Southern star Wally Blaisdell to be inducted

Beginning this week until Aug. 20, the Battlefords News-Optimist and Regional Optimist will feature biographies and details of the 12 individuals, one team, one family and one community that will be inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

This week's featured player is Wally Blaisdell, who played baseball in the South Saskatchewan Baseball League for more than 13 seasons.

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Blaisdell began to play top-level baseball in 1952 in the Moose Jaw area and continued until 1965 when he finished with the Regina Red Sox.

He was a hard-throwing right-handed pitcher who possessed a deadly curve ball and an effective knuckle/changeup. He was always one of the league leaders in wins, strikeouts and ERA during his time.

When not on the mound, Blaisdell played all other positions except catching.

He was also a fine batter, being one of the league's top sluggers. He won both pitching and batting championships during his playing career.

Blaisdell, or "Chief" as he was known by his teammates was a hardworking and competitive player, who continued to improve his game and stay in top physical condition.

Work commitments and the wish to spend more time with his family were major reasons Blaisdell retired from competitive baseball.

He treated teammates, opponents, umpires, officials and all associated with the great game of baseball, with respect and good sportsmanship.

After leaving the SSBL, he began coaching little league baseball for his son's team.

Blaisdell loved playing and coaching the game and made some of his fondest memories on the baseball diamond. He made many life long friends through his baseball playing years.

Blaisdell was also known as an elite hockey player, signing a pro hockey contract with the Chicago Blackhawks. He also coached his son's hockey team and was active in community service and was well respected as a member of the Kinsmen Club.

Wally Blaisdell will be inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame at the 27th annual induction Aug. 20 in Battleford.

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