Bowsman Marroons 1948–1953

Baseball flourished in the Swan River Valley after World War Two and Bowsman emerged as the pacesetter among baseball towns. Bowsman Ball Park was located in a natural amphitheatre and it had adequate seating and parking. In 1946 Bowsman purchased its first set of uniforms and later, through efforts of Dennis Ball of hockey fame, purchased uniforms from Winnipeg’s Junior Maroons. Bowsman imported talented young players from Winnipeg. Among them were Gary Blaine, Al Seymour, Aggie Kukulowicz, and Al Jacques.

From 1952 to 1955 the Manitoba-Saskatchewan League operated with Dauphin, Gilbert Plains, Grandview, Roblin, Yorkton, and Kamsack (with a team imported from Sequoia State College in California). In 1953 Bowsman imported three Negro stars, Lenard Pigg, Gene “Tex” Conley, and Percy Howard.

With a good blend of local talent and imports, Bowsman excelled in league play and became prominent at tournaments in Indian Head, Foam Lake, Yorkton, Melville, Kamsack, Delisle, Canora and other places. Bowsman hosted the Muskogee Cardinals, the Ligon All-Stars, Satchel Paige’s touring team, Notre Dame Hounds,and the Regina Caps (who brought in portable lights). Perhaps 2000 fans would pack the hillsides. Later, Bowsman joined the Polar League with Flin Flon, Creighton, The Pas, Thompson. Baseball was a vital part of the Bowsman community during the post-WWII era.

Eden Baseball Team 1949–1954

In the early 1940’s, Eden schoolteacher W.J. McLaughlin taught the fundamentals of baseball to a group of farm boys and a team developed that became a local dynasty. The Eden team became well known on the sports day circuit in the 40s, and the formation of the Neepawa and District League in 1950 gave them an opportunity to show off their skills for the next twenty years. They won five league championships, in 1950, 1953, 1958, 1961, 1966. The 1950 team featured renowned players such as Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Mel McGorman, Mel’s brothers Gordon and Claire, Roy Kilburn, Merv Chorneyko, Russ Ivey, Gordon Lang, Harry Smithson, George Wilkinson, Harold McFadyen, Doug Birch, John Jackson, and Bill Jackson.

In tournament play, Eden was especially tough at home. They won their own tournament six times during the 1950’s. They also performed very well at Neepawa tournaments, appearing in seven finals, from 1948-1965, and winning two of them.

Transcona Atomics 1963-1968

Transcona dominated the Winnipeg Senior Baseball League in the mid 1960’s. They were finalists in 1963, then won five straight titles. The Atomics won the provincila senior title in 1964, 1965 (co-winners with St. Lazarre Athletics), 1966, 1968, abd lost in provincial finals in 1967. In 1969, the Atomics represented Manitoba in Halifax at the first Canada Summer Games. Manager Alf Sobko’s Atomics were blessed with great pitching, especially from Bob Hunter, Terry Moore, and Bob Audette, played great defense, and had a superb group of hitters.

Nelson Woods

Nelson Woods was a good outfielder in 1940s and 1950s, and played on district junior team in 1948 which won Fort Qu’Appelle (Saskatchewan) tournament over Regina, Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Notre Dame. Nelson coached both juvenile and midget teams to Western Canada titles in mid-1960s. He also umpired for twelve years in MSBL, and was in the Canadian senior championship in 1970. Nelson was also prominent in hockey and in curling, and in 1980 he won silver at Canadian Senior Curling Championships.

Russ Smith

Russ Smith was an excellent outfielder/first baseman with amazing speed whose average over fifteen year career ranged from .300 to .452. Smith played with teams in Selkirk, Radville (Saskatchewan), Toronto, Maher, and St. Boniface. Russ also played fastball with Flin Flon and the Kiewels in Winnipeg. Hockey and track were also some of Russ`s favorite activities. Russ spent fifteen years coaching baseball and hockey at community club levels.

Stan Oleson

For forty years Stan Oleson has served in a host of management and executive positions to act as a builder of the sport of Baseball. Stan managed the Glenboro Canucks for five years in the 1950s and again from 1969 to 1981. He Acted on the Glenboro host committee for numerous provincial and Western Canada championships. Stan served as the Santa Clara league President for two years, served five years as MBA treasurer or secretary-treasurer, and has been secretary-treasurer of Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame since it began in 1996. Stan also served as President of both Manitoba and Canadian Curling Associations, and is a member of Manitoba and Canadian Curling Halls of Fame. Recently Glenboro named its baseball field “S.A. Oleson Field.”

Ken Nicol

Ken Nicol was an outstanding shortstop in the late 40s and early 50s with the Orioles Juniors, Rosedales, ANAF Vets, Transcona, Trail (B.C.) Smoke Eaters. Nicol later became playing coach for the St. Boniface Native Sons and Fort Whyte tournament team. In one game Ken tripled twice against Negro great Chet Brewer to win Saskatoon tournament, and in another he homered against House of David. Excelled in fastball, soccer, basketball as well as baseball.

Harold Nelson

Harold Nelson was an outstanding pitcher from the 1920s. He was Carberry`s only pitcher in 1924 when the team won 25 straight games, then lost one, then won 11 more. Nelson struck out 18 in a 9 inning exhibition game against the Brandon Greys in 1925. In one tournament he pitched three 7 inning games and faced only 23 batters in each game. Harold was featured in Ripley’s “Believe it or Not” for striking out 80 batters in two consecutive days of tournament play. Due to farming pressures he declined an invitation to training camp of New York Giants. He was banned from pitching in a local league in 1926 and farmed until 1956, and then moved to Winnipeg.

Gerry Marcotte

Gerry Marcotte was a stellar catcher for a quarter of a century – a big, powerful hitter, and an excellent handler of pitchers with a strong throwing arm. Gerry led Transcona to the Winnipeg Senior League championships in 1938 and 1939, and was league MVP in 1955.Gerry`s career spanned over 25 years ending in 1955/56 and was considered the most important player in Transcona baseball history. Gerry was also a very good hockey and football player.

Barry (Sam) Jamieson

Barry (Sam) Jamieson was an excellent shortstop. He played with McAuley Red Sox from 1964-72, then McAuley Blazers from 1973-93. From 1983 to 1993 he was player-coach, and was part of three teams that won MSBL championships. Barry was named to the MSBL first team all star team 14 times, and to the second team 3 times. Jamieson was a player or coach for Team Manitoba on eight occasions at Western Canadian or National championships, and played with the Canadian team at the World Championships in Nicaragua in 1972. Sam was MBA Coach of the Year in 1987.