THE Young and  Restless,cleaning the plants for mom,the axe  turned into a bat and the little pant suit  into a ball uniform,.hey,,we all start somewhere  .its humorous,enjoy this page as you see fit ,if you dont,thats ok to ,its here for some insight and thats all,,Play Ball somwhere!This is a fast game and to watch it  is great ,moves along at a very fast pace,players have mere micro-seconds to mentally play out the play ,or get ready to square to bunt or take a cut for a hit if possible! Practice  makes perfect,,,not to sure about that ,but ,,play to enjoy and make pals,some serious hotbeds for this game are near you! My own choice of Top pitchers,Peter Landers,,Rob Guenter,,Gene McWillie,Peter Brown,,Carl Ens,Ollie Fiddler I was Born Cornelius (Janzen) Friesen at Neuanlage,near Saskatoon,Sask,Canada.;Sec,23.Tp. 40, Rge. 4 W.3 W3 


                                                     Diamond

The first diamond I ever saw  was Pembroke School,it was old,run down,and it had discker blades for bases,rather innovative,concave shaped ,a safety feature ,for sure,the diamond was next to the village cemetery,I would go and watch the senior room boys play there and have fun!Mostly Id go home and throw a rubber ball against the barn,that way I would learn to field as well,rather innovative ,at my age I thought! We played against area schools as co-ed and learned the main principals of softball and soccer at school,we also had track and field events,just wish we would've had the fall sponges they have today! The first time I held a ball ,it sure felt BIG,,I did have short fingers!Over the years the ball evolved to a standard size,thank goodness! For my part a baseball sized ball would have been perfect!The diamond was in rough shape and no lime was then invented  yet,,,,,so all things were left up to our own discretion. Lots of cheating,no!  I remember the equipment bag was a potato bag,had 2 or3 balls and at tops 3 bats and a couple old gloves,I think the Sawatzkys owned that,so you have to respect the fellas for giving dreams to some younger boys and girls. I was one of  Here is a look at the Pembroke Kings 1942-43,Pete Teichroeb-catcher, Jake Sawatzky-pitcher, Abe Friesen-1st, Jake Neudorf-2nd, Jack Schmidt- SS,John Janzen( Catcher as well)-3rd,outfield was Jake Janzen,Pete neudorf,and Jake Teichroeb,The boys played ball against Hague,Gruenthal,Blumenheim,Neuhorst,and would go to Rosthern and Warman sports days for evening matches ,as the main attraction!All the boys had where Sweaters and running shoes!The boys had one more thing,a desire to learn the game and play it,these guys gave us the hope and dreams to pursue the game,Later on.Im told Mr.Miller moved in, and he was a good ball player and coach,that improved the scene a lot:For transportation they paid 10 cents to the Janzen boys and with the two ton truck ,off they went ,to,PLay BAll,way to go guys ,and,thanks!Thanks a lot!This info came from my oldest brother Abe,  Pembroke Kings,later the Wings add Hochstadt players like the Peters girls and boys, !thanks fellas!

Early Saskatoon

Regina Early Days

Osler Monarchs

Osler Monarchs

SASKATCHEWAN MENNONITE HISTORIAN 1

I was recently loaned an issue of the SaskatchewanMennonite Historian by a friend,Mrs. Evelyn Friesen, who is a regular subscriberof your publication. She is aware thatmy first 17 years were spent in Hepburn andnoted the article by Victor Peters on the Restorationof the Pool elevator in Hepburn andbrought it to my attention. After reading thisand other interesting submissions, I foundDennis Fisher's story of the Ens' and the OslerMonarch softball team and did it bring back amemory!We played a lot of softball in Hepburn as well,which is located about 10-12 kms west ofHague where in the 50's frequent tournamentswere staged inviting teams from around thearea. The Osler Monarchs were well knownand highly respected, even feared by theircompetitors. They normally played in a seniorleague in Saskatoon but often participated inthe weekend tournaments in the area aroundHague and Rosthern.We probably learned of the big weekend inHague from posters pinned to telephone polesthat the famous Monarchs were the highlightof the upcoming tournament - so the plan wasfor 3 to 4 Hepburnites to take in the event. Wearrived early Saturday morning to witness theschedule draw with the ultimate objective ofenjoying the final spectacle involving the belovedMonarchs and the unfortunate winnersof the "B" side.Mr. Fisher mentions in his article the existenceof a number of small Mennonite communitiesin the Hague area which included tiny villagesas well as the little rural schools housinggrades 1 to 8. My memory fails me as towhich one it was, however, the morning drawironically pitted the mighty Monarchs againstone of these communities.

