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The Sport Information Resource Centre

Baseball Manitoba – Winnipeg – Saturday evening, November 19, at the Holiday Inn Airport West in Winnipeg, Baseball Manitoba named its 2016 award winners in 15 categories, along with three new inductees into the prestigious Honour Society.  Included in the award categories for the Baseball Manitoba was the “Region of the Year”.

Also presented were plaques to the various sponsors of Baseball Manitoba: Home Run Sports, Triple Crown Baseball, Heavy Metal Designs, Tim Horton’s, Winnipeg Goldeyes, Awards and More, Rawlings Canada and Sport Manitoba, thanking them for their support of our programs.   Winnipeg Goldeyes Coach Tom Vaeth served as the guest speaker.

Listed on the following pages are the Manitoba Baseball winners of the various categories and biographies relating to the winners.  .

In addition to the banquet and convention, on Sunday, November 20 Baseball Manitoba held its Semi-Annual General Meeting and election of officers.  The following are the Management Committee for the 2017 season:

Title

Name

Hometown

President

Tony Siemens

Rosenort

Past-President

Ken Sharpe

Minnedosa

Vice-President of Finance

David Whitehead

Winnipeg

Vice-President of Competition

Terry Couvier

Winnipeg

Vice-President of Coach Development

Faron Asham

Brandon

Vice-President Grass Roots Development

Joe Raposo

Winnipeg

Vice-President of High Performance Development.

Cal Hawley

Winnipeg

Vice-President Marketing

Ryan Davies

Winnipeg

Vice-President Policy

Winston Smith

Winnipeg

Vice-President Umpires

Derrick Dubell

Winnipeg

If you would like further information on this release, please contact the Baseball Manitoba office (204) 925-5765 or by email atbaseball.morgan@sportmanitoba.ca.

Baseball Manitoba  2016 Award Winners

 

 

Category                                              Name (Hometown)                              Team/League

CATEGORY                                         NAME / HOMETOWN                           LEAGUE / TEAM

Grassroots Team of the Year                Winkler 13U AA                                    South Central

H/P Team of the Year – Minor               Team Manitoba 16U Girls                      Provincial Team Manitoba

H/P Team of the Year – Major               Wawanesa Brewers                              Southwest Senior.

Grassroots Coach of the Year               Jeff & Kerry Trager (Winnipeg)             Winnipeg South

H/P Coach of the Year                          Nik Grenier & Jamieson Krentz              Carillon

(Ile des Chenes & Steinbach)

Challenger Player of the Year                Evania Diaz-Rojas                                Winnipeg

Female Player of the Year                     Kailtyn Heppner (Winkler)                     South Central

Pee Wee Player of the Year                  Juni Song (Winnipeg)                            Winnipeg South

Bantam Player of the Year                     Isiah Letkemen (Altona)                        South Central

Midget Player of the Year                      Cody Bartel (Blumenort)                        Carillon

Junior Player of the Year                       Colton Boudreau (Lockport)                   Elmwood Giants.

Senior AA Player of the Year                 Curtis Plett (Wawanesa)                       Wawanesa Brewers

Volunteer of the Year                            Kristal Benton (Winnipeg)                      St. James

Youth Umpire of the Year                      Riley Nordman (Winnipeg)                    Winnipeg South

Umpire Award of Merit                          Kevin Kozielic (Winnipeg)                      Winnipeg South

Honour Society                                     Rodger Sheldon (Ste. Rose)                  Parkland

Mo Gervais (Winnipeg)                         St. James

Mike Anderson (Winnipeg)                    Winnipeg South

Region of the Year                                Winnipeg South Minor Baseball

NOTE: All the award winners were present at the banquet.  If you would like a photograph of a specific person being presented their award, please email Morgan de Peña at baseball.morgan@sportmanitoiba.ca.

