1985 marked the end of Andy Newton's reign as manager of the Dauphin Redbirds and the beginning for new manager Ralph Wilson. It would last for one year. Statistically, the 1985 Redbirds would be considered as the greatest team in Dauphin baseball history. The team's .778 winning percentage (14-4) is an all-time record besting the .750%, 1975 team (15-5). The '85 Birds won Dauphin's 3rd MSBL North Division pennant. Others were the 1973 and '75 teams. As a team, the Redbirds averaged better than .350 (best ever) and hit 12 homes (tied for 2nd best. The 1961 team hit 15 HR's). The only accomplishment missing was an MSBL championship. The 1961 Redbirds are the only Dauphin team to win an MSBL title however that team didn't even have a regular-season winning record (8-8). Once again, Dauphin was hit by the Redbird playoff curse, and once again, league officials had a lot to do with it.
The key to Dauphin's success was the recruitment of three players from the University of Arkansas. Steve Clements from Vancouver, British Columbia, won the MSBL's batting crown with his .459 average. The speedy outfielder and lead-off man led the MSBL in steals a year earlier with 22. Clements knocked in 18 runs and hit six home runs during the regular season (8 overall), thus breaking Dave Rottman's record set in 1977. Catcher Chris Lusker hit .400 with four home runs while pitcher Andy Boeme logged a 5-2 pitching record.
Pitcher Rick Huntze was named Manitoba Senior Baseball League MVP. His 1.000 league winning percentage (8-0) broke Jerry Falk's .855 (5-1) all-time mark set 10 years earlier in 1975. He also hit .434 in MSLB league play. Huntze, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, attended Bacone Junior College in Muskogee, Oklahoma for two years before transferring to the University of Arkansas in 1983 where he had a pitching record of 5-4 as a sophomore. The following year, 1984, he went 6-1 for Arkansas and 8-0 for the Razorbacks in '85 with a 4.54 ERA. His career record was 19-5 at Arkansas which won the Southwest Regional in 1985. Huntze didn't pitch when Arkansas (49-13) went to the College World Series in Omaha. Surprisingly, Huntze was never drafted nor signed a professional contract in the U.S.
1951 RED BIRDS LEAGUE AVG.
ENALLS, BOB .331
BOURBONNAIS, LOU .381
ROBERTSON, ALEX .301
WATKINS, FRANK .288
JOYNER, FRANK .282
MYLES, KEITH .277
SMEGELSKI, BILL .274
McPHEE, STAN .267
BOUSHY, ERNIE .265
RAY NASH .256
JIM McEWEN .245
HERB BOUGHEN .242
FRANK WATKINS 8-1
FRANK JOINER 6-2
W. STEPHENSON 3-2
1950 NORTHERN LEAGUE
GILBERT PLAINS 6-5
Note--The league playoffs were
suspended due to bad weather and
MANITOBA SENIOR BASEBALL LEAGUE
NORTHERN BASEBALL LEAGUE
MAN-SASK BASEBALL LEAGUE
THE 1961 DAUPHIN REDBIRDS
The best way to describe Dauphin's 1961 championship year is that they slugged their way to the championship of the Manitoba Senior Baseball League's inaugural season and captured the Wright and Wrightman trophy. Manager A.C. Newton's Redbirds finished the regular season in second place with an 8-8 record trailing the runaway, pennant-winning Hamiota Red Sox by four full games. The 12-4 Red Sox were the only MSBL team to finish league play with a winning record.
As a team, Dauphin hit .271 during the regular season with four batters (min. 50 at-bats) topping the .300 mark. Left fielder Al Evason led the Redbirds in batting with his .438 average followed by catcher Bob Kabel at .436, 3rd and 4th best in the MSBL respectively. Shortstop Jerry Shumanski hit .333 and first baseman Stan McPhee hit .306. The Redbirds hit eight home runs during the regular season with Shumanski, Evason, McPhee, and center fielder Johnny Lesyshen all hitting two apiece. During the playoffs, Dauphin hit two home runs in the semi-finals and five more in the finals totalllng 15 against MSBL competition, a Redbird team record that still stands today.
Al Evason was Dauphin's most productive hitter as he also led the team in hits (28), and RBI's (25). Bob Kabel led the team in runs scored with 21. Jerry Verbuski was the team's only pitcher with a winning record as he logged a 4-2 record, striking out 28 in 36 and 2/3 innings although giving up 42 hits and 19 base on balls. Redbird shortstop Jerry Shumanski and left fielder Al Evason were named to the league's All-Star team.
Dauphin opened the first round of the playoffs by topping the Binscarth Buffaloes 10-6 as Dauphin's Stan McPhee homered for the Redbirds while Buff''s catcher Bob Wasslen hit two for Binscarth. Dennis McAuley picked up the mound victory. The Buffaloes returned the favor with a 10-6 win in game two before the Redbirds closed out the best two-out-of-three semi-finals with 12-11 and 6-5 triumphs. The Hamiota Red Sox defeated the Brandon Cloverleafs in the other semi-final. The MSBL finals showcased Hamiota's legendary, Manitoba Hall of Fame pitcher Glennis Scott and two catchers who just returned from playing in the National Hockey League. Red Sox catcher Dallas Smith hit .351 during the regular MSBL season, 11th best in the league, and suited up for the Boston Bruins just a few months earlier during the NHL's 1960/'61 season. Smith went on to win two NHL championships with the Bruins and was a two-time NHL All-Star, often teaming up with Bobby Orr to form Boston's defense, possibly the best defense-duo in NHL history. Smith spent 15 years in the NHL.
