Battlefords own Albert Bidart will be inducted

The late Albert Bidart grew up in North Battleford participating in school sports and later becoming active in baseball as a player, coach and umpire for over 50 years and because of his contribution to the sport he will be honoured as a 2010 inductee in to the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Bidart played senior baseball with the North Battleford UCT team in 1938 and '39. Following his stint with the team he served in the Canadian Army overseas.

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In 1945 he returned to baseball in North Battleford, and played with the North Battleford Beavers until the early '50s.

After his playing years, Bidart served many years in most capacities on the executive of the North Battleford Beaver Baseball Club.

In 1953, he joined the newly formed Western Canada Baseball League and for umpired 25 years. He worked in the Northern Baseball League until 1972 and umpired several Canadian National Championships, including the Canadian National Junior Baseball Championships in 1971 and the Canadian National Beaver Championships in 1973.

During the 1960s and '70s, Bidart coached hundreds of youth in minor league in North Battleford.

Throughout the years he also contributed to other sports in North Battleford, including coaching both men's and ladies' softball and 25 years of playing and then officiating peewee, junior, intermediate and senior hockey.

Awards won by Bidart include the North Battleford Kinsmen First Annual Sportsman of the Year Award in 1965.

In 1974, he was the recipient of an award from the Saskatchewan Amateur Hockey Association, and in 1998 he was inducted into the North Battleford Sports Hall of Fame, as a builder, then again in 2002, as the coach of the 1949 North Battleford Red Sox Ladies' Softball Champions.

Bidart was an uncle, a coach and a mentor to Emile Francis, a famous homegrown North Battleford boy, who excelled in both hockey and baseball for many years.

Bidart passed away in 1977.

"For a period of 50 years Ab Bidart dedicated his life to playing, coaching, managing, umpiring and providing leadership to athletes representing the Battlefords. I, along with hundreds of others benefited from playing with him, and for him. From a personal view, I can proudly say he was the finest person I ever met, and I could not have achieved what I did in both baseball and hockey without his advice and counsel," said his nephew Francis.

The memories and contributions of Albert Bidart and 12 other individuals, one team and one family will be honoured Aug. 21 during the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum induction ceremony in Battleford. Tickets for the evening are available by calling 446-1983, e-mailing saskbaseballmuseum@sasktel.net or stopping by the Hall of Fame in Battleford.

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