Giroux Athletics 1988–1992

The tiny hamlet of Giroux has been famous for baseball teams for generations. It fielded a Senior-caliber team for 44 years. Another indication of enthusiasm is that from 1988 through 1992 the Giroux Athletics “Twilight” team won four Manitoba Twilight championships and three Western Canadian championships. Special recognition should go to the Seidler brothers Roy, Wayne, and Brian, who were the key organizers of this club. This is the first Twilight team inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Robertson Family, Hamiota

For many years Hamiota was known as the Baseball Capital of Manitoba. The members of the Robertson family were very instrumental in creating this reputation for Hamiota.

Al Robertson played on Canada’s Pan-Am Games teams of 1967 and 1971. He was MSBL batting champion in 1967. In 1985 he won a silver medal as manager of Manitoba’s Canada Games team, was named Coach of the Year for both Manitoba and Canada, and won the Brandon Sun’s Krug Crawford Award as Western Manitoba’s Sportsman of the Year. He has been inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame, the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame, and the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.

Lorna Robertson coached Hamiota teams ,along with Al, to provincial titles in Beaver, Bantam, and Bison categories. She was a coach also of two Bison teams that won medals at Western Canadians. She won the Brandon YMCA Woman of Distinction Award in 1985 and was Manitoba Basketball’s Coach of the Year in 1993. She has been inducted into the Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame and the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.

Jeff Robertson played as a youngster on provincial championship teams in three different age categories. He played for Team Canada at the World Youth Championships at Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 1983. In senior ball, he was an MSBL first team all-star ten times and Manitoba’s Senior Player of the Year in 1989. As a coach, Jeff was on the staff of teams from Manitoba at Western Canadian and National championships, as well as at the Canada Summer Games in both 1989 and 1993. He coached Team Canada at the Four Nations Cup in 1995. He also established the Manitoba High School Baseball championships and administered them from 1993 through 1998. He was Manitoba Baseball’s Manager of the Year in 1998.

Randy Robertson also played on provincial championship teams in three youth categories. He was the all-star catcher at the Western Canadian Beaver championships at Neepawa in 1979 and was on the Manitoba team that won a silver medal at the 1985 Canada Summer Games. He played in the MSBL for six years. His career batting average was .352 in league play and .336 during playoffs. In 1987 he came second in batting average and led the league in both hits and stolen bases. In that year he stole 25 bases, still a one season record. Randy also coached minor teams in Hamiota, as well as development teams in Westman at the Bantam and Midget levels.

Carberry Royals 1979–1984

During the six years from 1979–1984, the Carberry Royals won five Santa Clara Baseball League titles losing n the finals the other year. This group of entirely local players was managed by Malcolm McDonald. They won 159 games over this span losing only 62 times. They owned their own bus, enjoyed playing together, created considerable community interest and had a large fan base.

St Lazare Athletics 1962–67

The Athletics had a powerful team with devoted, enthusiastic fans. St. Lazare certainly demonstrated that a small town could support a high quality team. They competed in the Manitoba Senior Baseball League. They won the League pennant in 1964 and lost in the finals in 1964. In 1965 they won the League championship and then the provincial Senior AAA championship. Among the top players were Dave Pearson, Oscar Walker, and Ike Walker, all recruited from Satchel Paige’s touring all stars. Southpaw Bill Cundiff struck out 170 in 1963, still an MSBL record. Others on the team were Manitoba Hall of Fame members Ray Simms, Bob Thompson, Roy Cuthill, Claude Lambert, Paul Chartrand.

Bob Smith

Bob began his coaching career in the 1940’s at Morse Place where he coached the Monarchs to junior championships in 1944 and 1946. After moving to Elmwood, Bob took over organizing teams and coaches for the entire Elmwood area. He often coached more than one team, including the Giants in the Mandak League, and mentored all of the coaches. He coached Elmwood to a Little League Championship in 1953, and the same year he coached the Mid-Canada Representative team at the Little League Championship in Roseland, Illinois, USA. He won provincial championships with the Giants in bantam (1952), midget (1952-1954), juvenile (1955) and junior (1958, 1959 & 1961). He became a coaching legend in Elmwood and was inducted into the Manitoba Sport Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the 1957-1961 Elmwood Junior teams. He is the father of former Giants coach Don Smith and grandfather of former Goldeyes player Donnie Smith.