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How will we remember Winnipeg Stadium?

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If you have been in the Polo Park area recently, you will that know that Canad Inns Stadium soon will be gone.

Sports fans will still have their own memories. Older Bomber supporters will remember the Bud Grant era, when the Grey Cup champions relied upon local talent such as Ed Kotowich, Cornel Piper, Steve Patrick and Gordie Rowland for their success just as much as American imports. As years passed, the play of Don Jonas, Joe Poplawski, Dieter Brock and Chris Walby became etched in fans’ memory banks.

Many minor football players will also have personal memories of playing on the stadium turf.
From 1954, when the St. Louis Cardinals put a Class C Northern League franchise in Winnipeg, through 1964, baseball was played in the south end of the stadium. Dal Maxvill, who played for three World Series champions, Ray Sadecki, Elrod Hendricks and my favourite Walt (No Neck) Williams were among the 32 Goldeyes who made the big leagues. Steve Carlton won four games as a Goldeye en route to 329 wins in the majors. In 1994, the Goldeyes won the independent Northern League championship on a makeshift diamond in the north end.

Other cities recognize their historical sports facilities with markers. In the Twin Cities, home plate from the old Met Stadium is marked in the Mall of America. A plaque in an apartment building that stands on the Charles Street and Church Avenue site of the Olympic, an early North End indoor rink, is our only marker of that venue.

Osborne Stadium and the Winnipeg Amphitheatre , the forerunners to Winnipeg Stadium and Arena, were on land where Great West Life now sits. A number of years ago local sportsman Sam Fabro and this writer approached GWL about placing a marker there. Initially, upper management supported the idea, but nothing came to fruition.

Maybe it’s too late to mark centre ice at the Arena somewhere near the men’s underwear in the Marshalls store now on the site.

But it’s not too late to mark the stadium location so visitors to the area know that Milt Stegall Drive led to a historical sports facility and not a Target store.

Any chance that the Bombers board, the Goldeyes led by Mayor Sam Katz and some interested citizens will step up?

☐ ☐ ☐

Questions raised in the May 15 column about the possible connection of an 1896 Winnipeg Victorias medal to team captain Jack Armytage have been answered. Your columnist had speculated that the Armytage family had donated material to St. George’s Anglican Church where the medal was discovered and that the woman in a photo in the locket portion of the medal could be Jack’s wife.

Lawyer Mike Radcliffe sent the column to Armytage’s grandson Jock in London, U.K.
Jock has since confirmed via email that it is his grandmother Kathleen and that goods were donated from the family’s Crescentwood home after his mother Betty Green-Armytage died.

When Jock visits Winnipeg this summer, he plans to see his grandfather’s medal from the Stanley Cup champion team on display at the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.

T. Kent Morgan’s Memories of Sport column will appear every three weeks in the Canstar Community News weeklies.

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