Presentation To Doug Wolfe Aug. 7, 2017
at WOBA Rookie Tournament hosted by Mitchell Minor Ball
Good Afternoon. I am Barb Henry, Co-President of Western Ontario Baseball Association and I am pleased and honoured to be here to make a special presentation to Doug Wolfe.
In the WOBA we have a special recognition called “The WOBA Life Time Membership” and it is to recognise individuals who have spent many, many years giving to baseball both at their local level and at the WOBA. We have one other Life Member and that is Ron Pegg who was the founder of the WOBA and Flesherton Minor Ball as well as being a member of the Ontario Baseball Association Hall of Fame in the Builders category.
Doug has been involved in baseball for 3 decades both at the local Mitchell level and WOBA level but also at the OBA as a voting delegate. He has worked tirelessly for the good of the young players in Mitchell, not so much for the coaches, but always for the kids.
Even though Doug has been at the WOBA Board of Directors table for many years he is one of the most forward thinking people there. He is always thinking and working towards growing ball and making it better. He developed the “Blast Ball Soccer” program about ten years ago that got kids and parents in Mitchell interested and involved in ball again when programs everywhere were struggling. Flesherton followed his lead and they now are alive and well again thanks to Doug’s idea and their hard work. Thanks Doug. He is also responsible for envisioning the present system we use in the WOBA where all children play in league play and they then have an opportunity to try out for the centre’s OBA rep team. He understands the importance of building strong teams at the league level in order to develop skills and a love of baseball before moving to the higher levels.
Doug is a man of few words but when he says “I have been thinking” at the WOBA Board table we all stop and listen. We listen out of respect but we also listen because we know that it will be worth listening to. The executive regard him as our “Elder Statesman” and go to him for his wisdom and experience when working on difficult issues and he is always there for us.
Doug’s son Adam, gave us some information on Doug’s work with Mitchell Minor Ball and I would like to share some of that with you.
Twenty-six years ago Doug and a friend, Gary Smith, were wishing that there was hardball in Mitchell instead of just fastball so they started to inquire. Doug contacted Ron Pegg the then President of the WOBA who invited them to meet with the WOBA Board in order to get the process started. That first year Doug and Gary were able to put together 1 team, likely with both their sons on it and Mitchell Minor Baseball was born. Within a few years they had a full slate of teams.
Over the next 26 years Doug was the President of Mitchell Minor Baseball and was the WOBA rep missing only TWO meetings in 26 years. He was WOBA vice president and president for several years as well as serving many terms on the executive, and is presently Director of the South.
At the local level, Doug has coached at least one team in each of the last 26 years at every level except Mosquito. He has won two OBA Championships and was runner up five times. He has convened countless tournaments like this Rookie one today including hosting two OBA Provincial Championships.
Doug was instrumental in the vision for the Cooper Senior Field and soccer pitches as well as a leader in fundraising in order to have if built. He and Brian Smitjes still spend “hundreds” of hours maintaining and caring for that diamond.
Doug’s wife Sharon, often said that if she had a nickel for every hour that Doug spent doing something with baseball she would be a millionaire by now. It is Mitchell Minor Ball and the WOBA who are truly richer because of Doug’s time, energy and wisdom.
I gives me great pleasure to present this banner that will be won by the Championship Rookie team at this tournament as the “Doug Wolfe, Rookie Ball Champions” for the WOBA. Thank you Doug, for everything that you have done for baseball for the kids of the WOBA.