This past Monday The Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame announced its 2019 Inductees. This announcement was in preparation for their 23rd Annual Induction Banquet happening on Saturday, June 1, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. at the Morden Event Centre where the Hall of Fame is located. Ticket information is listed at the bottom of this page.
The inductees below include outstanding players, builders, and teams who have left their legacy both on and off the baseball field. The inductees have been split into three categories: Individuals, Teams, and a Special Category.
Photo left to right: Resby Coutts; representing the Coulter Red Rox (1968), Paul Edmonds; Howie Sagar, representing the Sagar Family; Armin Gitzel; Boomer, Jerry, and Richard, representing the Springfield Juniors; Jon Robbins.
Photo left to right: Armin Gitzel; Boomer, Jerry, and Richard, representing the Springfield Juniors; Jon Robbins; Russ and Roy, representing the Carillon Sultans.
Greg Cameron (1949---) Boissevain MB
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. Greg played in four Canadian Senior AAA tournaments and upon retiring took up coaching minor ball in Boissevain and at provincial tournaments. In 1994 he co-coached the Oildome Pee Wee Stars to the Manitoba title which earned them a trip to the National finals in North Bay, Ont. Greg has also convened several provincial championships in Boissevain over the years and currently acts as announcer and scorekeeper for the 2017 Senior Champion Boissevain Centennials team.
Armin Gitzel (1936---) Carman MB
Armin Gitzel was known as an outstanding pitcher, outfielder, infielder, clutch hitter, and base stealer. He was a key force in helping Miami win six consecutive Provincial titles from 1950-55. Armin continued his career playing Senior baseball in the South Central Border League from 1954-61 for the Carman Cardinals and then for Graysville in 1962 & 1963 where they won two consecutive championships. A highlight for Armin’s career was becoming league champs with Carman in 1957 over Plum Coulee in the final game. He struck out 15 batters while on the mound and hit a long home run while at bat. He was instrumental on the tournament circuit and played in countless finals in rural towns such as Notre Dame de Lourdes, Morden, St. Claude, Fannystelle, Carman, and Treherne.
Dean McBride (1970---) Brandon MB
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. Dean’s many achievements were accomplished in 11 seasons each with the Neepawa Farmers and Brandon Cloverleafs and two with the Elmwood Giants. Dean was MSBL 1988 Rookie of the Year, won the 1990 batting title with a .507 average and was named the 1997 Playoff MVP. He won a home run crown, batting title, and league MVP in his short stay in the Red Boine League with the Giants. 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.
Jon Robbins (1981---) Richmond BC
Jon Robbins of Winnipeg was such a dominant hurler that he was named the tournament’s top right handed pitcher at the 2002 Junior Nationals in Newfoundland for leading Manitoba to a bronze medal. He also helped pitch the Carillon Juniors representing Manitoba to a gold medal at the Western Canadian title the previous season. Upon advancing to Senior ball Jon was named Rookie of the Year in the Winnipeg Senior League. He then went on to twice being named the top pitcher and overall most valuable player in the league. Armed with a heavy fastball and a deadly curve, Jon averaged 1.4 strikeouts per inning in Senior ball, with a career earned run average hovering around 1.00. Jon was a four time league all-star while leading the St. James Athletics to two league titles.
Randy Robertson (1966---) Stouffville ON
Hamiota’s Randy Robertson compiled a Hall of Fame resume by the time he completed his minor ball career. Randy performed at a superior level from 1973-85 on numerous minor category Provincial championship teams. He won Provincial Gold Medals at the Beaver, Bantam, and Midget levels. His 1979 Souris Beaver team earned a Silver Medal at the Western Canadians and Randy was selected the all-star catcher. As a Midget in 1982 he was selected to attend an elite players Development Camp in Edmonton. In 1984 he was selected to attend try-out for Team Canada Youth Team. As a Junior in 1985 his Manitoba Summer Games team earned a Silver Medal. Randy also started coaching very young as he ran an elite MBA program for young players from Western Manitoba in 1985-86 and also coached in Hamiota Minor Baseball from 1985-88. While his career in the MSBL was relatively short from 1984 -89 it was also outstanding as he compiled a .352 career batting average. He also set a MSBL single season stolen base record of 25 which still stands. He starred on a Hamiota Red Sox team that won three pennants and one MSBL championship
Bruce Stephens (1951---) Brandon MB
Bruce Stephens has had two Hall of Fame careers-one as a player and a second as a builder through his coaching and executive contribution. Bruce led his small hometown Cardale team to the Manitoba and Western Canada Midget championships in 1968. He was a key member of the Manitoba junior team that represented the province in 1972. That same year playing his rookie season in the MSBL with the first year Binscarth Orioles he led the team to the league and provincial title. He batted .371 and named to the league all-star team as a catcher. Upon moving to Deloraine, Bruce was the driving force behind baseball in the community and area for many years. He was a perennial SWBL all-star and five time batting champ while playing and coaching the Royals. He led the Royals to several provincial championships and the 1983 Western Canadian title. Bruce coached minor baseball during and after his playing career, including Deloraine’s first Peewee Provincial championship team. He served with Baseball Manitoba as treasurer and for over 20 years conducted coaching clinics as well as acted as director of Brandon Minor Baseball. Bruce represented Manitoba 10 times either as a player or coach at Western and National tournaments.
