Gilbert Plains Legion Bantams 1965-68

Made up almost entirely of local players this small country town youth team dominated the Bantam age baseball classification in Manitoba and Western Canada for an amazing four year period from 1965-68. Organized, managed, and coached by MB Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Mel Stoughton (2016) the team won five Manitoba titles in four years and captured three Western Canadian championships. Originally a Bantam B classified team from 1965-66 they won the Manitoba and Western Canadian titles both years. After winning the Bantam B provincials again in 1967 they moved up to the Bantam A class for playoffs that season. They then won the provincial Bantam A title while finishing as Western Canada finalists and in 1968 they captured both Manitoba and Western Bantam A championships.

“On behalf of the Gilbert Plains Legion Bantam id like to congratulate all the other inductees here this evening, also thanks to the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, not only for the honour you have opposed upon the boys but for the outstanding job you have done establishing this museum. I just want to stop here for a minute, I got a letter a couple of months ago with instructions about my speech, and the important part was don’t talk too long, well so I sent it away and it came back with a couple of changes, one change was remember how I was just saying the ‘outstanding museum you have established’ well my first draft I had put down ‘for the outstanding museum you have erected’ now,  they responded ‘maybe use the word establish because due to the age of our committee members the word erected may be offensive’,

To carry on, the players would like to thank so many people who made this induction possible, their parents, their coaches, volunteers, fans, and the legion of Gilbert Plains for their sponsorship. The player would also like to recognize the fine coaches who are no longer with us this evening, and also the players who are no longer with us this evening. The team has received such an outstanding achievement considering they were such a small community, although many of the guys were from Gilbert we cannot overlook the outstanding contribution players from other centers provided during this incredible run, I would like to share a few of these highlights with you,  in 1965 they won the first Manitoba Western Championship. They won the Manitoba title defeating Russell, Oak River, Holland in the finals, in the Westerns at Prince Albert they had 4 wins and 1 loss, the final game ended up being a 2 day event, the game was called off in the second inning, due to rain and a lot of work went into preparing that diamond, for the final 5 innings the next day resulting in the boys not returning home until 2am, and much to their surprise came home to a large crowd just over two hundred, lunch was served and to top it all off a town band was out, can you imagine how happy they must have been tooting their horns at 2am. So then we have a 1966 which was a dominating year, winning again both the Manitoba and Western Canadian titles, in Westerns they went 3-1 bringing their regular season record to an amazing 39 wins and just three losses, in 1967 Gilbert had two teams, one was Bantam B and the other in Bantam A. With both teams winning the Manitoba Championship, however the Westerns did not go as well for Bantam A’s.  Meanwhile the Bantams B won their provincial title beating Brandon in a very exciting game in Clearlake 9-8, with two extra innings, earlier they had defeated  Riverside Hamiota, and then traveled to Lethbridge where they were defeated in the finals by Lethbridge by get this an all Japanese representing Alberta called the Sansees, but anyway! They say good pitching will play over good hitting, this certainly was evident in the 1968 after they made playoffs, In game one of the semi-finals two outstanding pitchers went head to head, Gilbert Plains Blane and Brandons Rick McFadden, Gilbert took game one 4-2, McFadden had two strikeouts 17 with two hits Mcfadden 13 strikeouts following just three hits in game two Gilbert struck out 18 and had a no hitter. In game one of the finals in Winnipeg between Winnipeg,  Stoughton and Winnipeg’s Carry, were mining for 33 strikeouts since Winnipeg took game one in game two the ball was turned over to the young fellow Ken Bouchey and he kept overseeing the line with a five nothing win with thirteen strikeouts. In game three in Winnipeg Carrry M had fifteen strikeouts and just two hits, normally that would have been enough to win any ball game, however Blane had a different idea since he threw another no hitter, striking out 21 of the 23 batters he faced, and scored the only run having a 1-0 win for Gilbert Plains. From there they went on to win their third and final Western Canadian title, and just as an antidote many of  the boys graduated to the midget ranks that year and again won the Manitoba Championship. I would like to thank my wife Linda for helping me getting all these players to Ontario,  British Columbia, and down to the States, as well as listening to things such as ‘are you serious’ ‘i dont believe it’ I know that each one of you at some time in your life have had something given to you only to have that something taken away from you, well tonight you have had something given to you, and that something is an induction into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame, and this is something that can never ever be taken away from you, Congratulations 

Eastern Manitoba All Stars 1978

This team was formed from members of the Eastern Manitoba intermediate Baseball League to compete in a provincial playoff to determine the Manitoba Representative at the Western Canadians to be held in Nanaimo. Two separate simultaneous provincial tournaments were held with the two winners, Carman and Eastern All-stars, meeting in a best of three game final series. In their tournament held at Carberry the All-stars lost the first game and were required to win five straight 9-inning games to earn the victory. They also lost the first game against Carman in the finals but Don Maskiw pitched and won two 9-inning games on the same day to secure the trip west.  That trip was almsot cancelled when Air Canada went on strike but a chartered DC3 and a bus ride got them to Nanaimo just four hours before their first game. However, the All-stars were determined and talented as they went undefeated, climaxed by a 10-3 win over B.C for the title. Carl Watson earned the top pitcher award in the tournament and John Hindle earned the top hitter award.