Redbird catcher Bob Kabel was Daupin's first of three players to play in the NHL, the others being Ron Low who played first and second base for the Redbirds during the 1970 and '71 seasons, and Blaine Stoughton who was a 16-year-old relief pitcher for the 1970 Redbirds. Low became an All-Star NFL netminder while Stoughton would twice score 50 goals in a single season. Kabel also spent 15 years as a professional hockey player, mostly in the World Hockey Association. Just a few months before the 1961 MSBL season, Kabel spent time with the New York Rangers of the NHL. The previous year, he got into 44 games with the Rangers as a right-winger and scored five goals with 11 assists. During the 1950/ '51 hockey season, Kabel skated for the Dauphin Kings before spending two seasons with the champion Flin Flon Bombers and then moved on to the Saskatoon Quakers of the WHL. Kabel is one of only two Redbird players to ever win an MSBL batting title when he hit .424 a year later in 1962.
Future Canadian National Team pitcher Glennis Scott won game one of the MSBL finals with a 3-1 victory before Dauphin's Jerry Verbuski homered and pitched the Redbirds to an 8-1 win in game two. Back in Hamiota, Scott won game three 7-2 before Bob Kabel literally stole game four in Dauphin as he swiped second base, third base, and then stole home, which proved to be the game-winner in Dauphin's 5-4 victory. Dennis McAuley homered and also picked up the mound victory. In game five, Don Smith, brother of Boston Bruin Dallas Smith, blasted two home runs while Glennis Scott won his third game of the finals with a 7-3 win. Dauphin forced a deciding game by topping the Red Sox 4-3 as catcher Bob Kabel accounted for all four Redbird runs by knocking in three and scoring the other. In game seven, played in Hamiota, Scott went for his 4th straight victory however Dauphin's Bob Kabel drilled a three-run homer and Jerry Shumanski added a two-run shot that propelled the Redbirds to their first and only MSBL title.
STANDING FROM LEFT--Bob Enalls, John Stempak (from Gilbert Plains), Frank Joyner, Ray Nash, Earnie Boushy, and Wayne Stephenson. KNEELING FROM LEFT--Keith Myles, Frank Wadkins, Eddie McDonald and Lou Bourbonnais.
A.C. NEWTON, 1975
1951 MAN-SASK LEAGUE
DAUPHIN RED BIRDS 10-6
GILBERT PLAINS 9-7
YORKTON CARDINALS 8-8
KAMSACK CYCLONES 6-9
ROBLIN STARS 6-9
While the Dauphin Red Birds added catcher John Stempak and pitcher Eddie McDonald from the Gilbert Plains Plainsman for their trip to Indian Head, the Rockets added Reggie Pendleton, the Northern Saskatchewan League's top hitter with his .397 average. They also added Moose Jaw Canuck pitcher Dick Stone and his 7-1 WCL record, 2nd best to Rocket pitcher Jim Morrow at 8-1. Stone would go on to pitch briefly in the major leagues with the Washington Senators. If that weren't enough, the Rockets added the great Chet Brewer to their pitching staff late in the season from the Sceptre Nixons. The 44-year-old Brewer went 4-0 for the Rockets and was once part of the 1935 Kansas City Monarchs pitching staff that also included Hall of Famers Satchel Paige and "Bullet Joe" Rogan. The Red Birds had no chance, losing both games by scores of 12-1 and 23-1. Chet Brewer tossed a three-hitter in the final.
'61 REDBIRDS HITS/TAB AVE.
AL EVASON 28-64 .438
BOB KABEL 24-55 .436
JERRY SHUMANSKI 18-54 .333
STAN McPHEE 22-72 .306
DEL ANDERSON 11-38 .289
BILL MURRAY 9-40 .225
LARRY McDOUGALL 9-45 .200
DICK LaFRAMBOIS 6-40 .150
EARL HODGES 3-34 .088
JOHN LESYSHEN 7-20 .350
DON MENZIES 4-12 .333
JERRY VERBUSKI 6-21 .286
LLOYD YRAMA 6-23 .261
ARNOLD STAUB 2-13 .154
JOHN JUDD 1-9 .111
DENNIS McAULEY 2 -22 .091
PAT FITZPATRICK 0-7 .000
ROLAND SECORD 0-16 .000
JERRY STEFANIUK 0-1 .000
JERRY VERBUSKI 4-2
DON MENZIES 2-0
DENNIS McCAULEY 2-4
A HISTORY OF THE
1935 K.C. JERSEY
1949 Dauphin baseball team (22-20-4)
The ’49 town team was simply called Dauphin and played in tournaments and exhibition games only, mostly against the Plainsmen from the nearby community of Gilbert Plains. The Dauphin team was managed by Ed Johanson and revolved around two hired American import players -- second baseman Jim Nash and hard-throwing pitcher Ray Nash, both from Canton, Mississippi. The cousins had previously performed professionally beginning in 1944 with the Milwaukee Brown Brewers, the barnstorming House of David, and Walter Hoffer’s Nine. Key local players from Dauphin included pitchers Johnny Goran, Norris Aitken, and Stan McPhee. The rest of the initial team was made up of shortstop Herb Boughen, Bill Smegelski, Darryl Ball, Mike and Gord Kowalchuk, Ralph Mitchener and Dick Weitzel of Runnymede, Saskatchewan. Later in the season, they added Don Lawston from Grand Forks, North Dakota, another import, left-handed pitcher, Alex Robertson who had hit .324 for the ANAF Vets of the Manitoba Senior League, 7th best in the league, and Eddie Mazur who pitched for the 1949 Winnipeg Reos of that same league. Also, after an exhibition game with the St. Louis Black Cardinals, Dauphin added Cardinal pitcher Wayne “Wimpy” Stephenson (a pick-up from Swift Current) to their roster.
