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Sports This Week: Site collecting Sask. baseball stories

Every community in Saskatchewan has a baseball story to tell.
Joe McFarland (co-founder of Alberta Dugout Stories and Saskatchewan Dugout Stories) interviewing Okotoks Dawgs head coach Lou Pote at the 2023 WCBL All-Star Game at Seaman Stadium in Okotoks.

YORKTON - If you are a fan of baseball – particularly baseball in Saskatchewan – then a new website is a must to visit.

While hailing from Alberta Joe McFarland and Ian Wilson have recently launched Saskatchewan Dugout Stories which will collect stories on the sport from communities across the province,

“Every community in Saskatchewan has a baseball story to tell,” the duo wrote in an article launching the site at

“From kids picking up a bat and glove for the first time, to playing the game at different age levels, to rising into the college and even professional ranks, the athletes have stories to tell.”

In an interview with Yorkton This Week Wilson explained he and McFarland launched the Alberta version of Dugout Stories back in 2017 forging ahead with an idea born on the diamond.

“We actually played slow pitch together on a media slow pitch team,” said Wilson. He said it was after a game “and a few pitchers” we started talking baseball and the level of media coverage.”

Wilson said they felt there was a lack of coverage of baseball played in Alberta and that led them to the idea of a website.

“We wanted to reflect the news of the province,” he said.

Initially they had envisioned the site would be focused on the rich history of the sport, pulling stories from that history, but while that is part of the site, so too are stories about baseball today.

That focus on the current state of the game came in part because of a connection to the Western Canadian Baseball League, a league Wilson noted is the highest calibre level of baseball fans can see in Alberta. The WCBL also has teams in Saskatchewan including the 2024 expansion Saskatoon Berries and formally the now defunct Yorkton Cardinals and Melville Millionaires.

“They (the WCBL) kind of opened things up and got us more into the news of what’s happening now,” said Wilson.

The decision to launch the Saskatchewan site seemed like a natural one, said Wilson.

“We’ve been talking about it for a couple of years,” he said, adding they were initially a little hesitant since neither he, nor McFarland live in Saskatchewan.

But again, in part because of the Saskatchewan teams in the WCBL, the duo took the jump because they saw stories to tell.

“In recent years, we have been able to watch the likes of Andrew Albers, Dustin Molleken, Garrett Hawkins and Logan Hoffman chase their dreams of playing big-league ball. Meanwhile, umpires like Stu Scheurwater have officiated some of Major League Baseball’s biggest moments,” they wrote at the time of the site launch.

“The sport also has a rich history in this province. Star-studded teams like the Melville Midget Elks and Indian Head Rockets brought local fans to their feet every time they hit the diamond, while the individual prowess of Terry Puhl, Reggie Cleveland and Mary “Bonnie” Baker have allowed future generations to believe they could make it to the highest levels of baseball.

“All of these stories and many more deserve to be told and shared. We want to create a unique place for that to happen.”

Wilson told YTW the site will be a place for fans of baseball in Saskatchewan “to get their fix” with stories about the game at home.

That said, Wilson said it will be a gradual growth for the site simply based on time.

“We love this passion project we have,” he said but they can’t devote full time to it either.

“This sort of our side hustle, a hobby of sorts, he said, adding he and his partner have “other jobs” too.

So now it’s just finding the Saskatchewan stories and the time to get the to the site.

“We’ve had a few people reach out already with ideas, but it will be a slow build,” said Wilson.