This "team" was made up of the most unique andunusual players I have ever seen. They, boys andgirls, piled out of an old grain truck, ages approximated12 to 17 years. They had no uniforms, somehad gloves, some did not. They had one, maybetwo bats. The Monarchs! What a contrast! Freshfrom winning City and Provincial championships,were a sight to behold. Multi-colored uniforms withcrests and individual numbers. Caps and shoes thateven had cleats! It was very apparent to the smallHepburn contingent that what was forthcomingwould not be pretty.The plot thickens! The little team from the villageonly had 8 players!Tournament officials gathered in a circle, small circle,and discussed the situation. The Monarchsagreed without protest to allow an outsider to fillthe roster and the search for the unsuspecting victimbegan. The "Hepburnites" were spotted hidingbehind the bleacher and, sure enough, through aselection process involving more duress than democracy,guess who got the backcatcher job!?Well the game began. As I recall we had first bats.Their pitcher, certainly not the "ringer" they weresaving for the final, was reasonable and sportsmanlikeand thankfully refrained from using theoverpowering "windmill" pitch and more or lesslobbed the ball, at least to our smaller, younger batters.Well surprise, surprise, as a result of playfulantics of the infield bobbling grounders and intentionallyover or underthrowing to 1st base, wescored a few runs.Their bats. The same sort of light antics were displayed.They bunted, right handers hit left (visaversa), allowing us a better opportunity to throwthem out. It was, however, becoming somewhatevident to me that this assortment of players that Ihad been "invited" to participate with was demonstrating

a level of determination and skill thatwas totally unexpected. It was also apparentthat, at about the same moment, our opponentwas drawing the same observation and a considerable"bearing down" was taking place.The mood was changing. The fearful"windmill" was now employed. Those of youwho have experienced this pitching techniqueare aware, as Mr. Fisher recalls, that the balltravels at 100miles (not kms) per hour. But,when your pitching to a batter well less thanadult size, and who is not the least bit intimidatedby this hard to control style, and hasbeen expertly coached to "stand in there" and"wait for a good one", base on balls often result.By mid-game we had a considerable lead.Now things were getting serious. At bats theyfelt the urgency to score runs, they swung hard,trying to grand slam the ball to Rosthern. Theypopped up, grounded out, hit long liners out toour gloveless outfielders who made remarkablecatches. At bats we bloppered over short and2nd bunted grounders which were overplayed

and overthrown. There was concern, frustration andeven a hint of panic.Our preoccupation with on field excitement drewour attention away from goings on off the field.Spectators who had abandoned us for games thatoffered far more doubt as to their outcome, beganto line 1st and 3rd base lines having heard the wordthat something strange was happening on diamond"C".That Saturday way back in 1956 or 57 was a day Ihad almost forgotten. It's great to have your memorynudged every now and again. The Osler Monarchswere a highly respected, extrememly talentedball team that provided enjoyable entertainment toa lot of people north of Saskatoon. That day, however,they were not destined to appear in the final.Mind you neither were we, but this game bunch ofragtag ballplayers from somewhere near Hague,Saskatchewan eliminated the mighty Monarchsfrom Osler in the first game of the tournament.Robert J. SchmorSteinbach, MB

This is Pure History

LITTLE iNSIDE

 A note here to thank someone ,who gave of herself,a lot of loneliness,being with and growing up a young family! I speak,of course,of wife Edna! She let me work hard at my beloved Fastball,allowed me to travel,gave me grocery money,I;m sure,and was there at all times ,cheering me on .I also chose a demanding career in the Media,a lot of public appearances and the likes,she ,also allowed me space and time for that! That takes a special person,unselfish,loving and devoted to me and my endeavours,I will always be grateful and thankful for that. Thanks,Edna,you;ve earned your odd Bingo nite!


