Elk Point Minor Ball has been named Small Baseball Association of the Year by Baseball Alberta in a ceremony on Saturday, November 21st. This is the second time in 4 years the ball club has received the honour from Baseball Alberta. The ceremony also honoured Baseball Alberta’s Zone 7 representative, Elk Point Minor Ball’s Registrar, Doug Bassett, with a Lifetime Member Award.
Bassett, says the club promotes the sport every chance they get and believes that’s why the club has been given the honour again this year. “We’re doing everything Baseball Alberta likes to see,” Bassett explains, “we hold an umpire client every spring, we do coaching clinics, we certify our coaches, we host all the baseball programs and we host Provincial tournaments.”
Elk Point really helps kids fall in love with the sport by starting young with the Rally Caps program. Rally Caps is for kids aged 5-6, and helps teach important ball techniques by awarding kids a different coloured cap for every skill they master. “Rally Caps replaced T-ball,” says Bassett, “there’s about five different caps, if you learn how to throw from A to B, you get a cap. If you learn how to hit you get a cap. And so on.”
Along with the cool programming to promote the sport, Elk Point has hosted multiple Provincial Tournaments; something Bassett started when his son played Midget ball in Elk Point. The town didn’t have a proper sized ball diamond for their Midget team, so Bassett made one. Through donations, and volunteers offering up various skills the town was able to construct the diamond, a true Kevin Costner story. The field even carries Bassett’s name, Bassett Field.
There was nowhere for the guys to play, so we build that diamond -Doug Bassett Elk Point Minor Ball
Joining Baseball Alberta as the Zone 7 Representative in 1999 after the town hosted its first Provincial Tournament, (and won) Bassett has been with the organization since. Last year he was awarded the President’s Award, one of the most prestigious awards the organization hands out, next to the Lifetime Member Award. Bassett has coached or managed a Minor Ball team for 20 years, having started when his son was in ball, and continued long-after his own children had left the sport. He was also named Coach of the Year by Baseball Alberta, in the past.
Under his leadership, the Elk Point Sox have won 3 Provincial Golds and 4 Silvers. The latest in 2014 when the Peewee Sox took the Silver title, Bassett manages this set of boys who will move up to the Bantam division in the spring. The Minor Ball Association has hosted 10 Provincials Tournaments over the past 16 years in the Midget division, with 4 other division Provincials hosted in the town over the same time period.
Bassett says the best part of winning the awards was Baseball Alberta kept it a secret until Saturday’s big reveal, “we had no idea, it was total surprise!” Bassett says he sees a lot of growth in the sport for 2016, “across the country we’re expecting growth, because the Blue Jays played so well.”
We’re expecting a whole bunch of new kids to come out and try baseball – Doug Bassett Elk Point Minor Ball