Our province's top players, coaches, teams, and individuals who have given so much back to the game were honoured by Baseball Manitoba on Saturday night as the association held it's 2017 Awards Banquet in Brandon.
Dillon Thiessen of Altona was recognized as the 13U Player of the Year.
"I was really surprised," said Thiessen prior to the start of Saturdays banquet. "I didn't even know I was entered for this and when my parents told me I was really surprised."
Thiessen, who played for his hometown Bisons as well as South Central AAA and helped Manitoba to a fourth place finish at the Nationals in Repentigny, Quebec, enjoyed a full summer of baseball in 2017.
"It was super fun. I got to play with three teams this year. Coaches were all great. I enjoy competing. I’m a really competitive guy so to compete against players I know and other teams is great."
Baseball Manitoba also welcomed Patti Hacault of Bruxelles, Marvin Mills of Boissevain, Mike Johnson of Baldur and Brian Hodgson of Winnipeg into the Honour Society.
Hodgson got his start in baseball in his hometown of Roland and will be inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame in June of 2018 along with his Carman Goldeyes teammates who won the Manitoba Junior Baseball League championship from 1971-74.
His umpiring career has taken him to countless provincial, Western Canada, National championships and the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
"It’s a passion for me so that’s why I continue to do it," said Hodgson. "I’m still kind of relevant in the scene so as long as I’m sort of relevant I hope to continue to do it."
Hodgson currently serves on the Baseball Manitoba Umpire Committee and was quick to point out that our province is in good hands with a number up and coming umpires who are honing their skills behind the plate.
"There’s lots of really good young umpires out there that are a lot better than I was at that age I’ll tell you that."
2017 Baseball Manitoba Award Recipients
Challenger Player of the Year: Brett Hutton (Winnipeg)
Youth Umpire of the Year: Carter Williamson (Dauphin)
Umpire Award of Merit: Marty Flett (Ebb & Flow)
Volunteer of the Year: Bobbi Bottle (Winnipeg)
13U Pee Wee Player of the Year: Dillan Thiesen (Altona - South Central)
15U Bantam Player of the Year: Dawson Tanner (La Broquerie - Carilllon)
18U Midget Player of the Year: John Patmore (Pipestone - Oildome)
Female Player of the Year: Jamie Johnson (Arborg)
21U Junior Player of the Year: Cole Armstrong (St. James)
Senior AA Player of the Year: Ryan Shaw (Rivers)
Grassroots Coach of the Year: Jeremy Culleton (Vassar - Carillon)
High Performance Coach of the Year: Faron Asham (Brandon - Team Manitoba Canada Games)
Grassroots Team of the Year: La Broquerie 15U AA
High Performance Team of the Year (Minor): Team Manitoba Canada Games
High Performance Team o fthe Year (Major): St. James A's 21U
Honour Society: Brian Hodgson (Winnipeg), Patti Hacault (Bruxelles), Mike Johnson (Baldur), Marvin Mills (Boissevain)
Region of the Year: North Winnipeg
photos courtesy Patti Hacault