13U Player of the Year – Juni Song (Winnipeg South)

Juni was the team leader for the Winnipeg South 13U squad, both on and off the field.  His easy going attitude and sense of humor were contagious around the entire league.  This was Juni’s second year of “AAA” baseball and just his third year of playing baseball.  What made Juni so special was his ability to be dominant in all aspects of the game. Juni could hit, defend, and pitch like nobody else.  When on the mound everybody at the ballpark knew what was going to happen, and the opposition knew they were in for a tough game. Not only did Juni throw hard, he knew how to pitch. His ability to command the zone and hit his spot with pitches was outstanding.  He was determined to get better as a pitcher and continuously tried to be better than his last appearance each time he got on the mound.  The biggest improvement in Juni’s game this year came in his hitting. He worked hard during the offseason to become a great hitter and it paid off.  When he went up to the plate he was looking to hit the ball hard and not only did he have the ability to hit the ball a long way, he had the plate approach to do it consistently.  When he wasn’t pitching he was catching, and teams did not dare test his arm. His easy going attitude coupled with the ability to buckle down when called upon made him the type of player you want on your team. For a player to have that much talent, be able to perform, while still being a great teammate is a remarkable accomplishment.

15U Player of the Year – Isaiah Letkeman (Altona/South Central)

The team leader behind the plate from the catcher’s position, his strength is his ability to manage the pitching staff, calling all the pitches and making the necessary adjustments as the game goes on, to get the most from his pitchers.  It also helps that his strong arm behind the plate limited the running game of the opposition.  A student of the game, his calm leadership and confidence set the tone for the entire team, while working hard and never taking a rep off provides further leadership to the players.  But it’s not just with the glove where he excels.  Isaiah was one of the top hitters for both the Altona and South Central 15U teams, along with the Portage team that picked him up for Western Canada competition.  He batted .500 at the 15U “AA” Western Championships and .688 at Nationals with the Provincial Champions South Central team.  A “clutch” hitter, Isaiah also has surprising speed which adds to his versatility.  It was his on-field performance at the Baseball Canada 15U nationals in Summerside, PEI that earned him the selection as the top hitter and all-star catcher in the tournament.   Throughout the year Isaiah demonstrated the highest integrity and spirt of the game to his coaches, teammates, opposition and officials. He consistently strove for the highest commitment level, performance and sportsmanship on and off the field.  These attributes made this second year player a dominant force on the ball field, and a player to watch for years to come

18U Player of the Year – Cody Bartel (Blumenort/Carillon)

The Carillon coaches knew early on in the season that Cody was going to be one of their top pitchers, as he spent countless hours during the offseason working on all aspects of his game.  And yet he surpassed all of their expectations, dominating on the hill and at the plate.  With the bat he became the team’s best hitter, batting for a high average with power, filling any spot in the lineup that was needed. Additionally, his speed on the base paths made him a stealing threat every time he got on.  From his performance on the field to his attitude on the bench he proved to be a leader on a very young team.  Always happy to be able to play the game that he loves he led with hard work and heart.  In his 3rd year of 18U all players on the team looked up to him and he was always there to give his advice; having Cody was like having another coach on the bench. His level of maturity is unique amongst 18U aged players as he carries himself with professionalism, respecting his teammates, opponents and umpires.  Along with pitching he also served as the starting shortstop, a transition he took to naturally as he had previously been an outfielder/catcher. The team needed him to fill the shortstop role, and he worked hard all season to be become as solid as any other shortstop in the province.  Additionally, his versatility on the field allowed the team to put him anywhere in the lineup knowing he would excel there.  Cody is now attending the University of Winnipeg and playing for the Wesmen baseball team.

2016 Challenger Player of the Year – Evania Diaz-Rojaz (DIAZ-ROHAS)

This is a new category for Baseball Manitoba as this summer and our province hosted its Inaugural season of Challenger Baseball for players within Winnipeg and surrounding areas, through the St. James Assiniboia Minor Baseball Association.  This division provides the opportunity for children with cognitive or physical disabilities to enjoy the benefits of playing the sport of baseball “In a league…On a team…In a uniform” and to do so at their own pace and ability while having FUN!  Each player is assigned a “Buddy” who helps them throughout the game.  There are no strikes, no outs, and no stats.  Games are played in a fun, safe environment with the simple philosophy of “Play, just for fun!”

