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Express to Honour 1961 Champs

06/23/2017 7:56 AM -

Miller Express to Honour 1961 Moose Jaw Steelers 

This Saturday Moose Jaw will be honouring the 1961 Moose Jaw Steelers. who were crowned Southern Baseball League Champions 56 years ago.  The Miller Express will host Swift Current during the "Retro Game" night presented by Western Dodge. 
Here is a look back. 
1961 Steeler team roster: 
Bob Bell, Mel Hennenfent, Wally Blaisdell, Bob Nevill, Dennis Williams, Paul Longmore, George Hunchuk, Wayne Lebere, Joe Foord, Dave Hornichuk, Terry Wasley, Murray Jenkins, Barrie Day, Clive Craig (Bat Boy) Lorne Humphreys, Mike Dayne, Dick Mandzuk, Ray Nutzhorn, Murray Smail.  (Photo courtesy Dick Mandzuk)
Playoff Highlights
The Moose Jaw Steelers advanced to the Southern League final by defeating the Estevan Maple Leafs 10 - 6 to win their best-of-five semi-final three games to none. 
Southern League Chamionship Series:
Game 1:
Flawless defensive play, combined with the fine seven-hit mound performance of lefthander Wayne LeBere, carried the Moose Jaw Steelers to a 9 - 2 victory over the Swift Current Indians in the first game of their best-of-seven series for the championship of the Southern League. 
This game was not even close as the Steelmen scored five runs in the 1st inning off loser Denny Weston and had a 9 - 0 lead after five innings were in the books. 
Mike Dayne and Wally Blaisdell homered for the Steelers. Dayne also had a single. Swift Current shortstop Stu Millard was their top hitter, rapping a double and two singles.
Game 2:
The Moose Jaw Steelers edged the Swift Current Indians 2 - 1 to take a two-game lead in their Southern League playoff final. 
Wally Blaisdell worked his way out of some early jams and hurled shut-out ball in the late innings to pitch the Steelers to their victory. He wound up with a four-hitter. 
Swift Current playing-manager Jackie McLeod went the distance in taking the defeat. 
Dave Hornichuk led the Steelers offensively with two singles while Murray Jenkins hit a run-scoring double. Hornichuk drove in Moose Jaw's first run, plating Ray Nutzhorn who had previously doubled. Gord Johnson of the Tribe had two of the four hits off Blaisdell.
Game 3:
For the second time in the Southern League playoffs, the Swift Current Indians are at the bottom end of a one-way street. They escaped a big scare in their semi-final series against the Regina Red Sox but now face an even bigger hurdle as they now trail three games to none in the final series as a result of being dumped 7 - 4 by the Moose Jaw Steelers in game three before 2,200 fans. 
The Indians took an early, 1st inning 2 - 0 lead against portsider Wayne LeBere but the lead was short-lived as the Steelers counted three in their half and never were behind thereafter. Losing pitcher Harvey Pederson went the distance for Swift Current. 
Murray Jenkins was Moose Jaw's big gun at the plate as he slammed a double and three singles. Mike Dayne and Ray Nutzhorn both singled twice. 
Gus Twamley was the top batter for the Tribe with three singles. Jackie McLeod had a double and single.
Game 4: 
Wally Blaisdell drove in 9 runs with two towering home runs and a pair of singles as the Moose Jaw Steelers won the Southern League championship by defeating the Swift Current Indians 15 - 8. 
The Steelmen wrapped up the best-of-seven series in four straight games. The high-scoring game lasted only seven innings because of darkness. George Hunchuk also homered for Moose Jaw.
Ray Nutzhorn, in a solid relief performance, picked up the win over fellow southpaw Jackie McLeod. Dave Hornichuk and outfielder Murray Jenkins each hit two singles for the winners. 
Clint Cory slammed a double and two singles for the Tribe. Jerry Ranger hit a double and single while McLeod singled twice.
Information courtesy of the Moose Jaw Miller Express.