I played here::

SaskatoonWeyburn--Battleford--Saskatoon--Prince Albert--Gronlid--Melfort--Star City--Pembroke--Warman--Osler--Pashendale--Hague--Dalmeny--Langham--Maymont----Richard---Clouston--Abeerdeen==Ituna---Bruno--Karokie--Smuts--Humbolt--Seamans--Yellowknife--Calahoo--Spruce Grove--Edmonton--Calgary--Camrose--Wataskiwin--Duck Lake--Regina--Saskatoon--Rush Lake-- Casper---Brandon--Portage---Winnipeg---Gimli--Herbert--Neville--Burnham---Kyle--Conquest--Central Butte--Morse--Yorkton--- Melville---Weyburn---Estevan---Plentywood--Havre--Missoula--Great Falls--Grasswood---Red Deer--Kelowna--Victoria---Vancouver---Blaine---Tacoma---Lethbridge---Medicine Hat---Redcliff---Brooks---Upshaw---Sutherland---Rosetown---Minot--Grand Forks---Bengough---Lake Alma--Fillmore--Sedley---Cupar---Wolsley--Rivers---Oak River--Vanguard---Toronto---Ancastor---Burlington                     


Swift Current--Las Vegas---Palmdale---Lancaster--Edwards Base---Corona---Los Angeles---Chula Vista--Nogales---Tempe--Phoenix--Flagstaff---Colarado Springs---Salt Lake City     Oceanside----Neuhorst---PA Penetenchry--Muenster---Estevan---Scottsdale---Shell Lake--Blaine Lake---Rosthern     Laird----Waldheim---Smuts--Alvena---Wymark---Elrose--High River--Midale---Oxbow---Saco---Nogales,Mex---Arm River--Two Hills--Lloydminster---Cochan Beach---Leask---Lashburn---Whitkow---Ogema---Oak Lake---Carberry----Cabri-- Moose Jaw--Chaplin-- Pennant--Tribune--Unity--Wilkie--Stettler--Abbey--Consul--Dodsland--Donavon--Delisle--Asquith--Fiske--Brock--Glaslyn--Lang--Milden--Conquest--Milestone--Parkbeg--Acadia Valley   Leask     Schellbrook      Avonlea ,Renfrew,    Notre Dame       Yuma      Exshaw    Daysland     Three Hills    Wymark   Shilo  Yellowgrass  Cupar  Grenfell   Pipestone,sorry I missed a few places Im sure!!!,Witkow ,Cochin


Warman Legends Arena Display is Great

The above picture of the white glove,we as a young team where in some Provincial Tournament,and  the white glove was ruled inelligible,because batters said the ball was hard to pick up when delivered,also the long white sleve was ineligible ,too much white as the ball ,and batters couldn't pik it up,,,so in some way I made rule changes happen,good,bad or indifferent,we also threw from 38 feet,the mound was also moved back to 40 feet,to much advantage for the pitchers! Whatever,fun times!The game was evolving

Peter Froese,one time elite pitcher for various teams,most notable KK Olson of Saskatoon,was in toon area and had a great reunion at nephew RF,it was fabulous,Pete now resides in Colarado Springs,Col,with wife Mary,if memory is correct ,he hit 2 homeruns in one game in Nationals as pitcher,believe that's still a record,!!

