2012 Inductees

Edna (Calver) Johnston
Athlete Category
Edna Calver was born and raised in Merrydale, Manitoba. After starring as softball pitcher and batter in Brandon schools, she joined the Brandon Olympics in 1932 winning the league title and the provincial championship. 1934-36, she pitched for the St. Vital Tigerettes; 1937-40, the Winnipeg Ramblers. In each of these years, she was named All-Star pitcher. In 1941, she married Brandon, professional hockey player, Verne Johnston, and moved to Sudbury. Here she played with the Sudbury Nickel Belts to win the Northern Ontario Championship and to lose in the final at the Ontario Softball Championships. Several times she and her Sudbury catcher, Jo Walmesy, formerly with the Racine Belles of the U.S. Ladies Professional League, were called to play in Montreal tournaments. After retiring from softball, she continued winning championships in tennis, golf and curling. A gifted athlete who practiced strategically, diligently, intensely.
Beverley Sawchuk
Athlete Category
From 1958-68, Bev was a dominating left fielder and hitter in Winnipeg leagues. In 1958 as a 13 year old, she led the Chalmers Royals with a triple, double and 2 singles to win the Winnipeg Junior Girls Championship against Earl Grey; in 1959, she was Chalmers’ leading hitter. In 1960, as 15 year CUAC Blues rookie, her grand slam won the game against the St. Vital Tigerettes. In her 6 years with the CUAC Blues, they won 6 consecutive Manitoba Senior ‘A’ Ladies Provincial Championships. In 1960, they won the Western Canada Championships; in 1965, the First Ladies Canadian Softball Championship, a series in which she demoralized BC with a grand slam. In 6 of these 8 years, she won All-Star awards. In 1969, she moved to BC - maybe to make amends for her devastating home run in the 1960s series. 2007 Hall of Fame inductees Grace Bouchard and Alda Tait noted - ‘Bev had CUAC’s strongest bat, best throwing arm and most speed’. A gifted and determined athlete.
Mae Toogood
Athlete Category
Mae Toogood was born and raised on the family farm at Meadowlea. Mae joined the struggling Winnipeg Ramblers senior ladies fastball team in 1955. She quickly became not only their star shortstop committing only 3 errors and hitting 243, but also their dominating pitcher, voted the all-star pitcher and the MVP award. She was described as ‘far and away the best pitcher in the league’. Later that year, she led the Ramblers to a provincial championship and lost in the Western Canadian Championship final to Saskatoon. In both 1956 and 1957, she took Hank Bergner’s Cinderella Ramblers to provincial finals. She died of an apparent heart attack in August 1958. A natural talent with an enduring passion, determination and will.
Steve Bergson
All-Around Category
Steve grew up on a farm near Amaranth. During his school years, he excelled in softball with local teams. At 19, he moved to Portage where Peter Dewis recruited him as catcher for the Portage Bisons of the Intermediate A Central Manitoba Fastball League, and that first year, they defeated the 7 time league champion Portage Mercurys to win the league championship. He played in the league for 15 years. Three times the team competed provincially. They won the provincial championship twice. In 1973, he was the prominent organizer honoring Hall of Famer, Peter Dewis for his 25 years playing with local teams. In 1976, with two sons and a daughter playing ball, he retired from play and began to coach and help organize Portage Minor Baseball. He initiated annual player awards and the development of coaching programs. In 1980, the Manitoba Sports Federation honored him with the Outstanding Volunteer in Sport-Community Award. As well, he joined Portage Old Timers slo-pitch team. In 1986, at 45, the Portage Wintergreens recruited him. They won 8 league championships during his 22 years with the team. Two of these were as coach. Steve is a rare, ‘salt of the earth’ player, coach and organizer.
Donald Thom
Coach/Manager Category
1945-52, Donald R. Thom distinguished himself as coach and manager in Sperling, Manitoba, a town of 200. He arrived in fall 1944 as principal and teacher at the high school. He loved sports and immediately began to organize athletic activities. In 1945, he initiated highly successful teams in Track and Field and Girls Softball. In 1947, the Sperling Senior Girls Softball team went undefeated; in 1949, he continued as coach of the Senior girls while he founded the Junior Girls Softball team; in 1951, the Senior Girls lost the finals at the Red River Valley tournament in Fargo; in 1952, they became the first Manitoba team to win this tournament. Six of the players on these Junior and Senior teams are now in the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame. He died in 1988.
Jim Nay
Builder Category
Born in Regina, raised in Ninga, Manitoba, educated in Boissevain and Brandon, and career moves to Thompson, Gagnonville QC, Winnipeg, Calgary and back to Brandon allowed him to serve as player, coach, manager, instructor/clinician, committee member - including chair and treasurer, delegate, advisor, coordinator in more than 100 capacities between 1974-2009. A prodigious contribution! A man of skill, energy and vision locally, provincially and nationally. He wanted everyone to play softball. His clinics with the North’s Aboriginal youth have prompted many more to play and grow the game of softball. Jim is a unique person who has made unique contribution. How fortunate we softball keeners have been.
Gord Wooley
Builder Category
For 3 decades, Gord Wooley was an enormous resource for Softball players in south western Manitoba. In 1980, he was the delegate for the Minto Mustangs at the South West Men’s Fastball League, and later, elected its president. Between the 1980s and 1990s, he coached 3 different women’s softball teams in Boissevain, and in 1990, was elected president of the South West Girls Fastball League. For 2 years, he was the Manitoba rep at the Western Canada Softball Association, and later, a director of the Brandon Centennial Men’s League. At various times, he was convener, director and governor of The Manitoba Softball Association. Here he orchestrated most tournaments in the south west, teams from Squirt to Senior A and the National Midget and Western Canada championship tournaments. As qualified coach, umpire and pitching technician for Softball Manitoba, he conducted clinics for 3 decades. For many years, he organized all-star teams which he brought to final camps at the John Blumberg Complex in Winnipeg. For many years, he represented Manitoba High School Athletics at provincial high school tournaments. From 2004 to 2010, he was a member of the MSHOF selection committee.

1959-1964 Brown's Fastball Club

Team Category

During 1659-64, Brown’s Fastball Club of Melita was a dominating softball team. In 1932 Angus Forsyth, a farmer near Brown’s School - named after Henry Brown who had donated the grounds for a school in 1891 - five miles north-west of Melita, noticed children playing ball with a narrow board and sponge rubber ball. At noon the next day, Angus brought them a bat and a softball. A team was born. Angus managed the team until ‘Old’ Bill Mason agreed to replace him. In 1959, they won 33, lost 2 and tied 2. Each year they played at tournaments in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and North Dakota; each year, they sponsored the largest softball tournament in Manitoba with as many as 67 teams participating. In 1960, they won the Sportsmanship Award Trophy in Minot. This Brown’s Ball Club brought a unique energy, excitement and pride to the town of Melita.

1963-1968 Boissevain Border Queens

Team Category

From 1963-68, the Boissevain Border Queens dominated women’s softball in south western Manitoba. When the successful Margaret, Manitoba softball team moved to Boissevain with its coach and manager, Bus Riddel, and solicited some additional skilled, Boissevain players, the team blossomed. In 1966, they won 11 of 12 league games in a three team league with Deloraine, Killarney and Boissevain; in 1967, they won 8 of 11 tournaments and the League championship and its Mel Pringle trophy; in 1968, they won the provincial championship in Teulon defeating a star-studded Portage team in the two final games; in 1969, they placed 2nd in the province. The Queens were skilled and dedicated women who entertained the community with excitement and flare.


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