Early Swift Current
The L-P is well read in SC ,so that day I had 2 calls to come and play ball,one from Frontier Moving,and one from Bill and Harvs.,I chose Bill and Harvs and on with the show this is it!
The SC league was known as SC and District Fastball League,teams were from Neville,Burnham,Rush Lake,Bill & Harvs.Frontier Moving,Healy Hotel and the Hondas from Wymark area!Each team actually was in fine shape ,all had 2 pitchers and 3-4 extra players for a nice 14 man roster,Burnham had a great pitcher,Darryl Wallace,and good hitting as well,Rush Lake had Stew Wells and Doug Robertson on the mound and where a threat at the plate at all times,Neville had the Broten boys and good hitting and good defencively as well,.In Swift Current the Frontires had Wilf Montgomery and Ron Giesbrecht on the hill ,and was a real good all around ball team,the Healy boys had workhorseVan Wamer on the hill and perhaps the weakest team,Hondas had Rueben Wiebe as their ace and were a real proud bunch of mennonite boys that never gave up ,Bill & Harvs was by far the most hated team ,because we were good and gave the teams the fits,pitching veterans John Wiebe and Red ,me ,with an all-around veteran bunch,Ken Thomas,Bruce Klassen,Terry Riddle,Daryl Schlamp and Johnny Pribyl were the backbone of this team!Team manager ,coach Jack Byers was the leader, no two ways about it ,this was His team!!!He ventured where no one walked ,to A tournaments in Saskatoon,Regina,Plentywood,Havre and Great Falls ,Minot,ND, as well as Medicine Hat ,AB.
Bill & Harvs also had their own 24 team open class tourney,drawing all A teams from Saskatoon,Regina,Moose Jaw and Alberta , Montana and North Dakota!!!
Mexico ,USA Tour The tour took us to Las Vegas ,then off to Lancaster,home ,against the Edwards Air Base ,went on to
Lancaster Chemelions,We then played in Corona,Vista, Nogales,Mex,and to Phoenix. We played 18 games and won 11 and lost7.
We also played in Oceanside,Chula Vista!
Each city treated us like heros ,with the mayors and recreation and ambassadors at the games.
We all received momentous and souvenirs,a great all around idea and good will
The tour was dedicated to Marty Froese,my cousin,pitcher and friend,He accidentally died in a car mishap at Butte Montana,on the way down to join our tour,Marty was married to Becky, Miss you,Marty .Marty was a great pitcher,a lefty,fast and had the neatest change-up around,He thru a fine drop ball as well. Marty was a dedicated ball player,team man,good hitter and excellent attitude!He was self driven,motivated and a complete player. worked hard at his craft and would have developed into a world class thrower,had he had the chance.T he tour was devastated when nephew Wilf called me about the sad news,I, imediately called Martys mom,my aunt and asked what we should do,no hesitation,Marty would want you to go on with the tour. we did so in his Honour!!! Swift Current:: . This was as competitive, rivalry laden league, as they come .The league was made up of City teams and Rush Lake,Neville, Kyle, Burnham,the fan support was great and most games were broadcast on CKSW. Bill & Harvs (sponsor name of Schell Service Station),also hosted a 24 team tourney every year,teams invited were the best of Sask,Alberta and Montana,playing for Three Thousand Dollars in prize money.KT Thomas the catcher for Bill&Harvs passed away ,Jan 25/07at age 61,what a competitor .These were some of my very best years,pressure was gone ,now,learn to play competitive,but,still have fun. Like I said ,my prime years were over,however I could help to coach,pitch the odd and even games,less travel,and all good guys .My work was most important to me and loved my years in broadcast,very high commitments but I could handle it ,I was young. Primarily,my job was to create revenue,which was very important to owner Elmer Hildebrand of Altona ,Manitoba.I loved Elmer and we worked planned together well!A lot of quiet PRESSURE,however,we all got with the program and won! More------We embarked on a new venture ,creating the Can-Am Fastpitch League,teams from Swift Current,Medicine Hat,Lethbridge, Havre,and two teams from Great Falls. The concept was to play tournaments in each city and allow any players to take part,no fixed rosters and more open to ,so called ,illegal pitching,and a few rules were ignored,as well! We kept it going for thee years ,and all involved were well pleased. The time I played A ball,we had residency rules,travel rules ,so it was tougher to have a winner. Today players can sign for Nationals only and play in US or anywhere for that matter. Fastball is a great game,with one problem,no grassroots promotion like baseball,until that happens the game will continue at its hotbeds with imports and carry on. Sure hope that will change ,the sooner the better,what happens when this generation of players retire?
