The 1993 Mervin Flyers, with back row from left, Clint Marsh, Jim Currie, Kobie King, Ryan Taves, Mike McNinch, Dean Pylypow, Blaine MacDonald, Lee Taves; front row, Glen Simkins, Blake Johnson, Doug Milne, Sever Rose and Murray Gordon, won the North Saskatchewan River Baseball League championship. SUBMITTED PHOTO
The Village of Mervin has earned a home in the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame.
Mervin, a community of approximately 228 people located about nine kilometres south of Turtleford, will be inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame during a ceremony in North Battleford on Saturday.
The honour celebrates Mervin’s 104-year love affair with the game, including its continuing dedication to supporting minor and senior league baseball.
“We got our minor ball going in the early 1960’s,” said Jim Currie, who helped develop Mervin’s proposal for entry into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame.
“Every year we got a little older and (expanded) to bantam and juvenile. Pretty soon we didn’t have anywhere to play, so then we got into the NSRBL (North Saskatchewan River Baseball League) and that team is still going strong today.”
The Mervin Flyers began play in 1974 as one of the original members of the NSRBL along with the communities of Rabbit Lake, North Battleford, Wilkie, Standard Hill and Edam. The Flyers won the Baseball Saskatchewan senior men’s provincial title in 1987.
Currie said Mervin’s first sandlot team was his introduction to the game in 1965. The regular minor league pitcher and utility infielder/outfielder said they submitted their proposal for entry into the Hall early this spring with Baseball Saskatchewan confirming their admission in the community category arriving shortly afterward.
“It’s been on Facebook and there are some posters up in Mervin about it, the induction coming up, and there are lots of conversations about it,” he said.
“The community is quite happy about it, that’s for sure. They’ve always supported the ball team.”
The Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame admission letter states the village’s induction would not have been possible without the support of the parents of its minor ball players, as well as the greater community of Mervin and district.
The letter goes on to commend the countless hours spent by Mervin’s mothers and fathers toward sewing uniforms, scorekeeping, coaching, umpiring and diamond maintenance over the years.
It also celebrates the village’s dedication to its baseball facility, including the initial purchase by the Mervin Recreation Board of a parcel of land for a diamond in 1973, a rebuild of the ball park in 2001, and a placement of a memorial rock at the gate of the field in 2000 to honour the memory of longtime baseball enthusiasts Robert Palen and Glen and Greg Macnab.
Currie said there aren’t any concrete plans to celebrate the community’s entry into the Hall of Fame with a ceremony in Mervin, but a small party may be held depending on what comes out of the induction.
He said the village’s dedication to the game will not change regardless as evidenced by the Flyers installing new dugouts this past spring.
“I’m really happy that we’re getting inducted,” said Currie.
“It’s been a baseball community for all those years, so it’s nice to get a little acknowledgement.”