By Pat Payton
CAMBRIDGE – The Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) unveiled its complete list of the Top 100 IBL Players of All-Time earlier this year.
The 100 Greatest IBL Players is a centerpiece in honouring 100 years of IBL baseball. A Blue Ribbon panel comprised of distinguished members of the baseball community — including executives, media members and IBL staff — selected the list of esteemed players.
The 100 selected players were honoured at the IBL’s 100th Season Banquet, hosted at the Crowne Plaza in Kitchener in late February. Each attending player received a commemorative gold-plated bat honouring their careers.
Just a few of the top 100 IBL players (who played in this area) are as follows:
Kevin Aitcheson (Stratford 1978-91), Barry Boughner (London 1966-84), Arden Eddie (London 1967-2001), Denis Flanagan (Stratford 1972-91), Larry Haggit (London-Stratford 1974-84), Doug Landreth (Stratford 1967-83), Ron Musselman (Stratford 1978-94), Barry Petrachenko (Stratford 1985-95), Jim Ridley (Toronto-Stratford-Guelph 1972-75), Paul Spoljaric (Toronto-Barrie 2002-10), Ron Stead (London-Brantford-Guelph 1955-1972), and Damon Topolie (Stratford-Toronto 1995-2017).
Ridley (2014) and Stead (2006), who are both deceased, have been inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
While panel members were able to select any player who played in the 100-year history of the IBL, each was provided with biographies and career statistics for players who met any of the following criteria: any player who participated as a player in games between 1919 and 2017. Only individual statistics and awards that have been earned as a player were taken into account when naming individuals to this list.
Player-managers were eligible, but their accomplishments as managers (victories, championships, awards, etc.) were not factored into the decision to name them to the Top 100. Longevity and league dominance were given the greatest weight in determining which players were named to the list.
Players had to participate in the league for a minimum of five seasons. Additionally, career records and honours such as MVP awards, All-Star teams, and ERA/batting titles carried more weight than single-game records or one outstanding season. Players who played one to four seasons (who had an outstanding IBL career) could also be submitted. Such players were considered by the committee depending on the number of openings and how such player(s) fit into the overall list.
Forman new Red Sox manager
One former IBL player who could have easily been named to the Top 100 of all-time is St. Marys native Wayne Forman.
Forman, 40, meanwhile, is the new field manager of the IBL’s Brantford Red Sox. “The past few years, there has been a lot of transition and change,” Forman said in a recent edition of the Brantford Expositor newspaper. “That’s part of why I wanted to stay around so I could contribute to some stability.
“I want to see the Red Sox continue to do well. I just can’t completely walk away. I want to be a part of maintaining the integrity of the Red Sox. It has been so good to me over the years.”
Nicknamed the ‘General’ for his strong leadership, Forman was a catcher with the Red Sox during the team’s record-setting run of six straight league championships (2008-13). He was also on the 2006 Brantford championship team.
Forman spent last season as the Sox’s third-base coach.
After games this past weekend, Brantford is 6-9 in the standings.