2002 Inductees

Jean (Dack) Campbell
Athlete Category
Jean Campbell started playing in softball tournaments for Warren where she was coached by her father, Conrad Dack, and Alex Stewart. At age 16, she was invited to play junior ball in Winnipeg for Elmwood Pats and took advantage of this opportunity as there were no organized leagues in her area. In 1957 she was named the most valuable player in the Greater Winnipeg Junior Girls Softball League and a member of the all-star team. While still junior age, the diminutive pitcher moved to senior "A" ranks the next season with West Kildonan Tigerettes and led the team to the final against the defending Western Canadian champion CUAC Blues. One of the youngest players in the league, she won the MVP trophy. After moving to Teulon in 1961 and having three children, Campbell began playing again in 1973 and helped Teulon Cougarettes to the Winnipeg and District League "C" Division championship.
Juanita Clayton
Athlete Category
Juanita Clayton's catching career started at age eight in Kaleida, a small hamlet south of Manitou. It ended due to chronic back problems at age 27 following the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia where she was a member of Canada's first Olympic softball team. Along the way, she played in two World Youth Tournaments and the 1991 and 1995 Pan Am Games. Locally, she played with Morden Fighting Saints and Classics prior to joining Smitty's senior women's team in 1988. Clayton was a team leader and played an integral role in the team's national medal success through the early 1990s and the team's first Canadian championship in 1995. She also played four years at Utah State where she earned a degree in social work.
Karen Doell
Athlete Category
Karen Doell was playing Little League baseball at age eight and by age 13 senior women's softball with Winkler Skylarks. In her first year she was selected as MVP in the provincial championship. In 1983, she joined Smitty's juniors and helped the Winnipeg-based team win bronze in the Canadian championship. Outstanding defensively at second base, she consistently led Smitty's in batting average and RBI as the team won six medals in national championships over the next 15 years including three gold at the senior women's level. A member of Canada's National team from 1990-1996, Doell played in the 1991 and 1995 Pan Am Games and the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Leible Hershfield
Athlete Category
Leible Hershfield roamed centre field without a glove and that's what many old-time players and fans remember about him. But the record shows that he was not only a sensational outfielder from the 1920s through the early 1950s, but also an outstanding hitter. He helped YMHA, Globelites, Shore's Sashmen and Airports win many league and provincial championships and, in his 28th straight season of senior play, was a member of the 1952 Western Canadian champions, Branch 141 Legion. An all-around athlete, Hershfield was named to the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 1981 and selected as Manitoba's Jewish Athlete of the Century in 2000. He also was a founder of the first 60-plus slo-pitch league that plays at Kildonan Park.
Olive (Bend) Little
Athlete Category
Olive Little was the first Manitoban elected to the Softball Canada Hall of Fame being inducted as an athlete in 1983. In 1985, she became the first person inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame strictly on softball ability. An outstanding pitcher, she began to receive recognition in 1937 when she commuted from Poplar Point to play for the Norwood senior women's team. She then moved to CUAC Blues where she helped the team win the provincial championship in 1940. In 1943, she became a Rockford Peach joining the All American Girls Professional Baseball League in its first season. With Rockford, she pitched four no-hitters and was an all-star before ending her career in 1945 and returning to Poplar Point to raise her family.
Beatrice (Hall) McKenzie
Athlete Category
When people speak about the glory days of women's softball in Winnipeg when games were played in front of crowds in the thousands, Bea McKenzie is one name usually mentioned. McKenzie won a Manitoba Intermediate Championship with St. Vital Rovers in 1930 and several senior championships with St. Boniface Athletics during that decade and the 1940s. A perennial all-star at catcher and often described as the "backbone" of the Athletics, McKenzie continued to play until 1952. In 1951 when she played several positions, a Winnipeg Free Press reporter wrote, "the ageless Bea would be the logical selection as the best all round player in the league."
Grant Skinner
Athlete Category
Grant Skinner was born to be a softball player and he became one of Manitoba's best at an early age. Tutored by his father Larry, who was a top player and coach and later Softball Canada executive director, Grant began playing senior "A" ball with Kiewel's Seals in 1967 at age 15. In 1972, he played for the Winnipeg Black Knights in the Canadian Senior Men's Championship and in 1973 joined the Winnipeg Colonels of the newly formed Western Major Fastball League (WMFL). During his years in the WMFL, he was a perennial all-star at second base and won four batting titles. In 1978 he had a league record average of .404. He later played for Manitoba in several Canadian championships winning all-star honours twice and MVP in 1980. In 1983, Canada won the gold medals in the Pan Am Games with Skinner hitting a home run and driving in four runs in the final over the USA. Skinner moved east in 1984 where he played on Canadian championship teams in 1989 and 1993.
Gerry Howard
All-Around Category
Gerry Howard was the first official ever inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame receiving that honour in 1996. He also was inducted into the Softball Canada Hall of Fame as an official in 1995. A former Softball Manitoba and Softball Canada umpire-in-chief, he has umpired and evaluated at championships throughout the world and currently is a deputy director of officiating for the International Softball Federation. He was named to the International Softball Hall of Fame in 1996. Here in Manitoba, he has been a role model for our officials. Howard has contributed to the sport in various capacities beyond calling balls and strikes and was recognized for his service to the province as well as nationally and internationally in 1995 when he was named the Softball Manitoba's fifth honourary life member. He presently serves on the association board of governors.
John Shaley
All-Around Category
John Shaley was nominated for the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame as a coach/manager, but he is being inducted in the all-around category. Best known for his success with the CUAC Blues senior women's team that he coached from 1941-47 and managed from 1948-73, Shaley also served on the Manitoba Softball Association executive. He played a pivotal role in restructuring of the association in 1967 and served as Manitoba commissioner of the Canadian Amateur Softball Association from 1968-1970. In 1981, he received a long service award for his outstanding contribution to softball in Manitoba and 1991 he was named to the Softball Canada Hall of Fame in the builder category.
Morris Simcoff
All-Around Category
Morris Simcoff was one of Manitoba's best-known umpires for more than 30 years. Affectionately called Rosie by players and coaches, Simcoff also was one of the most colorful umpires in the province. He loved people and he loved to umpire at all levels from minor to senior and claimed he had never ejected a player or coach from a game. His favourite group was the senior women so, in 1973, when Softball Manitoba held its first senior fast pitch elimination tournament to determine the province's representative in the Canadian Senior Women's Championship, the association named its championship trophy in honour of Mo. And who better. He served on the provincial executive for several years and was recognized as Softball Manitoba's second honourary life member in 1980. He passed away that year and each year an award in his memory is presented annually for contributions to women's softball in the province.
Stan Shaley
Coach/Manager Category
Stan Shaley will have the honour of being the first coach/manager in the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame. While he and his brother John will be recognized individually for their achievements, it is difficult to think about the two brothers as anything other than a partnership during their years with CUAC Blues. The team dominated women's softball from the late 1950s through the early 1970s. In 1957, Blues became the first Manitoba team to win the Western Canadian Senior Women's Championship and went on to win 17 consecutive provincial titles. While John was with the team as coach or manager for the entire run, Stan coached the team from 1962 to 1973. The team the Shaleys led to the first Canadian Senior Women's Softball Championship in 1965 was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 1992. Stan was named to the Softball Canada Hall of Fame in the builder category in 1991.
Jim Adams
Builder Category
Jim Adams began his softball building career in 1957 when he joined Civics of the Winnipeg Industrial Fastball League as a coach. Civics won the league championship from 1957 to 1965. Along the way the opposition recognized his leadership qualities and he served as league president for several years. He became a member of the Manitoba Softball Association (MSA) executive and served as president from late 1969 through 1975 when softball experienced great growth. He was involved with the formation of the Canadian Amateur Softball Association and served as vice-president and provincial commissioner. In 1977, He was named as the MSA's first honourary life member and in 1991 became only the seventh builder inducted into the Softball Canada Hall of Fame. In 1998, Adams became the first softball builder in the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame. As one who knows the importance of continuing to build, he presently serves as museum management chair for the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame and Museum Inc.