The Challenger Division is an amazing opportunity for these kids and in just one season we saw so much improvement and potential it was very hard to choose just one player to award.  However, the Challenger Baseball Manitoba Committee looked at several different attributes that our Player of the Year award winner would possess, and Evania meets all of these.   Evania showed improvement throughout the season by really opening up, as she was  very shy and hesitant at the beginning of the season.  Over the course of the season, she showed a willingness to learn, picked up and improved on some baseball skills like hitting off a tee, running the bases, positioning, throwing and catching, showed a love for the game, and displayed sportsmanship through encouragement of both teammates and opposing players.  Overall, she really has made a positive contribution to Challenger Baseball.   Also, Evania represented and summed up the spirit of Challenger Baseball to a “tee” while being interviewed by Global News at the league windup by saying “You don’t have to be perfect to play it, you just have to have fun and go for it!”  We are very proud to announce that the 2016 and very first Challenger Baseball Manitoba Player of the Year is Evania Diaz-Rojaz!

Female Player of the Year –  Katie Heppner (Winkler/Team Manitoba)

Katie Heppner is a very talented, dedicated multi-sport athlete.  She has been the catalyst for the Team Manitoba 16U Girls Provincial baseball team where she excelled three ways – at short stop, on the mound and at the plate.  Her athleticism, soft, quick hands and range made her a force to be reckoned in the infield, and her passion for the game and never-say-die attitude made her one of the country’s best shortstops.  During the national 16U Girls tournament in Vaughn, Ontario, Team Toba’s defensive success was evident as Katie anchored the squad.  She played 20+ innings of errorless defense with four put-outs and ten assists.  Katie’s skill set and ability was acknowledged by a Team Canada’s invitation to take part on the Canadian Prospects team.  At the 2016 16U Girls Invitational Tournament she batted .278 with five hits, five runs and 7 runs-batted- in eighteen times at bats.  On the mound Katie’s had excellent results and numbers.  During the national championships in Vaughan, Ontario her ERA was 1.75.  When times were tight, Katie was the glue that held the team together.  She was instrumental in turning those negative moments into positive energy.  The result was a team that could move forward to win a silver medal on the National stage.  Katie’s personality, perseverance and baseball skills make her a dynamic team leader and positive player on her team.  Along with Team Manitoba, Katie was one of the few girls who played both High School and community club baseball.  She played all infield positions and pitched for her Garden Valley Collegiate team and for the Winkler 18U “AA” team.  She is an incredible role model with intense competitiveness combined with a thoughtful, unassuming manner, a combination that makes her a player any coach would love to have on their team.

21U Player of the Year – Colten Boudreau (Elmwood Giants)

An outstanding defensive player, Colten played almost every inning at shortstop showcasing a great glove and strong arm.  His range and speed took away sure hits, frustrating many batters.  But he wasn’t one-dimensional, as he batted lead-off for the pennant winning and Manitoba Junior Baseball League champion Elmwood Giants, leading the league in stolen bases by a large margin.  Colten finished 3rd in hits, lead the league in hit-by-pitch, total bases and was 3rd in runs scored.  His speed at the leadoff position was a catalyst for the Elmwood offence, and once he got on base he was a game changer as many bases were stolen standing up, or without a throw.  His ability to go extra bases on any hit, including first to home on a hit, put the pressure on the defensive team.   Colten played on the Team Manitoba 21U All-stars that attended the Baseball Canada National Championships in Regina.  He batted .294 at nationals for the 4th place Manitoba team.  A defensive general on the field, he controlled the Elmwood defence, positioning players and helping the pitchers control the running game.  Colten has the ability to stay calm in any situation, and helped keep the team focused on the bench. He always put 110% effort into every practice and game and left everything out on the field.   He was voted as the Manitoba Junior Baseball Leagues Most Valuable Player and is currently attending Dakota Wesleyan University in South Dakota.

Senior “AA” Player of the Year – Curtis Plett (Wawanesa)

A key member of the pennant and provincial winning Wawanesa Brewers Senior “AA” team, Curtis won 4 games in league play while striking out 38 batters in 29 innings, and chipped in with a .343 batting average.  As the lead-off batter, he lead the leagues in stolen bases and was near the top in runs.  However, Curtis saved his best performances for the playoffs.  At the Senior “AA” provincials he won the opener over the Thompson Reds, striking out 9 while scattering 4 hits.  He then pitched the tournaments championship game over Minnedosa Mavericks while swinging a hot bat, going three for three with two RBIs and two runs scored in the final. On the weekend he batted .571, and scored 5 runs.  He pitched 2 games for the Southwest League All-Stars at the Senior “AA” All-Star provincials in Stonewall, picking up the win in the final, as he came in relief for 2 2/3 inning leading Southwest to a defeat of Elmwood to win the crown.  Curtis was also the winning pitcher in a 6-4 win for the Border West All-Stars over Cold Lake, Alberta at the Western Canada Senior Championships, helping Border West go unbeaten to win the event.  His drive and determination also made him one of the Brewers most consistent players; he seemed to always come up in the clutch when needed.  Curtis always expects the best from himself, is a real competitor and a pleasure to watch perform.

