PBAAA Recognizes HOF Class of 2021
Prairie Baseball Academy (PBA) wishes to introduce the Honorable Shirley McClellan into the Builder/Community Leader category of our Hall of Fame.
She currently resides in New Brigden, Alberta where she farms with her husband, Lloyd, and their family.
Shirley was born in Hanna, Alberta, where she learned early on about the importance of education. Shirley knew that you needed to find ways to stand at the front of the line if you wanted to accomplish your goals. Be it with sports, politics or in life, Shirley always found a way to stand at the front of the line. Shirley's work ethic and passion for her community to this day, make her an incredible addition to our PBA Hall of Fame.
Shirley was first elected to the Alberta legislature in 1989, and served her constituents until she resigned in January 2007. Shirley served six terms as the member of the Legislature for Drumheller/Stettler. Oddly enough, Ralph Klein resigned the same day as Shirley. Makes you wonder who really was in charge of the Alberta Government during the Ralph Klein era!
Shirley held numerous senior cabinet posts over the years, including: Minister of Health, Minister responsible for the Wild Rose Foundation; Minister responsible for the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission; Minister Responsible for Seniors; Minister of International and Intergovernmental Relations; Minister of Agriculture; Minister of Finance; Chair of the Treasury Board; and probably her most passionate appointment, Minister of Community Development. Shirley was appointed to this post in 1996. However, as her role changed within government, Shirley always made sure to stay involved in Community Development. It was here where Shirley’s passions were exhibited to the citizens of Alberta. She was always willing to lend an ear for projects, that would better Alberta communities. She was very influential and successfully directed government monies for well thought-out parks and community centers. She was always there for her community.
Shirley had a vision and recognized the value that hockey rinks, community centers, parks and baseball fields brought to communities. She visualized an environment where people could come together to be involved in an activity.
Such was the case with the Lloyd Nolan Yard baseball facility. Shirley McClellan was instrumental in the construction of the Lloyd Nolan Yard facility. She could see the value that the Lloyd Nolan complex brought to the baseball community in Alberta and Canada. Shirley loved to watch baseball – she frequented games in Las Vegas, Ottawa, and, of course, at Lloyd Nolan Yard. Shirley took a keen interest in developing student-athletes in a first of its kind college baseball program in Southern Alberta.
It took visionaries like our 2021 PBA HOF inductees to see a project of this magnitude through. Today, there are close to a dozen high school and college baseball academies competing each year in Alberta. The growth of baseball would not have been possible without individuals such as Shirley McClellan. For that, the PBA family owes her our sincerest gratitude.
The Prairie Baseball Academy would like to officially congratulate Ms. Shirley McClellan, on her induction into our PBA Hall of Fame for the class of 2021 in the “Builder/Community Leader” category.
Prairie Baseball Academy (PBA) wishes to introduce Clint Dunford into the Builder/Community Leader category of our Hall of Fame.
Clint’s impact on Lethbridge extends beyond baseball, but PBA is incredibly thankful for his support over the years.
In the early days of PBA, Clint was the Minister of Advanced Education. At the time, neither the University of Lethbridge or Lethbridge College were that interested in having an affiliated team. When the organization started having conversations about being an independent academy, Clint suggested that they allow students to attend both programs to increase the player pool and increase student opportunity. He initiated the dual school program, which remains in place at PBA to this day. Close to one-thousand student athletes have benefited from being allowed this educational flexibility in Lethbridge.
While Minister of Advanced Education, Clint (and Shirley) introduced PBA to the Heritage Fund. The Heritage fund matched PBA dollar for dollar. The funds were used for scholarships to support PBA players, which were desperately needed at the time. Clint and Shirley were key to the PBA scholarship program that has grown to give out anywhere from $60,000-$80,000 annually, to PBA players.
Once the scholarships were in place, Clint told Coach Kubicek that his office door was open, and Kub could get ahold of him any time he needed it. Coach Kubicek took him up on that! The vision was always that the PBA needed its own facility. Meetings with the University were unsuccessful. At the College, little headway was made. They had started setting up plans to build at the College, but those plans fell by the wayside. At the time, Clint was involved in Economic Development for the provincial government, and stepped in to approach the city of Lethbridge. Clint suggested that they donate land to the Academy. When asked to talk about Clint’s influence on PBA, Coach Kubicek vividly remembered Rick and Clint standing at the current site of Lloyd Nolan Yard looking down into what was a shallow coulee. Back in those days, it was barren and filled with garbage including a memorable old fridge. Clint and Rick went to city council and were determined that this was the spot. Clint was the behind-the-scenes guy for the land donation. When they broke ground at what is now Lloyd Nolan Yard, Clint turned over the first shovel of dirt.
Clint Dunford was integral to the development of the facility at Lloyd Nolan Yard, and the Prairie Baseball Academy as an educational program. To all those that know Clint, to call him integral is still an understatement. The Prairie Baseball Academy would like to officially congratulate Clint Dunford on his induction into our PBA Hall of Fame for the class of 2021 in the “Builder/Community Leader” category.
Prairie Baseball Academy (PBA) wishes to introduce Rick Williams into the Builder/Community Leader category of our Hall of Fame.
Rick Williams’ influence on the Prairie Baseball Academy started in the first half of 1998. Rick was the Manager of Parks and Recreation with the City of Lethbridge. Lethbridge City Council had been bombarded with inquiries to build another baseball facility, a facility that the newly inducted PBA could call home. The inquiries came predominantly from a special group of men, recognized as our 2020 HOF inductees. Keith Jorgensen, Doug Jones, Rick Paskal and Coach Kubicek were persistent to the core. Eventually City Council decided to move ahead and the project was assigned to Rick Williams. This was Rick’s introduction to the Prairie Baseball Academy.
Rick Williams met with this group of individuals. After hearing about the plan, he could have easily put the project and the dream on hold. After all, it was going to be a massive project! Rick did quite the opposite. He jumped into the project headfirst and asserted himself in ways not traditional of a near-retirement civic employee. The wheels were put in motion and tenders for the project were opened to the public. The estimates that came in were three times higher than the “dream team” had budgeted. PBA thought the dream may be dead before it even got started. Rick wasn’t going to let that happen. He stepped up and took on the position of general contractor for the construction of the baseball field and indoor facility at Lloyd Nolan Yard himself. Ricks new job description (unbeknownst to the city) included: Recreation and Parks Manager, Lloyd Nolan General Contractor and PBA/City of Lethbridge official liaison.
Rick’s tireless effort over the following months is one of the many reasons Lloyd Nolan Yard is home to PBA today. Rick took pride in the project and used the budget as efficiently as possible. Rick’s vast experience allowed for some minor rule-bending during construction, which saved PBA thousands of dollars in the long run. Rick carried the burden of accountability on this project all the way up the ladder to the mayor’s office. Rick’s persistence and dedication to the project helped the PBA family literally build their dream baseball facility. At the time, and to this day, Lloyd Nolan yard remains one of the premier college baseball facilities in Canada.
The Prairie Baseball Academy like to officially congratulate Rick on his induction into the PBA Hall of Fame for th