Warman WARRIORS

Warman Warriors,it was a fine school team,that played against other schools .Like ,Osler,Dalmeny,Langham,Aberdeen,Sutherland ,and the likes!!! the team was well coached by ,Peshko,Altman,Klotz and Hamm. 
The team was a success and soon started tourney play in the big city,Saskatoon, and ventured to places like Rosthern,Blaine Lake,Radisson,Maymount,Delisle.The Warriors had  two pitchers,Ed Regier and Red Friesen,then known as Corney Friesen
we won more games than we lost for sure ,won local Sports Day Shield and soon moved up to the Saskatoon Commercial League!After playing in the D division we moved up a notch to the B division ,and in 1967 the Warriors became the Warman Gems and played in Saskatoon A Mens  League,Warman Sports Day,was the event of the year, track and field,ball,ice cream,the capper was ,that after the Municipal Sports events were over ,we would be treated to an A Ball Game!These guys were teachers,farmers,and they were good .Most played in Saskatoon League,from teams like Osler Monarhs,CNR Carmen,Nighthawks,Merchants,and so on
My idol was Carl "Iron Hand"Ens,a fast windmiller,a new style that inspired me. Carl was born in Neuhorst,was a teacher,student, preacher,and a very close friend!His brother Denny of Ens Toyota now ,played as well along with Guenthers,Dreidgers,Friesens and so on.
Other names that inspired me were Kuzmas,Kozaks,Bentleys,Zacharias,Podeleski,Swiderski,Strumm,Hulme,even sportscasters and writers like,Saunders,Elloitt,Norris,Waugh,Cooke,Wood,and Paul Hack of early CJWW.
However it all started to take shape in the Warman Diamond,practising like the blazes,nevertiring of Firing that Ball      Aberdeen,a small town ,east of Warman,accross the river, connection is a weird and lovely one,,Warman School had a teacher ,who was dismissed in mid-term,then a Mr Ham came along as a sub teacher.Mr Ham was not a rookie,he was well experienced,and ,also,so happened he was a Fastball fan!!Soon upon his arrival,he noticed that some of us boys where busy training and learning this game at every opportunity,,and he liked what he saw!!Remember now,he was teaching in Aberdeen,before his emergency stint in Warman!His challenge to us was to go to Aberdeen and play his former school team,and somewhat daringly ,suggested Warman would not be able to beat Aberdeen!!So our coaches,Mr Peshko and Mr Altman,took it upon themselves to enhance our practices and really push for the great game.The time game that we would leave Warman and head to the ferry,cross the mighty Sask river to go to Aberdeen.we went in the cars of the teachers,one was a  Metropolitian Nash!!! Teeny one for the MrAltman,a somewhat petite teacher and coach!We arrived at the Aberdeen School and commenced the game,Mr Ham on hand and pacing the area behind the benches!!When all was said and done ,Warman upended the Aberdeen school team ,handily I might add and won this game To this day,Im not sure which team Mr Ham cheered for,all I know is he thought that Warman had a really good team,and he allowed us to devellop more and inspired us to greater heights!! Was good. 

Billy Graham SURE You can be sure God has forgiven you, and that someday you will go to be with Him in heaven through all eternity. And God wants 
you to have this assurance, because He doesn't want you to be filled with doubt and insecurity. The key is to realize that your salvation doesn't depend on you and what you have done; it depends only on Christ and what He has done for you.
We mourn the passing of Ruth,she will rest in Peace!June14/07,(the same date my mom passed on in 1978).CJF BGEA 
The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptist denominations named after and influenced by the teachings and tradition of Menno Simons (1496-1561). 

Saskatoon PATS/Warman GEMS

After school ball was over we all went our separate ways ,some left the area ,some quit ball and some joined a Saskatoon team,I did that. I played fore the Pats,in Com A,coached by Smoky Shinkaruk,Pats were an aggressive,cocky bunch of ball outlaws! A real scrappy bunch,fight to win ,win to fight ,all was a go with these guys,who often were compared to the infamous Knighthawks,of the old A league,that were suspended for years ,maybe lifetime for some ,Im not sure about that!!The Pats were very much disliked by fans ,teams and umpires! The Warman Gems coached by Ernie Hildebrand and managed by Pete Berg Sr,.line -up included,Darryl Guenther,Ed Regier and Friesen as pitchers,catchers were Arlie Regier andTed Glemsner.Infielders are  Gary Peters,Dick Stoez,Al Leedahl,Jake Giesbrecht, and Garry Guenther,Pete Berg,Bud Berg,rounding out the team are outfielders,Neil andHenry Unruh,Al Friesen,Bill Neudorf,Bill later became MLA and is deceased.,also playing with us was Daryll Lubineki of the Quaker Hockey fame,and now  with the Prince George Cougars of the WHL. The Gems kept improving each outing ,gaining confidence and would become a bonafied A ball team,adding Reg Pendelton to the coaching staff ,he had college baseball experience and helped us a lot with plans ,strategy and learning to win ,having the opposition ,earning a victory from the Gems ,became harder and harder,  each year! I went with brother Pete's team to Delisle,home of the Famous Bentley bothers of the NHL.We had a good tourney,one game ,Pete even
was catcher and I pitched ,that was a thrill!However,meeting the Pro hockey players was the highlight
 of the weekend,Max.Doug,AlBentley,Bill Remenda,are all pleasant memories for me.
This bright yellow jacket I donated to City of Warman,on display with Historical  window display of local Ball Teams,very nice display! at the New Legends CentreTodays Warman Gems

