May 30, 2024

By Kevin Glew

Cooperstowners in Canada

Former big league pitchers and national team standouts Andrew Albers and Dustin Molleken will be inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame in a ceremony on August 17 in Battleford, Sask.

Major league umpire Stu Scheurwater (Regina, Sask.) will also be honoured.

The Saskatchewan ball hall unveiled their 2024 inductees earlier this week.

Albers (North Battleford, Sask.) retired as a player after pitching for Canada at the WBSC Pan Am Games Americas qualifying tournament last June. The 38-year-old southpaw enjoyed a 13-season professional career that included big league stops with the Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners, as well as a successful tenure with the Orix Buffaloes of the Japan Pacific League. He completed his pro career with a 3.70 ERA in 327 appearances, including 174 starts, spanning 1,462 2/3 innings.

He also pitched in 10 different tournaments for the Canadian national team and was a member of both Pan Am Games gold medal-winning teams in 2011 and 2015. One of his career highlights was tossing the first seven innings of a combined no-hitter for Canada against Colombia in the Americas Olympic Qualifier on May 31, 2021.

Albers is currently the pitching coach of the Saskatoon Berries of the Western Canadian Baseball League.

Molleken (Regina, Sask.) was selected in the 15th round of the 2003 MLB draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates out of Lethbridge Community College. He toed the rubber for parts of eight seasons in the Bucs’ system before enjoying tenures in the Colorado Rockies, Milwaukee Brewers, Cleveland Guardians and Detroit Tigers organizations.

The 6-foot-4 righty made his big league debut with the Tigers in 2016 and posted a 4.32 ERA in four appearances for them. In total, in 16 professional seasons, which also included parts of two campaigns with the Nippon Ham Fighters of the Japan Pacific League, Molleken finished with a 54-37 record and a 4.37 ERA in 531 appearances (36 starts).

During his career, Molleken also consistently answered the call for the national team and was a member of Canada’s gold medal-winning squad at the 2011 Pan Am Games. Since hanging up his playing spikes, he has become a highly respected pitching instructor in his home province. He currently serves as a pitching consultant for the Moose Jaw Miller Express of the Western Canadian Baseball League.

Stu Scheurwater (Regina, Sask.). Photo: Wikipedia

Scheurwater (Regina, Sask.) honed his skills through Baseball Canada’s national umpiring program prior to his pro career. He umpired his first big league contest on April 25, 2014 and had 253 games of major league experience under his belt before he was hired full-time in 2018. He had since umpired in three MLB post-seasons (2020, 2022-23) and in last year’s All-Star Game.

That All-Star Game assignment marked the first time in 30 years that a Canadian had umpired in the Midsummer Classic. Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Jim McKean (Montreal, Que.) called balls and strikes in the 1993 contest that the American League won 9-3 at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

Here’s a complete list of 2024 Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame inductees:

Individual category

Andrew Albers, North Battleford, Sask.

*Eugene ‘Buck’ Gerbig, Maidstone, Sask.

Regan L’Heureux, Unity, Sask.

*Harry Luhning, Lumsden, Sask.

*Norman McInnis, Saskatoon, Sask.

Dustin Molleken, Regina, Sask.

Rodney Palaniuk, Regina, Sask.

Sever Rose, Turtleford, Sask.

Stu Scheurwater, Regina, Sask.

Larry Schrader, Regina, Sask.

*Lee Taves, Mervin, Sask..

Stacy Walker, Calgary, Alta.

Team

Team Saskatchewan 1994 midget champions

*Indicates to be inducted posthumously.

The Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame was established in Battleford, Sask., in 1983 by Dave Shury. Induction ceremonies have been held every year since 1985.

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