Baseball Canada announces national award winners
By Adam Morissette
OTTAWA - Baseball Canada honoured their national award winners today at the Sheraton Ottawa Hotel recognizing individuals, teams and organizations for their efforts and contributions to amateur baseball in Canada.
Baseball Canada and Major League Baseball Volunteer of the Year Award
DIANE WAKEFIELD (ON)
A volunteer, whose involvement in amateur baseball has spanned over two decades, Diane’s tremendous work is felt across the entire baseball community in her home of St. Thomas, Ontario where she has served the role as President since 2007. Diane was instrumental in securing funds for facility upgrades to better serve her community. Named one of the Most Influential People in St. Thomas, Diane was also a recipient of a prestigious Canada 150 Medal honouring her years of community service.
Lionel Ruhr Elite Coach of the Year Award
CAVANAGH WHITELY (BC)
One of the most experienced coaches in western Canada, Coach Whitely was at his all-time best in 2018 leading a scrappy group of teenagers from British Columbia to the gold medal game at the Baseball Canada Cup in Moncton while also guiding his Douglas College squad to a North Division playoff spot after graduating several players from 2017. Coach Whitely has coached at virtually every level of the game including provincial, national, international and collegiate teams and is an instrumental figure with the Baseball BC coaching program.
Dick Willis Memorial Award for Umpire of the Year
A dedicated umpire with over 25 years experience behind the plate, Guillaume is equally known for his fine work off the baseball field as he is on it. Through his work with the Provincial Program of Excellence in Québec, Guillaume has mentored many young umpires while also being counted on to work and supervise some of the highest-level competition in the province. A respected umpire from coast-to-coast, Guillaume will work his first international competition later this month at the 18U World Qualifier in Panama.
Kahunaverse Sports Lifetime Umpire Achievement Awards
DAVE BUCKINGHAM (NL)
With over 40 years involvement umpiring baseball, it is safe to say that Mr. Buckingham has seen it all on a baseball field. But what Mr. Buckingham is most known for is his constant desire to improve at his craft and also teaching new and aspiring umpires everything he has learned with the hopes of creating the next great umpire from Newfoundland & Labrador. A veteran of numerous Baseball Canada National Championships events, Mr. Buckingham often speaks of the time he worked the 1999 Pan Am Games as the most rewarding and proudest moments of his career. To earn such an award, one should demonstrate a lifelong commitment to umpiring and development, and it is clear that Mr. Buckingham is more than deserving of this honour.
Province of the Year Award
BASEBALL NOVA SCOTIA
Nova Scotia had a tremendous season in 2018 highlighted by a bronze medal at the Baseball Canada Cup – their best result at the event since 1995 while their 16U Girls squad captured a silver medal on home soil later in August. Nova Scotia also finished first in the categories of program delivery, governance and umpire development.