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Sixteen Maidstone Comets return for honouring ceremony

Women’s team topped the province in 1957 and 1959.

MAIDSTONE — On Saturday, May 25, the former Maidstone Comets softball team was honoured at Silver Lake's “Battle of the Ages” ball tournament.

The Comets team played league, provincial and tournament ball from 1950 to 1970, winning the provincials in 1957 and 1959. Sixteen players were able to attend: Audrey Schwartz Pierce, Carolyn Schempp Donovan, Doreen Huxley Hope, Gail Perry Hilkewich, Jackie Newsted Schmidt, Janice Foster Wakefield, Joy Eidsness Collinge, Joyce Gerbig Orange, Karen Pike Johnston, Leona (Onie) Warman Huxley, Margaret Richardson Boggust, Mary Blyth Holtby, Pat McKee Taylor, Pat Newsted Bullock, Sandy Johnston Pederson and Vicki Taylor Milner. Each was presented with a Maidstone Comets lapel pin upon arrival.

A special guest was also present — Yvonne Micknik was the Saskatchewan Softball director for 40 years and played for the North Battleford Golden Gems.

The ladies were ushered to chairs placed in the centre of the infield. Two U13 ball girls wore the original Comets ball uniforms. Each former player was presented with a handmade card and a carnation by a U13 player.

Aaron Graham gave a history of each player, position and number of years played. Bruce Mitchell coached the team for 23 years and he was always getting young players to join the team. Most players started when they were 14 and played until they left to further their education. Some did play for most of the 20 years.

In 1971, Bruce was honoured with an evening of thanks and a recliner chair for all his dedicated years of coaching. Francis Brynes umpired most of the home games. Upon his retirement, the Comets presented him with a 25-year engraved tray.

The ceremony concluded with Joyce Orange throwing a pitch to home plate. It was such a pleasure to be amongst the group as they reminisced and celebrated lifelong friendships. A commemorative plaque will be hung at diamond No. 1 in Delfrari Park in Maidstone.

The Comets want to thank Aaron Graham, Joelene Harrison and all the Lakers girls' ball teams for the time and research they put into this event. Thank you also to the Standard Hill Lakers for the lunch and refreshments, Brenda Mitchell for taking pictures, and all who helped in any way to make the day so special.