Shane Simpson of Regina, a longtime member of the Regina Jets, will be inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame, Individual Category, as a Player/Builder on Saturday, Aug. 18 in Battleford.
Simpson was born and raised in Regina. His men’s baseball career began as a pitcher/infielder with the Lumsden Cubs in 1974. In 1976, Simpson, along with Neil Tulloch, founded the Regina Jets in the Molson Baseball League in Regina. Simpson and Tulloch took over coaching the team in the late 1970s.
In the 1980s, Simpson pitching and Tulloch hitting, became fixtures in the Molson League. Simpson was a fierce competitor, pitching countless innings, always wanting the ball. In 1984 the Regina Jets won the provincial men’s championship.
He played with the Jets until 1994 then moved to the Regina Ghosts.
In February 1989, Simpson played with the Moose Jaw Ol’Birds in an international tournament hosted in San Diego, Calif. and Tijuana, Mexico. That same year he was also picked up by the Canadians for provincials and then the westerns, played in Melita, Man. Also in the fall of 1989, Shane played in the World Series Tournament in Phoenix, Ariz. with the Ol”Birds. This began a decade-long attendance at this annual U.S. tournament.
The Regina Jets disbanded in the early 1990s. Simpson and Tulloch thought of retiring, but then decided to play in the Soo Valley League, so they revived the Gray Ghosts. This team became the Lumsden Ghosts, then the Regina Ghosts, which continue to this day. Both the Soo Valley and Molson Leagues were absorbed into the Qu’appelle Valley Baseball League.
Simpson also coached several minor baseball teams from 2000-09. These included Regina Mosquito AA, Regina Mosquito AAA, Regina Pacer Pee Wee AAA, Regina Pee Wee AAA, Regina Pacers Bantam AAA, Regina Mets Midget AAA and Regina Mets AAA. Several of these teams were provincial champions and competed at western and national levels.
In a letter of support, Bill Demer states Simpson felt, and passed onto the players, that it was their duty to give back to the game they loved so much, to pass on the knowledge they had garnered over their career and to teach the boys how to play the game the right way.
Simpson and his wife, Debbie, live in Regina. They have two children and three grandchildren.