Hazlet, Saskatchewan

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Hazlet
Village
Motto: Proud of our past, looking forward to our future
Coordinates: 50°23′59″N 108°35′39″W / 50.39972°N 108.59417°W / 50.39972; -108.59417
Country Canada Canada
Province Saskatchewan
Established 1928
Government
 • Mayor Terry Bailey
 • Governing body Hazlet Village Council
 • MP David L. Anderson (CON) - Cypress Hills—Grasslands
 • MLA Doug Steele (SKP) - Cypress Hills
Population (2011)
 • Total 95
 • Density 172.7/km2 (447/sq mi)
 • Population (2006) 85
Time zone CST (UTC−6)
No. of dwellings 56
Website www.hazletsk.com

Hazlet is a small farming village in southwestern Saskatchewan, Canada. It is located north west of Swift Current near the Great Sand Hills. It is surrounded by the RM of Pittville.

History[edit]

Hazlet was incorporated in 1928 after the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway.[1]

Baseball[edit]

1960's Baseball Jersey

Baseball has been a part of the Hazlet and surrounding community since the 1920s.[2] Hazlet has had great senior teams such as the Hazlet Blackhawks of the 1930s and 1940s and the Hazlet Elks of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. The earliest record of an organized team is in 1935, but baseball was being played in and around Hazlet much earlier than that. In 1938 the team won 57 out of 64 games and won 9 tournaments including their own. That year 6 players had batting averages over .400. The coach, Budd Lewis did not give credit for a hit unless it was well deserved, so it stands to reason that the averages may have been even higher by today’s rules. Hazlet also had great women’s teams such as the Hazlet Hornets Ball team. Hazlet continued to have a women’s team until the 1990s. Minor baseball has always been popular, and kids still play baseball and slo-pitch today. Without the development of these young players, Hazlet would not have been able to dominate the South River Baseball League as they did in the 1970s and early 1980s, winning several league championships. In 2012 the community of Hazlet was nominated for induction into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame and the nomination has been accepted. The community will be inducted at a ceremony on August 17, 2013.

Hazlet Elks[edit]

The Hazlet Elks were a senior baseball team that played in Hazlet until 1993. From 1982 to 1993 they played in the Saskatchewan Major Baseball League. They won league championships in 1987, 1988, and 1989.

South River Baseball League[edit]

South River Baseball League Jersey

The Hazlet Elks played in the South River Baseball League until 1981. Other teams in the league included Gull Lake, Climax, Frontier, and Shaunavon. The Elks had enormous success in this league winning several championships in the 1970s. The Elks won consecutive championships in 1979, 1980, and 1981. In 1981 Hazlet beat the Unity Cardinals in tournament play, a team that had 9 American import players on the roster.[3] It was decided that Hazlet needed to play in a more competitive league. In October 1981 the Hazlet Elks were accepted into the Saskatchewan Major Baseball League.[4]

Saskatchewan Major Baseball League[edit]

SMBL Elks Away Jersey
Elks Baseball Caps

The Saskatchewan Major Baseball League was the highest level of collegiate summer baseball played in Saskatchewan up until the year 2000 when the name was changed to the Western Major Baseball League.Other teams included the Regina Red Sox, Moose Jaw Astros, Kindersley Royals, Saskatoon Liners, Eston Ramblers, Saskatoon Nationals, Oyen Pronghorns, and the Unity Cardinals. 1982 was the first year in the SMBL, and their first game attracted over 400 fans. The team finished last in the league that year, and it was obvious that they would have to work their way up from the bottom.[5] The team was not discouraged because the final playoff pairings were not decided until the very last day of the schedule. In 1983 and 1984 they lost in the league final. It was in 1987 that all the hard work and determination finally paid off when the Elks won their first league championship by defeating the Kindersley Royals. The Hazlet Elks would then go on to three-peat as SMBL champions by taking the league title in 1987, 1988, and 1989. The achievements of this team were even more notable by the fact that the population of Hazlet was around 125 people. It was truly a community effort to make the team viable. An executive of 14 members helped co-ordinate countless volunteer hours by themselves and others in the community. Among these were Vince Akre, Don Anderson, Terry Bailey, Bill Boss, Peter Buchanan, Donnie Knutson, Harvey McIntosh, Sandy Starkey, Barry Stock, Mark Stock, Lyle Thoreson, and Donnie Zinn. Larry English was the general manager. They were competing against cities and towns in Saskatchewan that were several times the population of Hazlet. Hazlet was the smallest town to ever compete in this league, and is something that will likely never be matched. The Hazlet Elks had no fewer than 7 future Major League Baseball players or draft picks on their roster including Gerald Wagner,[6] Steve Reed,[7] Vince Shinholster,[8] Willie Hysaw,[8] Greg Mathews, Kurt Mattson, and Kernan Ronan. Steve Reed had the best major league career as a pitcher, playing for several teams in his 14 year Major League Baseball career.[9] Greg Mathews played 7 years in the majors for 2 different teams. Other future major league players that signed with the Elks but never played include Mark McGwire, Randy Johnson, and Cory Snyder. Larry English was the scout for the Elks, and also had a career as a scout for the Minnesota Twins for 5 years. Because of the small population of Hazlet, the team was allowed to have 4 American imports on their roster. It was partly because of these imports that Hazlet was able to remain competitive, even against larger centres in the league.[10] Hazlet attracted fans from all over southwest Saskatchewan to see the highest level of baseball being played in the province.

