1969 Saskatoon Merchants Men’s Fastball Team

Accomplishments: Canadian Senior Men’s Fastball Champions, 1969.

The lead paragraph appearing in the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix on June 9th, 1969 stated, “It could be the year of the Merchants” – and it was!

From humble beginnings of indoor workouts in an old building on the Exhibition grounds in April to winning the Canadian Senior Men’s Softball title on August 31st, it was a season the Merchants would long remember.

The Merchants cinched first place in the 5-team Saskatoon League, finished second at an International competition in the U.S.A. and advanced to the zone championships in Winnipeg to vie for a berth in the Canadian Championships.  Also, in June of that year, the Merchants won the right to represent Saskatchewan at the Canada Games in Halifax, N.S., breezing through a nine-team tournament.

The Canadian Championship was played in Saskatoon, hosted by the Merchants in honour of their provincial win.  After four wins and one loss they were forced into a sudden death play-off game against Hull, Q.C.   The game was played Sunday, August 31st before 2,000 fans.  The Merchants won 7-0, becoming the first Saskatchewan Senior Men’s Team to win a Canadian softball title.

Left to Right:

Front: Cam Hutchison (bat boy).

Front Row: Paul Kuzma (trainer), Harry Hopkins, Pete Zacharias, Blaine Knoll, Al Norris, Everett Wood, George Lacoursiere, Bob Lacoursiere (coach), John Hutchinson (president).

2nd Row: Peter Bacala (sponsor), Dick McDonald, Ed Swiderski, Ted Lucuik, Nels Rissling, John Stuart, Felix Miller, Bob Bentley, Glen Hersikorn, Ken Rissling.