Tales from the Doug Out: August 23, 2016

Dustyn “The Dust Pan” Pankiw called up to try-out for Team Alberta

It always seems to me, that right after the annual Elk Point Oilmen’s golf tournament, summer is over. All of a sudden the days are shorter, nights are longer and the mornings are cooler and dark when I get up.  A few days ago I heard my first geese honking, looked up  and saw a small flock flying  over head. The next day there was more of them and I thought that’s not a good sign . Way too early for them to be leaving, but my buddy Marshall ‘ Little Beaver’ Myshaniuk says they are just out practicing. They take the young birds out every day on a milk run building up muscles,  getting  for the long haul south. That made sense to me until I heard some cranes chirping, I  looked up really high in the sky and sure enough saw them floating around. Now, I know for sure they don’t do any warm up runs, they are taking off for good and usually I don’t hear them for another month, around Thanksgiving weekend, so that’s not good.

It was a very early spring and summer, so I guess fall and winter may be early this year too. Kids you are going to get a shock too in about a week when they have to get their butts up by 7 am to catch the school bus! You guys better make the best of this last 10 days and not stay in bed all day! Last week, I figured baseball was all over for the year, and almost switched over to hockey stories this week, until I received some terrific news.

Our very own Elk Point bantam Sox player Dustyn ‘ Dust Pan’ Pankiw, after being selected to play with the zone 7 summer games team and winning a silver medal with them, then finishing the season with the Sox getting a gold medal and 4 MVP’s in the final tournament, has been selected as one of the top 40 bantam aged players in the province and has been invited to their evaluation camp in Calgary from Sept 9 to the 11.  It doesn’t take a genius  to figure out why they want him to come to the Team Alberta camp after watching him play. I’ve been keeping stats for the past 20 years on all our Sox players. I keep them in my file and have stats on every player that ever played. ‘ Dust Pan’ had a stellar year. He is very talented and batting like no one ever  has on any of the Sox team in the past.  His batting average after 27 games this year was an amazing .667 the highest we have ever had.

Dustyn Pankiw
Dustyn Pankiw

Usually after 20 games if a player is still hitting .500 he is having an outstanding season, most guys are really good if they hit over .400,  but to be hitting . 667 is unheard of. He only struck out 6 times this season in our provincial league after 92 plate appearances . And at the summer games he only struck out once, and had a home run facing the best pitchers in the province. During the regular season with the Sox he had 5 out of the park home runs, 7 triples, 15 doubles, and led the team with 35 RBI’s. Plus this guy can play anywhere in the field. His best positions is center field, but he is great anywhere in the infield; especially short stop.

He can pitch, he had 53 strike outs and a 3.8 ERA after pitching 25 innings. He can even catch. He’s not really fond of playing that position, but when you need him, he can do it and do it well. So now you know why, down in Calgary they will have all their accommodations  paid for, two dinners with guest speakers; that include nutritionist, scouts, and a sports psychologist. Some team practises both days, conditioning drills and scrimmages. After Calgary they will travel to Arizona in February or March, then to Montana, Idaho and Washington State next June to play in tournament there. The final selection for Team Alberta will be made at the end of June. I have total faith that our man,’ The Dust Pan”, can do this!

And now for the K.A. Campbell quote of the week. ‘ Nobody’s a natural. You work hard to get good and then work to get better. It’s hard to stay on top.’ – Paul Coffey