The Prince Albert Lumberjacks – or Jacks as they were more commonly known – had a perfect ending to a perfect season when they captured the provincial Senior B men’s softball championship in 1953.
In the final game of the best-of-five series against the Moose Jaw Arcades, Prince Albert’s ace pitcher Ollie Fiddler tossed a no-hitter to lead the Jacks to a convincing 9-0 triumph. Just one Moose Jaw player reached base and that was on an error. The Jacks were facing elimination earlier in the day after Moose Jaw grabbed a 2-1 series lead with a 7-3 victory, but Prince Albert rebounded with a 6-2 decision before Fiddler closed the door in the final contest. Moose Jaw and Prince Albert had split the first two games with the Arcades winning the opener 5-0 before the Jacks battled back with an 8-3 verdict.
The Jacks, who had been together as a unit for a few years, began their successful playoff run with a two-game sweep over the Riverside Royals in the city playoffs. The Jacks won the opener 4-2 and then sealed the deal with a 10-2 triumph. In the north semifinals the Jacks faced a strong team from Payton, but again the outcome was never in doubt as Prince Albert won all three meetings including a 14-2 drubbing in Game 2, a game that lasted just six innings.
In the north final, the Jacks took on Saskatoon CNR. Prince Albert lost the first game 4-2 and the teams tied the second match 2-2 before the Jacks reeled off three straight wins – 5-2, 5-4 and 9-3 – all in one day. Fiddler once again was the deciding factor as he struck out 21 batters in 21 innings of work in the three-game sweep on the final day of the series. Fiddler pitched every playoff game for the Jacks, a feat that will likely never happen again. The win over Saskatoon then propelled Prince Albert into the provincial final against Moose Jaw.
Members of the championship team included: Jim McDonald (manager), Dunc McKillop, Pete Rosa, Joe Nishnik, Ed Federenko, Tom Zwack, Ron Fiddler, Murray Donahue, Harold Risebrow, Tom Scott Sr. (coach), Cec Corrigal, Charlie Cowan, Stu Barden, Danny Kissel, Tom Scott Jr., Ollie Fiddler, Ray Hudson and Jim McDonald Jr. (bat boy.)
For a team that had to travel together in an old one-ton truck, they experienced a ride that won’t be forgotten and the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame wants to ensure their place in history as they welcome the Jacks into the team category of the local shrine.
Inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.