1950 Dauphin Red Birds (10-7, 42-19)
Nineteen-fifty was the inaugural season of the newly organized Northern League which also included the Neepawa Cubs, Gilbert Plains Plainsmen, Grandview Maroons, and the Roblin Stars. Other Northern Leagues date back as early as 1906 with Dauphin, Gilbert Plains, Grandview, and Ochre River as combatants. After losing five straight games to start the 1950 season, Dauphin flew in Fate Simms who immediately went on a hitting tear resulting in victories. Simms, from Charlotte, North Carolina, was also a member of the barnstorming St. Louis Black Cardinals that toured the prairies of Western Canada. Just a few weeks after his arrival, Simms was named playing/manager of the Dauphin team along with a logo and a team name. The team was to be called the Red Birds and they wore a large D stitched to the upper left side of their jersey, thus the beginning of the Dauphin Red Birds. The name probably came from Simms in reference to the major league St. Louis Cardinals who were often referred to as the Red Birds. Their AAA team which operated in the American Association from 1931-1954 was called the Memphis Red Birds. A few years later, 1953, Simms became a member of the professional Memphis Red Sox of the American Negro League where he hit .329 (95-289), good enough for 12th in the league and performed in the annual East-West All-Atar game. The Red Birds finished at 10-7 and in second place.
1950 Red Birds roster: Aikens Cliff/Norris OF, Angus Ken 3B, Bourbonnais Lou 1B/C/MGR, Boughen Herb 3B/2B, Bourbonnais Lou 1B/C, Boushy Ernie 3B, Boushy Steve 2B, Brass Buddy P, Callisle, Clark Jack 1B, Dufault, Gardiner Don P, Goran Johnny P, Harris Tom, Jones Collins OF/INF, Mayor Orville P, Mazur Ed LHP/OF, McPhee Stan OF/P, Nash Ray C/OF/3B, Robertson, Alex SS/OF, Simms, Fate P/UT/MGR, Slobodian Matt MGR, Smegelski William OF, Stephenson Wayne(Wimpy) RHP/OF, Styles Norris, Warbeck Walter(Babe) OF
The 1967 Redbirds finished the regular season at 10-14 and out of the MSBL playoffs, however, right-handed pitcher Ray Strable logged a 6-4 record and led the league with 124 strikeouts. Strable, from Des Moines, Iowa, was drafted three times while attending Sequoias Junior College and Fresno State in California before signing a contract with the Minnesota Twins organization in 1969. He spent three seasons in the minor leagues where he compiled a career 21-13 record and 2.99 ERA. He advanced as high as AAA ( the highest of any Dauphin player), with the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League where he went 1-1 with a 4.30 ERA. His best year was 1970 when he went 11-5 with a stellar 2.74 ERA for the Charlotte Hornets of the AA Southern League.
!951 Dauphin Red Birds
On August 12th, 1951, the Dauphin Red Birds won the most important game in their team's history, a 5-3 victory over the Saskatoon 55's in the semi finals of the National Baseball Congress Saskatchewan Championship Tournament held in Indian Head, Saskatchewan. Other teams in the NBC tournament included the Indian Head Rockets, Regina Caps, Estevan Maple Leafs (1st, 2nd, and 4th place finishers of the newly organized professional Western Canada League), and the Eston Ramblers of the Saskatchewan Northern League. Dauphin's right-handed pitcher Frank Wakins had a no-hitter thru seven innings before settling on a four-hitter.
1951 marked the first and only time that a team from Dauphin has qualified for an NBC qualifying berth. The year also marked the only season whereby a Dauphin team won both a pennant and league championship when they captured the Manitoba-Saskatchewan League pennant and playoff championship series. Dauphin began the season by losing five straight Man-Sask league games but that was before obtaining Bob Enalls and Frank Joiner who started the year with the Regina Caps, and Frank Watkins who had earlier pitched four games while with the Brandon Greys and Minot Mallards of the ManDak League. Dauphin then went on to win 10 of their next 11 league games including Watkins' 8-0 no-hitter against the Roblin Stars and his 12-0 one-hitter versus a depleted Kamsack Cyclone team. Joyner, who previously pitched in the Negro Leagues with the Brooklyn Cuban Giants and recorded a 17-3 record with the Philadelphia Colored Giants in 1949, finished Man-Sask league play with a perfect 4-0 record. The Red Birds went undefeated in the Man-Sask playoffs beating Gilbert Plains in three straight games with Watkins, Wayne Stephenson, and Joyner picking up mound victories. The Yorkton Cardinals quit after losing the first two games of the finals sending Dauphin to the Saskatchewan NBC tournament where they met the Saskatoon 55's.