Saskatoon Merchants,,Provincial A mens Champs 1974,goin to Nationals in Victoria
These are from the Midland website. Rumor has it the gun was 2 mphs slow.
drop/ rise / change
Adam Folkard Broken Bow 83 76 64
Sean Whitten Midwest Stampede 83 79 60
Lucas Mata Aspen 80 74 56
Andrew Kirkpatrick Broken Bow 78 72 64
Jeremy Manley Pueblo 78 75 60
Grant Patterson Kitchener 78 74 54
Don Scott Kitchener 78 77 57
Brian Urquhart Midland 78 66 53
Mitch Hardy Kegel 77 73 43
Todd Martin Kitchener 76 74 54
Marty Grant Vancouver 76 74 58
Dean Holoein Kitchener 75 74 NA
Frank Cox The Farm 76 74 63
Bryan Newton NY Gremlins 75 75 51
Darcy Byrne Kegel 75 NA 56
Trevor Ethier Aspen 74 72 NA
Rick Smith Aspen 74 71 NA
Doug Gillis Dolan & Murphy 74 68 51
Sean Kelly Midland 74 68 54
Jeff Farion Diamondbacks 74 68 NA
Sebastian Gervasutti California A's 74 73 60
Bill Hillhouse NY Gremlins 73 69 53
Dave Drotzmann California A's 73 62 53
Travis Price Vancouver 73 68 41
Ward Gosse St. Thomas 73 68 55
Ales Jetmar Dolan & Murphy 72 69 53
Rob O'Brien Dominian Republic 72 71 54
Jeff Wilson Ashland Mets 70 68 58
Peter Brown 80-90 Just sayin,these are estimates from the era
Stan Kern 80-90
Whitey Haley 80-90
Pete Landers 90+
Gene McWillie 90s
Red Friesen 70-80
Peter Froese 70-80
Rob Guenther 80-90
Fastpitch vs Baseball
by Dave Paetkau
I have read with great interest the banter back and forth about the comparison of baseball and fastpitch reaction times. There have been some overstatements and understating that are both comical and disturbing.
In my younger years I wrote a few papers on the subjects relating to all areas of fastpitch including hitters reaction time, bat speed and hitting efficiency, throwing velocity training and base stealing techniques.
In these papers I dealt with the biomechanical principals, the physics of the actions and the mental aspects behind these actions. These papers do not make me an expert but I hope to enlighten, entertain and engage you while you read this. The numbers that I use will be explained and hopefully you will understand why I use them.
The distance for a fastpitch pitcher delivery point will be 40ft due to the fact that the release point is at the hip. Most pitchers hips are at about 6ft in front of the rubber on release, the distance for a baseball pitcher will be at 53ft since the release point is ahead of the front foot. You could argue this with me a bit but I will try to be on the side of caution.
A world class female pitcher who throws a 68mph pitch released at 38 ft would allow the hitter .381 of a second to react, which equates to a 95 MPH pitch in baseball.
A world class male windmill pitcher who throws an 80mph pitch released at 40 feet would allow the hitter . 341 of a second, which relates to a 106mph pitch in baseball.
In the major leagues the top fastballers (Randy Johnson, Clemons) will throw 93-98mph consistently. Now the baseball pitchers speed is not so important for reaction time as it is a comparison for what a fastpitch batter must face when he hits.
An 80mph pitch in the men's fastpitch game is 117.33 ft/second which gives the batter standing 40ft from the release point .341 of a second to hit the ball.
A 95mph pitch is 139.33 ft/sec, which gives the batter standing 53ft from the release point .380 of a second to hit the ball. A baseball pitcher would have to throw the ball 155.42 ft/sec to accomplish the .341 reaction time for the baseball batter. This equates to a 106 mph fastball.
These are the pure comparison numbers and do not take in to account; the size of the ball, ball movement, etc. Fastpitch batters never have a 6 11" Randy Johnson releasing the ball about 3-4 ft behind a left handed batter and have it curve into the strike zone.
The multitude of release points that a baseball pitcher can throw at you (side arm, ¾ arm, over the top, etc) or the huge speed changes from one pitch to the next. All these things work into the reaction time formula.
The baseball batter of course very rarely sees a ball rise thru the strike zone. Top pitchers will throw faster than the examples given which then requires even less time to react.
These are the reasons why batters spend hours trying to "pick a pitcher" since you can eliminate either a direction of movement or speed of pitch so that the batter can focus on a smaller hitting zone.
