North Delta Colt All Stars 1979Team
The 1979 North Delta Colt All Stars were a very special mix of friends and neighbours who loved to play baseball and enjoyed great success. The group of boys were proudly coached by Gord Westgard, Don Robinson and Brian Sharp. Both of the latter coaches put in many hours with the team even though neither had a son on the team. Gord Westgard was the proud father and coach of Chuck Westgard (a 2018 DSHOF Athlete inductee). The coaches brought this group of boys together and in the summer of 1979, set about enjoying great success and building treasured lifelong memories.
The North Delta Colt All Stars 1979 consisted of: Aaron Denis, Eric Braumandl, Mark Nerland, Randy Pordan, Lee Cannel, Chris Young, Richard Holfeld, Chuck Westgard, Paul Melton, Darren Hebert, Jay Donze, Tom Hill, Steve Lorenz, and Greg Durand.
The North Delta Colt All Stars stormed through the Provincial tournament held at Mackie Park unbeaten and without allowing a run to be scored against them. The 15 – 17 year old group depended on a very strong pitching staff of Paul Melton and Chuck Westgard, while the team also boasted the top batter of the tournament, Steve Lorenz (.525 average).
The next challenge was the Western Canadian championships held in Merritt, B.C. The team picked up 3 more players from Quadra for the Westerns, Steve Clements, Gord Smart and Randy Regush to round out their roster. Although they dropped one game in the round robin portion of the tournament to Saskatchewan (losing 2-0), the team was stellar in the play-off round. It was a total team effort to win the Westerns with individual recognition going to Steve Clements, Top Batter (.455 average) and named to the All -Star team as an outfielder. Also named to the tournament All-Star team were catcher, Greg Durand; first baseman, Arron Denis; shortstop, Tom Hill; pitcher and the overall tournament MVP, Chuck Westgard. Securing another gold medal meant more baseball and more travel for all of the boys.
The final challenge for the summer of 1979 was to be the All-Canada Midget Baseball Championships in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The North Delta Colt All Stars claimed a silver medal at the Nationals that year, losing the final game 3-2 in 11 innings in the pouring rain. Chuck Westgard pitched the entire game, striking out 12 batters. At the end of the game, one of the players had the presence of mind to acknowledge that the end of the tournament also marked the end of an era for many of the team as it was the last time most of them would ever play together.
Probably the greatest intangible that helped to to create such a strong bond amongst the team was that they were simply “the boys from the neighbourhood” who grew up playing with each other in backyards, at the park, and on the baseball diamond. Half the team came from roughly a three block radius in North Delta. To this day, a handful of the team remain close friends.