The 55's were a star-studded team that finished second in the Northern Saskatchewan Baseball League with a 17-12 record. The Saskatoon team was led by playing-manager Roy Taylor, first-year head coach at College of Sequoais in Visalia, California. Taylor went on to amass a 285-199-6 record for the Sequoias Giants, including five conference titles and a California Community College State Championship in 1957. Several of the Saskatoon 55 players would move on to play in the minor leagues including pitchers Jack Hannah and Stephen Starvianoudakis from Taylor's college team. Hannah, 8-1 for Saskatoon and before becoming a country and western music star, pitched seven years as a professional, advancing as high as AAA with the Dallas-Fort Worth Rangers of the American Association. Outfielder Bob Herron who hit .375 for Saskatoon, 4th best in the league, spent the 1950 season with the Houston Eagles of the Negro American League. He would later spend time in the minor leagues where he hit .327 over the course of four seasons. Although not the best player on the Saskatoon team, although the most famous, was 1st baseman Gordie Howe, arguably one of the two greatest hockey players of all-time, the other being the great Wayne Gretzki. Dauphin's win over the 55's earned them the right to meet the Indian Head Rockets in a two-game most-runs-scored championship series.
1969 10-9 12-13
1970 16-8 22-15
1972 10-10 18-14
1973* 14-6 16-10
1975* 15-5 25-13
1979 0-1 then quit
1985* 14-4 16-6
1986 Ind. 0-2 quit
1975 MSBL PLAYOFFS
ROTTMAN DAUPHIN 20--44 .455
FISCHER RIVERSIDE 15--33 .455
RAMSEY HAMIOTA 20--45 .444
MANTHORNE DAUPHIN 10--26 .385
BELL RIVERSIDE 13--34 .382
PURCHA McCAULEY 21--56 .375
ARAUJO DAUPHIN 13--36 .361
GULLETT RIVERSIDE 9--25 .360
T. LYND McCAULEY 20--56 .357
BEARE RIVERSIDE 10--28 .357
In the first round of the MSBL North Division playoffs, top-seeded Dauphin and the McCauley Blazers had won two games apiece when rains caused six cancellations due to wet field conditions at Dauphin's Redbird Park. A frustrated Sam Jamieson, manager of the Blazers, decided to visit Dauphin and see for himself if the ball field was in playable condition. According to Jamieson, the Redbirds were practicing on the field on the night of the last canceled contest and later refused to travel to Dauphin when game #5 was finally scheduled. League officials then decided to suspend both McCauley and Dauphin for the rest of the playoffs, thus eliminating the best team in the league. Earlier, the series had been delayed a week after Jamieson received permission for a delay and manage Team Manitoba in the Western Canadian Senior playoffs. Unfortunately, Dauphin, who had just completed their best year in team history and were expected to win it all, got suspended.
After returning to California, Pitcher/shortstop Dave Rottman joined the Peninsula Twins of the San Francisco Winter League at mid-season. The 12-game SFWL consisted of class-A ballplayers. Rottman hit .290 and played several positions when not on the mound where he posted a 1-1 record with a 1.69 ERA. For the year 1970, Rottman compiled a 28-7 record at four levels of competition (Yuba College, Twin Cities Giants, Dauphin, and the Peninsula Twins). He logged a combined 1.69 ERA with 343 strikeouts in 273 innings pitched. His 160 K's at Yuba is an all-time Northern California Junior College record and 2nd most in Calif. Jr. College history. His 343 K's are the most in Northern Calif. history at any level and 3rd most in Calif. baseball history.
Dauphin pitcher/1st baseman Richard Mahlman pitched two seasons for the Redbirds going 0-3 in 1969 and 3-3 in 1970. He returned to California and pitched for the Fresno State Bulldogs the following spring before getting drafted in the fifth round of major league baseball’s annual June draft and signing a contract with the Minnesota Twins organization. He was assigned to the Auburn Twins of the lower class-A New York-Pennsylvania League where he won seven out of ten games with a 3.13 ERA while striking out 84 batters in 92 innings pitched. In 1972, his last in professional baseball, Mahlman went 8-10 with a 3.28 ERA for the Lynchburg Twins of the class-A Carolina League. He struck out 86 in 151 innings. Mahlman joined former Fresno State and 1969 Dauphin Redbird teammate Bob Garcia in Lynchburg. Garcia hit .205 at Lynchburg and .253 for his three years in the minor leagues.
THE 1975 DAUPHIN REDBIRDS:
Throughout the 1970s, the Dauphin Redbirds either vied for a pennant and championship or finished near the bottom of the MSBL standings. !975 was no exception and the common denominator seemed to be pitcher/shortstop Dave Rottman. After spending the '74 season at Binscarth, Rottman once again returned to Dauphin, this time as playing/manager and brought along with him Fresno State's pitcher/1st baseman Jerry Araujo. Araujo, from Hanford, California hit .327 the previous year while with the Hamiota Red Sox, 10th best in the league. A year earlier he led the McCauley Blazers in hitting with his .292 average and in 1971, hit .352, 7th best in the MSBL, for the Virden Oilers.
