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Sam Fabro was Mr. Everything in local sports

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Manitobans who ran for McNeese State University in Louisiana recently gathered in Winnipeg to celebrate the induction of their old coach, Wayne Hanson, into the school’s hall of fame. Back row (left to right): Al McLean, Jim Daly, Gerry Graham; Front: Jack Frater, Stan Korowski.

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Manitobans who ran for McNeese State University in Louisiana recently gathered in Winnipeg to celebrate the induction of their old coach, Wayne Hanson, into the school’s hall of fame. Back row (left to right): Al McLean, Jim Daly, Gerry Graham; Front: Jack Frater, Stan Korowski. Photo Store

The time has come to clean out the notebook again...

On Sept. 21 at Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg Realtors unveiled a bronze bust honouring R.A.(Sam) Fabro as the 40th member of its Citizens Hall of Fame. The wording read "Arts/Business/Professional Volunteer" and labelled him "A Man for All Reasons." Many of those reasons pertain to sport and it would take the entire column to cover them. To give a sense of  Fabro’s contributions, he has headed the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, the Manitoba Hockey Foundation and the Hockey HOF,  the Manitoba Summer Games, the Manitoba Marathon and Canoe-A-Thon, Winnipeg Enterprises and the 1967 Pan Am Games baseball committee.

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The Winnipeg Flashbacks men’s slo-pitch team went off to Las Vegas with high hopes of winning a medal in the 80+ division at the Senior Softball USA World Championships.

Flashbacks had won gold in the 75+ AAA division in 2008, but that victory meant they were moved up to the Major division this year. Flashbacks went 0-5 in round-robin play against teams from Arizona, California, Florida and Washington and on Oct. 2 were eliminated in the single-knockout playoff when the 2012 champion, Fairway Ford ,beat them 9-8. Despite the record, pitcher Don Roberts was selected as the Flashbacks MVP.  The top batters included three "formers" — Red River College president Ray Newman, Manitoba Hydro VP Will Tishinski and Emerson MLA Steve Derewianchuk.

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Elaine Jones and Clarice Fitzpatrick have added another national lawn bowling gold medal to their bulging trophy cases. The pair, along with Betty Van Valleghem, won the Canadian senior women’s triples championship by beating B.C. in the final played Sept. 2 in Peterborough, Ont. The team of Leo Dusablon, John Bjornson and John Baron lost the men’s gold medal match to Nova Scotia.

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McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La., has won just one Gulf States Conference track championship and that came back in 1958, when six Manitobans were on the team. This year the school inducted coach Wayne Hanson into its Sports Hall of Fame so the Manitobans decided to recognize him by getting together in Winnipeg on Sept. 28. Al McLean came from Calgary to join Gerry Graham, Stan Korowski, Jack Frater and Jim Daly, who was instrumental in sending the runners to the deep south. Dan Allen from Sanford had another commitment while Jim Scott lives in Tulsa, Okla. Frater is still running and competed in the Twin Cities Marathon on Oct. 6.  

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Guy Simonis, who played a major role in the development of lotteries in Manitoba and Western Canada, was in the city for a celebration of  life for Vaughn Baird, who passed away in mid-August.

Simonis from water polo and Baird from diving were leaders in the formation of the Manitoba Sports Federation, an umbrella group that represented individual sports organizations to the provincial government during the 1970s. In his self-published book, Kids! It’s a long story...and at times, interesting, Simonis provides the reader with a subjective view of the wheeling and dealing that eventually led to the way sport is now funded and governed in our province. George Fraser, a former MSF executive director, and Gary Solar, a former president, also met with Simonis.

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