PRINCE ALBERT SENIOR JACKS
1963 & 1964
The Prince Albert Senior Jacks were the team to beat in 1963 & 64. The Senior Jacks fastball team won both the Prince Albert Senior B and Provincial Senior “A” Championships in both years.
In 1963, coached by Al McLellan and managed by Len Lemieux, the Senior Jacks earned a trip to the Saskatchewan Senior “A” Championships ousting the Saskatoon Westside Merchants in the provincial semifinal.
The Senior Jacks then went on to face the Moose Jaw Johnstones in the best-of-five provincial final. The Senior Jacks split the first two games of the series in Prince Albert. They had trounced the Johnstones 17-1 in game one, Moose Jaw evened the series with a 4-3 win before the series moved south.
In Moose Jaw, the Senior Jacks were unstoppable winning game three 7-3 and then the championship by a score of 13-3 in game four.
Dave Pankratz was the hero of the 1963 Saskatchewan final series. Not only did he pitch the Senior Jacks to victory in game four, but he drove in nine of the team’s 13 runs, including back-to-back three-run home runs.
With few roster changes in 1964, the Senior Jacks successfully defended their titles behind superb pitching, clutch hitting and strong team play.
The Senior Jacks successfully defended their Saskatchewan Senior “A” championship title against the Saskatoon College Lads. What was supposed to have been the northern final but turned in to the championship series, when the southern representative withdrew from competition.
In game one, the Lads came out on top 7-1 but the Senior Jacks were again unstoppable. In game two, Dave Pankratz hit a bases loaded triple and Jim Neilson hit three singles to pace the Senior Jacks to a 7-5 win in Saskatoon.
The Senior Jacks laid claim to their second consecutive provincial title at Exhibition Park in Prince Albert winning the fourth game of the best-of-five series 12-6. Game three was a 1-0 decision in favour of the Senior Jacks.
The 1963 team included Lloyd Whitford, Ed Jones, Jim Neilson, Gerry Welch, Murray Donahue, Arnie Habetler, Dennis Brisebois, Ron Coombs, Herman Kraus, Vic Lemieux, Dave Pankratz, Doug Garson, Ray Brunning, Steve Zurevinski, coach Al McLellan and manager Len Lemieux.
The 1964 team included Lloyd Whitford, Jim Neilson, Gerry Welch, Murray Donahue, Arnie Habetler, Dennis Brisebois, Ron Coombs, Vic Lemieux, Dave Pankratz, Ray Brunning, Steve Zurevinski, John Jordan, Pete Fiddler, Fergy Ewancyna, Gerry Huber, Joe Adams, Vic Boback, bat boy Paul Whitford, coach Al McLellan and manager Len Lemieux.
The Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame wants to ensure the Senior Jacks place in history is secure as they welcome the Jacks in the team category.
Inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.