Of course hitting is not all reaction time and mental aspects of hitting are as important as ones' ability to react to a pitch. I think the comparison of baseball to fastpitch hitting is complex but as a pure degree of difficulty in reacting to a top quality fastpitch pitcher I personally think that us "chest thumping" fastpitch hitters can be proud of our accomplishments.
I hope this enlightens and entertains, as it was meant to.
Power Zone Academy
Nicknamed "Trots," he was drafted by the New York Islanders in 1974 where he played his first fifteen seasons. He won the Calder Trophy as the league's Rookie of the year in 1976. Trottier was one of the core players of the Islanders early 1980s dynasty wininng four Stanley Cups with them in 1980, 1981, 1982, and 1983, earning the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP in 1980. His best season was 1978-79 when he had 134 points, top in the NHL that season, garnering the Hart Trophy as league MVP. In the same season, he led the NHL in assists with 87, something he did the year before as well with 77 assists
On June 1st, 2006, Trottier finally returned to the Islanders', as Executive Director of Player Personnel,today hes associate coach for Buffalo Sabres
VANCOUVER - Marc Habscheid's coaching experience with junior, NHL, and Canadian national and Olympic teams did not earn him much job security with his new club.
After more than two seasons away from the bench, Habscheid, 51, is guiding the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League following the early-season dismissal of Cory Clouston. But the contract only covers the balance of this season.
Still, Habscheid is "not too worried" about his seemingly tenuous status.
"I've learned in life it's day by day — and you hear that all the time, but I have a good friend of mine, who's 52 years old, that's dying of (pancreatic) cancer," he said.
"It puts life into perspective. You live every day as it comes, and tomorrow is no guarantee. So I'm just enjoying life day to day. You never know when your number is called. You don't try to plan too far ahead."
Habscheid returned to life in the rink after running a ranch that he has owned for many years south of his hometown of Swift Current, Sask. Despite his love for ranching, hockey's pull was too strong.
"I've been around the game since I was three years old," he said. "I really enjoyed ranching. It's something I grew up with, too, but hockey has been a part of me for a long time. So it was good to get back."
He last acted as an executive with the Victoria Royals' parent company on its hockey-related businesses after serving as the club's general manager and coach from 2009-12.
Habscheid's other previous WHL employers were the Kamloops Blazers (1997-99) and Kelowna Rockets (1999-2004), who won league (2002-03) and Memorial Cup (2003-04) titles under his tutelage. A former CHL coach of the year, he also guided Canada to a silver medal at the 2003 world junior championships held in Halifax and Sydney, N.S. At the senior men's level, he led Canada to world championship gold and silver medals in 2004 and 2005, respectively.
In addition, he spent one season as a Boston Bruins associate coach (2006-07) and worked as an assistant with the Canadian men's team at the 2006 Olympics.
"He's played at multiple levels as well," said Raiders general manager Bruno Campese. "So between his playing track record and his coaching track record and his availability, it was really an easy choice."
Habscheid, a former NHL and Canadian Olympic team player, received other coaching offers after leaving the Royals. But he rejected them until getting the call from Campese, whom he has known for many years.
"I had coached in Saskatchewan once before and really enjoyed it," said Habscheid. "It was my first coaching job, in Melfort (with the Mustangs of the SJHL in 1996-97), and (the Raiders offer) just felt right."
Since Habscheid assumed the helm Nov. 1, Prince Albert (9-13-0 overall) has posted two wins and four losses. While introducing an up-tempo style, he is striving to show players how to make good decisions on the ice and do things together off it "rather than staying at home and playing Xbox."
Stewart added players have bought into Habscheid's methods and NHL experience, and are gelling around him. The Calgary native praised Habscheid for creating a more fun atmosphere following the departure of the "stricter" Clouston, a former Ottawa Senators coach whose "negative" tone was "getting old."Click here to edit text
On a cold December day in 1986, Swift Current was rocked by a tragic bus crash that took the lives of Trent Kresse, Scott Kruger, Chris Mantyka and Brent Ruff. A new book tells the story of how the four young men were killed and many others were injured when the bus carrying the Swift Current Broncos lost control on Highway 1 just outside of the city.
Journalist Gregg Drinnan teamed with former Bronco Bob Wilkie and crash witness Leesa Culp to put together Sudden Death: The Incredible Saga of the 1986 Swift Current Broncos.
Wilkie was on the bus that day and a young Culp witnessed the incident while catching a ride to Moose Jaw with a trucker. She was on the scene right after the crash and held Kresse's hand while he died.