1965 CUAC Blues Senior Women

Team Category

CUAC Blues dominated senior women's softball in Manitoba during the 1960s. Manitobans knew how good the team was and weren't surprised when Blues won the first-ever Canadian Senior Women's Championship in 1965. Blues went through the double knockout championship played at the Winnipeg Stadium undefeated. They beat Victoria Vikettes twice on the final day to capture the title. Manitoba has had many wonderful women's teams over the years such as the Ramblers, St. Boniface Athletics, Tigerettes and our Canadian champions of the 1990s, Smitty's and Winnipeg Lightning, but the CUAC victory in 1965 may be the province's finest hour in women's softball. John Shaley was manager, Stan Shaley coach and infielder Laurie Bradawaski the team captain. The other team members were Dot Rose, Frankie Little, Darlene Kellsey, Grace Bouchard. Joan Ingram, Joyce Tully, Bev Sawchuk, Alda Tait, Judy Cochrane, Rita Woodlands, Heather Hextall, Joanne Bedrich, Helen McFarlane, Gail Roberts, Dianne Martin and Jo-Anne Vincelette.

1967-1968 Molson Canadians Senior Men

Team Category

Molson Canadians have to be considered Manitoba's Cinderella softball team of all time. First of all, the team didn't win its regional playoff in 1967 losing to Thunder Bay in a 21-inning marathon in the first game of the competition and again in the final. Then destiny tapped the Canadians on their shoulders. Thunder Bay didn't have the resources to go to the Canadian Championship in Saskatoon so Canadians agreed to fill in. Not all their players could make the trip on short notice leaving the team with three pitchers and just seven regulars. This meant manager Ray Charambura had to play the outfield until reinforcements Buzz Lamond and Lorne Benson were flown in for the weekend. Somehow Canadians sucked it up and beat Quebec in the final. It's the only senior men's fast pitch championship that Manitoba has ever won. In 1968, Molson with six pickup players from outside Manitoba represented Canada in the World Championship in Oklahoma City. The team finished second to the USA. The Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame and Museum Inc. will recognize the players and management of the 1967 Molson Canadians and the Manitobans on the 1968 team. They are captain Ted Lanyon, Don Scheldwitz, Neil Fenton, Ken Dilk, John Kalinowski, Jim Macey, Ron Coleman, George Richardson, Bob Klassen, Ted Waytowich, Al Glover, Lorne Benson, Buzz Lamond, Jimmy Johnson, Ron Taylor, Al Dilk and playing manager Charambura. Steve Brezden was the coach with Ron Taylor Sr. serving as team president and Bill McLeod as business manager.


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