Grassroots Co-Coaches of the Year – Jeff & Kerry Trager (Winnipeg South)

In their second year of coaching the 15U “AA” Corydon Comets, the husband and wife team of Jeff and Kerry Trager led the team to a very successful year. They took a group of players that 2 years ago did not win a single game and turned them into a provincial qualifier last year.  Then this year they were one of the elite teams in the province. The Comets rolled through the city league with only two losses; but their season ended with a loss in the provincial quarter finals. However, it is not about wins and losses with Jeff and Kerry. The Tragers are two dedicated and hardworking coaches. They both work shift work which allows them flexibility to get to the diamond early for games and practices. While both of them have extensive baseball skill and knowledge they interact with the kids differently on the field. These differences complement each other and provides for a more complete experience for the kids.  The team had several inexperienced and new ball players this year and both Jeff and Kerry worked hard to help them improve.  If a drill did not work for a player they found a new way to demonstrate the skill.  Every kid got a chance to pitch. Every kid batted first in the order and last in the order. Everybody got a chance to play a position they had never tried before.  Foul language and taunting was not permitted.  That was the way they ran the team and it was also extended to people outside the team as every opponent and umpire received the same respect.  Jeff and Kerry worked hard to ensure that they set a good example for the kids and that the Comets had fun. So much fun that kids were upset about missing a practice or a game. Usually the Coach of the Year Award goes to an individual but Jeff and Kerry form a unique coaching package.

High Performance Coaches of the Year – Co-coaches Nick Grenier and Jamieson Krentz (Carillon)

Nick and Jamieson led the Carillon “AAA” 18U team to a respectable 5-4-1 record in the Winnipeg “AAA” League but as the team played together longer, they started to show incredible improvement.  During the “AAA” Provincials, Carillon finished first overall with a 3-0 record but unfortunately a tough semi-final loss ended their season prematurely.  Although it was a disappointing end, the team exceeded expectations. As busy as they were with the 18U team, Nick and Jamieson were equally busy coaching the Eastman entry in the 2016 Manitoba Summer games, a team of 14U players from the region.  At the Summer Games, these coaches led their squad to a surprise gold medal performance.  Based on the seeding on the teams, Eastman was placed in the weaker pool which meant only the 1st place after the round-robin would have a shot at the championship game.  This meant there was no room for loss.  Guiding the team through four round robin games, Nick and Jamieson led the boys to first place in their pool and a showdown with the top team in the strong division, Winnipeg Gold.  Though decided underdogs, Eastman shocked everyone but themselves and beat Winnipeg Gold and then the Central team to win the championship.  Nick and Jamieson are both very good coaches, in part because they are also good players who are able to connect with their teams.  Their young ages are also of benefit since the players can relate to them as well.  These two young men have been positive role models for the boys and have demonstrated a level of maturity that far exceeds their actual age.  They both are very calm and relaxed on the bench and do not let the ups and downs of the game affect their emotions.  They constantly work at teaching during the game and provide little tips to players to help them.  It is impressive that these young men dedicate so much of their personal time to making the kids they coach better ball players and better people. 

Volunteer of the Year Kristal Benton (St. James)

