The Cote Family

During four decades from the 1940s to the 1970s, the Cote family of nine brothers were synonymous with baseball in Vasser, a small community in south eastern Manitoba and there was a period when they all played for Vasser at the same time.

Lucien, the oldest, possessed a ferocious passion for the game, pitched and played infield. James was an excellent right fielder with a strong arm and was a good hitter. He, along with Lucien, was often recruited by Minnesota teams for tournaments.

Alme played second or shortstop and provided inspiration with his constant chatter. Denis pitched left-handed and had very good arm control. Ovide, a left-handed hitting catcher, with a solid physique, had a strong arm. Robert, an outfielder had an excellent batting eye, which allowed him to draw many walks and had the skill and ability to steal bases.

Emilien, a switch-hitting, pitcher, was a gifted player and a powerful home run hitter. Emile, a speedy centre fielder, was small in stature, but had a great range and was a good base runner. Louise, the youngest, was a right-handed hitter and utility player, who along with Emilien, were the victims of a vehicle accident at the age of 22.

The Ingram Family

Al, Doug, and Ken, three brothers, were part of a well-known baseball family from the Elmwood/East Kildonan Area and were highly regarded players in Junior and Senior Leagues in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Al Ingram

Al played junior baseball with the Morse Place Monarchs and senior baseball with Transcona, CUAC and the Elmwood Giants. He was a League All Star numerous times in his career. Al was also playing manager for the Giants in the late 1950’s, who were league finalist for three years.

Doug Ingram

Doug, a second baseman played junior baseball for Morse Place and the Selkirk Fisherman and senior baseball for the Elmwood Giants, St. Boniface, and the Carman Cubs. He played on seven consecutive Senior finalists teams from 1957-63, winning three championships. He was a great defensive player, who twice had six hits in one game.

Ken Ingram

Ken, a catcher, played junior baseball for the Giants at age 16. He was an All-Star catcher and led the Giants to three championships. Ken started his senior career with the St. Boniface Native Sons in 1962, who won the championship. He then joined the Transcona Atomics and was the starting catcher for four championships. He was a good hitter and an excellent defensive player and handler of pitchers.

Elkhorn Blue Sox 1959–1964

The Elkhorn Blue Sox were formed in 1959 and played in the Pipesonte Albert League which they won in 1962-63-64.

The League consisted of Reston, Grand Clairiere, Sinclair and Cromer.

The Elkhorn Blue Sox had their best season in 1963 when they won nine consecutive tournaments with twenty-seven straight wins. They won thirty-nine and lost one during 1963.

Several players, Doug Lund, Jack Day and Bill Chapple advanced to play in the Manitoba Senior Baseball League from Elkhorn.

Fisher Branch Falcons 1954–1959

The Fisher Branch Falcons were a very good small community team which excelled in tournament baseball.

Their best season was in 1957 when they won $1600 in prize money by winning 13 of 14 tournaments at Lundar, Eriksdale, Arborg, Ashern, Teulon, Chatfield, Fisher Branch, Beausejour, Hodgson, Oak Point, Moosehorn, Poplarfield, and Keewatin.

The team was managed by Metro Melnyk who kept the team together with strict expectations and led by pitchers like John Obelnicki and Deb Mealey.

St Boniface Native Sons 1989-1993

The St. Boniface Native Sons accompllished what no other Manitoba Secior baseball team has done, winning the Redboine League championship and the Frank Richardson Trophy, emblematic of Provincial supremacy, for five consecutive years. The Native Sons also captured a Western Canadian Championship in 1993.

The Sons success came about as a result of five year players , Jeff Bouchard, John Kraupner, Rob Lebleu, Dave Lemoine, current Hall of Famer Don Maskiw, Garth Watkins, former National team member Fred Matsabara, Jason Schwabe, and former Winnipeg Goldeye coach Scott Neiles.

They were an unbeatable force. The Native Sons were led on the Field by Coaches Hank Gibson (deceased), Cam Bouchard and GM Wes Powell.

The Sons won championships with great pitching, defense and timely hitting. This truely was a team effort as all players who were involved over the 89-93 seasons played and contributed to their success.

Neepawa Cubs 1955-1960

This young team coached by Merv Buchanan and Doug Birch, started out as juveniles in the early 50’s before winning the Neepawa and District League in 1955 & 56, 59 & 60.

The Cubs won six more crowns in the next decade and were a dominant tournament team in this golden era of Manitoba baseball. Their league consisted of Eden, Wellwood, Springhill, Plumas Birnie and the Neepawa Farmers.

Morris Seafoot

Morris Seafoot was the iron man third baseman for the Riverside Canucks. The Riverside Canucks were at the top of the tournament squad in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s and Seafoot was a fierce competitor during this time but was always Mr. Congeniality after the game. When Riverside joined the M.S.B.L. Seafoot took on the role of coach and was at the helm of the team for several years. Morris also performed diamond maintenance and after he retired from active service, he became Riverside’s most active fan. Morris was given the distinction of being a Life Member of the Riverside Baseball Club.

Anguste (Gus) Pantel

Gus Pantel started playing in Senior baseball in 1946 in Notre Dame. Initially Gus played in many tournaments in the League towns and in Belmont, St. Jean, La Broquerie and St. Pierre. Notre Dame won the South Central League Championship from 1947-49 with Gus and Hall of Fame inductee Gerry Vigier pitching. Pantel led Notre Dame to victory over Letellier and first place prize of $350. In 1950 Gus was signed by the Carman Cardinals of the Mandak League and played one year with another career highlight being a one hit 5-1 victory over Minot in a semi-final of an Osborne Stadium tournament in front of 4000 fans. In 1951 he returned to Notre Dame where his strong pitching performances helped them to be a dominate team in tournaments for 5-6 years. Gus was one of the premier pitchers in Central Manitoba in this era and he was known for a variety of pitches including an aspirin tablet sized fastball.

Delbert “Deb” Mealy

Deb Mealy was an excellent all around player who was a good pitcher, hitter, competitor and sportsman. Deb started playing Senior ball in 1948 with the Fairfax All Stars. Deb played with many teams- Morden, Fisher Branch, Souris and Riverside, but primarily in the South Central League with Fairfax All Stars, Elgin Cubs, and Glenboro. Mealy was named utility All Star player with Riverside at the prestigious Indian Head, Saskatchewan tournament in 1955 and won the South Central League in 1972-73-74 with Elgin.

Gordie Lyall

Gordie Lyall won the Provincial Championships with the Kenton Bantams in 1952 and the Midgets in 1953, and with Hamiota-Kenton in 1957 and 1958. Gordie played Senior League tournaments with Hamiota, Kenton, Oak Lake, and Virden from 1957-1964. Gordie was appointed Souris Sports director in 1962 and won the South Central League title in 1963 as playing coach of the Souris Cardinals. Lyall played for the Hamiota Red Sox M.S.B.L. from 1964-72 and won the league batting crown with a .449 average. Lyall was also named to second All Star team in 1964 and 1966, and then to the first All Star team in 1967. He led the league in singles (30) and hits (35). Gordie was the Red Sox MVP in 1968 and has a M.S.B.L. career batting average of .301. He coached the Souris Bantam BB’s in 1962, the Hamiota Juvenile team in 1972 and the Hamiota Bison’s in 1974 to Provincial Championships. Gordie also coached Team Toba Juvenile in 1988 and umpired in the M.S.B.L. from 1973-85 in three Western Canada Championships and one Canadian Senior Championship.