Med Hat Tourney Report By Gerard Hittel 2024

      Many “innings” ago, some old guys (young at the time) formed this thing called the Medicine Hat Senior Slow pitch League. Little did they know at the time, that it was the foundation for one of the best senior ball organizations in the country. 

This past weekend was another testament to how the foundation they laid was the basis for our ever popular “Medicine Hat Senior Slow pitch Summer Classic Tourney”. The 2024 edition featured 22 teams from 2 provinces in 5 different age groups that competed over 3 days playing some great ball and maybe even had time for a burger and a cold beer or 2. Guys from 55 years old to well into their 80’s from Calgary to Regina to Lethbridge to Saskatoon to Edmonton showed that they “still have it” between the white lines. 

A tournament of this size doesn’t happen by accident. It happens when tons of volunteers get together and get what needs to be done effortlessly and efficiently. From Friday mornings prep at the Moose Complex by guys like Wayne Miller, Grant Mackay, Darrell Maser, Derry Eresman and Huggy Scherger to the seasoned beer slingers Friday night like Jim Black, Howard Gehring, Jim Noon, Larry Lutz and Terry Tucker. Also, a big thanks to “Facilities Captain Parker” and his team to get Lorne Holden in shape after all the moisture for Friday nights contests. 

Throw in Friday evenings “Cookin’ At Kenny B’s Grill” by the Dynamic Duo Of Bruce and Michelle Gardner, Jim Fink and Mike Nykolaishen and the toe tappin’ music from “Phil The Thrill Marleau” and you have a perfect start to a successful weekend. Oh, and let’s not forget the “Press Box Professionals” Randy Biko and Darlene Black and Friday nights umps Lutz Perschon, Gord Moore and Ken Kallis. Thank you. 

With 22 games on Saturday and the same on Sunday the diamonds needed to be ready to go. Groundskeeper Scherger (He wore many hats) and his ably cast of Sherwin Lehman, Darrell Bartman, Jim Black, Harold Enslen (Doubled as the designated photographer), Grant Mackay, Larry Hurrell, and “Limer” Royce Hopkins made sure they were in prestige condition. 

The biggest most important task in Senior Men’s Slow pitch is keeping the beer cooler full and keeping the beverages cold. Although it was like putting the coyotes in charge of the henhouse, “The Beer Batter Twins”, Derry Eresman and Darrell Maser made sure that no one went thirsty and that there was no shortage. The huge bags of empty tin cans at the end of the weekend proved that it was another successful beer garden. 

Accolades don’t stop there. The many spouses, family members and friends that pitched in to work the gardens, make posters, clean tables or tend to small injuries didn’t go unnoticed either. 

A last “HUGE” thank you to ALL the players and coaches of the 6 local teams (Too many to mention) that umped 47 games, raked countless grains of shale and chipped in with beer sales when needed (Selling and consuming). Without everyone’s participation this event doesn’t happen. 

I hope I didn’t forget anyone as everyone is an important cog in running a tournament of this size. If I did, my apologies. I’m already getting emails from out-of-town teams with comments like:

  • Thanks for the hospitality

  • Great facilities and conditions

  • Best tournament we have been to with this many teams

  • Can’t wait to return in 2025

Thanks again to all, for helping to put on a great event with all proceeds going to the Medicine Hat Senior Slow Pitch League. Although President Hammel is guiding from the sidelines for a bit longer, he not only pitched in where he could, but stated “what a great fundraiser this is for our league”. 

Until next year………………….. GH