MEDIA RELEASE FOR NOVEMBER 6, 2023
On the evening of June 15, 2024, the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame will host its 26th induction banquet at the Access Events Centre in Morden. Tickets for the event can be purchased through the Hall of Fame's website, www.mbhof.ca. Click on Banquet and follow the instructions.
Today the Hall of Fame announces the names of nine individuals, four teams, and one family who will be inducted that evening. In addition, we announce the names of two long-time contributors to our Hall of Fame who will be recognized with Honourary Life Memberships.
RYAN BOGUSKI (1976- ), BRANDON.
Ryan grew up in Sifton and played his minor ball in Dauphin. He was an excellent youth player and was chosen three times (1992-94) for the Manitoba Youth Team. In 1994 he made Team Canada. He was Manitoba Youth Athlete of the Year in 1992 and Parkland Athlete of the Year in 1994. He then attended Minot State University for two years and graduated with an Education degree. He then played 23 seasons in the Manitoba Senior Baseball League with Brandon Marlins and occasionally as a pickup for the Reston Rockets. He was a left-handed pitcher, outfielder, first baseman, good base runner, and a good hitter who seldom struck out. He was Senior AA Player of the Year in 1996 but his best season was probably 2007 when he pitched regularly for the Marlins and hit .377 with 21 RBIs in 69 At Bats. He attended six Senior National Championships and was an MSBL all-star nine times. He currently coaches in the Brandon Minor Baseball system and with Crocus Plains High School.
ELEANOR CALLOW (1927-1974).
Eleanor was inducted into our Hall of Fame in 1998 as one of the Manitobans who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Now, new research by Gary Belleville of the USA has revealed she is certainly worthy of individual induction. She was born Eleanor Knudsen in Winnipeg in 1927 and as a teenager became a star in the Greater Winnipeg Girls' Senior Fastball League, where she played from 1943 through 1946. Then, playing as Eleanor Callow because she had recently married, she was recruited by the All-American Girls Pro League, and from 1947 through 1954 she was one of the League's best players. In her eight seasons she was named seven times to an all-star team. She was the League's all-time leader in home runs and triples. She played primarily for the Rockford Peaches and led them to three straight League titles, 1948-50. The AAGPBL folded after 1954 so Callow moved to Saskatoon where she excelled in softball, hockey, golf, and bowling. In 1974 Eleanor Litterick, who had recently married for the second time, died in Transcona from cancer at age 47.
STUART GILMAN (1961- ), CALGARY.
Stuart was primarily a middle infielder. He grew up in Winnipeg and played 18U for Charleswood and Junior for South End Chiefs. He was part of two provincial championship Junior teams as a pickup. He played for Team Manitoba at the Canada Games in 1981 in Thunder Bay. From 1980-84 he played on a scholarship at Mayville State in North Dakota, had a career batting average of .370, and was inducted into the Mayville State Athlete Hall of Fame in 2017. He played Senior ball in the Redboine league with Elmwood and Teulon. With Teulon he was part of a Western Canada championship team (1990) and played in a Canadian championship (1991) in Rimouski, Quebec. He moved to Calgary in 1992 and played Senior baseball for twelve seasons. He also played in three Senior Men's World Series (1996, 1997, 1999) in Phoenix, Arizona. He has coached different age levels of minor ball in Calgary.
CHRIS HOFER (1971- ), WARREN.
Played his ball in the Interlake region, mostly for Selkirk in Junior and then Grosse Isle and Stonewall in Senior. He has been inducted into the Hall of Fame as part of both Grosse Isle and Stonewall teams. An outstanding third baseman with a first-rate throwing arm, he could also pitch and was a dangerous power hitter. In 1989 he was with Team Manitoba at the first ever National Youth Tournament in Brandon. From 1990-92 he played at the National Baseball Institute in Vancouver. In 1994 when playing with Grosse Isle he was Manitoba's Senior AA Player of the Year and MVP of the Manitoba Senior AA championship tournament in Grandview. He had three home runs and two pitching victories. Later, with Stonewall, he was part of three more Senior AA championship teams (1997, 1999, 2000). He was also a strong hockey player and now is a highly regarded referee.
DERRICK MUDGE (1966- ), WINNIPEG.
He was primarily an infielder but played wherever needed. He played Pee Wee to Senior in North Winnipeg mostly with Legion 141. In 1983 he was part of the Provincial championship 18U team from the Interlake that went to Nationals. In 1987 he was with Legion 141 Veterans and was an all-star in the Manitoba Junior League. He went to Senior nationals in 1996 as a pickup with Elmwood Giants. He was part of the Legion 141 Veterans in 1998 when they were both Redboine League and Provincial champions. He also attended Nationals with Teulon in that same year. From 2001 through 2005 he was with the strong Elmwood Giants club inducted into our Hall of Fame in 2016. With Elmwood he was part of four Provincial championship teams and two Western Canada championship teams. He was twice a Winnipeg Senior League All-Star. Since 2013 he has coached North Winnipeg teams at several age groups, taking three teams to Western Canada championships and finishing second in 2015 with the Pirates’ 15U AAA team.
