Billy Courchaine inducted into College of St. Scholastica Hall of Fame

Bill Courchaine, Induction Class of 2012, Men's Ice Hockey. (Handout College of St. Scholastica)

Bill Courchaine, Induction Class of 2012, Men's Ice Hockey. (Handout College of St. Scholastica)

Bob Elliott, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:16 AM ET

DULUTH, Minn. -- Billy Courchaine was known as a steady catcher and a dependable hitter with the Ottawa-Nepean Canadians from 1974-79.

And he played a little goal too.

“They phoned me last year to tell me I’d be inducted, I told them Billy should be first to go in,” said Thunder Bay’s Andy Speak after the College of St. Scholastica inducted its second Hall of Fame class on Friday.

Courchaine was in goal 1974-78 leading the CSS Saints to NAIA titles in 1975 and 1977, earning all-American honours three times.

“We beat Gustavus Adolphus College 7-1 in 1975, the second time we won we played them again,” said Speak. “But they out shot us about 51-23. We kept yelling ‘hold ‘em Billy, we’ll get you one.’ We scored with 40 seconds remaining to win 3-2.”

After graduation, Courchaine was asked to try out for the Minnesota North Stars and advanced through rookie camp in 1978.

“And for the past 16 years I’ve been with the NHL’s Ottawa Senators,” Courchaine said in his speech. “Yes, I finally made the NHL ... as director of corporate sales.”

Courchaine told of making the 18-hour, Ottawa-Duluth drive and how after frosh weekend he expected to start skating, as “that’s what we did in Canada.” That was a no-no according to college rules, so the Saints worked out “something we did not do in Canada in the 1970s.”

“Coach said time to run through the woods towards rifle range, I fell behind, lost the pack, zigged when I should of zagged and wound up along on the highway,” Courchaine said. “A car stopped and it was a player driving home.

“Coach had called the Minnesota State troopers to organize a search party.”

Courchaine was named the NAIA national tournament MVP in the 1977 and was twice named to the all-tournament team. In 1977, he tied the record for the most saves (97) in the three games. He ranks third in career saves (2,016) and shutouts (four) and was also recognized in the April 25, 1977 issue of Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd column.

Now, an NCAA Division III school, St. Scholastia won 20 athletic titles in 2011-12, three more than any other NCAA school.

 

You’re out! Eh

That plate ump working rookie-class Florida Gulf Coast League games at the Bobby Mattick complex in Dunedin, did have a Canadian accent. It was ever so slight.

Dave Attridge of Grimsby, Ont., finished his first season umpiring pro ball in the Gulf Coast League ended earlier this month.

Attridge credits his mom, Lori, for spotting an add in a newspaper about how the Burlington Optimist Minor Baseball Association was looking for umpires.

Kevin Glew of the web site Cooperstowners in Canada has an interesting read on the CanadianBaseballNetwork.com, on Attridge and his long road to the pro ranks.

Umpires don’t have any games, no one cheers when they walk onto the field and in the minors you had best get along with your partner ... because you’re driving to the next city together. There isn’t a charter plane waiting like big league players.

Regina native Stu Scheurwater in the triple-A Pacific Coast League, Scott Costello of Barrie, who umpired class-A, New York Penn-League games and Attridge are the only three Canadians umpiring in the minors.

With GCL season over, Attridge has returned to Grimsby to officiate hoops games and look for work in the IT field.

A year ago Attridge was offered a chance to umpire in the independent American Association and Can-Am League, but couldn’t obtain his work visa in time.

 

Almost each day during spring training there is a clubhouse meeting.

Learned experts tell players about the evils of gambling, the importance of staying away from “bad influences,” the import of getting a trusted investor or advisor and club doctors explain the what players should ingest.

A decade ago a Canadian minor leaguer told us about a club doctor meeting with minor leaguers and telling them to stay away from the bright, shiny stores in malls that sold supplements and vitamins stores.

He explained how one performance-enhancing drug, banned by major league baseball, was sold in the non-regulated stores under 53 different names.

The message from the club was stay out of the bright, shiny stores in the mall ... don’t take anything that we don’t give you.

 

 

 

 

Charts

Jays Missed starts

Kyle Drabek 16

Drew Hutchison 15

Brandon Morrow 13

Total 44

(Starts to: Aaron Laffey 13, Carlos Villanueva 13, Brett Cecil 9, J.A. Happ 6, Jesse Chavez 2, Joel Carreno 1,)

 

All-time hits list

1. Pete Rose 4,256

2. Ty Cobb 4,189

3. Hank Aaron 3,771

37. Alex Rodriguez 2,884

37. Zack Wheat 2,884

39. Frankie Frisch 2,880

40. Mel Ott 2,876

41. Babe Ruth 2,873

42. Omar Vizquel 2,870

 

Sept. 9 -- David Cone pitched 8 1/3 innings allowing five hits and Tom Henke came on to get the final two outs in a 1-0 win over the Kansas City Royals. Alfredo Griffin singled in the only run in the second.

Sept. 11 -- Kelly Gruber hit a two-run homer and Devon White belted a solo shot in a 7-5 win over the Texas Rangers as Juan Guzman pitched five innings (three runs) to run his record to 14-3.

Sept. 11 -- Todd Stottlemyre allowed three runs in the first as the Rangers went on to a 4-3 win in the second game of the doubleheader. Joe Carter hit a solo homer.

Sept. 12 -- Jack Morris pitched seven innings allowing two runs -- one earned -- in a 4-2 win over the Rangers for his 19th win. White drove in three Jays runs with a bases-loaded second inning double.

Sept. 13 -- John Olerud and Turner Ward each homered off Kevin Brown to beat the Rangers 7-2, with Olerud knocking in four runs. Jimmy Key worked seven innings for the win.

Sept. 14 -- Dave Winfield’s ninth inning single chased Jose Mesa with two out in the ninth, but the Jays fell 2-1 to the Cleveland Indians. Eddie Zosky hit a tripled.

Sept. 15 -- Carter and Winfield each knocked in two runs, Winfield with a homer in a 5-4 win over Cleveland as Guzman won his 15th pitching seven innings.

And on Sept. 16 20 years ago the Jays awoke with a 85-61 record, four games ahead of the Orioles.

 


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