What began innocently enough over 60 years ago has progressed into an amazing association with the sport of baseball for John Boden.
Born in Alingly, Saskatchewan in 1917, Boden was introduced to baseball at the relatively late age of 15 when he was inserted into the lineup as a pinch hitter for a squad at the Henribourg country picnic. His home run proved to be the game winner and it initiated a long and very successful amateur baseball career in Saskatchewan.
Boden played with the Northside‑Spruce Home senior men’s team from 1932 ‑ 60 and in that span was a member of 12 Northern League Champions. In 1935. Boden also played with the Prince Albert Volunteers who captured the Saskatchewan Junior Men’s Championship and the following year he was a member of the Prince Albert Canucks who lost out to Yorkton in the Northern Junior Men’s Final. Beginning in 1937, Boden toiled with both the Northside‑Spruce Home Club and the Prince Albert Bohemians.
Boden became a player‑coach in 1940 with the Northside‑Spruce Home Club and continued in that capacity until 1960. His coaching expertise was also used in Little League Baseball as he assisted a Knights of Columbus team from 1956 ‑ 60 and helped guide that squad to a Saskatchewan Little League Championship in 1959.
From 1960 ‑ 76 Boden played with a number of reams who required his services as a slick‑fielding shortstop and offensive threat at the plate. In 1976, Boden was instrumental in organizing the Prince Albert Oldtimers Club which competed in the Provincial Twilight Baseball League. Boden was both a player and coach for the club up until 1987 when he was 70 years of age. Boden then joined the Hudson Bay Jaks Twilite Masters team and continues to perform with that squad.
Boden has for a number of years escaped Saskatchewan’s bitter winters by heading south to Arizona. While in the sunbelt region of the United States he has been able to continue with his passion for ball and in 1992, Boden was a member of the silver‑medallist Arizona 75s at the World Series of Slowpitch in Detroit, Michigan.
Boden’s greatest moment in baseball occurred in August of 1993 when he was inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame. It is therefore an equally great honour for the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame to include John Boden on its honour roll in the athlete’s category.
Inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.