Left to right: Dan Giesbrecht, MBHOF Chairperson, Joe Wiwchar, MBHOF and Museum Administrator.
Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame Administrator Is Retiring
Written by Patti Hacault
The Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame Museum (MBHOF) annually selects outstanding Manitoba athletes, coaches, officials, builders, and teams. It also gathers memories of the past and present associated with the history of baseball in Manitoba, located in Morden at the Access Centre.
The organization held its first banquets (1997-1998) in Brandon and incorporated in 1998. Chairpersons have been Gladwyn Scott, Al Kinley, Jack Callum, Morris Mott and currently Dan Giesbrecht is the chairperson. To accommodate a back log of members, in the beginning an average of 20 Hall of Fame members per year were inducted.
"The idea for the organization originated with Gladwyn Scott. The first two banquets (1997-1998) took place in Brandon and all the others in Morden, except in Neepawa in 2001. They incorporated in May 2, 1998, and to catch up the board inducted 20 members in the early years.
"The museum officially opened the day of the 1999 banquet in Morden, two banquets (1999 and 2019) were held in the hall in Morden while the rest was held on the ice surface until the last one,” stated Joe Wiwchar, Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Administrator.
The corner stone of this Hall of Fame Museum has been Joe Wiwchar and what a fantastic representative the Manitoba baseball community has been able to have during the first 25 years of existence. Joe also coached baseball continuously from 1953 – 2022, while also serving as the Museum administrator. Now on the cusp of retiring from his illustrious career as a builder of the sport of baseball, Joe has covered all the bases, home plate, the dugout, and everything in between serving as – player, coach, umpire, executive administrator, and mentor at local provincial, national, and international levels.
Left to right: Clayton Dreger, Sport Director Golden West Radio, Joe Wiwchar, MBHOF and Museum Administrator.
With Joe’s retirement imminent, he has left the bases loaded and the MBHOF is in the market for a pinch hitter or two.
“Joe Wiwchar has done a tremendous job building the ship at the Access Event Centre, now we are looking for a good skipper to maintain the course and keep the MBHOF on an even keel,” stated Lane Curry, Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Local Board Member.
In 1997, when the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Inc. was founded, Joe Wiwchar eagerly stepped up to the plate with a vision that reflected the statement: “Build it and they will come”. For the past 25 years, Joe has continued to build the MBHOF and Museum in the Access Event Center, Morden, MB. into one of the finest sports museums in Canada.
His commitment, diligence and visionary leadership has made this a place where young and old are able to have a relaxing visit to view all the players, coaches, builders and umpires of yesteryears, biographies, and a large display of baseball memorabilia.
The Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Directors are deeply gratefully to Joe for everything he has done. Thank you, Joe!
"With Joe retiring in the near future, the MBHOF is looking to add a new clutch hitter for our line-up. The winning runs are on base. Are you that clutch hitter willing to join a Great Team?" Concluded Dan Giesbrecht MBHOF Chairperson
The Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Board of Directors are searching for an administrator /manager to plan and supervise all the MBHOF operations as directed by the Board. This organization is a non-profit company, and is located in the Access Event Center, Morden. The hours of employment and salary are to be negotiated with the successful candidate. A complete job description may be requested by interested applicants.