GORDIE HOWE FASTBALL FIELd

THIS WAS THE VERY BEST PARK,ANYWHERE,AND IT WAS A PLEASURE TO PLAY OUR GAMES THERE.THE A LEAGUE HAD TEAMS FROM WARMAN,COLLEGE LADS,MERCHANTS,BRAVES AND HECTORS! THE LEAGUE was very competitive,and all played like



os ,all had nice uniforms,MerchantsGreen,Lads Blue and Gold,Warman  Brown and Yellow,Braves in there Wine and Grey, and the Hectors were in 

Red and White!the umpires were all first class and Saskatoon had the best League anywhere,the hardest league to get out of, and qualify for the provincials.Several hilights of the year was the annual Merchants Tourney,in June,Teams came from Sask.,Ab.,Man.,BC.,montana and washinton and the odd time from Colorado and Utah!!!the league also hosted The King and his Court,Donkey ball,the California Cuties ,all events with a flair for entertainment,fantastic crowds!!!The league games attracted between 800 -1200 per doubleheader and for special events or final playoffs,2500-3000 wonderful fans jammed the place ,oh,how sweet allthe media coverage,games on thur nites were TV taped and replayed on Saturdays ,it was good!!!


os ,all had nice uniforms,MerchantsGreen,Lads Blue and Gold,Warman  Brown and Yellow,Braves in there Wine and Grey, and the Hectors were in 

Red and White!the umpires were all first class and Saskatoon had the best League anywhere,the hardest league to get out of, and qualify for the provincials.
Several hilights of the year was the annual Merchants Tourney,in June,Teams came from Sask.,Ab.,Man.,BC.,montana and washinton and the odd time from Colorado and Utah!!!the league also hosted The King and his Court,Donkey ball,the California Cuties ,all events with a flair for entertainment,fantastic crowds!!!The league games attracted between 800 -1200 per doubleheader and for special events or final playoffs,2500-3000 wonderful fans jammed the place ,oh,how sweet allthe media coverage,games on thur nites were TV taped and replayed on Saturdays ,it was 
This was the very best park,anywhere,and it was a pleasure to play our games there.The A league had teams from Warman,College Lads,Merchants,Braves and Hectors! The league was very competive and all looked and acted like pr


os ,all had nice uniforms,MerchantsGreen,Lads Blue and Gold,Warman  Brown and Yellow,Braves in there Wine and Grey, and the Hectors were in 

Red and White!the umpires were all first class and Saskatoon had the best League anywhere,the hardest league to get out of, and qualify for the provincials.
Several hilights of the year was the annual Merchants Tourney,in June,Teams came from Sask.,Ab.,Man.,BC.,montana and washinton and the odd time from Colorado and Utah!!!the league also hosted The King and his Court,Donkey ball,the California Cuties ,all events with a flair for entertainment,fantastic crowds!!!The league games attracted between 800 -1200 per doubleheader and for special events or final playoffs,2500-3000 wonderful fans jammed the place ,oh,how sweet allthe media coverage,games on thur nites were TV taped and replayed on Saturdays ,it was 

