The 1990-93 Lloydminster Junior A Liners were only the second team in Canadian Championship history to win four consecutive gold medals in the same age category, after the Victoria Bates Construction (inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1993) did it from 1975-1978 in the Senior Men’s category. The most astonishing fact about the Liners is that the coaching staff comprised of Ian Belyea, Jim Harvie, Gary Thiessen and manager Mike Lamb was able to restock their team with players each year as players moved up to the Senior ranks.
Though the coaching staff had very good success at attracting key pick-ups, which included long-time Men’s National Team players such as Craig Crawford, Colin Abbott and Tim Macumber, they also assembled a solid core of local players to help fill out their roster and be competitive at the National level, which is no easy feat. Other key players on the team included Dave Norris (All-Star second baseman in 1991), Andy Jackson (Top Player – Playoff Round in 1991), Barry Ellerback (Top Pitcher in 1992), and Scott Evans (Top Player in 1992; Top Pitcher, Most Valuable Player and Top Player in 1993).
The 1949 Tip Top Tailors are the only Canadian team ever to win an Amateur Softball Association (ASA) Championship, which at the time was considered the World Softball Championship for Men’s Fastpitch. 2009 marked the 60th anniversary of the Championship win, and three members are still alive (William "Babe" Gresko, Pat McCullagh, and Len Gaull). In the late 40’s and early 50’s, softball would attract thousands of fans in the Toronto area.
In 1949, the Tip Top Tailors qualified to represent Canada at the ASA Championship by winning the Canadian National Exhibition International tournament, and then traveled to Little Rock, Arkansas to compete in the ASA tournament. After going undefeated in the preliminary round, they faced ASA Hall of Fame Pitcher Herb Dudley in the Championship game. Down 1-0 after a run in the third inning, Len Gaull broke Dudley’s no-hitter with a single, and later scored the tying run. In the eighteenth inning, Gaull reached base with a hit once again and scored one of two runs on a two-run double, as the Tip Top Tailors won the game 3-1.
William "Babe" Gresko played third base, Pat McCullagh was in centerfield and Len Gaull was the catcher for the 1949 Tip Top Tailors. Other members, who are now deceased, included: Vic Goberis (CF), Art Upper (coach/RF), Charley Justice (P), Joe Spring (1B), Bill Imray (2B), Shelly Miley (C), Russ Johnson (P), Tom Stewart (P), Sam Shefsky (manager), John Kozachenko (3B), George Phillips (2B), Ed Geralde (SS), Jim Green (trainer), Percy McCracken (P) and Ray Pulfer (LF)
The 2000 Owen Sound Selects won the Senior Men’s Canadian Championship in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan with a perfect 10-0 record, defeating the Waterloo Twins in the gold medal game. Paul Rosebush led the team offensively with 17 hits and a .580 batting average, Rosebush was named to the tournament All-Star team. Rob O’Brien was the winning pitcher in seven games, was named to the All-Star team and was named the tournament’s most valuable player.
The 2002 Selects were once again crowned Senior Men’s Canadian champions in Winnipeg sporting an 8-2 record. Owen Sound left no doubt who was the best team defeating Saskatoon 12-0 in the championship game. Pat Graham and Bill Simmons were both named to the tournament All-Star team.
The Selects successfully defended their championship in 2003 defeating the Waterloo Twins in the championship game. They once again went undefeated finishing with another perfect 10-0 record. Owen Sound were Canadian champions three times in four years with an impressive collective record of 28 wins and 2 losses.
The Doc’s Blues story started in 1971 as the team, then known as Green and Louie Realty, won the British Columbia Championships and had a bronze medal finish at the Canadian Championships. The team developed rapidly winning their first Canadian Championship in 1973 and another four in the next five years. In 1974 the team represented Canada at the World Championships, finishing seventh. Dr. J. Ross McLean took over sponsorship of the team in 1975 and the Doc’s Blues era began. Over the next three years the team began very well known throughout North America and the world.
The 1978 team was arguably the strongest team ever assembled. The team trained extensively all year from Canada to Mexico and competed in two leagues. That years’ scheduled World Championships bounced around, due to political issues, finally settling in El Salvador in November. Undefeated through round robin and elimination rounds, Canada’s only defeat came at the hands of repeat Gold medallists USA in a 4-0 final. For the team’s outstanding achievements Coach Adrian Lavigne received the Air Canada Canadian Amateur Sports Award as Coach of the Year. The 1978 Doc’s Blues team was the last club team to represent Canada at the World Championships.
Their overall team record in 1978 was an amazing 113 wins, 16 losses, 2 ties.
The 1978 Doc’s Blues were inducted into the Softball British Columbia Hall of Fame in 1990.
Donna Blackstock – Outfield Diane Materi – Left Field
Eileen Costello – Pitcher Marilyn McComb – Infield
Heather Cranston – 2nd Base Patti McGuire – 3rd Base
Mag Davis – Outfield Joanne Mick – Catcher
Michelle Desaulniers – Outfield Sandra Nerreter – Shortstop
Debbie Duke – Catcher Janice Robinson – 1st Base
Rosemary Fuller – Pitcher Marg Skillings – Infield
Gloria Greenlee (Milne) – Pitcher Liz Wood – Center Field
Ann MacLeod – Shortstop Norma Wood – Right Field
Adrian Lavigne – Coach/General Manager
Alastair MacLeod – Assistant Coach
Dr. Ross McLean – Sponsor
Stan Yip – Business Manager