Mel Murray, president of Estevan Minor Ball, was named a Life Member of the Western Canada Baseball Association. While the announcement came a couple of years ago, he was presented with the award in person just last week.

Murray expressed his gratitude for the award and reflected on his over 40 years of involvement in the sport within the community and across the province.

Starting off on field Murray transitioned to coaching for his son and continued coaching other teams thereafter.

Murray also served with Saskatchewan Men's Baseball, completing terms as Vice President for two years, President for two years, and Past President for two years.

"Basically, we take care of baseball across the province. We have zone directors for each area, and we organize everything from house league games to the CanCup."

Murray took a break from Estevan Minor Ball for a few years but has been back at the helm for around five years. He emphasized the collective effort of volunteers in ensuring the kids have the best field to play on.

"We installed new dugouts and safety netting over the field to protect fans from baseballs. We also built a new senior diamond with lights for our older kids."

He underscored that organizing baseball each year is a collaborative community effort.

"Since I started, not only the volunteers but also local businesses support everything we do. Estevan is a fantastic place to be."

Recently, Murray advocated for Estevan Minor Ball at a council meeting to ensure new shale could be added to the diamonds for upcoming provincials, spotlighting Estevan.

"So, these teams coming into Estevan will spend the weekend in hotels, restaurants, and purchasing gas, benefiting the community."

The provincials will be held at Cactus Park from July 19 to July 21 and the following weekend, July 26 to July 28, at Lynn Prime Park.

While many in the area are enthusiastic about baseball, Murray noted the main complaint he hears is that the ball season is too short. He also highlighted the growth in sports participation in the community this year.

"It’s a growing sport; this year our minor ball, softball, and even soccer numbers are up. The more kids play sports for exercise, the better. Enjoy it; I don’t care what you play, as long as you play something."

As Estevan prepares to host upcoming provincials, Murray's advocacy for youth baseball continues to leave a lasting impact, ensuring generations to come will have quality facilities and opportunities to enjoy the game he loves.