COLLEGE LADS /SASKATOON A MENS

HILDEBRANDT,DOELL,SYMCHUK,PANKRATZ,FRIESEN,VOLDEN,ZACHARIAS,STRUMM,(P)STEPONCHEV,CHYNOWETH,PODALESKI,GUENTHER G,SWIDERSKI,GUENTHER THIS WAS THE TEAM!!IT HAD ITALL,CLASS,SPEED,DESIRE,COACHING,DEDICATION,ALMOST MILITANT FOR PERFECTION!OUR TWO GENERALS,GIL STRUM AND PORKY HULME,WERE IN CONTROL. THEY HAD THE STRATEGY,THE BACK-UP,THE DRILLS,THE PAIN. THE FUN! THE LINEUP WAS ,ALMOST PERFECT,JOHN PODELESKI,THE CATCHER WAS IN CHARGE OF THE PLAYING TEAM,WHAT A CATCHER,HE TAUGHT ME HOW TO PITCH,FIND STRATEGY AND FOLLOW THROUGH,POD CONTROLLED THE PITCHES AND ALL BALL PLAYERS KNEW THE PITCH COMING,THEY COULD PREPARE FOR A GROUND BALL,FLY BALL,PITCH-OUT AND SO ON ! HERE IS WHERE MY EYES WHERE OPENED AND STARTED TO LEARN THE GAME.



We were taught to be punctual,dressed to the nine yards,and go thru routines,no idleness allowed,period!!!I was taught to field bunts,cover first if the shift was on,cover home plate as a back up to Pod .Our infield was flawless,Ed Chenowyth,Harv Hildebrandt,Gary and Pete Gueunther,Dale Volden and John Doell. The outfield had Ed Swiderski,Dave Pankratz,Garry Peters,John Doell,Georgr Symchuck(he also caught),our trainers were Paul Kuzma,Chuck Porter and Paul Kostnechenko,all had their work to do and do it well!!

The dress code was strict,we used the Hilltops colours of blue,gold and white,many where ex Toppers and that was our sponsors way of thanking them and honouring them as well. We were sponsored by The College Shop Mens Wear!!!All players and anyone connected to the Lads ,had that pride!!We practised at the UofS indoors from Feb till spring..then we hit the diamond for the real stuff!Oh,yeah,Zacharias and Friesen where the pitchers!! This Is Dedicated to Trainer Paul Kostnechenko who passed away Mar @/2006 Sorry to see Dale Volden pass away @July 10/06,my condolences to the family,I honour him with this  College Lads section as well.

Ed Chynoweth

CHYNOWETH

 ED DECEMBER 14, 1941 - APRIL 22, 2008 ED CHYNOWETH, BELOVED HUSBAND OF FORTY-FIVE YEARS TO LINDA CHYNOWETH OF CALGARY AND LOVING FATHER AND BEST FRIEND TO JEFF AND DEAN, PASSED AWAY ON TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2008 AT THE AGE OF 66 YEARS. ED WAS BORN ON DECEMBER 14, 1941 IN DODSLAND, SK. ED AND LINDA MOVED FROM SASKATOON TO CALGARY WITH THE WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE IN 1976 AND HAVE RESIDED IN CALGARY EVER SINCE. ED WILL BE REMEMBERED AS A BUILDER OF THE GAME OFHOCKEY WITH THE WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE AND THE CANADIAN HOCKEY LEAGUE. BESIDES HIS LOVING WIFE LINDA, ED IS SURVIVED BY TWO SONS AND DAUGHTERS-IN-LAW, JEFF AND MICHELE CHYNOWETH OF CRANBROOK, BC, DEAN AND REBECCA CHYNOWETH OF SWIFT CURRENT, SK; AND WAS ALSO "POPPA" TO THREE GRANDCHILDREN, COURTNEY, RYAN AND STELLA.>>DEAN NOW IS ASSISTANT COACH FOR NEW YORK ISLANDERS

We received the Free Press and the Western Producer in the mail,Ford had an ad in there pushing their new 1949 Ford cars and I said,one day I will own one,till then my Red Flyer wagon would do!The wagon was in good shape ,except for one wheel,was bent,John Zacharias said he had an extra wheel and we would install,he went home to get it ,then we had to remove a cutter pin/nail from the axle,we got our axe and we decided to hammer and fix,boom! I had my head too close to Johns strikes,and he hit me on the head,between the left eye and temple,I must have been out cold,all I remember John hi-tailing it to tell my mom and he was out of there.Dr.Mom fixed me up some how ,she used ointment,wonderoil,and tore strips from an old sheet and bandaged me up ,I was put to bed and rested and slept till supper time,later on Mom and Dad decided to go for a walk around the village ,a good 2 hour walk,as we approached the Zacharias home John and Harry were playing tag,their  parents sitting in the shade,when John saw me ,he came running to me ,and gave me a hug,and whispered :"boy,am I glad you are ok,I thought I had hurt you so bad! We played ball together.,in the Saskatoon League! 


