From Student To Teacher

It was a long road from the initial concept of the Edmonton Collegiate Trappers to actually becoming a franchise in the Canadian College Baseball Conference.

From folding to being a probationary team to finally taking part in real games in 2019, Ty Wagar was there every step of the way.

The senior reflected on his time with the Trappers in Episode #29 of Alberta Dugout Stories: The Podcast and here is that Q&A.

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Tokyo Fan Club

It was a contingent of Hall-of-Fame baseball talent that Western Canada had never seen before and hasn’t seen since.

When Major League Baseball (MLB) stars descended upon Alberta in October of 1934 on their way to Vancouver to board a ship for Japan, the group of legendary players included Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Gomez, and Moe Berg.

The only thing more compelling than the celebrity aura they brought to each stop was the newspaper ink they generated on their 19-game barnstorming tour of North America, which included 12 contests in Canada, in the lead up to their Asian tour.

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Going the Distance with Kinsella

For William Steele, the Kevin Costner baseball movie Field of Dreams offered an introduction to the world of Alberta author William Patrick Kinsella. It was a common entry point for many fans of the Order of Canada recipient. What Steele didn’t know at the time was that he would devote decades of his life to researching and writing about the controversial author and his literature.

The result of Steele’s labour is the recently-released biography Going the Distance: The Life and Works of W.P. Kinsella. The book provides an extensive look at Kinsella’s early life, his adult years working odd jobs, and his ultimate success as an author. It also explores the Edmontonian’s writing – which generally fell into two categories: baseball stories and aboriginal tales – and the response to his somewhat controversial books.

Our own Ian Wilson of Alberta Dugout Stories had an hour-long conversation with Steele about Going the Distance.

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Kinsella at the Bat

Long before author William Patrick Kinsella ever dreamt about baseball in Iowa cornfields, he was a stimulus-starved child growing up in rural Alberta. What he lacked in local events and community activities as a homeschooled farm kid near Darwell – 75 kilometres northwest of Edmonton – Kinsella made up for using his imagination. 

That creativity served him well as a writer, as William Steele notes in his new biography, Going the Distance: The Life and Works of W.P. Kinsella. The book provides a comprehensive look at the man made famous for his 1982 novel Shoeless Joe, which was the basis of the seminal baseball movie Field of Dreams. 

Here is an excerpt from Going the Distance …

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Chasing Perfection

Nobody’s perfect.

Perfection, they say, is a myth.

That’s where Rich Walker comes in. When the Edmonton Prospects’ pitcher took the mound at Shell Place in Fort McMurray on June 29th, he unleashed a flawless performance on the Giants. 

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