Champion’s Mr. Baseball


In the early 1930s Shorty Bouzyan moved to Champion looking to start up a grocery store, but his Champion Groceteria was not the most important legacy he left the town. Shorty is best remembered for being “Mr. Baseball,” a player, manager and coach who led the Champion men’s teams to many victories from 1933-1966.

Shorty started his baseball career in Stavely in 1922, and after a few years of working in Turner Valley and playing for High River and Black Diamond teams, played his first game with the Champion Red Sox in 1933. By 1954, his playing days were over but Shorty continued on as coach and manager of the Red Sox.

In the 1950s, the Champion Red Sox were the team to beat in the Wheatbelt League. The team, led by Shorty, compiled a record of 419-152 between 1946 and 1965. During these years, the whole town would come out to Red Sox games to cheer on their local boys, who regularly beat teams from Nanton, Stavely, Carmangay, Claresholm, Granum, Vulcan, and Lethbridge.

Champion Red Sox, 1946. Shorty is in the front row, centre. Back row, L-R: F. Watts, B. Siler, R. Fath, W. Rhodes, L. Hagg, M. Smith. Front Row, L-R: S. Pasolli, L. Pasolli, Shorty, L. Rhodes, H. Hagg

Shorty retired from baseball in 1966, but remained involved in keeping the sport alive in Champion.

In 2009, the local baseball field was dedicated to Shorty’s memory, in recognition of that all that Shorty did for Champion’s baseball community throughout the years.

Photo from champion100years.ca

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