Full Interview with "Sudden Death" co-author Gregg Drinnan
“Her story is really amazing,” Drinnan said. “How she came to realize all these years later that that had been the Swift Current Broncos and how she decided to try to find out what had happened. Really that was the genesis of this book.”
The book begins with former teammates Wilkie, Peter Soberlak and Sheldon Kennedy gathering in Calgary for the drive to a reunion of the 1989 Memorial Cup Championship Team.
“Their visit to Swift Current was very much like the book is,” Drinnan said. “The spectre of Graham James hangs over it. There's no getting away from that. Those three guys were driving to Swift Current for that reunion knowing they wanted to celebrate the Memorial Cup from 1989, but because they hadn't been back since all the Graham James stuff had happened... they really weren't sure what they were getting into.”
The beginning of that journey for Wilkie, Soberlak and Kennedy leads into a narrative that re-lives the days surrounding the bus crash from several unique perspectives. They include the captain, a goalie who joined the team just before the crash but never played a minute for them, the trainer who was attending a tournament out of town at the time and a billet father who was also a police officer at the scene.
“To have them tell readers about what happened the day of the bus accident and in the next ten days,” Drinnan noted. “The story about Kurt Lackton, he was the team captain at the time, having to stand up and do a eulogy in front of 3000 or 3500 people in the arena that day was certainly heartbreaking.”
“(Bob Harriman) is doing forensics for the RCMP so has to go to the bus accident and investigate while he was looking to see if he could find (his billet son) Bob Wilkie.”
“I just thought there were so many stories... that were so compelling that really it should be told.”
The book not only recounts those moments, but catches readers up with where life has taken many of those involved in the events surrounding the crash. Some players have gone on to careers in the game, while others have taken completely different paths such as piloting commercial flights to Hawaii or becoming educators.
Sudden Death also chronicles the triumphant run only a short time after the crash to the 1989 Memorial Cup and the shocking revelation that Coach Graham James had been sexually assaulting some of the players.
“Graham James was... definitely a dominant figure in the story of the Swift Current Broncos those days,” Drinnan noted. “You couldn't ignore that, you can't change history, but I didn't want the book to end up being about Graham James.”
James pleaded guilty to different charges of sexual abuse in both 1997 and 2011. He was initially paroled in 2001 and was then sentenced to two more years in prison on March 20, 2012.
Kresse, Kruger, Mantyka and Ruff all had their numbers retired by the Broncos. They and other Swift Current hockey teams wear a four-leaf clover crest as a tribute to the four young men.
Sudden Death: The Incredible Saga of the 1989 Swift Current Broncos is now available in stores and online from Dundurn Press.
The plane crash in Russia also links memories of the tragic bus crash that took the lives of four Swift Current Broncos in 1986.Scott Kruger, Trent Kresse, Brent Ruff, and Chris Mantyka lost their lives after the Broncos went off the road on December 30th of that yearBrian Costello of The Hockey News ,who was on the Bus,has a nice article,follow the link from the oicture,very well written,thanks Brian!!
Victor John "Vic" Stasiuk (born 23 May, 1929) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey left winger and a former NHL head coach. He played for the Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings, and Boston Bruins, recording 183 goals and 254 assists in 745 games. Stasiuk won 3 Stanley Cups in 1952, 1954, 1955 with Detroit. In 1954 Stasiuk played more than half the regular season games for Detroit, but played in the minors during the playoffs. So his name was left off the Stanley Cup, even though he qualified to be on it. He was a member of "The Uke line" with Johnny Bucyk and Bronco Horvath while playing for Boston. After retiring, he coached the Philadelphia Flyers, California Golden Seals, and Vancouver Canucks.
I met Vic ,just recently ,at the local barber,we had a great chat ,a fine gentleman,and he had very kind words about ,Cal Gardner to!!!
I got to know Buzz ,covering curling for CFSL Radio.Buzz lives in Fillmore,Sk. Cal and I worked together at CHOO Radio in Toronto,he was one of my sales reps,and he introduced me to many Leafs,Baun,Palmateer,Sittler,Keon,and even Steve Stavros,who later owned the Leafs for 3 years ,his son Paul was a player as well,now co=coaches Nashville!!!Very Good experiences had with both of these Ol timers,oh,yeah .we had lunch with Punch,athrill indeed!!!! Now I saw Cals grandson play for Team Canada At the Spengler cup! ©cjf http://wildpitch.webs.com/chinook