Hall of Fame to induct Unity's Morrison


Ross Morrison of Medicine Hat, Alta. will be inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame Saturday, Aug. 16 in Battleford.


Formerly of Unity, Morrison has been chosen to be in the player and builder categories.

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Morrison played minor league baseball in Unity as a right-handed pitcher and playing in the infield. He was 17 years old in 1960 when he began his career with the Unity Cardinals of the Northern Saskatchewan Baseball League. This was the inaugural season for this league and included players such as Bennie Griggs, Gene Graves, Teddy Richardson, Tommie Taylor, Joe Ferguson, Jerry Nyman and Norm Angelini.


Morrison played right field and was a contact hitter with average power.


He was a member of the Cardinals team that competed in the prestigious Lacombe baseball tournament. He also helped the Cardinals win the Saskatoon Exhibition tournament in 1962, defeating Prince Albert, Delisle and Kindersley. In the game against Kindersley, Morrison homered off Gene Graves. He also participated in the All-star game played in Kindersley in 1963 with veteran stars such as Pete Prediger, Johnny Ford, Kenny Nelson and Curly Williams.


Morrison also played against the immortal Satchel Paige.


Paige and his All-stars toured through the United States and Canada on an 80 game schedule. The Unity Cardinals were one of only three Canadian teams to defeat "Ole Satch" and his team, downing them 3-2 at a packed ball park in Unity in 1963.


Morrison was also a member of the 1966 Unity Cardinals that won their first Northern Saskatchewan Baseball League Championship, coming back from a 3-0 deficit in the first round against the Saskatoon Commodores. The Cardinals went on to win the final series 4-3 against Kindersley in front of 2500 fans, the largest crowd to watch a Northern Saskatchewan Baseball League game.


Due to a nagging ankle injury, Morrison decided to retire from playing baseball. He umpired for the Cardinals and coached in minor league, which included sons of Irl Flanagan and Ray Leier, as well as his two youngest children. Morrison also excelled in golf and curling. He refereed senior hockey and scouted for the Moose Jaw Warriors and the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL.


In 1981, Morrsion and his wife, Shirley, and family moved to Medicine Hat, Alta. where he coached his two youngest sons in little league.


Morrison continues to be involved in the game, helping his son Greg, the owner of the Medicine Hat Mavericks of the WMBL. He has never missed a game in the past six years and can be seen at the front gate selling programs and helping wherever needed in the park.


When asked when he was going to retire, Morrison replied, "When I forget how to get to the ballpark."

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