Kristal Benton has served as President of St. James Minor Baseball for the last five years and has been the driving force of the organization.  Kristal has put endless hours into making sure quality programs are in place from Rally Cap to 18U “AAA”.  During Kristal’s time as president she has put St. James Minor Baseball on the map by coordinating countless projects.   This year Kristal has seen all the work she put in to help coordinate the Optimist Park expansion come together.  Two diamonds are near completion, with more development to happen in upcoming years.  The expansion now has Optimist Park with seven quality diamonds.  The development of the park will give players of all levels the opportunity to play on pristine fields.  This year also marked a start of a relationship between St. James Minor Baseball and Challenger Baseball run through Baseball Manitoba.  Challenger Baseball has been running in many provinces across Canada, but this is the first year it has been offered in Manitoba.  The program was a huge success and offered players with disabilities from Winnipeg and surrounding areas the opportunity to play the game they love.  Kristal’s endless work ethic also was demonstrated as St. James hosted another successful “AAA” tournament and hosted the city championships for 15U “AA” and 18U “AAA”.  The board of St. James Minor Baseball will miss Kristal immensely as she has chosen to step down after serving as President for five years.  However, her hard work has created an environment that makes St. James an excellent place to play the game of baseball.  It’s difficult to imagine how one person could have done any more to support the players, coaches, families and facilities of St. James than Kristal Benton did over the past year.

Grassroots Team of the Year – Winkler 13U “AA” Diamond Dogs

In what is surely an unprecedented performance, the Winkler 13U “AA” Diamond Dogs went unbeaten in every game they played this year – be it league, tournament, provincial and Western Canada competition.  38 wins without a loss.  And all of this while going through some coaching turmoil that saw a change in coaches mid-way through the year.  Instead of tearing the team apart, the players bonded with the new coaches, winning many games by the mercy rule.  The biggest challenge came in the provincial championship finals as they trailed 7-4 in the bottom of the 6th inning.  But they came back to score 3 to tie the game, and then won in extra innings. Throughout the year every player contributed to the wins and had fun doing it.  This was a very deep, talented and selfless team that dominated in every facet of play.  A teams’ success is the culmination of the commitment of all people involved, the desire to set goals, the unconditional giving of time and the tenacity to ensure these goals are met.  This is what makes true champions.

High Performance Team of the Year  – Minor – Team Manitoba 16U Girls

This provincial team is the result of seven years of growth and development spearheaded from the Sport Development (formerly Grassroots) Committee.   The culmination of all that hard work resulted in a silver medal at the national 16U Girls championships this past summer in Vaughn, Ontario.  On their way to the silver medal, the team knocked out two time defending champions Quebec, and defeated the always dangerous BC team, putting them in the final against powerhouse Ontario.   The conduct with which this team carries itself has been a marvel to behold.  Every year at nationals this team endears itself to the fans and opponents, displaying sportsmanship, fair play and respect for the opposition and officials.  As a team the players took part in several tournaments this summer including the Clearwater July 1 tournament where they took 1st on the A side, and the Ste. Rose tournament where they finished second.  They also played numerous exhibition games against boys “AA” and “AAA” teams to prepare for the national championships.  It should also be noted that many of the girls played the regular season as members of their home community baseball teams, with the boys, where most of them excelled.

High Performance Team of the Year  – Major – Wawanesa Brewers

The Wawanesa Brewers captured the pennant of the 10-team South West Baseball League, the largest Senior league in Manitoba.  Focusing on fundamentals of good defense, quality pitching and timely hitting, they were a cohesive unit, both on and off the field, and it was a pleasure to watch them play. The Brewers defined the true meaning of a team this year as they worked together and had tremendous success throughout the year.  They also did a great job of hosting the Senior “AA” Provincial championships at beautiful Riverbend Park.  At the provincials, the Brewers won the championship, beating Pilot Mount 4-3 in the semi-final, then defeating Minnedosa 5-3 to claim the crown.  Lead by Wayne Gullett (Coach) and Ron Seafoot (Manager), this was Wawanesa’s 3rd provincial crown in the last 10 years.  Some of the players on this year’s squad were members of the Wawanesa team that was inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame in the Small Community Category for the years 2006-2011. 

Youth Umpire of the Year – Riley Nordman (Winnipeg)

