2023 Honourees

1984 New Waterford Dodgers

Winners of the Atlantic Intermediate 'A' Baseball Championship

Team Members:

Phonse Brenna

David 'Rocky' Burchell

Pius Burke

Bobby Burke

Edison Clements

Wayne Crowe

Donald 'Smokey' Ferguson

Greg Hawley

Eddie Kennedy

Charlie MacLellan

Roddie MacNeil

John Reid

Mark Walzak

David Roach

Joe Doyle

Paul Johnson

Tracy Deruelle

Head Coach: Ray 'Bozo' Steele

Assistant Coach: Michael 'Spike' MacKinnon

Assistant Coach: Pius Burke

Team Statistician: Jim Meers

Back Row, L-R:Jim Meers, Donald ‘Smokey’ Ferguson, David Roach, Edison Clements, Ray ‘Bozo’ Steele, Pius Burke, David ‘Rocky’ Burchell, Bobby Burke and Greg Hawley
Front Row, L-R:Charlie MacLellan, John Reid, Mark Walzak, Phonse Brenna, Wayne Crowe, Roddie MacNeil and Eddie Kennedy

No story could be told about the New Waterford Dodgers Intermediate A Championship team without mentioning long time baseball star, coach, and community supporter Ray ‘Bozo’ Steele. Bozo restarted Senior Baseball in New Waterford in 1982 when the Dodgers were awarded the Maritime Senior Championships on the strength of an excellent bid based on the town’s great facilities and rich baseball history. In that tournament the Dodgers came within a run of representing Nova Scotia at the Canadian Championships. Throughout the next six years Bozo worked tirelessly to run the team almost single handedly and there’s no doubt that without his efforts this championship would never have happened.

In 1983 and 1984 the Dodgers competed in the Richmond Intermediate A Baseball league. In both years the Dodgers won the right to compete in the Provincials and after finishing second in 1983 to Joggins, the team would not be denied in 1984 and won the Provincial title against teams from Weymouth, Joggins, and Louisdale. Wins over Weymouth and Joggins forced a showdown with local rivals Louisdale Baracos who had beaten the Dodgers 10-3 in the tournament opener. Strong pitching and clutch hitting powered them over the Baracos 6-3 and 1-0. The locals were forced to beat Louisdale twice because of double knockout tournament rules. 

The New Waterford team was off to the Atlantic tournament that was scheduled for Saint John, New Brunswick.  Due to a lack of communication or a misunderstanding it was discovered that the tournament would be in Belledune, New Brunswick, a community 725 kilometers from New Waterford. For a second there were thoughts of not going because of the distance and expense but Bozo was determined to take a run at the title and put his fundraising and organizing skills to work to make it happen. 

The Dodgers brought their bats to Belledune and pounded out 31 hits in 4 games to win the Atlantic title. This tournament was a round robin format so a 6-5 loss to Newfoundland forced a winner takes all game between the Dodgers and the PEI team from Fort Augustus. Pius Burke pitching his second consecutive game was up to the task allowing only six hits and a grand slam by Edison Clements in the fourth inning sealed the victory for the New Waterford club. 

The victory was sweet for Bozo as it marked the 25 anniversary of his New Waterford Giants winning the Maritime Senior Championship as a player in 1959.