Left-handed pitcher Ross Stone returned for his 4th season with the Redbirds. The former Canadian National Team and Saskatchewan Provincial star recorded 1-2, 5-1, and 5-2 records previously with Dauphin from 1972-74. Jerry Falk, ace pitcher for the Manitoba champion Carmen Goldeyes Junior baseball team was also added to the Redbird pitching staff. Falk pitched at Mayville State College during the spring from 1972-1976 while R.C.M.P. Dave Manthorn from Nova Scotia was brought in to handle the catching chores. Rottman and Araujo had just graduated from Brandon University with teaching credentials and where offered positions in the Dauphin-Ochre School Division. Rottman accepted while Araujo moved on to teach at Souris the following year.
The '75 Birds of Crimson began the season by winning their first five games, their best start since the 1950 Red Birds began the year at 6-0, some twenty-five years earlier. Jerry Araujo got the 1975 season started by whiffing 13 Souris Cardinals with a 3-1 victory. Rottman followed by striking out 17 Grandview Lakers in a 14-1 rout that ended in a beanball contest. Trailing 10-0 after six innings, Laker relief pitcher Tony Kelychen sent several pitches whizzing past Rottman's ear before issuing a free pass. He then plunked Araujo in the shoulder with both runners eventually scoring to make the score 12-0. The next inning, Rottman was drilled in the ribs and Araujo again hit in the shoulder again causing both benches to empty but no punches were thrown. Both runners scored to make it 14-0. In the bottom of the 9th, Rottman returned the favor by drilling Kelychen in the ribs sending him to the hospital with two broken ribs.
Araujo won his second game of the season with an 11-5 win over the McCauley Blazers before Rottman tossed a 2-hitter defeating the Virden Oilers 1-0. The Redbirds improved to 5-0 when newcomer Jerry Falk struck out 14 Neepawa Cubs in a 9-2 win with Falk, Dave Manthorne, and Rottman each hitting home runs. After a couple of Redbird losses, Rottman got the Birds back in flight with a one-hit, thirteen-strikeout, 7-1 victory with Johnny Morrison hitting a home run. Dauphin ended the first half of the regular season with a 7-3 record while hitting seven home runs with Rottman leading the way with three. The Redbirds went on to post an 8-2 second-half record and finish league play at 15-5 (.750 winning percentage), their best ever at that time and second only to the 1985 Redbirds who won 14 of 18 league games (.778).
The 15 wins led the league and it was Dauphin's 2nd pennant in the last three seasons. Jerry Araujo led the team in hitting during league play with his .341 average followed by Dave Manthorne at .333, Gary Keating at .309 and Rottman at .308. Falk led the pitching staff with his 5-1 record with Rottman following at 4-1, Ross Stone at 3-1, and Jerry Araujo at 3-2. Rottman only allowed nine runs during his 32 innings pitched of which only five were earned for a 1.41 ERA. He struck out 48 batters averaging 13.5 K's per nine innings, best in the MSBL. As a team, the Redbirds only allowed 64 total runs, fewest in the league, while besting their previous team and MSBL league mark of 74 set during the 1973 season. The pitching staff's four shutouts tied their record for shutouts in a season set in 1973 and included an unprecedented two in a row during the playoffs. Dauphin banged out 10 home runs during the regular season and two more during the playoffs, 2nd best to the 1961 Redbirds who hit 15 home runs.
1961 MSBL CHAMPION DAUPHIN REDBIRDS
The township of Dauphin, Manitoba with a population of nearly ten thousand residents, is located approximately ten miles west of Dauphin Lake and lies adjacent to the northern slopes of Riding Mountain National Park. Dauphin, a railroad town, has been known as the "Gateway to the North" as her warehouses store food and dry goods before distribution throughout the northern part of the province, as far North as Hudson Bay. The Dauphin Redbirds was a rogue baseball team formed in 1950 and was a charter member of the Manitoba Senior Baseball League formed in 1961 and would be considered as among Canada's top semi-pro leagues in the country. The Redbirds were often in the MSBL doghouse and were suspended several times from league play for various reasons and permanently in 1985 before re-emerging as the Brewers. Dauphin baseball began as early as 1902, playing in Northern Leagues with the competition coming from Boseman, Swan River, The Pas, and Flin Flon.
1970 REDBIRDS: Brandon Sun sportswriter Bill Davidson reported that he couldn't remember the last time the Redbirds had made the playoffs. Actually, the Scarlet Flyers had made the playoffs just two years prior but were eliminated in the first round as they were the time before that in 1963. As a general rule, Dauphin usually finished next to last in the MSBL standings, just ahead of the lowly Virden Oilers. It appeared as though these Ruby Warblers were headed in that same direction when they began the 1970 season at 2-5, but then twenty-year-old import pitcher Dave Rottman took off. After losing a tough 2-1 decision to the legendary Glennis Scott and his Red Sox in Hamiota, the right-hander from Marysville, California took flight by winning eight of his next nine games including the last seven in a row. Included in the streak was a marathon 1-0, thirteen-inning, 20-strikeout performance against the Rolla Nodaks in which Rottman won it himself with a walk-off, two-out bases-loaded drive off the left-field wall. The unprecedented twenty K's, second-most in league history, was the second time Rottman had struck out 20 batters in a single game within the past few months. Earlier, he had K'd 20 against Lassen College in a Golden Valley Conference game.
