Virden Oil Dome All-Stars 1957

In 1955 a team was organized in Mid-Western Manitoba to compete in the Manitoba Little League. Due to a certain technicality, the team was unable to join the league and had to satisfy their desire to play by competing in exhibition games. They even defeated the League Champions and went on to represent the province in several exhibition matches.

In 1957 the Oildome League was organized as a part of the PONY League (Protect our Nations Youth). PONY had begun in the early 1950’s to give youngsters the opportunity to play competitive sport and be involved in the life of a team. Many saw sport as an excellent way to teach and entertain these children, therefore keeping them out of trouble.

Initially, there were only four teams in the Oildome PONY League, Crandall, Decker, Kenton, and Virden. The quality of play amongst these young teams was extraordinary. An All-Star team was selected from the players of each of these towns to compete at a Provincial Play-Down. Laurie Artiss, Charlie Lee, and Bruce Knight were instrumental in bringing the team together.

The All-Star team proved to be highly successful, going on to win the Rural Manitoba Championships. This allowed the Oildome All-Stars to compete against the reigning Manitoba Champions, the Winnipeg South Division All-Stars. The Oildome All-Stars went on to win the series 2-1, giving them the opportunity to represent Manitoba in the Canadian PONY League Championships.

They Oildome Allstars went on the win the Canadian PONY League Championships.

Oakland Braves 1957–1963

The Oakland Braves were an amalgamation of players from Nesbitt and Wawanessa. Traditionally these two teams had been rivals, but a lack of players brought them together in 1957. The played in the South Central League.

The team was often successful in league and tournament play. Their most notable year was 1961. They won the League Championship game that year, beating the Brandon Cloverleafs 13–0 in the final game. After defeating Cartwright the Oakland Braves advanced to the final series of the South Manitoba Baseball Association. They won the title of Southern Manitoba Champions after defeating Reston in two straight games. Oakland then went on to defeat Rivers in the battle of the Northern and Southern Manitoba Leagues.

Blight Bros

Floyd Blight

Born on May 4, 1927–September 17, 1993

Floyd was an excellent pitcher who started playing senior ball at 15 years old. He was a strong power hitter, who was the only player to hit one over the Oakville School, and drilled the longest homer ever hit at the Kenora-Keewatin Tournament. Floyd played 30 tournaments in 1949 throughout June and July. Floyd played mainly for Oakville and Poplar Point, but did some pitching for Portage and Neepawa (at Clear Lake).

Don Blight

Born on February 22, 1930.

“Ding” started playing senior ball at age 14 and played until age 40 with teams like Poplar Point, Portage, Neepawa, MacGregor, Fort Whyte, Carman Cardinals and Oakville. Don started as shortstop, later was catcher, and primarily played tournament baseball.

Ken Blight

Born December 14, 1933.

Ken was a southpaw pitcher who started with Portage at age 24 against Poplar Point. Ken played three years with Oakville in a junior league with Winnipeg Maroons, Portage and MacGregor, in late 40`s and early 50`s. Ken played first base, outfield and pitcher for 17 years, played tournament ball extensively, and pitched a 3-2 win over Winnipeg Buffaloes for Neepawa.

Boissevain Centennials 1991–1996

From 1991-1996 the Boissevain Centennials dominated the South West League and were regular attendees at the Manitoba Senior AA Championships where they often took home the titles.

The team won the S.W.B.L. title each year from 1991-1994 and again in 1996. In 1993 and 1994 they finished their season undefeated.

In 1991 and 1996 the Centennials won the Manitoba Senior AA Championship. In 1992 and 1993 they qualified for the provincial competition and made it to the semi-finals.

In 1996 at the Senior AA Championships held at Grandview the team gave up only five runs in their first five games thanks to M.V.P. pitcher, Junior Brake.

Miami Baseball Club 1956–1961

From 1956–1962 the Miami Senior Team played in the South Central Border League (also known as the South Central League and South Eastern Manitoba League). The team often competed against local teams such as Winkler, Altona, Plum Coulee, Carman, Roland, and Morden. The league expanded to include several teams from the United States, allowing the Miami team to compete against Cavalier, Walhall, and Neche out of North Dakota.

The team consisted of players from neighbouring towns, including Manitou, Graysville, Altamont, and Roland. Many of these players have been previously inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame as individuals and as a part of other successful teams.

The team was extremely successful in this league, winning the League in 1956, 1957, 1958, and 1960. They went on to win the Play-off Championships in each of these years except 1957 when they lost to Carman in the semi-finals.

They were often victorious when they travelled to local tournaments. In the Annual Morden Tournament held on July 1st saw them in the finals each year from 1956-1960. In 1957 and 1960 they took hold the title of tournament champions.

