R.I.P. Ron Hayter

 Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Ron Hayter passed away on Saturday at the age of 81. Photo Credit: Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Ron Hayter passed away on Saturday at the age of 81. Photo Credit: Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

By Kevin Glew

Canadian Baseball Network

Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Ron Hayter passed away on Saturday at the age of 81.

He had been suffering from dementia, but a CBC report indicates that he recently contracted pneumonia and died in his sleep.

Prior to his health issues, Hayter had been a player, coach, manager, executive and organizer of Canadian and international baseball for close to 50 years. Born in Hudson Bay, Sask., he played in Northern Saskatchewan and British Columbia before taking charge of Baseball Alberta in 1968. The passionate sportsman revived the struggling provincial body and tripled the number of registered teams in just three years, before stepping down in 1971.

He would later serve Baseball Canada in various capacities, from developing the first Canadian rulebook to organizing the inaugural national championships. He also represented Canada with the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) for 18 years, sitting on the legal and technical commissions, and receiving the IBAF’s President’s Award in 1990.

In 1979, he founded the Edmonton International Baseball Foundation (EIBF), an association that has organized several international competitions in the city, including the first IBAF World Cup of Women’s Baseball in 2004.

"For almost 50 years, Ron Hayter was a trailblazing executive and a strong and highly respected voice for baseball at the provincial, national and international levels. He worked selflessly and passionately to improve the game of baseball in Canada with many of his efforts done behind-the-scenes at the volunteer level," said Scott Crawford, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame's director of operations.

"I enjoyed meeting Ron and his family when he was inducted into our Hall of Fame in 2006 and I was deeply saddened to learn that he has passed away. On behalf of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, I would like to express my condolences to his family."

On top of his induction into the Canadian ball hall in 2006, Hayter received the coveted Vanier Award as an “Outstanding Young Canadian” in 1974 and was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, for outstanding community service, in 2004. He was also named a life member of Baseball Alberta and was inducted in the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 1978 and the Edmonton Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.

His funeral will be held Saturday, April 28, at the North Pointe Community Church, 14025-167th Avenue in Edmonton, Alta.