 

                                                  

Noteables


Rob Guenter,Saskatoon born pitcher  achieved his greatest softball dream when he pitched Canada to a 1-0 victory over the United States in a 14-inning gold medal game at the 1979 Pan-American Games in San Juan, Puerto Rico.


One of Rob’s early successes was in 1972 when he pitched the Saskatoon Roadrunners to victory at the Saskatchewan Summer Games.


As a rookie in the Saskatoon senior men’s league, Rob pitched three no-hit games in 1973 and led K&K Olson to the provincial title. He also won Saskatchewan championships with Olsons in 1976 and Saskatoon All-O-Matics in 1978 and 1979.


He was picked up by Victoria to pitch at the Pan-American Games and he allowed only five hits and struck out 18 in beating America’s top pitcher, Ty Stofflet, in the final.


Rob pitched in five Canadian finals, winning with Victoria in 1981 and 1982. In 1977, he pitched for the Interstate Batterymen of Worcester, Mass., winning 33 and losing nine in the Atlantic Seaboard League.


In 1980, Rob pitched for Team Canada at the world championships and pitched three victories, striking out 40 and giving up only two runs in 24 innings. After retiring from competitive softball in 1990, he joined a Canadian team in 1994 for the world masters and pitched his team to a gold medal.


In 1979, he was selected Saskatoon’s athlete-of-the-year and twice since, has been selected Victoria’s athlete-of-the-year.


 


Gene McWillie

McWillie was born in Humboldt and lived for a time in Watson before moving to Saskatoon as a youngster. He started playing softball as a student at Thornton school, but he commenced as a centre fielder. When he got a chance to pitch, he did just fine and has been tossing balls and strikes (mostly strikes) ever since.


Gene has recorded so many perfect games, no-hitters and one-hitters that no one can come up with the exact figure. As soon as he moved up to the senior level he was picked to play with the Weyburn Canadians in 1987. Weyburn went on to win the Canadian championship.  hat team has been enshrined in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.


Locally he has performed for the Merchants, Molsons, Rempel Brothers, and the Jacks of the Old Western Major Fastball league and All-o-matic A’s. He was honoured in 1986 at a “Gene McWillie Day” by his many friends. He has appeared in Canadian championships and world championships and gained a gold medal at the Pan-American Games.Sound+


 


Harv Hildebrandt

A softball player with championship credentials for many years, Harvey Hildebrandt’s enjoyment of sports took him into later success as an umpire in softball and supervisor of officials in hockey.


Harvey was born in Hague and played softball, hockey and competed in the 100 yards and broad jump at high school level.


After moving to Saskatoon, he played Commercial League softball with Soberg Brothers and senior men’s softball with the Royals, Osler Monarchs, K&K Olson and College Lads. He played on nine Saskatoon championship teams and played on Saskatchewan champions in 1955, 1963, 1965, 1965 and 1967, each year advancing into the Western Canada playoffs. He was a second baseman and .300-plus hitter.


Harvey went into umpiring almost immediately after retirement as a player, earned a Level 5 rating from the Canadian Amateur Softball Association and worked Canadian, world and international tournaments.


After officiating in Saskatoon minor hockey, Harvey became a linesman in the Western league, then a supervisor in both the Saskatchewan and Western leagues and held the WHL post for 12 years. At least six current NHL referees started under Harvey’s wing in the WHL.


 


 

Pete Zacharias started playing ball in Saskatoon in 1959. He played in the commercial league with the Nutana Royals, Stodola Mixers and K & K Olson teams. Pete then moved up to the senior division and joined the College Lads. He then went on to pitch for the Saskatoon Jacks in the very competitive Western Major Fastball League.


Zacharias later played for the Merchants and coached them for two years. The Merchants won the 1969 Canadian championship and that team was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1984. He has been the recipient of many awards, including most valuable player in 1966 and 1969, and most valuable player in 1965 at a tournament in Plentywood, Montana.


Pete also played hockey for several years in the Saskatchewan Valley League. He also coached a hockey team that won the Saskatoon midget championship in 1974.(D-2017)