The Hamiota Red Sox started the 1970 season by winning ten of their first eleven games and looked as if they were going to run away with their 6th pennant and fourth MSBL championship in the league's first 10 years; but then both the Redbirds and Souris Cardinals got hot, eventually overtaking the Red Sox towards the end of the season. The Cardinals were led by a trio of American Pitchers--6'3", 210 pound Bill Carpenter or "Carp" as they called him, from Athens, Pennsylvania and a pair of North Dakota State Bison pitchers. Carpenter had spent seven seasons as a professional, advancing as high as AAA when he pitched for the Rochester Red Wings of the International League. His best season as a pro was at age 22 when he posted a 19-4 record with a 1.59 ERA for the class-C Winnipeg Goldeyes of the Northern League. Dick Marsden and Bernie Graner had just completed part of their record-setting careers for the Minot State Bisons. Marsden's career 1.44 ERA and Graner's career 2.38 ERA rank 1,2 on the school's all-time career ERA list that still stand today. Graner's 10 K's/9inn. ranks 3rd best all time. Souris eventually won the MSBL pennant with their 18-6 record, two games ahead of Dauphin at 16-8 who won 14 of their last 17 regular-season games.
The Redbirds .667 winning percentage was their best in team history. The pitching staff allowed 85 total runs for the year setting a new league record for the fewest runs allowed in a 24-game season. Rottman's 20 K's in a game and four saves set new Redbird standards and was rewarded with MSBL's Top Pitcher Award with his league-best, fewest runs allowed and 8-2 record. Rottman struck out 82 batters in 67 innings during the regular season plus another 30 in the playoffs and 15 during tournament games for a total of 127 K's on the year, thus breaking Fresno State's Ray Stable's record of 124 set in 1967. Rottman's 20 K's in a game and 127 for the season are Redbird records that still stand today.
Fresno State's Richard Mahlman led the Redbirds in hitting with his .321 average while posting a 3-3 mound record. Bob Neufeld logged a 3-1 record during the regular season and won three more in the playoffs while the versatile Johnny "Mo" Morrison was the 2nd leading hitter on the team at .315. The Redbirds hit .275 as a unit.Brandon Sun sport's editor Bill Davidson almost got one right when he predicted Hamiota would beat Dauphin in six games and the Souris Cardinals would accomplish the same versus the 10-14 Brandon Cloverleafs in the first round of the MSBL playoffs. Dauphin was on the verge of elimination after Hamiota won the first three games including a 4-3 win over Rottman even though the Redbird pitcher struck out 14 Red Sox batters. Dauphin staved off elimination when Bob Neufeld picked up a 7-5 win and Rottman battled the Red Sox to a 10-inning 4-4 tie. Neufeld picked up another win in relief before Rich Malman won 3-2, setting the stage between the league's two most successful pitchers--Hamiota's Ron Ramsey and Dauphin's Dave Rottman. Ramsey was gone in the 2nd inning and reliever Porky Smith didn't fare much better as the Redbirds led 7-2 after six innings and coasted to victory. Surprisingly, Brandon advanced to the league finals by defeating Souris in a tough seven-game series.
The 10-day layoff, while the host Manitoba Provincial team finished 1-3 in the Canadian National Championships, could not have been more convenient for the Brandon Cloverleafs as Redbird pitchers Dave Rottman and Rich Mahlman returned to California to register for college. Neufeld and Gary Keating both picked up mound victories in the MSBL finals however the Redbirds had to forfeit the series when Neufeld and starters Johnny Morrison, Ron Low, and Bob Buchy all left for professional hockey camps. The aging Cliff Seafoot, catcher for the last place 7-17 Riverside Canucks with his .354 average, 5th best in the MSBL, was named league MVP.
THE 1973 DAUPHIN REDBIRDS--Center fielder John Morrison was a hockey player first; a baseball player second. He was born in Flin Flon, Manitoba and during the 1969/'70 season, scored 27 goals with 40 assists including 138 minutes spent in the penalty box for his hometown Bombers of the Western Canada Hockey League. His Flin Flon Bomber teammates that year were Reggie Leach who went on to star for the 1975 NHL champion Philadelphia Flyers, also known as the "Broadway Bullies", and 16-year-old Gilbert Plains native Blaine Stoughton, who would twice score 50 goals in the NHL. The following year Morrison turned professional, signing a contract with the Charlotte Checkers of the Eastern Hockey League where he spent six years as a forward. The Checkers won four championships during those six seasons. Morrison's best year as a pro was the '72/'73 season when he scored 27 goals with 38 assists for the Checkers.
Morrison, or "Johnnie Mo" as they called him, played center field and catcher for the Redbirds. The '73 season would be his break-out year. He led the Redbirds in hitting with his .377 average, third-best in the league, and led the Manitoba Senior Baseball League with his 29 RBI's. Morrison was a first-team MSBL All-Star and was selected to play for Team Manitoba in the Canadian National Baseball Championships held in Edmundston, New Brunswick as the team's starting centerfielder. He hit .315 in 1970 where he was a second-team All-Star and .312 in 1972.
After competing for thirteen years in the MSBL, the '73 Redirds finally won a pennant in Manitoba's premier baseball league. They had won pennants before in the 1950s, however in the lesser Man-Sask and Northern Baseball Leagues. Their 14-6 record and .700 winning percentage were tops in the MSBL and Redbird records at that time. Dauphin's 1973 team could be pegged as among the town's best baseball team of all-time considering her hitting and pitching. The Redbirds placed five hitters in the league's top ten. Along with Morrison's .377 average, right fielder Gary Keating hit .356, P/SS Dave Rottman hit .353, third, fifth, and sixth in the league respectively, while second baseman Kelly Turner hit .327 and Ken Buchy hit .313 to finish 9th and 10th, rounding out the league's top ten.
