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
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.