Brandon Cloverleafs (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. However, 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 in the playoffs with five MSBL and provincial championships. They represented Manitoba very well at Nationals with a silver medal in 2007 and fourth place finishes in 2010 and 2011. The Cloverleafs were selected as the High performance Team of the Year in 2007 by Baseball Manitoba.
Carillon Sultans (1996-2003)
The Sultans consisted mainly of players that came up through the ranks of the Carillon Sultan Junior team and played their home games out of Friedensfeld. Competing in the highly competitive Winnipeg Senior League the Sultans dominated with league championships in 1998, 1999, 2001, and 2002. They earned a Western Canadian AA silver Medal in 1999. Provincially the Sultans were 2003 Senior AA champions, the 2000 Senior AA finalist, 1999 and 2002 Senior AA semi-finalists. The team was known league wide as a very relaxed group that had a lot of fun on the diamond. This confident laid back attitude led to a lot of success in the WSBL and provincially regardless of who they came up against. The majority of the players from these Sultans teams are still highly involved in the Carillon Minor Baseball Association and developing young ballplayers.
Small Community Team:
Springfield Juniors (2007-2011)
The Springfield Braves were a rural Junior AA team with their home diamond in Dugald playing in the Winnipeg Junior Baseball League. During the five year period from 2008-2012 they dominated their city opponents by making the league final all five years. They won the league championship three of those five years and went on to be awarded the provincial Junior title three of four times.
Photo left to right: Armin Gitzel, Resby Coutts; representing the Coulter Red Rox (1968).
Coulter Red Sox (1968)
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. The nickname was given to them by a Thompson radio announcer as they drove into Thompson for the first half of the provincial final series. They again lost the first two but 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.
Sagar Family (Morden)
The Sager family has made significant contributions as dedicated and skilled performers, leaders and builders of baseball and fastball in southern Manitoba. The father, Howie, has contributed to Morden baseball as a long-time player, coach, and executive. He is best known for chairing the Elks July 1st Minor ball tournament in Morden for 20 years. Mom Oddney worked along with Howie in Minor ball as a coach and executive. Oldest son Steve had an outstanding career as an all-star third baseman and pitcher in Junior and Senior ball. Since 2006 Steve has coached minor, high school, and Senior teams and winning Silver medals at Nationals and Westerns. Son Wayne was a talented lefthanded pitcher and powerful home run hitter. He too had an outstanding Junior and Senior playing career and upon taking up coaching reached the pinnacle of success by winning gold at Westerns with the Carman Goldeyes. Daughter Jennifer might have been the most talented ball player in the family but denied the chance for a baseball career settled for fastball where she excelled. She was named All Canadian at 1st base at the Junior Nationals and has since had a distinguished coaching and clinician career.
Bob Senff (Umpire)
Bob Senff was a Winnipegger who moved to Virden in 1971 and became 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. Bob served in administrative rolls such as Umpire assignor for Senior leagues, Umpire-in-chief of MSBL, and Disciplinary Committee member for MBA. 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.
Paul Edmonds (Media)
For 19 years, 1995-2013, Winnipeg’s Paul Edmonds was the voice of the Winnipeg Goldeyes. He also spent one season in Alberta, and during his 20 year career as a broadcaster covered over 2000 games. His energetic style and dedication made Paul one of the most recognized faces and the most recognized voice in the Goldeyes’ history. Unbelievably, he missed only one radio broadcast, this for the birth of his son. During his broadcasts Paul consistently promoted amateur baseball within Manitoba. He encouraged Baseball Manitoba to provide him with information he could share with his listeners. Paul also often donated his time and talent to MC Baseball Manitoba events at press conferences and banquets. His dedication to the game has been a huge benefit to baseball in our province. Baseball’s loss has been hockey’s gain as Paul is currently the radio voice of the Winnipeg Jets.
Photo left to right: Tannis Edmonds, Paul Edmonds.
Chuck Lindsay (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. Stationed in New Brunswick during his WWll service he was voted the best pitcher to ever play baseball and fastball in the Maritimes. 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. In the “Golden Years of Baseball” after 1945 almost every community and hamlet had a baseball team and held a tournament. Chuck was a prominent tournament hurler and often started the final game. He was also selected to pitch at Virden against Satchel Paige and his Touring All-stars. 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 23rd Annual Induction Banquet Ticket Prices:
Adults - $70
Children - $20
Tickets are available from Jack Hrehirchuk; 114-10th Ave SE, Dauphin, MB, R7N 2H1, (204) 638-6923, firstname.lastname@example.org. David Taylor; Neepawa, (204) 476-3843, Taylord@brandonu.ca. Joe Wiwchar; Morden, (204) 422-4636, email@example.com. Morris Mott; Brandon, (204) 726-5167, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information you can visit the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame website.