At the ripe old age of 19, Riley has been a youth umpire in Winnipeg South since he was 13, splitting time between playing the game he loved and officiating.  It was evident from the start that Riley had what it took to become a great baseball official.  He has become exactly what baseball wants our future young umpires to resemble.  For a younger umpire he has very good skills and has made solid progress.  This year Riley, made a huge leap in becoming a well-known umpire in Winnipeg and the province as he applied to take his Level 4 exam and was granted permission by the umpire committee –he successfully passed the written test and the on-field evaluation.  Riley worked all levels of baseball this year from the local ball in Winnipeg South to the “AAA” league and even the Junior and Senior circuits.  He was a reliable umpire who would always help out wherever needed.  Riley also worked plenty of tournaments this year including the Senior “AA” All-Stars in Stonewall.  He also umpired at the 18U “AAA” Provincials at Charleswood Park and managed to squeeze in the Manitoba Summer Games in Steinbach during his busy summer of baseball.  When working games he demonstrated a positive attitude around the other umpires with a skill that belies his age.  Riley is a sponge for information, as he is consistently looking to get better and takes any and all feedback very well and applies it immediately.  He is very knowledgeable on the rules of baseball as he is constantly reading the rule book.  He is also very professional on the field, and he knows the game is about the players and not about those officiating the games. 

Umpire Award of Merit – Kevin Kozielec (Winnipeg)

Kevin Kozielec has been an umpire in Winnipeg South for 11 years, reaching his current Level 3 status, and can be found at the diamond umpiring local ball or in city leagues up to “AAA” 18U.  Kevin has umpired in numerous City, Provincial, and Western Canadian championships over the years, and is responsible for the coordination all the Winnipeg South umpire clinics.  He has even participated as an instructor whenever needed.  Not only has Kevin distinguished himself as an authoritative but fair figure on the diamond, it is in his capacity as an assigner, convenor, mentor, evaluator, and umpire-in-chief where he is most recognized.  He has always given the Winnipeg South region his priority in which to work, as he has served the role of Umpire-in-Chief and umpire assigner in that area for 8 years.  As with all good officials, Kevin started to gain a lot of respect from the baseball community in his league, which in turn benefited up and coming umpires.  He has always offered to help officials better themselves, and has worked with numerous umpires helping develop them into sound officials.  Kevin has taken his role as mentor very seriously; as he has guided many umpires through the various levels of minor ball and has recommended them to higher leagues. This thorough and unselfish approach has resulted in a number of his students now representing Baseball Manitoba at Provincial, Western, and National Championships.  Kevin is always concerned about the umpires well-being and tries to position them for success.  His patience, understanding, knowledge and experience are largely under-rated and Baseball Manitoba is proud to recognize the achievements of Kevin Kozielec, with the hope that he is here to mentor the next generation of umpires.  

Honour Society Inductee Mike Anderson (Winnipeg South)

Mike Anderson has been one of the driving forces in baseball in Winnipeg South for the last two decades. He has coached at all levels and categories from Rookie to 18U.  He has served in various volunteer capacities in Charleswood and on the board at Winnipeg South. He has been a community club convener and the league president.  Mike Anderson defines what it means to be involved for the long term starting with Charleswood Minor baseball, where he began coaching his own kids.  He also ran several off season clinics that helped kids build their skills. He then served as President of Charleswood Minor Baseball and in that role he took on the task of coordinating the 2006 11U Provincials.  He moved from the convener role in Charleswood to Winnipeg South board president in 2010 during some very trying times. After serving as president of Winnipeg South Minor Baseball for 4 years, Mike continues to stay involved as Past President. In that role he acts as counsel for the Winnipeg South board.  During this time also served as an assistant coach on “AAA” teams, continuing to coach even after his boys left the program.  Mike has been one of Winnipeg South’s voting representatives at Baseball Manitoba.  Mike’s real passion in baseball has always been coaching. He continues to be determined to learn new ways to teach kids to play ball and has been the Winnipeg South representative on the Baseball Manitoba Coaches Committee since its inception. He considers it imperative that we help new coaches learn to teach the game properly.  In order to make that happen, Mike is an active learning facilitator and evaluator.   Mike is considered by many to be a true sage, a teacher, in every sense of the word, committed to lifelong learning that allows him to obtain and pass along knowledge so that others may benefit.  Of all the time and energy that he has given to the game of baseball, the true essence of what Mike has given to those that have known him within the game for so many years, is the character and respect that he has earned as a person foremost from his colleagues and peers. Ever so humble and the very last person to ever accept credit or praise for many accomplishments or successes achieved as a ‘team’, Mike Anderson is without a doubt deserving of his induction into the Baseball Manitoba Honour Society.

