There is not a better doorway into the Powerline Baseball League past than Bardo. The history of Bardo dates back to 1892 with the community celebrating its Centennial Anniversary in July 1994. The majestic Bardo baseball field sits in the countryside and became home to the long running Bardo Sports Day Baseball Tournament. Since 1993 the tournament champion would be honoured with the Pride Of Bardo Trophy in memory of Leonard “Lefty” Stauffer who passed away that year.
Below is a story from the Tofield Mercury in the June 8, 1993 written by Cathy Brown.
“Pride of Bardo” Trophy dedicated to Leonard “Lefty” Stauffer
A special award entitled “Pride of Bardo” will be presented to the Championship Baseball Team in memory of Leonard “Lefty” Stauffer at the Bardo Sports Day On June 12.
Frank Johnsrude, an original teammate of Lefty Stuffer, has sponsored and dedicated a trophy that he will present to Evelyne Stauffer at the Bardo Sports Day.
Johnsrude stated that, “The Trophy will be used as a promotion of Bardo Sports Day, and dedicated to a man who had been an asset to the Bardo Community and loved the game of baseball”.
Johnsrude added that it would also be dedicated on behalf of the players and teammates Lefty had played with or against.
Johnsrude commented that the Bardo Community was rich in history and he is very fond of the people in that community for keeping “things alive”.
Frank Johnsrude began playing baseball with Lefty Stauffer in 1936. Frank told The Mercury that, “Lefty had the meanest curveball, and I have a crooked finger to prove it”.
The “Pride Of Bardo” Trophy will be awarded late Saturday afternoon, June 12. The Trophy will be unveiled and awarded to the top team at the end of the day.
This award will be presented annually to the champion team at the Bardo Sports Day.
I cannot find who won the first Pride Of Bardo Trophy, but I think it might have been the Ryley Rebels who defeated the Tofield Lakers in the final. The Lakers defeated the Holden Blue Jays earlier in the day, meeting the Rebels in game two, which could have been the Championship in a one day tournament which saw the Lakers play only two games. The Lakers did get their name on the Pride Of Bardo Trophy in 1994. Here is the photo to prove it;
The Pride of Bardo Trophy would be handed out annually until 2016, the Bardo Athletics final season. Bardo Sports Day was one of, if not the longest running tournament in the area. Ryley Sports Days took a lengthy hiatus, as did the Tofield Canada Day Tournament until recently. Holden Farmer Days and the Roadrunners Tournament came and went and had different variations of their traditional tournaments. But Bardo Sports Day held firm for decades, only conceding baseball games to the weather. And the pie was top notch. Ask anyone who has had Bardo Pie to explain just how great it was.
I am sure there are plenty of Lefty Stauffer baseball stories. There has to be for a guy who was involved in baseball from 1936 all the way to the 1990s. It would be amazing to hear/read more but I did find one in the Tofield Mercury archives about the Tofield Powerline Oldstars winning big at the Kindersley Tournament.
Here is that story from August 7, 1990,
The Tofield Powerline Oldstars competed in the Kindersley Invitational Twilight Tournament and earned the Manitoba Trophy.
“All members of the team played in the Powerline League,” said Leonard Stauffer, “and some are still playing!”
This was the sixth year for the Kindersley Tournament, “and we have played every year,” said Stauffer, manager of the team.
“We had a real shortage of players,” he laughed, “I even had to play the first game and I’m 70. Don Carlson and Ed Weins flew in the second day to play for us.”
“Ron Foshaug and Dave Carlson both pitches excellent games,” said Stauffer. In the Twilight league, a pitcher is not allowed to pitch more than three innings, and each game is six innings explained Stauffer.
“We won the semi-final game was against Highway 12 (Stettler),” said Stauffer, with a score of 5-2, and the final game against Disley, Saskatchewan, 1-0. “Both were real good, interesting games,” reported Stauffer.
He said the team will be competing in Medicine Hat August 10, 11 and 12 in the provincial finals. “We have played every year since 1977, and we are the only team that is still left of the original teams,” laughed Stauffer.
Members that competed in Kindersley are: Milt Malick, Ron Foshaug, Art Micklick, Dick Thomson, Dave Carlson, Derek Burden, Ed Wiens, Don Carlson, Lyle Meyer, Jack Melanson, Lawrence Rude, and Dave Schroeder.
“I enjoy it, I played it (the first game), just to fill in,” he added, “We all had a lot of fun”.
Below are some photos that the Tofield Mercury printed in their Bardo Centennial coverage in July 1994.