Sunday, June 04, 2006

Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame Inductions

Thu, 1 Jun 2006
From "T. Kent Morgan" <tkmorgan@SHAW.CA
Society of American Baseball Research SABR-L Digest

He wouldn't mention it himself, but SABR member Barry Swanton of Surrey,B.C. is being inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame as a builder on Saturday, June 3.

Barry is a former Winnipegger who played, coached and served as an executive in Manitoba for 40 years. Barry also is the author of The ManDak League: Haven For Former Negro League Ballplayers 1950-1957, which was published by McFarland this spring. KirkGibbons and Armando Vasquez, who played in the ManDak League, also are being inducted.

According to the Biographical Encylopedia of Negro Baseball Leagues, Vasquez played with the Cincinnati-Indianapolis Clowns between 1944 and 1947 and again with Indianapolis in 1952. He also played with the New York Cubans in1948. He only played in Canada for three years from 1949 to 1951.

In 1949,the the league was called the Manitoba Senior Baseball League and, according to Swanton, teams were allowed just two imports, but most had more. In his two ManDak League seasons with the Brandon Greys, Vasquez hit .279 with 3 homeruns and 36 RBI and .314 with 1 HR and 24 RBI. How he qualified for theManitoba Baseball HOF ahead of many other players with longer and better records in Manitoba is beyond me.

Although Swanton says that Gibbons played with the Indianapolis Clowns in1949, he is not listed in the Biographical Encyclopedia of the NegroBaseball Leagues. A pitcher, he played in Brandon in 1950 and 1954, inWinnipeg in 1953 and then in Minot, ND from 1955 to 1957. His overall recordwas 43-40 and in only three of the six seasons he had a winning record. Gibbons will be attending the induction with his daughter while Vasquez is reportedly too ill to travel to Winnipeg and then to Morden by car where the induction ceremonies will be held.

Willie Wells, Leon Day, Double Duty Radcliffe, Ray Dandridge, Lyman Bostock, Chet Brewer, Sugar Cain, Gentry Jessup, and Ted Strong are a few of the many other Negro Leagues players who played in the ManDak League. The Winnipeg franchise ceased operation when the Class C Northern League placed a St.Louis Cardinals farm team, the Goldeyes, here in 1954.

Kent Morgan

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