|Ed Gilroy |
Growing up in Portage la Prairie, Ed Gilroy was passionate about sports and was a strong athlete. He began his fastpitch softball career in 1961 playing with the Portage Dodgers of the Central Manitoba Fastball league.At the time it was a difficult team to make as a player, playing in a highlycompetitive league.By 1966 Ed had begun playing in the Winnipeg Senior Fastball League and in 1973 he joined the Winnipeg Colonels of the Western Major Fastball League (WMFL). The WMFL was and still is regarded as one of the highest levels of competitive fastball in Canada. In 1968 Ed competed at his first of 3 Senior A National Championships as a player, added to bolster a strong Molson Canadians team that would represent Manitoba. He also played for his own teams at the 1972 Senior A Nationals in Edmonton, Alberta and finally in 1976 as part of the Terry Balkan"Yu Betchas", that represented Manitoba at the Senior A National Championships in Niagara Falls, Ontario. 1969 saw Ed as a member of the Manitoba contingent that competed at the 1st Canada Summer Games, finishing in a respectable 4th place finish. When Ed tried his hand at Slo-Pitch softball, he soon excelled in that sport as well, playing 1st base or outfield and usually batting in the top of the line-up. He competed in several World Championships with a variety of teams and was part of the team that won the Gold Medal at the 2005 Western Canadian Tournament in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Ed Gilroy was always considered a strong outfielder with a strong, accurate arm and combined timely hitting with a high batting average. Always a gentleman on and off the field, Ed made many friends out of teammates and opponents that enjoyed and shared his passion and love for softball. Ed Gilroy a true Hall of Famer.
|Edgar Stevenson |
Edgar Stevenson was born in Rivers, Manitoba and then moved to Peguis, Manitoba where he learned to pitch following his father who was well-known in that softball community. Edgar began playing softball with the local Peguis Senior Men's team as a 12 year old. He was recognized at the school level for his athleticism and played softball with school teams in Peguis and then at Daniel Macintyre Collegiate in Winnipeg. As Edgar grew he became a strong contributor to the success of the teams that he played for at the provincial and national levels, often being the top hitter as well as top pitcher for those teams. In 1989 Edgar earned the Top Pitcher Award at the Western Canadian Bantam Championships where his team won the Gold Medal. He was awarded the Top Male Player and Top Male Minor Player awards by Manitoba Softball. That year he also played as part of the Manitoba Summer Games team, where Manitoba won the Bronze Medal. In 1990 Edgar was recognized at the National Midget Championships winning individual awards for All-Star Pitcher and Top Hitter for the tournament, posting a .542 batting average. 1991 saw Edgar receiving the Top Player award in the playoffs at the National Midget Championships while helping his team, the Landmark Knights, win the Silver Medal. In October of 1991, a car accident ended the life of 17 year old Edgar Stevenson. This tragic event ended the chance for the softball community to witness the career that his potential indicated was possible. In the short 5 years being involved in the sport that he loved, Edgar Stevenson received many honours and accolades at the local, provincial and national levels. The Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame has created the Edgar Stevenson Memorial Award to honour his love and passion for the game. This award is presented only in a year when a candidate has been deemed to have been a valuable asset or most valuable player to their team and has compiled an outstanding record.
| Gregg Waldvogel |
Gregg Waldvogel was born on February 28, 1962 but long before he
became a fastball pitcher of note, he distinguished himself as an
all-around athlete, playing Junior A hockey with the Selkirk Steelers
from 1979-1982 and as a position player and hitter with the ball teams
with which he played. Gregg began his softball career like many other
players of his time by playing for his high school in Killarney, Manitoba.
He next played in the South West Fastball League with Killarney
Sanders Fastball Club from 1979-1984 before beginning his journey to
play with several top level teams in the 1980s and 1990s in Winnipeg,
Minto and Portage la Prairie. Gregg competed in 2 Senior A Men's
National Championships as well as several World Tournaments held in
the United States. In 1992 while playing with Portage Diamonds,
Gregg's team finished 10th in the 48 team International Softball
Congress World Tournament which was held in Salt Lake City, Utah.
As a team member, Gregg was Provincial Champion 15 times over
his career and individually he was selected as Manitoba's Senior Men's
Player of the Year in 2003 and was recognized as the Top Pitcher at the
Western Canadian Masters Championships in 2013. Gregg has
contributed to the game as a player, player/coach and mentor for
close to 40 years. He has always been well-respected by opponents,
teammates and officials alike and with his keen wit and dry sense of
humour, Gregg was able to keep the people around him light-hearted
and relaxed even in the most tense competitions. Gregg Waldvogel is a
very deserving recipient to be inducted into the Manitoba Softball
Hall of Fame.
| Jill Mathez |
Jill Mathez was born in Winnipeg in 1963 and by her 8th birthday was
playing softball and beginning a career that would take her across the
nation competing in the game that she loved. Jill excelled at many
different levels of softball from Minor to Junior to Senior and to Masters.