SMBL Record[edit]

1987 SMBL Championship
Harry Hallis Memorial Trophy
  • 1982: Missed the playoffs
  • 1983: Lost in league final
  • 1984: Lost in league final
  • 1985: Lost in league semi-final
  • 1986: Lost in league semi-final
  • 1987: Won league championship
  • 1988: Won league championship
  • 1989: Won league championship
  • 1990: Lost in playoffs
  • 1991: Lost in playoffs
  • 1992: Lost in league final
  • 1993: Missed the playoffs

Medicare[edit]

Hazlet was a world pioneer in providing universal healthcare. In 1944 The Swift Current area was slated to be the demonstration unit for preventive medicine. The RM of Pittville at Hazlet already had a health scheme, devised by William J. Burak, whereby its residents received both medical and hospital care for just under $11 per person per year. Wishing to add the Pittville method of full medical care to the preventive program planned for the southwest, Burak wrote at his own expense to each municipality, town and village, visited each weekly newspaper editor, and called a public meeting to press for a full medical and hospital plan. When a vote of all ratepayers was held on November 26, 1945, a majority voted in favour of a full regional health plan.

The Saskatchewan government, manoeuvred by Burak into initiating a more comprehensive scheme than the preventive medicine program it had planned, passed an Order-in-Council on December 11. The region’s hospitalization and health care scheme took effect on July 1, 1946—a full two years before Great Britain’s “cradle to the grave” health care plan was implemented. Within the Swift Current Health Region (Saskatchewan’s Health Region #1) the residents felt empowered, and the region assembled statistical data on the costs of health care that were unrivalled in Canada. The regional scheme flowered when Dr. Vince Matthews, the public health officer, provided seamless integration of preventive work and medical care, a first in Canada. There was a high level of rapport between the local administration, the constituent municipalities, patients, and physicians: Stewart Robertson, the administrator, Dr. Vince Matthews, and Dr. Cas Wolan, president of the district medical association, met informally most days for coffee. In 1951, Swift Current created the first regional hospital board in Canada.

Wind Power[edit]

In 2009 the community undertook a project to create the first wind powered recreation complex in Canada.

Standing Rock[edit]

Standing rock is a large glacial erratic located west of Hazlet. It was used as a landmark by early settlers and is a historical site today.

Hazlet Regional Park[edit]

Main article: Hazlet Regional Park
Country Singer Aaron Pritchett performed in the Hazlet Regional Park on June 30, 2012

In the spring of 1960 a committee was formed to look into the idea of forming a regional park at the Hazlet Dam. Regional Park status was applied for and was received in the fall of 1960[11] making it one of the original Regional Parks in the province. In 1961 the first trees were planted followed by playground equipment, a cookhouse, benches and a golf course. Later a tennis court and electric campsites were added.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Our towns: Saskatchewan Communities from Abbey to Zenon Park "Hazlet" By David McLennan pgs. 163-164.
  2. ^ Shury, David W. "Wheat Province Diamonds". Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, 1997, p.368.
  3. ^ "Prairie Diamonds" August 13, 1982 Dave Shury page 14
  4. ^ Hazlet and Its Heritage "Hazlet Elks of the Sask. Major Baseball League" Hazlet, Saskatchewan, Hazlet Historical Society 1987. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  5. ^ "Liner Batters Feast on Elks" Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, Saskatoon, June 7, 1982. Retrieved on February 21, 2012
  6. ^ "Liners, Hazlet split doubleheader" Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, Saskatoon, June 6, 1983. Retrieved on February 20, 2012
  7. ^ "Elks Thrash Red Sox", Leader-Post, Regina, August 14, 1986. Retrieved on February 20, 2012
  8. ^ a b "Liners, Hazlet split doubleheader" Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, Saskatoon, June 4, 1984. Retrieved on February 20, 2012
  9. ^ Baseball Almanac "Steve Reed Stats" Retrieved February 20, 2012
  10. ^ "Important Role Played by Americans" Leader Post, Regina, August 8, 1986. Retrieved on February 21, 2012
  11. ^ Hazlet and Its Heritage "Hazlet Regional Park" Hazlet, Saskatchewan, Hazlet Historical Society 1987. Retrieved March 11, 2012.