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2007 Inductees
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Brightview Huskies




 INDUCTEE 2007 - TEAM - Brightview Huskies Fastball Team


 


"Dominant men’s fastball team in
Central Alberta, during the late 1940’s"


The predecessor team to the Brightview Huskies was a group of young fellows from the Brightview area west of Wetaskiwin  who played fastball, for the fun of it, against other country teams in the area.  Organized in 1943, the team practiced and played their home games on a diamond on Willie Kaiser’s farm. 

It was a fairly level piece of pasture where they built a backstop, laid out the bases and tried to keep the gopher holes filled before a game.  Ben Dickau who lived nearby and really knew the rules served as umpire at many of their games. They were self-sponsored and paid their own expenses.  They started with two or three bats and a few balls that were re-sewn when the seams split.  A few years later they could afford the luxury of twelve new balls.   

One Sunday in the spring of 1946 the Brightview team was invited to play an exhibition game against the excellent City of Wetaskiwin team, many of whom had come out of the Army where they had played ball.  The Brightview team were good and the addition of Walter Maciborsky (also out of the Army) as their main pitcher added to their skill.  Brightview defeated the Wetaskiwin team.  The front page story in the next issue of the Wetaskiwin Times reported,  “Those husky boys from Brightview  walloped Wetaskiwin by a score of 22 to 1!”  The name “Brightview Huskies” was born and it stuck.  Player on that team were: Johnny Dux, Walter Maciborsky, Johnny Kaiser, Howard Pohl, Reggie Bailer, Raymond Bailer, Ed Ruff, Edwin Forth, Elmer Bailer and Donnie MacKay.  That summer the Huskies never lost a game.  They played against teams such as Falun, Pipestone, Thorsby, Hay Lakes and Clover Lawn. 

The next big step was getting team jerseys.  They were bright orange and emblazoned with “Brightview Huskies” on a crest.  Their team spirit and confidence increased, as did their success on the field.  In their second year they played many games as all the teams in the area wanted to beat them.  Young women came to see and cheer on these young good looking players, only one of whom was married. 

One of the highlights of their years playing together was an exhibition game played in Wetaskiwin in 1947 against the Sioux City Colored Ghosts.  A very large crowd attended and the collection received was paid to the “Ghosts” who entertained everyone with their antics.  Although they were comedians with many hilarious plays, they were also professional athletes on the diamond and handed the Huskies their first defeat.

The Huskies continued to win almost all the games they played.  One memorable game was played at Clover Lawn were Walter struck out 24 of the 27 batters.  The score was 27-0.

After the second year, since the Huskies were beating all their competitors, they were invited to very few local tournaments.  They had to travel farther afield and played mainly exhibition games.  The players were transported in “the Limousine”, the back of Johnny Kaiser’s truck that was used for hauling cream during the week.  In 1948 Johnny Kaiser donated a calf on which raffle tickets were sold to pay for classy leather club jackets sporting the Brightview Huskies crest.

In their heyday (1946-1949) the team stayed together with little change.  Gradually some players went to play on other teams.  Some stopped playing ball and became more involved with making a living and other interests and so the Brightview Huskies Fastball Team disbanded.

Most of the players settled in the community.  As of 2007 seven of the original Brightview Huskies still resided in Wetaskiwin and area and have many great memories of the “good old days" playing ball and having a wonderful time with the Brightview Huskies Team.

 

 


Reggie Bailer


Raymond Bailer


Elmer Bailer   

 


Ed Ruff

 


Edwin Forth

 


Howard Pohl

 


John Dux
 

   
 





 
 

 

 

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Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame
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