She played Co-ed Slo-Pitch winning several Provincial Championships
and played fastball at two Indigenous Games winning the Gold Medal
at the North American Indigenous Games in 2002 and the Gold Medal
at the Canadian National Aboriginal Fastball Games in 2009. Jill was a
stellar centerfielder and boasted a lifetime .444 batting average with
the Smitty's Senior Women's Team. In 1997 she was recognized as
All-Star Centerfielder at the Senior Women's National Championships
that were held in St. Antoine, New Brunswick, where she helped her
team win the Gold Medal. Jill was part of strong Smitty's Senior
Women's Fastball Team and helped her team to win 5 Gold Medals
from 1995 to 2000, including the 1995 win that ended a 30 year
Gold medal drought for Manitoba at the Senior Women's Championships.
Through it all Jill demonstrated her strong leadership and intense
commitment to her team and to the hard-work that leads to success.
It has been said that Jill was able to will her teammates to rise to
the next level and to believe in themselves. Jill Mathez is an
exemplary inductee to the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame.
Jim "Farmer" Pomeroy was born April 5, 1950 and resided on the
family farm in Alexander, Manitoba. Jim commenced his softball
career as a young boy playing at Alexander School and went on to
play for his high school, Vincent Massey Collegiate in 1967. He helped
to form and then played for the Highballers/Clubbers Fastball Club in
the Brandon Commercial Fastball League in 1970 and his team joined
the Brandon Centennial Fastball League in 1972, where he played until
1975, winning the League Championship in 1975. Jim was asked to join
the Senior A Pizza Place Merchants in 1976 and played first base with
this team through many sponsorship name changes. Jim was one of
the core group of players that won several league championships and
represented Manitoba at the Western Canadian B Championships on
two separate occasions. Jim was honoured to be selected as All-Star
First Baseman in 1979 at the Western B Championships held in
Lethbridge, Alberta. Jim was a fine defensive player but was well-known
and respected as an offensive threat leading his team with high batting
average and timely clutch hitting. In 1974 Jim was the Batting Champion
of the Brandon Centennial Fastball League. After his playing days were
through, Jim continued his involvement in softball by coaching his
daughter and then son's softball and baseball teams. Jim passed away
in 2005 but he is remembered through the many lifetime friendships
and memories that he shared with his family and teammates. A fierce
competitor and a wonderful addition to the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame.
As a little girl Ashley Lanz dreamed of becoming a member of Canada's
Senior Women's National Team. Her dream was realized and due to her
passion and hard work she was able to achieve so much more. Ashley
was born on July 22, 1984, a perfect birthday for an athlete that would
go on to compete and contribute so much to the sport of summer. She
started her journey in the softball world at 6 years of age and by the
time she was 21 would be a member of Canada's Senior Women's
National team. Ashley's achievements are many and of the highest order.
She competed at many Senior A National Championships representing
Manitoba as part of the strong Smitty's Women's Softball Team while
being awarded Top Pitcher at the 2008 and 2009 championships and
she competed as part of Canada's National team from 2005-2012.
Internationally Ashley played for the Netherlands and the Czech Republic
as well as playing in the Italian Professional League. She was the star
pitcher for Minot State and in 2005 was selected All-American Pitcher
of the Year. She pitched for Canada at the Pan Am games in Guadalajara, Mexico and was awarded Top Pitcher Honours at the Pan Am qualifiers which were held in Guatemala in 2005. In 2007 Ashley pitched with Canada and won the Gold Medal at the Olympic qualifiers in Thailand. Unfortunately due to political decisions at the Olympic level, women's softball was not allowed at the next Olympic Games. Even though some athletes would be satisfied with their career accomplishments, Ashley Lanz is not one of those people. She continues to share her passion and hard work ethic as a pitching instructor and team coach. Ashley Lanz exemplifies what it is to be a true Hall of Fame inductee.
