Where the Whis­tle Blows

Frank Bursey en­joyed every­thing about base­ball

Cape Breton Post - - Cape Breton - Jeremy Fraser Where the Whis­tle Blows Jeremy Fraser is a re­porter for the Cape Breton Post. The 23-year-old grad­u­ated from Hol­land Col­lege in Char­lot­te­town, P.E.I., with a jour­nal­ism diploma, and has been work­ing in the jour­nal­ism field for the past nine

Jeremy Fraser writes about Frank Bursey’s pas­sion for base­ball.

With the weather start­ing to warm up, the mi­nor base­ball sea­son is just around the cor­ner, but the start of the sea­son doesn’t come with­out its sor­row in New Water­ford

In Oc­to­ber 2015, the com­mu­nity mourned the loss of a spe­cial fam­ily mem­ber, friend, sports am­bas­sador and vol­un­teer. Frank Bursey, known for his big heart and con­tri­bu­tions with or­ga­ni­za­tions and com­mit­tees in town, died sud­denly at the age of 56.

It didn’t mat­ter the sea­son, win­ter, spring, sum­mer or fall, res­i­dents of New Water­ford could find Frank show­ing his sup­port for lo­cal base­ball, bas­ket­ball and hockey teams in the com­mu­nity.

Although Frank loved all sports, his true pas­sion was for base­ball, some­thing any­body who knew him could at­test. His knowl­edge for the game was out­stand­ing and when he of­fered ad­vice or sug­ges­tions about the game, you lis­tened.

He coached base­ball for over 15 years, win­ning five pro­vin­cial cham­pi­onships within the New Water­ford Mi­nor Base­ball As­so­ci­a­tion. He also led the Glace Bay Jr. ‘AAA’ base­ball team to Nova Scotia and At­lantic cham­pi­onships in 2004, a team which rep­re­sented the prov­ince at the na­tion­als in Trois-Rivières, Que., a team Frank was ex­tremely proud of.

Aside from his coach­ing, Frank was also in­volved in the sport as an um­pire with Base­ball Nova Scotia for many years. One of his big­gest thrills in his um­pir­ing ca­reer was par­tic­i­pat­ing in the 2013 Cana­dian Lit­tle League Cham­pi­onships, hosted in Glace Bay.

Not only was Frank know for his work on the field in coach­ing and um­pir­ing, he was also known for his hard work and ded­i­ca­tion be­hind the scenes too.

In the early 2000s, Frank served as a mem­ber of the New Water­ford Mi­nor Base­ball As­so­ci­a­tion board of di­rec­tors, help­ing es­tab­lish a solid ground for youth to de­velop their skills in their home­town. In re­cent years, Frank con­tin­ued to give back to the base­ball com­mu­nity, serv­ing as the chair­man of the 2013 Nova Scotia Midget ‘A’ Pro­vin­cial Cham­pi­onship, hosted by the New Water­ford Reds, now known as the Cape Breton Reds, in New Water­ford.

Of course base­ball wasn’t the only thing Frank vol­un­teered to help with. Over the years, he served on many com­mit­tees in­clud­ing the Don John­son Cup, At­lantic Ju­nior ‘B’ Hockey Cham­pi­onships, the New Water­ford Mi­nor Hockey board of di­rec­tors, the ways and means com­mit­tee, the New Water­ford and Dis­trict Com­mu­nity Cen­tre board of di­rec­tors, and was a com­mit­tee mem­ber for the lo­cal sports hall of fame in town.

Frank was a true in­spi­ra­tion and touched the lives of many peo­ple. He was re­spect by all who had the plea­sure of know­ing him, in­clud­ing my­self. His sense of hu­mour was one of a kind and at the end of the day, his ded­i­ca­tion to base­ball was for one rea­son – the kids.

To­day, if you ask any of his for­mer play­ers, they would all say the same thing. Not only did Frank teach them skills on the field, but he used the sport to teach them life skills as well, teach­ing them to never give up on them­selves and have a strong work ethic.

Frank’s ded­i­ca­tion to sport, es­pe­cially base­ball, was rec­og­nized last July when he was in­ducted as a builder into the New Water­ford Sports and Her­itage Hall of Fame. The week­end be­fore the in­duc­tion, he was also hon­oured by the Cape Breton Reds midget base­ball team with a tour­na­ment in his me­mory.

I’ve been in­volved in the sport as a player and now a coach for many years. For me, it’s cer­tainly not the same go­ing to the ball field each day, not see­ing Frank parked in cen­tre field at the Gerry Marsh Ball Field, read­ing his news­pa­per, be­fore the game of course, and sup­port­ing lo­cal base­ball teams.

As the sea­son ap­proaches, Frank will cer­tainly be on the minds of many play­ers and com­mu­nity mem­bers, but one thing is cer­tain, we know Frank is look­ing down on us, cheer­ing for the suc­cess of all base­ball teams, es­pe­cially those based in New Water­ford.

Rest In Peace, my per­sonal friend.

“To­day, if you ask any of his for­mer play­ers, they would all say the same thing. Not only did Frank teach them skills on the field, but he used the sport to teach them life skills as well, teach­ing them to never give up on them­selves and have a strong work ethic.”


Frank Bursey was known for his pas­sion for base­ball. Bursey coached many base­ball teams over the years, while also help­ing to run the lo­cal mi­nor base­ball as­so­ci­a­tion for many years in New Water­ford. Bursey is shown hit­ting ground balls to one of ball teams.

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