Sean Grassie’s new book, Iconic Stories from 150 Years of Sport in Manitoba, would have been a Manitoba sports highlight in an ordinary year. It is even more special in the pandemic impacted sports scene of 2020.
Grassie, who has his own spot in Manitoba sports lore – earned as a Canadian Mixed curling champion and a member (with Alli Nimik) of the first Canadian team to win a medal at the World Mixed Doubles Championship, tackled the daunting task of culling the stories and legends of Manitoba sports down to a workable 150.
And he succeeded. Some might say, of course, does curling really deserve 14 separate stories? – just one shy of fully 10% of the book. On the other hand, a picky reader might say – how could you miss such-and-such.
From that perspective it was a no-win scenario but decisions had to be made. Grassie was aided in the selection of the stories by Rick Brownlee of the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and by three representatives of the Manitoba Sportswriters and Sportscasters – Judy Owen, Jim Bender, and Terry Frey.
The obvious curling stories are all there: how the Granite Club was formed by a group of curlers wanting to break away from using ‘irons’ to start a club using ‘granites’; the legends of the 20’s, 30’s & 40’s – Wood Sr., Hudson, and Watson; the household names of the last half of the previous century and of this century – Laliberte, Duguid, Meleschuk, Stoughton, Burtnyk, Jones; and other stories that tell the legend of Manitoba curling in the context of the broader Manitoba sports scene.
The curlers and curling stories fit well among the stories of Baseball’s Whips & Goldeyes and much earlier baseball lore; Soccer’s Fury; the Bombers from their glory years with Grant and Ploen to last year’s Grey Cup win; the Jets – version 1 and version 2; University Hockey, Basketball, Volleyball; and Junior Hockey and Football.
Along with the mainstream team sports, there are many stories of individual accomplishments by runners, swimmers, bowlers, golfers, cyclers, racquet-ballers, para-shot-putters, shot-putters. and many others.
Sales of the book support the great work of KidSport. Iconic Stories from 150 Years of Sport in Manitoba is available now for the special price of $20.20 to signify the year 2020.
To purchase your copy of the book, visit www.KidSport.ca/Manitoba/News
At three or four pages per story, it is a “pick-it-up, put-it-down” book, perfect for a few minutes of break from the daily routine. Call it a reward to yourself for surviving the first months of the pandemic OR call it your project for the next few months – but get yours now!!