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Hyas baseball team to be honoured

Headed to Sask Baseball Hall of Fame

The Hyas Baseball Team will be inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame, Team Category, Saturday, August 17, in Battleford.

The first Hyas Baseball Team photograph was of a 1920’s team wearing knitted uniforms. Apparently each player was obligated to knit their own uniform. However, the original photograph has not been located.

For years there was a rivalry between the Stenen baseball team and the Hyas baseball team. This rivalry was strongest in the 1930 season when Hyas had a group of baseball players that were so overwhelmingly strong that no baseball team in the league or area were able to overcome them.

Hyas won the North East Saskatchewan Baseball League [NESBL] Championship hands down in the 1930 season. They would also enter and win most of the tournaments in the area.

Players that made up the core nucleus of the team included the coach/manager, Allen Yewell, Anton Belous, pitcher, Eric Quist, catcher, Matty Gibney, first base, Eskil Quist, second base, Russell Johnson, third base, Steve Yurkiw, short stop, Jim Lisoway, left field, Ted Fiala, center field, Andrew Bellows, right field with Al Hansen as batboy.

Following the 1930 season, when Hyas won the NESaskatchewan Baseball League Championship, the Stenen baseball team captured the next four consecutive season NE Saskatchewan Baseball League Championships. Then in 1935, Canora stole the League Championship from the dominant Stenen and Hyas teams.

Again in 1936, Hyas dominated baseball in the area and were unbeatable as they again claimed the North East Saskatchewan Baseball Championship.

The key to the Hyas baseball team was the balance in all areas of the game.

They had strong leadership from Allen Yewell with his strong pitching along with strong catching from Eric Quist.

A strong defense was provided by two outstanding outfielders, Jim Lisoway and Ted Fiala. Lisoway would catch anything and everything that came into his domain, making impossible catches running between the parked cars.

Fiala could pick off runners coming home, firing the ball like a bullet from center field.

Anton Belous’ touch on the ball was like magic. His powerful left-hand pitching baffled his opponents. He could join the game in the bottom of the ninth inning with the bases loaded and effortlessly strikeout three batters in a row..The Hyas team always did well when Anton was the pitcher. It was commonly known throughout the area that if Anton Belous was pitching, the game was already won. His skill far surpassed that of the professional ball players they had seen play the game. If he wanted riches and fame, all he had to do was reach out and take them. He was a man with a family and had more important things in life to do than chase a dream.

The NESBL folded during the war, from 1938 to 1945, which could probably have been the ‘Hyas Years of Champions’. We will never know!

-         Submitted by the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame