Revelstoke Indians - Joe Beruschi, A. Burridge, Harley Dean, Palmer Dean, A. Desimone, C. Henderson, Everett Henderson, P. "Zeb" Lonzo (left), Larry Maunders, Elio “Al” Pradolini (right), Harry Pulley

1933 BC Snapshots nice pic of Trail catcher Corado “Slivers” Decembrini

1947 Alberta Snapshots Doug Stevenson, Frank Gonzales, Ralph DeMarco, Charlie Roeder, Doug Lane

1954 Alex Reid Rossland

1958 Jimmy Bilesky Trail Smoke Eaters

1958 Jim Tooley Vernon Clippers

1959 Lloyd Woods Fruitvale

1964 Wayne Magee  Trail

1965 Jack Ling Rossland Capilanos

1965 Terry Minnis Rossland Capilanos

1965 Steve Gustafson Trail Smoke Eaters

1972 Ross Lynd in Manitoba Snapshots

Red Star    We've posted a newspaper column from 1952 by Stan Moher in the Calgary Albertan on the Florida Cubans, a touring club making quite an impression on the prairies.

And in a 1955 Snapshot page of the Western Canada League, a photo of Pre-game conference, at the opening game of the season with umpires Jim Kelly and John Lupul along with Edmonton manager Roy Carlson and Lloydminster reps Don Stewart and Ted Mitchell

Red Star    Great to hear from Lou DeRosa down in Trail. Don't know how he does it - holiday jaunt to Italy and Norway! And he is helpful as usual with our little project. He's sent out the word to get names for the Penticton team photo below (and suggests Ted Bowsfield is the guy in the middle in the front row). 

22 October, 2023

Red Star    Hiding in plain sight.

Two photos of Nat Bates, the 91 year old from Richmond, California, who came north this summer to be keynote speaker for the annual induction ceremony at the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame.

This one we had found last year in a story in the Richmond Standard publication when Bates was in Battleford in 2022 to represent the Indian Head Rockets at the Saskatchewan Hall of Fame ceremony.  It's when he played with Indian Head in 1952 .

And one from 1951, source unknown, which has been sitting among the 1951 photos but, for whatever reason, didn't make it to the pages of the web site. It's now showing in the 1951 Snapshots (alongside teammate Willie Reed).

Red Star    Thank you Rich Necker - additions to the 1952 Tournaments, including details of the events of that summer at Notre Dame,Yorkton and Milestone, Saskatchewan, Rosedale, Claresholm and St. Paul in Alberta, and Whalley, BC

And, game reports on quite the series in 1929 between the touring Texas Coloured Giants and the nine from the tiny Saskatchewan community of Ruthilda.

Red Star    And do check out Robyn Jensen's latest piece on her blog Home Runs and Dirt Roads - a nice piece on Chet Brewer, the legendary Negro Leaguer who came to play on the prairies in the 1950s.

20 October, 2023

Red Star    Thank you Rich ! 

It's catch-up day.  Rich Necker has been working behind the scenes to provide even more of Western Canada Baseball. 

For this update it's all the way back to 1905 for a pair of team photos from Alberta and British Columbia - Canmore and Duncan, BC

Two things from 1906 - Robyn Jensen checking out the basement of the Indian Head Museum came up with a prize.

A trophy for the 1906 Eastern Saskatchewan Baseball League. 

Then, of course, sleuth Rich Necker added to the find locating the names of the teams for the loop and even the eventual league winner. And followed that with a few players for the rosters of the league in 1908.

Then we hit a string of team photos - either new (almost all) or improved.

1914 Grand Forks   

1937 Trail   

1942 Revelstoke Spikes   

1948 Enderby 

1949 St. Louis Black Cardinals

1949 Vernon Aces

1952 Penticton Athletics, Okanagan Mainline League champions below. Sure be nice to put names to the faces. One of them - future major leaguer Ted Bowsfield.

1954 Kamsack Cyclones  

1956 Ponoka Lions   

1961 Dauphin Redbirds 

Red Star   New individual photos turn up on both Photo Gallery and Snapshot pages and we'll throw in some rosters and game reports as extras !

1932 BC Gallery   Harry Elsmore, Al Erickson, Jack Kelly, Carl McKinnon

1932 BC Snapshots  Players from the baseball hotspot of Trail - Hank Lauriente, Fred Lauriente, William "Scotty" Ross, Jimmy Morris, Hank Rothery (left), G. Snyder, Bill Molisky

1935 BC Gallery Johnny Cameron

1937 BC Gallery  Joe "Red" Tulloch (also Rossland in 1938-1939).

1944 Manitoba Photo Gallery  Tom Altomare, Duke Bayko, Midi Blaquiere, Nick Glowa, George “Lefty” Hewitt, George Lehman, Gerry Marcotte, G. “Red” Richmond, Tony “Phil” Rizzuto, Stan Safinuk, Harry Sosiak, Joe Teres

1945 Revelstoke Spikes in the BC gallery  Mike Maruno, Sam Rota, Victor “Lefty” Pratico, Rico Ditomassi, Al McAskill, Mollo Venutti, Al Pradolini, Dave Venutti, George Couston, Mike Wasylik, 3 Unknown players

1945 BC Snapshots Mike Maruno of the Asahi.

1949 Alberta Photo Gallery     Jerry Seaman, Stan Leach, Des O'Connor, Bob Stuart

1949 Alberta Snapshots    Jim Ryan, Les Edwards, Reg Clarkson, Don Jantzie, Mike Johnson, Bill Georgette, Jerry Seaman, Stan Leach, Des O'Connor, Bob Stuart

1950 ManDak Snapshots  Lyman Bostock

1951 ManDak Snapshots - Frazier Robinson

1952 Ralph Vold  (right) outstanding Canadian right-hander, shown in his pro ball career in the Brooklyn Dodgers system. He reached as high as the Triple-A Pacific Coast League and racked up a win in a major league game, albeit in Spring Training in 1958 when pitching for the San Fransisco Giants.

1953 Cyril Ing, Red Deer Dodgers

1956 BC Gallery George McIntyre

1958 BC Gallery Gerry Denis

1958 BC Gallery    Bob Seaman

1958 Rosters Alberta Jubilee League

1959 Rosters Alberta Northern Alberta Intermediate A League

1959 Alberta Game Reports Final of the Northern Intermediate League

1968 BC Gallery Ron Cull

Red Star    End of an era. 

Bev Bentley
passed away October 6th at Saskatoon. He was 96.  He was a among the Bentley boys who starred in both hockey and baseball on the prairies. In the late 1940s and early 1950s Bev even played on the same team as his dad, Roy.

     [Hockey photo from]

Mainly, however, it was Uncles Doug and Max with Bev on baseball teams in Delisle and Saskatoon.

He was inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988.

A goalie in hockey, he played for two decades mainly in the Western Hockey League where he suited up for Saskatoon, Victoria, New Westminster, Seattle and San Francisco. 

23 August, 2023

Red Star    Nat Bates and Jane Shury at the 2023 Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Battleford.

More than 300 people attended Saturday's annual event at the Alex Dillabough Centre.

Bates, up all the way from Richmond, California, was the keynote speaker. And, Shury the President and CEO of the Hall of Fame, had a surprise - honorary induction for the 91 year old.

13 other individuals and two teams were inducted this year.

Bates was among the Indian Head Rockets who were honoured in last year's ceremony. 

Rockets were a team imported from Jacksonville, Florida to play ball in Indian Head, Saskatchewan and represent the community.

They were an instant hit on the prairies and their roster over their few seasons included Negro League star Chet Brewer (see below), and future major leaguers Pumpsie Green and Tom Alston.

Roberto Barbon of the Rockets carved out a lengthy and rewarding career in Japan.

Ralph Mabee, former Saskatchewan player and manager of the Saskatoon Gems was honoured for an outstanding career which included managing the Canadian team at the Global World Series. Daughter Sue Mabee was on hand to receive the award and noted the day would have been her father's 111th birthday! 

Louis Green, so familiar to ball fans in North Battleford and across the prairies, was selected for honorary induction.

Others to become Hall of Famers were Dick Scott, Larry Flicek, Kevin Frey, Darryl Rowley, Cory Borthwick, Gordon Campbell, George Ciocia, Glen Shockey, Brad Gyug, Brian Peters and Daryl Keller. The Lloydminster Meridian Twins of 2000-2014 and the 1972 Saskatoon Raiders Midgets were selected in the team category.

Robyn Jensen, the major force behind the Indian Head Rockets celebration last year, introduced Bates as the evening's keynote speaker.

She also managed to connect with Allen Braithwaite of Indian Head who had a major surprise - a photo of former Negro League legend and one-time Sceptre and Indian Head pitcher, Chet Brewer.

Brewer, at age 44, joined the two Saskatchewan teams in 1951 after a 26 year career in baseball, mainly with the famous Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro League.  To many, he was thought the equal of baseball superstar Satchel Paige.

The two had, in 1935 in Winnipeg, put on a grand show in a scoreless thriller.

"Two of the greatest colored pitchers in the game staged a baseball battle for the book last night as Satchel Paige and Bismarck went nine innings to a scoreless tie with Chet Brewer and the Kansas City Monarchs in the first game of an exhibition series at renovated Osborne Stadium.  Between them the starry right-handers hung up the amazing total of 30 strikeouts before Umpire Snake Siddle called a halt as twilight descended at the end of the ninth inning.  Paige, displaying more smoke than Winnipeg fans have seen since Lefty Grove pitched here in the fall of 1933, took 17 victims, while the other 13 fell before Brewer's combination of speed and curves." (Winnipeg Evening Tribune, June 7, 1935)

Brewer was the first Black manager in organized ball. The year after playing in Saskatchewan he was at the helm for Porterville, California, in the Southwest International League.

18 August, 2023

Red Star    That's Robyn Jensen one of the organizers of the Prairie Players Reunion in Saskatoon speaking to the group today (August 18th).

Robyn and Max Weder have been working on the idea since Robyn's interview with John "Johnny" Ford, a standout on prairie diamonds for more than twenty years, mainly with North Battleford. Ford and Robyn came up with the great idea to invite old-time prairie ball players to come and reminisce and tell some tales of baseball particularly in Saskatchewan, a hotbed of baseball since the early 1900s.

The gathering came just a day ahead of the 2023 induction ceremony at the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame at Battleford. Robyn and Max will be there as well. Robyn is to introduce the keynote speaker, Nat Bates, and was the nominator for Louis Green, former North Battleford Beaver catcher, to be inducted tomorrow.

A snapshot of some of Friday's participants.  Back row (L-R) - Dena Gilles, Kierra Gilles (Jesse Blackman's grand-daughter & great-grand-daughter), Jack Rowley, Patricia Bidart (Ab Bidart's daughter), Don Hilsendager, Ross Morrison, Roy Rowley & Maureen Ulrich (George Maffahy's cousin).

Sitting L-R: Bob Holowaty, Gale Tuggle, Nat Bates & Jessica Ertell (Jesse Blackman's daughter)

18 August, 2023

Red Star    Nathaniel (Nat) Bates and family back up from California for tomorrow's 2023 Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame Induction ceremony.

Bates, who played in Western Canada with Medicine Hat and Indian Head in the 1950s, is to deliver the keynote speech at this year's event at Battleford.

The right-hander, who came up from college ball in California, was a special guest last year when the Indian Head Rockets were selected for induction. 

Bates, went on to a lengthy political career in Richmond, CA, serving on the local council for more than 40 years, including terms as Mayor. Welcome back Nate !

He'll return to Indian Head for a special event on Monday (1-3 pm at the Indian Head Grand Theatre) for the special screening of the CBC documentary on Nat and Willie Reed. Display your Rockets' gear and meet Nat and family.

Today (Friday) colleagues Robyn Jensen and Max Weder are hosting a Prairie Players Reunion 2-5 at the Gordie Howe Sports Complex in Saskatoon. Both, of course, will be in Battleford for the induction ceremony.

Red Star   The last batch of news bits has been moved over to the Archives, News Page #27.