WCBL All-Star Game & Home Run Derby Photo Gallery


Homers, hugs and high fives punctuated the 2023 Western Canadian Baseball League All-Star Game & Home Run Derby.

If you dig the long ball, come to the ballpark for spectacular diving defensive plays, or just enjoy collecting player autographs and watching the mascots race each other, odds are you left the WCBL All-Star festivities at Seaman Stadium in Okotoks with a smile on your face.

The event had a little bit of everything, as you can see from the photos below.

As far as results go, catcher Hank Dodson of the Sylvan Lake Gulls outlasted Swift Current 57’s outfielder Ethan Murdoch in the Home Run Derby, while the West Division defeated the East by a final score of 10-4. But there were winners all over the diamond, in both dugouts and in the stands.

Here’s a look at some of the magic from Saturday, July 15th in Okotoks:

Finishing touches are applied to the field before the gates open.
An East Division player warms up at batting practice ahead of the Home Run Derby.
The derby participants are introduced to the fans. From left to right: Nash Crowell, Eric Rataczak, Nathan Tarver, Ethan Murdoch, Austin Gurney, Ryan Dauphinee, Hank Dodson and Bennett McCollow.
Austin Gurney of the Moose Jaw Miller Express awaits the right pitch to send over the fence from assistant coach Michael Gonzalez. The infielder was the first batter in the derby and finished with seven home runs.
Look way up! West Division All-Stars admire the moon shots delivered by Gurney in the derby.
Ryan Dauphinee receives congrats from Weyburn Beavers head coach Cam Williams after knocking out three round trippers. Williams tossed pitches to the Dauphinee in the event.
Nathan Tarver of the Medicine Hat Mavericks admires one his blasts to left field. A number of fans at the Kore 4 (+14) Corner patio had to scramble out of the way of well-struck baseballs. Tarver finished with five homers.
Swift Current 57’s outfielder Ethan Murdoch is interviewed after winning the opening round of the East Division matchup. Murdoch’s eight long balls were enough to surpass Gurney’s seven homers.
Hank Dodson, a catcher with the Sylvan Lake Gulls, announced his entry to the derby with authority, smacking a chest-thumping, bat-flipping 13 home runs in the first round.
Bennett McCollow, infielder with the Fort McMurray Giants, regroups after his timeout. Each competitor had three minutes to hit as many homers as possible, with a timeout to use to take a 30-second breather. McCollow recorded six bombs.
Eric Rataczak lifts a ball skyward in the derby. The outfielder with the Brooks Bombers came closest to catching Dodson by sending 12 baseballs out of Seaman Stadium.
Nash Crowell takes a seat and gets a drink during his timeout. His pit crew of Dawgs made sure he was well looked after. The Okotoks Dawgs slugger finished with 10 round trippers.
Hank Dodson sits alone in the dugout while watching how his competitors do.
Derby champ Hank Dodson is swarmed by West Division teammates after winning the derby.
Drew Dodson (left) celebrates with his son Hank (right) after winning the Home Run Derby. Drew traveled from North Carolina to pitch to Hank in the long-ball competition.
East Division players sign autographs for youngsters along the left-field berm.
Bats and helmets are at the ready in the East Division dugout.
Ken Larson and Merv Ozirny were recognized before the game for their years of service in growing the Western Major Baseball League, the predecessor of the WCBL. Both men were presented with plaques and commemorative baseball bats.
West and East All-Star players and coaches line the base paths ahead of the Canadian national anthem.
Trent Lenihan (centre) – who batted sixth and played left field for the West – is introduced to the crowd.
Ty Boudreau, the starting pitcher for the West Division, warms up before taking the mound.
East Division centre fielder Brody Gardner steps in for the first at bat of the 2023 WCBL All-Star Game.
Gulls shortstop Jonah Weisner and Sylvan Lake assistant coach Wyatt McKnight share a selfie at first base.
The selfie view of McKnight (left) and Weisner (right) as seen from McKnight’s phone.
Hank Dodson (right) seeks a high five from teammate Nick Groves (left) after scoring the first run of the All-Star Game in the bottom of the second inning.
Diggity celebrates a win after cruising to victory in the mascot race.
Steve Hildebrand (left) – the president of the Saskatoon Berries – is interviewed by Joe McFarland (right) as part of the HomeTeam Live All-Star Game broadcast. The expansion Saskatoon club will begin play in the WCBL in 2024.
West Division All-Star players stand atop the East Division dugout and throw prizes into the crowd.
Medicine Hat Mavericks coach Kevin Mitchell (centre) busts a move as East Division players look on.
Nate Mensik of the Moose Miller Express is all smiles after scoring a run for the East Division.
An East Division pitcher loosens up in the bullpen in the later stages of the game as fans on the berm seek All-Star autographs.
Nature artist Jim Rataczak – whose son Eric participated in the Home Run Derby and represented the Brooks Bombers in the All-Star Game – brought his sketch pad with him and painted this image of the home dugout at Seaman Stadium.
Nathan Tarver was the final out of the game. Ryan McFarland of the Dawgs got the win and Devin Benavides of the Lethbridge Bulls closed out the contest. The scoreboard displayed the 28-hit barrage from both teams and the final tally of 10-4 for the West over the East.
Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer Matt Stairs (left) presented Kalem Haney with the 2023 WCBL All-Star Game MVP honours. Haney hit a go-ahead home run in the fifth inning that broke a 4-4 tie and gave the West a lead they would not give back.
Fireworks lit up the ball diamond to put an end to an outstanding evening in Okotoks.

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