Ebb & Flow Lakers 1990-1996

The Ebb and Flow Lakers representing the Ebb and Flow First Nation in central Manitoba were a very successful tournament team during the early 90’s not only in the province but also in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Minnesota. Although no statistical records were kept, the team had an estimated .900 winning percentage against several of competition including such top teams as the Elmwood Giants, Teulon Cardinals, Reston Rockets. Competing one year in the provincial intermediate playoffs they were runner-ups to the Waskada Orioles. Their successes culminated in 1995 at Blaine, Minnesota, when they won the North American Indigenous Games final by a score of 4-1. Archie Mclover pitched a three hitter to beat the state-selected team representing Minnesota.


“The Ebb and Flow Lakers, are the first First Nations team to be inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame, Charlie tells me they are the only First Nations team, to play in the senior baseball league in Canada. During the 1990’s they had two teams, a team of young guys and a team of old ones, I used to see them down in Stonewall, every year in the 90’s, they loved their ball but it’s not easy keeping a team on a Native Reserve, together and playing. They played all over Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba they were happy to play against the Teulon Cardinals and the Elmwood Giants, who were two of our premier teams, but the highlight of their years, was in 1995 when they won the North American Indigenous games, in Minnesota. The pitcher and I hope he is here tonight Archie who is just about 50 years old and still pitches for them, he pitched the complete game three hitter, when they won the North American Championship. Now these guys arent playing ball some of them are very good hockey players, I went with them one time, even though they said they didnt need anyone to come with because they thought they could take care of themselves, but I said no you gotta take somebody to be you guide, so they said well we dont like him but if we have to take someone we will take Gladwyn to look after us, Anyway they love hockey and ball and are very honored to be inducted as a small community team into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame”

Neepawa Farmers 1993-1997

The Neepawa Farmers achieved their greatest success as a member of the Manitoba Senior Baseball League during the five years from 1993-1997. They went to the MSBL finals all five years. In 1993 and 1997 they won league titles, and in the latter year they capped off the five year run by winning provincial AAA championship. Their ’93-97 regular season MSBL stood at 59 wins and 43 losses but they were particularly good in playoff action with 31 wins against only 16 losses. Four members of their roster have already been inducted as individuals into the MB BB HOF with two more entering in 2017.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, good evening, my name is Dave Bennett I have been one of the on field announcers for the Farmers for 25 years, I am very pleased and honored to be asked to introduce the team members to you tonight. The Neepawa Farmers have always encouraged and given an opportunity to allow young lads to play on their team to develop their baseball skills. From 1986-2000, those 15 years the Late Workie Award has gone to a member of the Neepawa Farmers 7 times, out of the 15. In fact in looking over the list of team members being inducted tonight I see, that over half of them attended Neepawa school, well I was part of the staff there for ovr 40 years, so I saw first hand what commitment they had to the sports development, if I didn’t have them in one of my classes, perhaps they listened to me as my Vice Principal side but they always saw me for a good reason. I am pleased to introduce the Neepawa Farmers 1993-1997 the MSBL Champions of 93 and in 97. “

Bob Boyce

Bob Boyce (1950-2013) umpired Junior and Senior baseball for over 30 years in the Winnipeg area. He traveled to and from most of his games by city transit which was viewed as a tremendous sign of dedication. He also mentored and evaluated many young umpires who developed into top level umpires. For many years Bob assigned the umpires to Junior and Senior games, often on short notice, making sure the games had competent umps. He refused however to provide replacements umpires when Northern League umps went on strike in 1995. Bob was highly respected among other prominent Manitoba umpires and the Winnipeg baseball community in general for his competency and long-time dedication and service to the game.

“To present the induction of an umpire it will be my pleasure, Bob Boyce. This evening I will be presenting to Grant Rodgers, thank you for asking me to present Jacko (Grant)  I appreciate it.  If you had time to read some of Bob’s bio you probably saw that it said he took a bus, so you can imagine when there is a double header you got your base stuff and you got your plate equipment, that’s a big bag. Over the shoulder, on the bus, pay your fare, and who knows when the last time that equipment got washed…that was Bob. You will notice in there that is says something about him breaking his thumb, you will never guess who the umpire who replaced him for that after a double header, you’re looking at him. After that game I asked a guy Billy  how did Bob do and he said I think he has got a broken collar bone, I said did he get to the hospital? And he said that Bobby told him I dont know, I asked him would you like an ambulance or would you like someone to drive you, what would you like me to do, Bobby said nah its okay Billy ill take the bus. Now he did take the bus but he didnt go tot the hospital, he took the portage bus and went to the pharmacy for some medicine. I can stand up here and talk to you about what Bob did for me and all the rest of the guys but I will let Jacko take over, so to count off everyone strike 1 strike 2 strike 3 please welcome to the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame,

Mr. Bob Boyce”