OLLIE SCHROEDER (1935- ), WINNIPEG.
Ollie was nominated by the Directors of the Red River Valley Baseball League for her more than forty years of service to baseball and other sports in Northeast Winnipeg. She has held the positions of President, Treasurer, Registrar, Convenor, Umpire Assignor, Scheduler and Coach Coordinator for the RRVBL. For several years the RRVBL did not have a storage building, so Ollie stored all the equipment in her garage. She has represented the League at various Baseball Manitoba committee meetings and been convenor of many provincial and regional championship events. Her efforts were the main reason the RRVBL was the first association in Manitoba to be approved by Baseball Canada’s Reaching Baseball Ideals (RBI) Program. She was influential in the formation of the Winnipeg Minor Baseball Association, which administers city wide play. She was inducted into the Baseball Manitoba Honour Society in 1996 and named Baseball Canada Volunteer of the Year in 2006.
DEREK SHAMRAY (1969- ), OAK RIVER.
For over 40 years Derek has been an important contributor to baseball and hockey in the Oak River, Blanshard, Hamiota area. In minor ball he was a player on Provincial Championship teams at different age levels and categories. By 1986 he was playing with the high quality Hamiota Red Sox team of the Manitoba Senior Baseball League, which was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012. Later he played with the Oak River Dodgers in the same league. By the 2000s he had taken up coaching in minor ball and he coached Oak River, Tri-Town, and Midwest AAA teams to several provincial championships and three Western Canadian championships. In 2018 and 2019 he coached Senior teams that went to Nationals. He has been an instigator for baseball facility projects, such as construction of dugouts and installing an electric scoreboard. He has organized raffles, community suppers, golf tournaments, silent auctions, for sports teams as well as many other community organizations.
KEN SHARPE (1962- ), MINNEDOSA.
Ken grew up in Hazelwood and played all his minor ball there, but often picked up by other teams for provincial play. In 1979 he was picked up by Kirkfield-Westwood Park for the Western Canada 18U championship and was named top left-handed pitcher in the tournament. Then he played 15 years of Intermediate/Senior ball with Neepawa, Brandon, Cardale, Minnedosa and in every year he played at Provincial All-Star tournaments and the Provincial Championship. In 1991 Ken was instrumental in the formation of the Minnedosa Mavericks team that became an powerhouse in the Santa Clara Senior League. He was on the Board of Baseball Manitoba from 2000 through 2022, and for 12 years 2003-2014 he was President. From 2012 through 2016 he was also the President of the Western Canada Baseball Association. He was on the Board of Baseball Canada from 2002 to 2014, and since 2018 has been the organization's Treasurer.
BRYAN SWAENEPOEL (1979- ), SOURIS.
Bryan played his minor ball in Souris and was part of Oil Dome regional teams 1991-97. He also played at Western Canada Championships as a pickup with Carillon and Carman. In 1996 and 1997 he was primarily a catcher and pitcher but also a corner infielder on Manitoba Youth Teams. In the late 1990s he was part of the Carman Goldeyes Junior teams inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2022. He played at two colleges in the USA, 1997-2003, and at Valley City State College he was named All-Conference catcher. He played in the MSBL from 1997-2000 with Souris and then 2001-13 with the Brandon Cloverleafs. He was a power hitter and a 15 time all-star in the MSBL. His on base percentage over his MSBL career was an outstanding .427. As a Cloverleaf he was part of 6 MSBL championship teams. The 2007 team, inducted in 2019 into the Hall of Fame, won a silver medal at Nationals, the highest finish for a Manitoba team since the 1970s.
KINOSOTA COUGARS, 1965-1970
SENIOR CLUB TEAM CATEGORY
A baseball team was first formed in Kinosota in the 1930s. The team became the Cougars around 1961. The caliber of the team and the support from the community peaked in the late 1960s. The players were extremely committed; their wives and children were supportive; and their loyal fans sacrificed other interests to watch the team. Kinosota played in leagues with teams from Portage la Prairie, Arden, MacGregor, Austin. They entered tournaments in more distant locations, especially Kenora, Ontario. For two years they played fastball in a local league but baseball in tournaments. They played essentially every weekend. In the month of June 1969, they played 28 games! A huge highlight was playing baseball in front of Queen Elizabeth in an exhibition game in Portage in 1970.The team has since disbanded but a large cougar on a huge rock at the entrance to the village if Kinosota informs you that this is the “Home of the Cougars.”
MANITOBA'S 1977 SUMMER GAMES TEAM
SPECIAL TEAM CATEGORY
The 1977 Canada Summer Games were held in St. John's, Newfoundland. Manitoba won a silver medal in the baseball tournament. The players on Manitoba's team came from the Manitoba Junior League, the Redboine League, and the Manitoba Senior League. As it turned out, half the players came from Winnipeg and half from rural Manitoba centers. The team jelled under coaches Joe Wiwchar and Gus Beitz and finished first in their pool with a 4-1 record. They beat Nova Scotia in a semi-final, then lost 5-3 to undefeated B.C. in the final. Many members of the 1977 team have been inducted as individuals into our Hall of Fame. All have positive memories of their teammates, coaches, and supporters. They especially remember the friendly, good-humored people of Newfoundland.
