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Wurtz pitches three inductees

By May 5, 2022No Comments

Leo Wurtz wore a Minnesota Twins uniform to his Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame induction in 2016 as a former Marysburg Royals player. Today, the Lloydminster resident is on the nominating committee. The nominees include Clayton Ermel who played his last 18 years with the Border City Blue Jays. Supplied Photo

 

Leo Wurtz is rounding the bases once again to notify local media about new 2022 Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame inductees.

The local resident and Hall of Fame member is on the selection committee that has added Clayton Ermel from Lloydminster and Roger Blaquiere from Edam to the list of new inductees.

“Clayton is a Lloydminster boy who has been involved in baseball for probably 40 years, beginning from the peewee level up to playing and organizing at the senior level,” said Wurtz.

Ermel played his last 18 years pitching for the Border City Blue Jays that had an incredible run in the North Saskatchewan River Baseball League (NSRBL).

 

 

“We did pretty well. We won four provincial titles between 2012-and 2018,” said Ermel, who is a machinist by trade.

He told the Meridian Source it feels pretty good to be nominated.

“A girl from the baseball hall of fame called me, then Leo called me a few days later,” said Ermel, who turns 40 soon.

“I’ve been playing baseball a long time,” he said.

“This year, I’ve kind of hung it up—starting to feel it, getting old—too many injuries. I’m done.”

Ermel is credited with being responsible for the formation of the Lloydminster Meridian Twins in the NSRBL, although Wurtz has never met him.

“He’s kind of under the radar. I’ve lived here 50 years and I didn’t know this kid,” he said.

Wurtz says people throughout the province nominate different individuals and the committee reviews their backgrounds and tries to determine who is most worthy of being selected.

He’ll be back before the induction ceremony on Aug. 20 at the Dillabough Centre in Battleford to pitch additional media coverage.

Ermel says he doesn’t know who’s all coming with him to the induction ceremony.

“I’m sure family mom and dad and the girlfriend will come and some of the players I played with have talked about coming too,” he said.

He says he’ll also be in the right mindset to talk more about his playing days by then too.

Wurtz says he doesn’t know Blaquiere personally, but knows he has been involved in baseball playing, umpiring, coaching and managing.

“He’s very highly respected and has contributed a lot to baseball in Edam,” he said.

The 2000 to 2014 Meridians Twins have also been selected this year for induction in 2023 to give organizers time to round up as many individuals as possible to attend the function.

Wurtz entered the Hall of Fame in 2016 after his heydays playing ball in the 50s and 60s

“One of my claims to fame is I replaced Glenn Hall (former NHL goalie) as the first baseman for the Marysburg Royals just out of Humboldt,” he said.

The Royals organization celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2018.

Wurtz is also an inductee in the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder.

“I refereed for 35 years and organized a lot of the refereeing that exists in this area,” he said. 

He is also the founding president of the Humboldt Broncos, but baseball is his passion.

“I enjoy baseball. My wife and I try to get down to the States to watch major league baseball in September when the pennant races heat up,” he said.

Wurtz moved to Lloydminster 50 years ago to start a teaching career and re-invented himself in 1980 to start a 25-year career as a land agent with Husky Energy.

He also worked in the Lloydminster refinery as a control lab supervisor and the at the upgrader in purchasing, ending his career as a land supervisor.