Honour Society Inductee Maurice “Moe” Gervais (St. James)

To those who have had the pleasure of visiting Optimist Park there is one person you will recognize as the heart and soul of the park.  That guy who you see grooming diamonds and making sure everything is kept in pristine condition is Mr. Moe Gervais.  Moe has been a fixture and volunteer extraordinaire for St James Minor Baseball for many years serving in both board and non-board volunteer capacities for over 12 years holding many positions.  Moe was an 11U and “AAA” coach with the A’s when his son was involved in baseball.  Since then Moe has served as A’s director and Optimist park director – two jobs that require countless hours of time and effort.  As A’s director Moe was responsible for coordinating the tryouts for the “AAA” program and assuring quality coaches were in place for the 13U, 15U and 18U programs.  He was also in charge of making sure parents performed their volunteer duties to assure that the park was presentable and playable during the baseball season.  Over the last number of years Moe has fulfilled the duty of Optimist Park Director, a job he takes incredible pride in.  Moe is the driving force that makes Optimist Park such a desirable place to play.  He has also been instrumental in driving the current park expansion at Optimist Park, a project that has been talked about and worked on for over 5 years.  And he somehow manages to put in countless hours at the park while holding a job with the Canadian Forces.  His commitment to supporting baseball in St. James goes without question, as is his diligence in managing the park facilities and keeping them in tip-top shape, for not only players in St James, but also for outside groups and teams that use them for tournaments, high school, fall baseball, and junior and senior leagues.  Moe loves working at the park, helping out any way he can, and is often seen working in the canteen on days where volunteers were hard to find, and helping convene baseball tournament and city playoffs.  Moe has mentored a number of young St. James baseball players who grew up playing at Optimist Park, and who have subsequently been hired as Green Team staff over the years.  The Honour Society was designed in 1968 to recognize individuals for long term dedication to baseball, and Maurice “Moe” Gervais is definitely a deserving individual.

Honour Society Inductee Rodger Sheldon (Ste. Rose)

A true gentleman on and off the field, as a young player Rodger played Senior Baseball in Dauphin, Grandview and Ste. Rose.  He then turned his attention to coaching and won the first ever provincial title for Ste. Rose’s at 11U “C” (now referred to as “A”) in 1990, and 11 years later (2001) he won it again.  Using many of the same players as 2001, his Ste. Rose team lost the provincial 13U “AA” final in 2003.  He has coched at all levels of baseball since 1984, from Rookie to 18U and from “A” to “AAA”.  Like most dads, he started out coaching his sons, and has now moved on to coaching his granddaughter.  As a coach his communication with players is exceptional, making them want to play for him, a style younger coaches could emulate.  Those who play for Rodger are fortunate as they learn so much from his vast knowledge of the game.  Beyond coaching, Rodger has held executive positions with both Ste. Rose Minor baseball and Parkland minor baseball, where he helped develop their constitution.   He was instrumental in the planning and development of the diamonds in Ste. Rose, where he got his boys to help pick rocks off the fields as they were being built.  He also spent several years as an umpire, working up to Level 3 certification.  As a coach he always encourages when others would have discouraged.  Rodger always shows up to the diamond with a smile on his face and keeps it that all the way through the games and practices.  He is a fair, unbiased coach who is respected and well-liked by players and parents.   In turn, he values his players and their talents.  Rodger has a way with his players that made them feel special and is always willing to work extra with the boys to help them.   There is excitement in his voice when talking about ball, and he makes himself available to assist in any baseball related endeavor.  His teams won championships, but more importantly Rodger is proud of the players he had the pleasure of coaching.  Dedicated, committed and diligent, his contributions have most assuredly provided lasting benefits to the sport of baseball in the Parkland area.  It is with great pleasure that we would like to induct Rodger Sheldon into the Honour Society of Baseball Manitoba.

Baseball Manitoba – Region of the Year – Winnipeg South Minor

The criteria for Region of the Year includes, but is not limited to: participation numbers, hosting of coaches and umpire clinics, participation in grassroots programs such as the Grand Slam Jamboree, My First Pitch and RBI, participation in elite programs such as the Youth Selects, Western Canada Games, and the performance of club and elite teams on the provincial, western and national stages

**

Morgan de Peña

Executive Director

Baseball Manitoba

145 Pacific Avenue

Winnipeg, MB  R3B 2Z6

1-204-925-5765

www.baseballmanitoba.ca

#SummersPerfectGame