And then there was the Ruby Bird's pitching staff with the league's stingiest 74 total runs allowed and Dauphin's all-time record four shutouts. Gary Keating began the season by tossing a 2-hitter, shutting the door on the McCauley Blazers 11-0, followed by Rottman's 3-hit, 3-0 shutout over Brandon in the semi-finals of the league's annual July 1st tournament at Birtle. Ross Stone followed with two shutouts against the Souris Cardinals--8-0 to end the regular season and 1-0 to open the first round of the playoffs. Rottman won it with a 2-out single in the bottom of the 9th, his 2nd walk-off game-winner in his three years as a Redbird. "Stoney" was also involved in a game against the Virden Oilers that set a new MSBL record for most strikeouts in a game--34. Stone K'd 13 in seven innings while reliever Randy Wills from Minot State added three more. Virden's Bruce Bremer, who wound up leading the league with 107 strikeouts whiffed 17 but got peppered with 11 hits and nine runs in seven innings. Reliever Mike Labossiere finished up with one strikeout. Dauphin's Ken Buchy led the game off with a home run while Johnny Morrison had three hits and Dave Rottman went 4-5 in the 9-3 victory.
Three Redbirds were selected to represent Manitoba in the Canadian National Championship Tournament held in Edmundston, New Brunswick. Outfielder Gary Keating played sparingly in a reserve role. Johnny Morrison was the team's starting center fielder however broke his thumb in game one and didn't return. Dave Rottman was the team's opening-day, starting pitcher and promptly shutout perennial powerhouse Alberta 3-0 on a nifty three-hitter with a dozen strikeouts. He then topped Saskatchewan 4-2 in the semi-finals allowing one earned run and struck out ten before tossing another three scoreless innings in relief during the finals vs British Columbia. Rottman tossed a total of 21 innings, allowing a single earned run for a stellar 0.43 ERA with a 2-0 record and 27 strikeouts; all Team Manitoba records that stand today. He also hit .400 for the tourney and played 2nd base when not on the mound. For his efforts, he was named Canadian MVP and selected to Canada's National team. Keating, Morrison, Rottman, and Jerry Falk are the only Redbird players ever to represent Manitoba in a Canadian National Tournament. Rottman hit .455 for the 1975 team and shut out Quebec with 12 strikeouts to open the 1977 National Tournament. He refused to play for Mgr. Roy Cuthill and Team Toba in 1974 and 1976. His career .750 win percentage, two shutouts, and 0.69 ERA are all-time Team Manitoba records. Rottman also holds a career .413 Team Manitoba batting average.
1950 10-7 42-19
1951* 10-6** 20-10
MAN. SENIOR LEAGUE
1961 8-8** 17-14
* Denotes pennant winner **Denotes league title
1950 SEASON BATTING AVERAGES
FATE SIMMS .352
LOU BOURBONNAIS .340
EDDIE MAZUR .335
RAY NASH .333
ERNIE BOUSHY .282
ALEX ROBERTSON .281
HERB BOUGHEN .270
WIMPY STEPHENSON .239
STAN McPHEE .224
EDDIE MAZUR 12-5
WAYNE STEPHENSON 12-7
FATE SIMMS 10-3
The independent professional Western Canada Baseball League would be considered as an elite league in all of Canada during the 1951 season rivaled only by the ManDak League with her champion Brandon Greys. The Greys topped the WCL's best team, the Indian Head Rockets, 12-9 at a tournament in Moosomin, Saskatchewan earlier in July. Unlike the Greys and other teams from the ManDak, who were made up of former professionals, the Rockets were made up mostly of future professionals including three that would go on and play in the major leagues. First baseman Tom Alston who hit .375 for Indian Head, 9th best in the WCL, played four years with the St. Louis Cardinals from 1954-'57. Outfielder Bobby Prescott played 19 years as a pro, (1952-'70) briefly played for the Kansas City A's in 1961, and hit .301 for the Hawaii Islanders of the AAA Pacific Coast League in 1961. The twenty-year-old Prescott hit .329 for the Rockets.
Indian Head's best hitter was outfielder Les Witherspoon who hit .419, 2nd best in the WCL. He would spend four years in the minor leagues compiling a career .323 average with 40 home runs. Outfielder Pedro Osorio hit .395, 3rd best in the WCL, and also spent four years in the minors with a career .313 average with 51 homers.
1951 DAUPHIN RED BIRDS AT NBC TOURNAMENT IN INDIAN HEAD, SASKATCHEWAN
MANITOBA BASEBALL HISTORY WESTERN CANADA BASEBALL
BACK ROW--Larry McDougall, Jack Hrehirchuk, Lloyd Yrama, Roland Secord, Del Anderson, Pat
Fitzpatrick, Dennis McAuley, Dick LaFrambois. SECOND ROW--John Lesyshen, Jerry Shumanski, Arnold Staub, Don Menzies, Stan McPhee, Jerry Verbuski, Reg Johnson, Lou Hill. FRONT ROW--Al Evason, Fred Shumanski, Andy Newton (Mgr), Coots Riehl (Pres.), Bob Kabel, Bill Murry. FRONT AND CENTER--Ken Buchy (bat boy).
