COLONEL PRO­MOTED

1991 Glace Bay Colonels to be in­ducted into the Cape Bre­ton Sport Hall of Fame

Cape Breton Post - - Cape Breton - BY T.J. COLELLO CAPE BRE­TON POST sports@cb­post.com Twit­ter: @cb­post_s­ports

The 1991 Glace Bay Colonels to be in­ducted into Cape Bre­ton Sport Hall of Fame.

The 1991 edi­tion of the Glace Bay Colonels won a Cana­dian Lit­tle League Cham­pi­onship and fin­ished fourth in the world, a feat made even more amaz­ing con­sid­er­ing they came from such a small town.

The Glace Bay squad of 11 and 12-year-olds is the lone team be­ing in­ducted into the Cape Bre­ton Sport Hall of Fame. The cer­e­mony will be held June 3 at the an­nual Cape Bre­ton Sport Her­itage Awards at Cen­tre 200.

“For a bunch of young guys from the area, they’re all lo­cal kids — there were no pick­ups or any­thing — it’s quite the ac­com­plish­ment,” said team man­ager Henry Boutilier. “With the weather we have and the amount of fa­cil­i­ties, we didn’t have year-round fa­cil­i­ties for base­ball back at that time. They worked hard and spent a lot of their time on the field, that’s for sure.”

The Colonels saw com­pe­ti­tion from the North­side County Ram­blers, Syd­ney No. 1, Syd­ney No. 2, Re­serve All-Stars, and North Syd­ney in the Nova Sco­tia Ma­jor Lit­tle League Cham­pi­onship. Glace Bay en­tered the tour­na­ment as the de­fend­ing pro­vin­cial and Mar­itime cham­pi­ons, but was up­set 8-7 by the Syd­ney No. 1 team early in the round-robin por­tion of the tour­na­ment.

The de­fend­ing champs would re­cover, how­ever, and fin­ish with a 4-1 record in the round

robin. One of Glace Bay’s vic­to­ries in­cluded a no-hit­ter from Butch Kel­loway in a 10-0 tri­umph over the Ram­blers. In the fi­nal, Glace Bay avenged their loss to Syd­ney No. 1, cruis­ing to a 13-2 win.

Coach Ernie Pyke spoke highly of the late Kel­loway, who died as the re­sult of a car ac­ci­dent in 2004 at the age of 24.

“He was about 17 years old, about five years af­ter it was over and one day I was walk­ing down Com­mer­cial Street and he hollered to me ‘Coach, that was the best year of my life,’” said Pyke.

The Colonels then hosted Lan­caster, N.B., for a best-ofthree se­ries for the Mar­itime ti­tle at the Cameron Bowl. Glace Bay posted vic­to­ries of 12-0 and 4-0 to re­peat at champs. Ace pitch­ers Robert Piercy and Kel­loway com­bined for only three hits al­lowed and 23 strike­outs to earn a berth at the Cana­dian Lit­tle League Cham­pi­onship in Vic­to­ria, B.C. Piercy fanned 11 bat­ters for a no-hit­ter in the open­ing game against Lan­caster.

At na­tion­als, Glace Bay con­tin­ued their strong play, and Piercy threw an­other no-hit­ter in a 7-0 vic­tory over Stoney Creek, Ont. They’d fin­ish with a 4-1 record in the round robin

and punch their ticket to the na­tional fi­nal.

With Canada watch­ing on TSN, Glace Bay would win their first na­tional ti­tle since 1988 and third in five years with a 6-0 tri­umph over Stoney Creek. Chris Cade­gan and Craig Flem­ming hit RBI sin­gles, part of a four-run third in­ning.

“We were stand­ing in the Cameron Bowl in early June as part of the Colonels prepa­ra­tion and Henry and Ernie had us hud­dled at the end of prac­tice,” said Ge­off MacLel­lan of Glace Bay, who played first base. “They said we had the ca­pa­bil­ity of be­ing the Cana­dian cham­pi­ons and rep­re­sent­ing our coun­try in the Lit­tle League World Se­ries. That was a defin­ing mo­ment for all of us. They promised that if we worked hard, stuck to­gether and ex­e­cuted when the time came, we’d be Canada’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

“We car­ried that each and ev­ery one of us, day af­ter day, prac­tice af­ter prac­tice, game af­ter game and we be­lieved in it.”

The Colonels moved on to the Lit­tle League World Se­ries in Wil­liamsport, Pa., and would win their first two games. A high­light was a bases loaded, game-end­ing triple play in a 5-3 win over Dhahran, Saudi Ara­bia. It was the first triple play at the tour­na­ment since 1958.

“When we got to Wil­liamsport, that was just un­be­liev­able, some­thing we dreamed about since we were kids. Grow­ing up in Glace Bay, we saw other teams do it and peo­ple we knew do it,” said Roy Mug­ford, orig­i­nally of Glace Bay who now re­sides in Syd­ney River. He played out­field and sec­ond base. “I think the pres­sure when we got there was a lit­tle bit off. We just kept play­ing our game of ball and it led to a cou­ple of a wins and that triple play was some­thing we’ll never for­get.”

Glace Bay played in the bronze medal game of the tour­na­ment, but lost to South Shore Lit­tle League of Staten Is­land, N.Y., 16-0 to fin­ish in fourth place. How­ever, the play­ers re­turned to a hero’s wel­come, and were es­corted by mo­tor­cade to the Glace Bay Min­ers Fo­rum for a cer­e­mony to cel­e­brate their sea­son.

“I don’t think it re­ally sank in as 11- and 12-year-olds what they had ac­com­plished,” said Pyke. “They knew they had won, they knew it was a great thing, but they didn’t re­al­ize they ac­com­plished some­thing win­ning a Cana­dian cham­pi­onship play­ing against teams that played twice as many games we played from twice the pop­u­la­tion we had.”

(This story is part of a se­ries chron­i­cling this year’s in­ductees).

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO/CAPE BRE­TON SPORT HALL OF FAME

The 1991 Glace Bay Colonels, the Cana­dian Lit­tle League cham­pi­ons. Front row, from left, are Terry Cuzner, Scott Meechan, Roy Mug­ford, Donnie Burke, Steve McNeil, Troy Samp­son and Butch Kel­loway. Back row, from left, are man­ager Henry Boutilier, Robert Grant, Fred­die Cur­rie, Chris Cade­gan, Charles Nash, Ge­off MacLel­lan, Craig Flem­ming, Robert Piercy and coach Ernie Pyke.

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