Canadian Polish Athletic Club 1965

The Canadian Polish Athletic Club sponsored a 12-and-under Little League program in the core area of North Winnipeg.

The CPAC Little League program sent a team of all-stars to the City Championships and won the title in 1965. The all-star team moved on to the Provincial Championship and defeated Brandon in a dramatic single elimination game later that year. After claiming the Provincial Title, the CPAC all-stars made Manitoba baseball history by defeating a team from British Columbia to win the 1965 Western Canada Little Canadian Baseball Championship in Winnipeg.

A film, 1965 Behind in the Count – A Baseball Life, was released recently which outlines the CPAC team. This film can be viewed on the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame Website.

Clearwater Baseball Club 1984–1989

Clearwater has hosted an annual Canada Day Baseball Tournament for the past 64 years. Despite the community’s small population, Clearwater has fielded a competitive team in this tournament for the last 50 years.

In 1984, Clearwater won the Provincial Senior AA Championship under colourful manager Harold Orr at Grosse Isle. They won a second championship at Sinclair Park in Winnipeg in 1987.

In 1986, Clearwater captured the Border West Baseball League title. Clearwater were league finalists in 1985 and West Division champions in 1988.

Elmwood Giants 1989–1994

The Elmwood Giants were a highly competitive team in the Redboine Senior League from 1979 to 1997. They finished second in the Redboine League for five straight seasons from 1989 to 1993, losing to the previously inducted St. Boniface Native Sons each time.

The Elmwood Giants won the silver medal at the 1989 Western Canadian Senior Championships in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

In 1994, the Giants finally captured the Redboine League Championship and competed at the Western Canadian Championships in Kelowna, British Columbia. Between 1989 and 1994, the Elmwood Giants compiled a record of 174 wins and 69 losses.

Dennis Wiebe

Dennis was considered a strong fielder and a consistent hitter. He threw a mean left-handed curveball and perfected the “Wiebe Pickoff”. Dennis was considered a great team player with great determination and great passion. Dennis was a member of four teams already inducted in the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame: 1964-1969 Rivers Comets, 1967 Brandon Parklane Juniors, 1966-1971 Brandon Cloverleafs and the 1988-1992 Giroux Athletics. Dennis was named Manitoba Senior Baseball League All-Star 1st Baseman in 1973 and 1974.



Dennis Wiebe, Newspaper Article 1970

Dennis Wiebe Newspaper Article 1974 (2)

Dennis Wiebe Newspaper Article, 1974

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

Tom Thompson

Tom began his coaching career with the Isaac Brock Royals. He won Provincial Bantam titles in 1973 and 1974 and Provincial Midget titles in 1975 and 1976. Tom was a founding member of the reformed Manitoba Junior Baseball league in 1977. He became owner, operator and coach of the South End Chiefs for 10 years. Tom coached Team Manitoba at the 1981 Canada Summer Games. He captured the Manitoba Junior Baseball League title and the Western Canada Junior Championship in 1987 in his first year as coach of the Elmwood Giants. In 1990, Tom captured another Manitoba Junior Baseball League title. He served on the Manitoba Baseball Association executive as Competition and Development Chair and served in similar capacities in the Winnipeg Minor Baseball Association.

Tom Thompson Newspaper Article 1975

This article was gathered from the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections, Winnipeg Tribune Collection

Gordon Riddell

Gord began his baseball career in Warren, Manitoba. He caught for the Warren Juveniles when they won the 1957 Winnipeg league title. After an electrical accident ended his playing career in 1964, Gord coached in Warren and St. James. He won the Interlake title with Warren in 1975 and developed the Interlake Blazers junior baseball team in that era. Gord initiated the resurrection of the Optimist Park sports facility when he coached in St. James. He coached St. James youth teams while setting up local indoor baseball clinics and while attending and instructing American baseball clinics. Gord was known for coaching minor hockey and curling and for his volunteer work at major sporting events.

Robert (Bob) Kutzan

Bob began his senior career with the Dauphin Redbirds in 1958 and played for 10 years. He pitched in both starting and closing roles en route to the 1961 Manitoba Senior Baseball League and Manitoba provincial titles. Bob pitched for the Redbirds against the great Satchel Paige’s Kansas City All-Stars in 1963 as a 19 year-old and allowed only 5 hits and recorded 6 strikeouts. Bob was invited twice to Detroit Tigers training camps while playing at North Dakota State University. Bob played for the Binscarth Orioles from 1969 to 1974 and won Senior B titles from 1969 to 1971. He pitched the winning Manitoba Senior Baseball League title game against the Riverside Canucks after Binscarch moved to the MSBL in 1972 and showed commitment to Binscarth’s team by regularly completing the 12 hour commute between Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and Binscarth from 1972 to 1974. Bob was previously inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame as a team member of both the 1958-1963 Dauphin Redbirds and the 1969-1974 Binscarth Orioles.



Bob Kutzan Newspaper article, 1975

Bob Kutzan, Newspaper Article (2) 1975

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

Sam Katz

Sam developed an immense love for the game of baseball as he played and watched while growing up in the north-end of Winnipeg. Sam committed himself to bringing professional baseball back to Winnipeg after promoting a game between the Toronto Blue Jays and Canada’s National Team in Winnipeg in 1987. He signed a deal to start an independent professional Northern League expansion team in 1994 and became owner and president of the Winnipeg Goldeyes expansion team that year. Sam captured the Northern League Championship in augural season in 1994. Sam completed the first phase of construction of Canwest-Global Park (Shaw Park today) in 1999 and went on to capture the 2012 American Association of Independent Baseball Clubs Championship with the Goldeyes.

Kris Holmstrom

Known as “Homer”, Kris was one of the most feared and productive left-handed hitters in his 20 years of highly competitive baseball. He was named to many all-star teams at the midget, junior and senior levels. Kris batted .438 in his rookie season with the senior Elmwood Giants in 1993 and won the provincial title with the senior Elmwood Giants in 1994. Kris played for Legion 141 in 1998 where he drove in 8 of the team’s 19 runs in two straight successful Provincial Senior Championship games against the Birtle Blue Jays.

Albert (Ab) Hansford

Ab began playing organized baseball in Norwood, Winnipeg. He had great range, a tremendous arm, batted cleanup and pitched in relief in critical games. Ab led Norwood to championships in the midget, juvenile and junior ranks and played with the Elmwood Giants senior team from 1958 to 1960. He was named MVP of the Winnipeg Junior League in 1956. Ab played a game with the Northern League’s Winnipeg Goldeyes and attended the Washington Senators Baseball School in Florida in 1957. While in Washington, Ab was named the outstanding shortstop. He went on to play in the Georgia-Florida Class D League in 1957.