Ernie Boushy was born in Gilbert Plains, Manitoba and is the only player born in the Dauphin-Gilberbert Plains-Grandview area to sign a contract with a team affiliated with Major League Baseball. After batting .282 and .265 for Daupnin in 1950 and 1951, he hit .228 for the Carmen Cardinals of the ManDak League. At age 18, he signed with the Welch Miners (Philly Org.) where he led the Class-D Appalachian League in hitting (.349) and hits (169). A year later, Boushy advanced to the Class-B Lancaster Red Roses of the Piedmont League and hit .276 before ending his pro career by batting .140 for the Class-C Burlington A's ( Kansas City A's Org.) of the Provincial League.
KEN BUCHY 3B
SIGGI SIGURDSON LF
DAVE ROTTMAN P/SS/MGR
JOHN MORRISON CF
GARY KEATING RF
JERRY ARAUJO P/1B
DAVE MANTHORN C
JERRY SHUMANSKI 2B
JERRY FALK P/OF
ROSS STONE P/IB
BOB BUCHY INF
LEO VALCOURT OF
ROLLIE SECORD OF
BRODIE McCLAIN P
BERT READY 2B
ANDREW NEWTON GM
The fans called him Andy. The players called him Newt or A.C. The jolly, well-liked, and popular long-time mayor of Dauphin also served as general manager and 3rd base coach of the Dauphin Redbirds for 35 years (1950-1984). While playing-managers generally ran the practices and games, Newton took care of hiring ballplayers, finding jobs and lodging for out-of-town players, as well as most other organizational duties. He was widely known as Mr. Redbird.
The 1975 North Division playoffs posed some interesting pitching match-ups as the league’s top five pitchers were from the North Division headed by McAuley’s Dan Kaupla at 9-1, league MVP Bruce Bremer of Binscarth at 6-1, Dauphin’s Jerry Falk and Dave Rottman at 5-1 and 4-1 respectively, and McAuley Blazer Jon Langston via Long Beach State at 4-1. Kaupla, the 100th pick in the 1972 MLB annual June Draft from Fullerton Community College in Southern California spent the 1972 season with the Bristol Tigers of the Appalachian League where he posted a 2-1 mark with a 4.17 ERA. The following year, he went 1-4 with a 3.00 ERA while pitching for Detroit’s class-A Anderson Tigers of the Western Carolina League.
The MSBL South Division contained the older, established and original league teams of Brandon, Riverside, Souris, Hamiota, and Virden. The South possessed some of the league’s top sluggers in Bob Wilson, Roy McGloghlin and National Team clean-up hitter Bobby Thompson of the Brandon Cloverleafs, ex-pro Mark Fisher and Cliff Seafoot of the Riverside Canucks, and Stan Furman and ex-St. Louis Cardinal farmhand Bill Carpenter of the Souris Cardinals. The North had the fireballers in Bremer, Kaupla, Falk, and Rottman when his arm was healthy.
The best pitching match-ups for the opening round pitted Dauphin’s staff of Faulk, Rottman, and Stone versus Binscarth’s flame-throwing port-sider Bruce Bremer and National Team pitcher Garth Neville. Bremer opened the series with a 12-4 victory over Dauphin's #4 pitcher Jerry Araujo before rains halted several scheduled games. In game two, Johnny Morrison hit a grand slam in the first inning and Rottman took a 4-2 lead into the ninth inning versus Bremer but had to leave with arm problems. Ross Stone relieved, gave up three runs, and took the tough-luck loss, but bounced back in the second game of the doubleheader by blanking the Orioles 5-0 with a four-hitter. Jerry Falk started game four for the Redbirds and tossed a nifty two-hit shutout for a 9-0 win to even the series at two games apiece. In the final, Dauphin’s lefty Ross Stone out-dueled Binscarth’s Bruce Bremer 6-3 and Dauphin moved on to meet the McAuley Blazers for the North Division title.
McAuley and Dan Kaupla took game one of the North Division championship series 8-4 before Rottman, in only his second start of the postseason posted a 9-3 victory in game two. Jerry Araujo won game three and the propitious Redbirds were just one win away from winning the division. While Ross Stone and Gerry Falk were heading the pitching department, it was Araujo, Manthorne, and Rottman that were doing most of the hitting. Rottman led the MSBL playoffs in hitting for the 3rd time in the last four years with his .455 average (20-44). He hit .538 (14-26) in 1972 and .556 (20-36) in 1973. Manthorne finished in 4th place with his .385 average. The Redbirds were producing more than six runs per game against the league’s best pitching however Falk left for Quebec to pitch in the National Junior Championships and Stone had to return to Saskatchewan due to teaching obligations. At the time, the Redbirds held a 2-1 edge over McCauley in the best-of-five series however a league ruling overturned Dauphin's 9-3 victory and awarded the Blazers the win. McAuley’s Dan Kaupla proved to be the difference. The ex-pro with the Tiger's organization bested Jerry Araujo to eliminate the Redbirds and followed with three more victories against the Hamiota Red Sox, his 6th of the playoffs, as McAuley won the MSBL championship.
Falk and Rottman both played for the Manitoba Provincial team during the Canadian National Tournament held in Vancouver, British Columbia. Rottman later was named to Canada's National team for the second time and shut out Korea 6-0 in an exhibition game. Falk, Rottman, and Ross Stone are the only Redbirds ever to be named to the National Team.