All Around Category
|Dave Boch, born December 9, 1944 in Selkirk, Manitoba, has had a long and illustrious career in Manitoba Softball as a player and a coach. In the fastpitch category, Dave has competed at 2 Senior A National Championships and 7 Western Canadian Championships as a player, as well as coaching at 3 National Championships at various levels. As a player Dave was known for his slick defensive abilities, primarily at 2nd base, as well as, his high on-base percentage and batting average. Most notably Dave was awarded the Top Hitter at the 1976 Manitoba Senior B Provincials batting .529 and in 1990 finishing 3rd in hitting while posting a .437 batting average in the Masters Invitational Tournament in Comox, British Columbia. In the latter part of his career, Dave Boch was a member of many teams that represented Manitoba with the Manitoba Masters Fastpitch Team and helped them to win 2 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze medal. Over the years Dave Boch has also been a regular on many of the slo-pitch teams that competed at the Provincial level and at times represented the province Nationally and Internationally. He was an integral part of the team that won the Gold Medal at the World Slo-Pitch Championships held in Winnipeg in 2004, after defeating the team from Atlanta, Georgia twice on the final day of the tournament. Whether it was Dave Boch the defensive specialist, offensive threat or Coaching leader, he maintained a respectful appreciation for the game, his teammates and opponents on and off the playing field. He is a quiet gentleman whose outstanding integrity and thorough knowledge of the game of softball makes Dave Boch an excellent inductee to the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame. |
|Mr Reice Pelletier began his career as a softball Coach in 1981 while |
coaching his own daughter at the Southdale Community Club in Winnipeg. By 1987 his passion for the sport of Softball became evident as he went on to serve as Dakota Community Club Convenor. During his 8 year tenure, Reice helped the softball program grow from 6 to 50 teams and supported coaches taking Softball Manitoba coaching clinics to develop their own skills. He also developed an umpire system for all Dakota home games, set up a coordinator/assignor position and recruited umpires from ages 12 to adult to work the games. In 1995
Reice became part of the women's Lightning Softball Association and over a period of 11 years with this organization his teams qualified for 8 National Championships, earning a Silver medal in 2003 and two Bronze Medals in 2000 and 2004. As a volunteer away from coaching but still involved in the softball community, Reice served as President of BoniVital Minor Softball, was elected as Minor Director for Softball Manitoba Board of Directors and served as Minor Chair for the first 5 years under the restructured Softball Manitoba Board. He Co-Chaired the 1993 Midget "A" National Championships, acted as technical advisor
to the 1990 Western Canada Summer Games and became involved in the 1999 Pan Am games as an announcer for the Men's Softball Competition. He also was a participant in the MSA re-organizing committee and has served on the Softball Manitoba Advisory Board. The contributions and accomplishments that Reice has attained are many, but what stands out to those athletes and athlete families that have known him, is his level of commitment and support that he has shown them both on and off the playing field. Many years after the athletic competitions have ended, the friendships have remained. Mr Reice Pelletier has demonstrated a significant contribution to the development of the sport of softball through his dedicated service and is a worthy inductee to the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame.
1997-2001 Gladstone Whips
Formed in 1988, the Gladstone Whips entered the Gladstone Men's
Fastball League and quickly surpassed the competition. The team's
desire to compete at a higher level soon led them to the South
Central Fastball League and eventually to the Winnipeg Fastball League.
Gladstone had a core of 11 boys that grew up together from Junior
to Intermediate A to Senior Open to Senior A competition. With the
addition of a few veteran Senior A caliber athletes, the Whips now
became known for winning tournaments at every level, provincially.
Travelling for hours and giving up all of their summer weekends was
no problem for this group as they regularly competed in tournaments
in Saskatchewan, Ontario and the northern United States where they
added several tournament wins to their list of accomplishments. The
Gladstone Whips extended their winning ways from Provincial
Championships to Western Canadian Championships by capturing
the Gold Medal at the Western Canadian Intermediate A Championships
in 1999 in Ft. McMurray, Alberta, the Silver Medal at the Western
Canadian Senior Open in Victoria, British Columbia in 2000 and the
Bronze Medal at the Western Canadian Senior Open Championships in
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in 2001. The Whips continued on their path
to compete at the highest possible level by earning a spot to represent
Manitoba at the Senior A Men's National Championships that was held
in Winnipeg, Manitoba the next year. The Gladstone Whips was a team
that was blessed with the support of an entire town, the desire to
improve and the willingness to add the necessary parts to make their
team Hall of Fame caliber. Congratulations to a worthy team inductee,
the Gladstone Whips.
1967-1978 Mariapolis Blues
Teams of skilled players can achieve success in sport but when the team
is built from a community of less than 100 people it is extraordinary.
Primarily comprised of local farmers, the Mariapolis Blues of 1976-1978,
were built on a foundation of dedication, hard work and passion for the
game of fastball. In 1976 after several years of dominating the South
Central Fastball League, the Mariapolis Blues decided to join the South
West Major Fastball League where they would face tougher competition.
That year saw the Blues losing in the semi-final game in the league
play-offs. In 1977 the Mariapolis Blues were crowned league champions
when they were able to defeat their league nemesis Killarney Sanders 2
games to 1 in the playoff series. The team competed in the Provincial C championships that year losing out to Minto Mustangs in the provincial
playoffs. In 1978 the team continued to play in the South West Major
Fastball League losing to Killarney anders in the league Finals. The
Blues went on to compete in the Provincial C Championships and
were finalists, losing a close 4-3 game in the bottom of the 7th inning
to a tough Winnipeg Coedale ACs Fastball Club. One of the greatest
highlights for the Mariapolis Blues came in 1976 as the Blues won
the Gold Medal at the Manitoba Games held in Neepawa. To earn
the privilege of attending the Manitoba Games the Blues had to first
win a district and then regional playoff which they did in convincing
style. The impact of this win for the players, their families and the
community of Mariapolis was significant. Fan and family voices were
hoarse from cheering and emotions were high as the community
showed how proud they were of their boys while being content that
Mariapolis was now on the map.
The team was welcomed back home with an impromptu parade led
by a long-time fan and senior from the community, who lead the
parade of vehicles into town with his tractor. The Blues of 1976-1978
exemplified a much different era of sport that is important to recognize.
30 years after play on the ball field has ended, the legacy remains strong. Reunions have been held after 10, 25 and 35 years to reconnect and
remember the games, the plays and the scores. The gloves and bats of the Mariapolis Blues may be stored away but the memories are "still in play!" Congratulations to the Mariapolis Blues of 1976-1978 on their induction to the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame.