Ian "Ace" Lowe     

Ian Lowe

Ian Stewart "Ace" Lowe

Born : October 24, 1917, Bradwardine, MB
Died : July 19, 1977

Inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame, 1997

In 2005 a panel of experts selected Ian Lowe as Manitoba’s All-Time third base All-Star even though much of his career came on playing fields outside the province.  However, his stint back home as playing manager of the Brandon Greys in the Manitoba Senior League and the celebrated ManDak League in the late 1940s and early 1950s won plaudits all across the West.

Lowe, born at Bradwardine, began playing senior ball in Moosomin and Neilburg, Saskatchewan in 1938, suiting up with Max Bentley on the Saskatoon Lions in 1939 and returning to play in Saskatoon in 1940 and 1941. Four superb seasons in Victoria, B.C., followed, with batting championships in 1942 and 1943. He ran away with the batting crown in 1943 with a .443 average and a league-leading eight home runs playing for the Victoria Machinery Depot. He turned pro in 1946 with Victoria of the Western International League, but was enticed early that season to join Calgary Purity 99s of the Alberta Foothills League and was the runner-up in the batting race with a .425 mark and decided to spend a second summer in Calgary.

In 1948 the Brandon Greys brought Lowe back to home territory and he led the club to Manitoba Senior League championships in 1948 and 1949. Lowe himself was a leading contributor, hitting .336 to lead the team in 1949. It was one of the most remarkable baseball campaigns in prairie history. In 113 days the Greys completed an unprecedented 108-game season and compiled a remarkable record of 87 wins, 18 losses and 3 ties.  Greys entered nine tournaments and won top prize money in six and tied for first in another.

Brandon moved up to the powerful ManDak (Manitoba-Dakota) League in 1950 and Lowe guided the Greys to the league pennant. Playing in a circuit which featured future Hall of Famers Willie Wells and Leon Day, among others, Lowe was a top ten hitter, led the league in runs batted in and was selected as the all-star third baseman. In a thrilling windup to that inaugural year of ManDak League play, Winnipeg Buffaloes captured the league championship with a thrilling 1-0, 17-inning victory over Brandon in the final game of the playoffs.  Again, in 1951, Lowe led the Greys to the ManDak pennant, defeated Winnipeg Buffaloes in the playoffs and continued his strong play in the field with a .298 average.  The Minot News voted Lowe “Mr. ManDak”.

With that, Lowe decided to hang up his spikes and began coaching minor baseball and had considerable success with his boys' teams in Kenton.   In 1970 he was selected to head up Manitoba’s host team for the Canadian Senior Baseball championship held at Brandon. Ian Lowe was inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997. His son Kerry was inducted 2009.