2010 MANITOBA JUNIOR LEAGUE ALL STARS
SPECIAL TEAM CATEGORY
This team won the 2010 Junior National championship held in Trois Rivieres, Quebec. It had been 28 years since a Manitoba team had done this. The team was composed of players from different communities that had teams in the Manitoba Junior Baseball League. The Manitoba team did not have power hitters so had to rely on “small ball” to get their results. The players stole bases, bunted, used the hit-and-run, played solid defense, and above all pitched well throughout the tournament. The key game was a 7-1 win over highly rated Ontario in the semi-final. This was one of two games won by tournament MVP Anthony Friesen, who also had one save. The final was against the host team Trois Rivieres, who in their semi-final had beaten Quebec, another top-ranked team. Manitoba used a big four-run fifth inning to win the game 6-3 and make history.
OIL DOME BANTAM ALL STARS, 1990
SPECIAL TEAM CATEGORY
This was an all-star Bantam team formed for the Manitoba championships and then with further pickups for the Western Canada Championships held in Carman. In the Western Canada tournament, they went undefeated in round robin play and faced Saskatoon in the final. They had beaten Saskatoon 15-14 in the round robin. Saskatoon would have to beat Oil Dome twice to claim the championship, but in the first game Manitoba prevailed 7-2. Oil Dome had outstanding power hitting. They smacked 14 home runs including two grand slams in their five games. The team was coached by Doug Miner of Pearson, assisted by Murray Zuk of Souris and Wayne Keeler of Hartney. Among the players were outstanding athletes such as future pro baseball player Troy Fortin and future NHL players Marty Murray and Pete LeBoutillier.
THE TYCOLES FAMILY, RESTON
Ross Tycoles was employed by the Bank of Montreal and moved from Saskatchewan to Reston in 1974. In 1975 he married Carol Ellis of Reston. In the 1980s the couple had three children. Soon the Tycoles family was becoming known as the first family of baseball in southwestern Manitoba. It is appropriate that Reston’s ball park is Tycoles Park. Ross was a prominent slugger who became an outstanding coach and organizer. He took the Reston Rockets from AA to AAA caliber in 2007 and eventually to two Canadian championships as Manitoba's representative. He is now chair of Baseball Manitoba's Senior Council. Son Aaron was part of the Rockets in their glory years and now lives in Rivers where he has been instrumental in developing minor baseball and a new baseball complex. He served for eight years on Baseball Manitoba's Management Committee and is now President of the Westman region. Second son Rory was also part of the Rockets. He was Manitoba's Senior AA Player of the Year in 2004 and AAA Player of the Year in 2012. Later he moved to Stonewall and was part of the Western Canada champion Stonewall Blue Jays in 2019. He lives in Lundar and is active in minor baseball and in building better baseball facilities. Daughter Amy also now lives in Lundar where she is Vice-Principal. She was the long time Reston Rockets announcer, scorekeeper, program maker, 50/50 coordinator, and canteen coordinator. She has been announcer/statistician/scorekeeper at Nationals in Brandon and Westerns in Stonewall. Meanwhile Carol has been for nearly half a century organizing lunches, cleaning uniforms, arranging car rides, and cheering for husband, children and grandchildren.
Glennis Scott has been inducted into our Hall of Fame (1998) and selected for Manitoba's All Time Dream Team (2016). These honours came mostly because he was one of the best pitchers our province has ever produced. He also became an outstanding coach and clinician. However, today we recognize him for his enormous contributions to the Hall of Fame. He was one of the original Directors. He was Banquet Chairman for our first 23 years. He contacted inductees, anthem singers, masters of ceremonies, photographers. He arranged for meals, beverages, boutonnieres, complimentary tickets. He set up seating plans. He invited dignitaries. He oversaw raffles, silent auctions, 50/50s. He was ultimately responsible for everything that occurred at the event. He would want us to mention his essential co-workers, his wife Fawn as well as Bob and Shirley Thompson.
JOE WIWCHAR, MORDEN
Joe Wiwchar was inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2023. He was an outstanding coach for half a century at the local, provincial, and national levels. He also served Baseball Manitoba in many capacities for more than three decades. He has now become an Honourary Life Member of this Hall of Fame because of his efforts as a volunteer Administrative Manager of our Museum. He held the position for the first 24 years of the Museum's existence. He worked constantly to add to our museum’s collections as well as to improve the way they were displayed. He looked for old equipment, uniforms, photographs, as well as good deals on display cases, lighting, flooring, computer terminals. His efforts always peaked in the weeks leading up to our annual banquet. He wanted everything to call up pleasant memories in the minds of visitors. Due primarily to Joe's efforts we have one of the best single-sport museums in Canada.
Inductees at the Announcement in Winnipeg.
Inductees at the Announcement in Brandon. Photo Credit: Perry Bergson/The Brandon Sun
For more info, please contact Baseball Manitoba's Media and Communications Coordinator, Haley Hayward, at email@example.com.