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Pitcher to join Hall of Fame

Former softball player to be inducted in November

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From left to right: Mark Heese, Sandy Maskiw, Heather Ruby, and John Child at the opening ceremonies of the 2000 Olympics. Heese and Child were beach volleyball players on Team Canada. Ruby, who played softball in the province for 20 years, is among this year’s inductees into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.

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From left to right: Mark Heese, Sandy Maskiw, Heather Ruby, and John Child at the opening ceremonies of the 2000 Olympics. Heese and Child were beach volleyball players on Team Canada. Ruby, who played softball in the province for 20 years, is among this year’s inductees into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame. Photo Store

A retired softball player will be in the spotlight one more time.

Heather Ruby is one of five athletes, three builders, and one team who will be inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame on Nov. 8 this year at the 35th Annual Induction Ceremonies at the Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre (1808 Wellington Ave.).

The now 36-year-old woman said it is an honour to be inducted.

"I was really honoured by it, mainly because they don’t choose a lot of athletes each year for it. It’s really an honour to be among an elite class like this," Ruby, a St. James resident, said.

Ruby played softball for 20 years. She competed on Team Canada, alongside her sister Sandy Maskiw, in the 2000 Olympics, coming in seventh place. Maskiw was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2012.

Prior to competing in the Olympics, Ruby also played for the Smitty’s Terminators.

"My dad coached me all along, and my mom helped," Ruby said. "We won eight national championships. It was a good run."

Ruby was a pitcher, but she said hitting was her favourite part of the sport.

The former softball player said she quit the sport about four years ago.

"It required too much practice to play at a high level, and I wasn’t prepared to play if I couldn’t play at a high level," Ruby said.

Nowadays, Ruby can be found teaching science at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute (720 Alverstone St.), or spending time with her 21-month-old son, Carter, and husband, Brent.

The other inductees in the Sports Hall of Fame include Ron Brown (builder, racquetball); Wanda Guenette (athlete, volleyball); Lorie Henderson (builder, artistic gymnastics); Al Kinley (builder, baseball/football); Connie Laliberte (athlete, curling); Todd MacCulloch (athlete, basketball); Keith McLennan (athlete, lacrosse); and the 1988 Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Tickets for the 2014 Annual Induction Ceremony dinner can be purchased starting Aug. 1. For more information, visit manitobahalloffame.ca

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