PBL Franchises: 1980-2018
Posted February 15, 2019
Here is a trip down memory lane for Powerline Baseball League fans and players, since 1980 there have been 25 different, or different enough, teams in the league. This ranges from one and done teams like the Camrose Mets or the Ross Creek Oldstars, all the way to a team like the Bardo Athletics who spent decades in the league.
Using old stories (and some shady memories) I was able to put together the list and I tried to not make guesses but some assumptions were needed. For example, the PBL coverage in the Tofield Mercury went through a dark period in the 1980’s where I didn’t find very much information. Occasionally there would be a schedule at the start of the year or maybe an updated standings table at some point during the season but it was far from weekly and even monthly updates. Most seasons during the ’80s had minimal coverage and in some cases there wasn’t a mention of the PBL during the season at all.
Throughout the 1980’s I made the assumption that the Bardo Athletics, Holden Blue Jays, Ryley Rebels and Tofield Lakers were staples in the league despite the missing information in the media at the time. By most accounts these four teams seemed to always be in the league, even if the league would fall to a four team league. Bardo is said to be one of the original members of the PBL and the Ryley Rebels were in the league in the early 50s at least based on a photo believed to be of the 1954 Rebels. The Camrose Roadrunners were in the league in the 1970s but their on again, off again nature meant adding them in the 1980s was based on an assumption, especially since the won the 1981 PBL Championship. The Viking Shamrocks popped up a few times in the Tofield Mercury via season schedule or a Tofield Lakers update provided by Scoop.
The Armena Royals/Camrose Axemen share a history from 1981-2007 before two teams were formed ending the Axemen’s ties to the Armena history. The current version of the Camrose Roadrunners were reborn in 2011 after the Tofield Lakers folded and the restarted the back and silver franchise.
The 1983 Armena Royals
Ardrossan Steelers 2004-2005 (Lamont Steelers 1994-2003)
Armena Axemen 2003-2007 (Armena Royals 1981-1990, 1999-2002)
Armena Royals 1950’s-1970’s, 1981-1990, 1999-2002, 2008-Present (Armena Axemen 2003-2007)
Bardo Athletics 1940’s? – 2016
Beaumont Angels 2013-2016
Ryan Lehman pitches for the Beaumont Angels during the 2013 season.
Camrose Axemen 2018-Present (Armena Royals 1981-1990, 1999-2002, Armena Axemen 2003-2007)
Camrose Colts 2004-2005
Camrose Mets 1985
Camrose Roadrunners 1970’s?-1985, 1989-1991, 1998-2001, 2003-2004, 2006-2009, 2011-Present
Chipman Coyotes 1996-1997
Chipman Crackerjacks 2003-2004
Edmonton Expos 2018-Present
Holden Blue Jays 1950’s-1993, 2010-Present
A Holden baseball team in 1915 from a Holden history book.
Lamont Steelers 1994-2003 (Ardrossan Steelers 2004-2005)
Leduc Milleteers 2008-Present
Powerline Brewers 1994-2008
Powerline Old Stars 1993
Rosalind Athletics 2015-Present
Ross Creek Old Timers 1995
Round Hill 1950’s-1983
Ryley Rebels 1950’s-2002, 2009-2016
1952 Powerline League Champion Ryley Rebels. BACK (L-R): Bernard Williams, Billy Greig, Frank Johnsrude, Ralph Zook, WIlmer Magneson, Bob Roloff, Marvin Bruce. FRONT (L-R): Bobby Greig, Cecil Stensrud, Nick Kordich, Lloyd Hunka, Roy FIndlay, Dee Fobes and Ted Caney (Bat Boy). Missing Dan Bendiksen, Art Rosengren, Stan Anderson, Barry Craig
Sherwood Park Athletics 1989-1990, 2017-Present
Tofield Braves 2017-Present
Tofield Lakers 1950’s-2010
Viking Shamrocks 1980’s?-1994
A Viking Shamrocks alumni steps in to bat at the 2010 Ryley Centennial weekend.
It is a work in progress to try and stitch together the history of the PBL. So much of it was verbal history with the occasional newspaper article prior to the mid-1990s. I will keep digging and I will try to find more news archives somewhere that will hopefully help in expanding the history of the PBL into the 1970s and beyond as well as clarify what we already have. If you have any information or photos that you would like to be displayed on the PBL website, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
** Update – I added the start of the franchise as 1950’s to the dates of the Holden Blue Jays, Tofield Lakers and Round Hill as they are listed as teams participating in the 1957 PBL season along with the Bardo Athletics and Ryley Rebels. The information was provided by Mike Leclaire who has kept the 1957-1987 PBL Meeting Minutes in safe keeping – Kris (February 15, 2019)
PBL Meeting Minutes 1957-1987 photo provided by Mike Leclaire.
**Update – The Ryley Rebels photo which was originally tagged as circa 1954 was discovered to be a photo of the 1952 Powerline Baseball League champion Ryley Rebels. The photo, along with the names of the players in the photo were found in the Beaver Tales 2 – Ryley District history book – Kris (February 19, 2019)