Birtle Blue Jays 1999–2004

The Birtle Blue Jays were a small town team that played in the Manitoba Senior Baseball League. They competed at a high calibre level and were an extremely successful team.

In 1999 they lost in the title in Manitoba Senior Baseball League Championship Finals in a seven game series that went right to the last game. The following year they redeemed themselves, by winning the M.S.B.L. Championships and taking home the Manitoba Senior AAA Crown. This feat was accomplished once again in 2002 and 2004.

In 2001 the Blue Jays attended the Nationals in Kentville, Nova Scotia. The tournament had a brilliant outcome with the Blue Jays will the President’s Cup. In 2003 they attended Nationals once more but were not as successful, losing in the semi-final game. After winning their third M.S.B.L. Championship and AAA Crown in 2004 they attended Nationals in Kamploops B.C. in 2005.

Ron Toews

Toews was an impressive pitcher and short stop, he began playing in Plum Coulee at age 12 and spent much of his early career playing for his home town. He was recruited by Winkler in 1962 and 1963 to play in the Manitoba Juvenile Provincials where they won the championship. He was a member of the Plum Coulee Senior team from 1960-1964, 1965 and 1966. In 1963 this team won the local Senior League. In the summer of 1964 he joined the Brandon Cloverleafs as a pitcher and short stop. He later rejoined the team in July 1966 after spending the 1965 season in British Columbia with the Can-Am League champion Trail Smoke Eaters. He won the Manitoba Senior Baseball League Championship with the Brandon Cloverleafs in 1966 and 1967. He pitched with the St. Agathe Bisons for the Canadian Nationals in 1970. Following the end of his playing career he coached at the Greendell Community Club from 1986-1996. Won the Bonvital Championship in 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990 and 1995 and later served as a Greendell Community Club Executive from 1997-1998. He also played with the Winnipeg Colonels Fastball Club and was inducted into the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame in 2008. Toews was inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006 along with his family for their dedication to baseball in Plum Coulee.

Bob Paradine

Paradine played with the Binscarth Orioles in the Manitoba Senior Baseball League from 1981-1990. The Orioles won the league title in 1982, 1984 and 1986. He was named the M.S.B.L. All-star Outfielder five times while playing with the Orioles. He then served as the President of Binscarth Minor Ball for ten years. Paradine was a very successful fastball coach, often coaching three female teams per year. From 1996-2008 had many teams reach the finals, earning provincial gold numerous times in each age category he coached. He is greatly appreciated in his community as he provided many local girls the opportunity to play top calibre ball. All three of his daughters received scholarships to play in the United States.


Bob Paradine Newspaper Article 1976

These articles are gathered from University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections, Winnipeg Tribune Collection

Terry Kirlin

Kirlin played in the Manitoba Junior Baseball League for six years, four with Transcona and two with Legion 141. He led the league in home runs and was a two-time All-star. He then played for Iowa Western College in 1974 and Augsberg University from 1975-1978. Upon returning to Manitoba in 1978 he started the season in Dauphin. The following season, in 1979, he joined the Elmwood Giants Seniors. With the Giants he was considered a key player, appointed captain and served as playing coach until he retired from playing. While playing with the Elmwood Giants they appeared in the League finals twelve times, winning one Redboine League championship. He then served as the Elmwood Giants Seniors coach until 1997. He led the Giants to fourteen League Finals, one League Championship, one Provincial Championship and four Western Canadian Championship appearances. As a captain and coach he was well respected and loved. He was known for handing out player report cards to teach and encourage his team. He also served on the Redboine Board of Directors from 1989-1998 as a player representative, Vice President and as President.

Glen Hunter

Hunter has been part of Manitoba Baseball from the late 1970s as a player, coach and clinician. While with the Elmwood Giants Bison Baseball team he won the Provincial Championships and the Western Canadian Championships in 1978. From 1978-1981 he played on the Elmwood Giants Junior team, winning League Championships in 1978, 1979 and 1980 as well as the National Junior Championships in 1978, Western Canadian Championships in 1979 and winning silver at the Western Canadian Championships in 1980. This team was inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006. From 1982-1993 he played for the Elmwood Giants Senior team. The team made it to the league finals in 1982-1988 and 1990-1993. While playing for the Giants he was selected for the Redboine League All-star team four times. Since the late 1980s he has been involved in organizing clinics for both players and coaches and is considers one of Manitoba’s leadings clinicians. In 2008 he was chosen as Manitoba’s High Performance Coach of the Year. He has also coached numerous teams, including the Provincial Midget All-Star team who finished fourth at the National Championships in 2008 and the Elmwood Giants Juniors who won the Western Canadian Championships in 2010. He has also been highly involved with the administration of the M.J.B.L. and recently served as Vice-President and Director of Media Relations.