A number of Westman athletes, teams and an umpire make up the Class of 2019 being inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame.
On Monday a number of the inductees gathered in Brandon for the official announcement.
Hall of Fame Board of Directors Chair Morris Mott of Brandon called it a special time when old teammates and competitors get together to reminisce about the good old days.
Westman players being inducted include Greg Cameron of Boissevain:
Greg Cameron achieved success on the ball diamond very early as his Souris Little League team won the 1961 Manitoba Championships and he is still involved with baseball nearly 60 years later. As a Juvenile in 1967 the Souris team which he captained won the Western Canadian title. Joining the Senior Souris Cardinals the next year the team won the MSBL pennant and Greg played 12 more years of Senior ball with Souris and Riverside. Upon retiring he took up coaching and in 1994 he co-coached the Oildome Pee Wee Stars to the Manitoba title which earned them a trip to the National finals.
Greg Cameron is currently the announcer and scorekeeper for the 2017 Senior Champion Boissevain Centennials team. He is thrilled to be going into the Hall of Fame.
Another Westman playing going into the hall is Dean McBride. He’s going in both as an individual and as a member of the 2006-2012 Brandon Cloverleafs:
To play 24 seasons, 1987-2010, at the highly competitive Senior AAA level is Hall of Fame worthy in itself but to record a .371 lifetime batting average for that length of time is truly outstanding. As a Gladstone native Dean got his start in Senior ball at a young age with the local Plumas Pirates. He was MSBL 1988 Rookie of the Year, won the 1990 batting title with a .507 average and was named the 1997 Playoff MVP. Dean was a 15 time MSBL All-star and selected to their 40th anniversary all-time all-star team.
Dean played on Manitoba’s 1989 Canada Summer Games team and competed at 10 Senior National tournaments. He enjoyed his playing days and is humbled to be inducted into the hall of fame.
Not just players are inducted and in 2019 long time umpire Bob Senff of Oak Lake will be inducted in the Special Cateogry:
Bob Senff moved from Winnipeg to Virden in 1971 and became a highly respected and competent umpire on Westman diamonds for 30 years. He spent all of those seasons in the Manitoba Senior Baseball League along with two years working in the short-lived Prairie League of Professional Baseball. Bob regularly umpired Western Canadians, Manitoba Provincials, Regionals, and Senior League playoffs. He also umpired at four National Tournaments including the first Women’s National Tournament which was held in St. James.
Personal highlights include umpiring a Senior game in which his two sons competed against each other in 1996 and singing both Canadian and American National anthems prior to some Prairie League games before putting on the mask to umpire behind the plate.
Bob Senff is excited about becoming a member of the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame.
The 1968 Coulter Red Sox will be inducted also in the Special Category:
The 1968 season of the “Cinderella” Coulter Red Sox almost didn’t happen. The team seemed likely to fold before the season due to lack of players. But reinforced by a trio of players from nearby Elva they decided to carry on in the Southwest League. The Coulter team had to win their final league game to earn a spot in the playoffs. It was the first of a series of dramatic must win games which lay ahead. They continued with win or go home final game victories in the league playoffs over Goodlands and Waskada. Provincial playoffs came next and featured sudden death wins over Elgin and then Sundown. Coulter won the last three games at home after dropping the first two on the road against Sundown. The wins earned them a spot in the provincial finals but it would mean their longest ever road trip to Thompson. It was not until the team’s dream season was drawing to a close that they even became the Coulter Red Sox.
They lost the first two close games to a decidedly superior home team assembled by Red Sangster which was inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003. Back at home for the final game their amazing run came to an end as a third game loss ended the Coulter dream season.
Orville Rewick was a member of that team and he called it a unique season:
Other inductees in the Individuals Category are:
Bruce Stephens of Brandon
Randy Robertson of Stouffville, Ontario
Jon Robbins of Richmond B.C.
Armin Gitzel, Carman
In the Major Teams Category:
Brandon Cloverleafs of 2006-2012,
The Brandon Cloverleafs had a long and successful career in the Manitoba Senior Baseball League as the only team to compete every year in over 50 years of the league’s existence starting in 1961. No era may have been more dominant for the Cloverleafs than that of their 2006-2012 teams. In those seven years the Cloverleafs won two league pennants and really came through with five MSBL and provincial championships. They represented Manitoba at Nationals winning a silver medal in 2007 and fourth place finishes in 2010 and 2011.
Major Team: Carillon Sultans -1996-2003
Small Community Team: Springfield Juniors -2007-2011
Special Category: Sager Family – Morden
Special Category: Paul Edmonds (1966---) Media
Special Category: Chuck Lindsay (1920-2007) – Pre-1950,
Harold “Chuck” Lindsay was a unique player who pitched both baseball and fastball at a very high level of competition. Chuck pitched baseball for Hamiota, Reston, Virden, and Belleview. Prior to WWll, Hamiota had an undefeated softball team with Chuck as the main pitcher for four years. He was a great control pitcher who beat the Brandon Greys 8-3 in a Mid Western Baseball League game, June 20, 1946, as he struck out 10, walked one, and allowed six hits. The respect he had from his peers during and following his pitching career is that everybody continued to call him Chuck even though his given name was Harold. To his peers and fans he was always a “chucker.”
The 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame induction banquet will be held June 1st at the Morden Event Access Centre. Tickets are available from any board member.
Hall of Fame Chair Morris Mott at Monday's announcement in Brandon