Weyburn Recognizes All-Time Greats

Eager Beavers excited to turn the page on 2020 and look ahead to a new year are being treated to a great gift this Christmas.

The Weyburn Beavers have created a 2021 team calendar that honours their all-time best and brightest.

Each month features one of the top Weyburn performers who suited up for the Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) club between 2002 and 2019. Statistics, career highlights and a list of honourable mentions are also included for each position.

Here’s a quick look at those who were picked as Beaver greats:

Starting Pitcher – Left-handed pitcher Ryan Johnson played for Weyburn between 2013 and 2018, becoming the team’s career leader in starts (41), innings pitched (237.7), wins (23) and strikeouts (253). The Winnipeg-born hurler played professionally for his hometown Goldeyes in 2019.

Relief Pitcher – Another longtime member of the Beavers was bullpen ace Brodie Stairs, who pitched for the club from 2015 to 2018. Stairs tossed 105 innings for Weyburn, registering 91 Ks and a 3.09 earned run average in 78 appearances.

Closer – Homegrown hurler Eric Evans has made more trips to the mound than any other pitcher in the history of the Weyburn Beavers. Evans can be spotted atop several pitching categories for the club, including career ERA (2.58), saves (26) and appearances (96). He also holds the squad’s single-season saves record, with 10.

Catcher – Markus Blackmon – of Sandy, Oregon – played for the Beavers in 2014-15. The backstop was named a second-team WCBL All-Star in 2015, and he went on to play independent league baseball for the Sonoma Stompers of the Pacific Association in 2016. Blackmon also played indy ball for the Trois-Rivieres Aigles of the Can-Am League in 2018.

First Base – Hometown hero Mike Larson was a fixture at first from 2002 through 2006. After he left the Beavers, the Weyburn product had international success playing in Germany, where he was a two-time Bundesliga Baseball Championship winner with the Mainz Athletics.

Second Base – Puerto Rican middle infielder Luis Jimenez left his mark on the WCBL in 2017, when he posted a .383 batting average and recorded 25 extra-base hits through 30 regular-season games and nine playoff contests. Jimenez, who wore No. 7 for the Beavers, also stole 10 bases and collected 35 RBI that year as a consistent contributor on offence.

Third Base – Another standout from that 2017 club was Zack Mathis, who batted .356 while producing 27 RBI. The bespectacled Louisiana State University (LSU) slugger was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 38th round of the 2019 MLB Draft. He chose not to sign with the Twins and instead became an undrafted free agent signee with the San Diego Padres in 2020.

Shortstop – Fielding baseballs between Mathis and Jimenez on most nights was Evan Weidner, a shortstop from Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Adams State University product hit .333 with 36 runs and 26 RBI during 52 games with the Beavers in 2017.

Left Field – Corey Wheaton wasn’t just the best player on the Beavers in 2018, the Scottsdale, Arizona native was the league’s most-valuable player that year. In capturing WCBL MVP honours, Wheaton also established single-season club records for hits (71), runs (54) and at bats (191). During 45 regular-season games, Wheaton batted .372 and stole 30 bases.

Centre Field – Hard-hitting outfielder Riley Gavello etched his name in the team’s record books between 2007 and 2009. The Californian ranks first in career hits (155) and runs (70) for the Beavers. Gavello was named a first-team WCBL All-Star and the league’s Rookie of the Year award winner in 2007.

Right Field – In two seasons with the Beavers, Wade Weinburger was a hitter that opposing pitchers didn’t want to see at the plate. During 73 games for Weyburn in 2017-18, he swatted 15 homers, scored 53 runs, produced 56 RBI and posted a batting average of .302. Weinburger was named Bryan College’s Lion of Valor as the top male athlete at the school in 2020.

Designated Hitter – Corey Harrell became a familiar face in Weyburn when he played three seasons for the Beavers in 2015, 2016 and 2018. His accomplishments with a bat made him the team’s career leader in home runs (23) and RBI (99). The man from Knoxville, Iowa will remain a well-known baseball personality in Weyburn. He was named the new head coach of the Beavers in 2020.

Head Coach – Phil Curtis has a coaching resume he can take pride in. It includes a pair of East Division titles, six consecutive seasons of playoff appearances, the franchise record for most wins and two WCBL Coach of the Year awards.

Well, what do you think? Who is on your All-Time Weyburn Beavers team?

Learn more about the club’s record holders, statistical leaders and best players by ordering your 2021 Weyburn Beavers calendar now. Message the team on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter to find out how you can get your hands on one. Alternatively, you can email inquiries to weyburnbeaverswmbl@gmail.com.