The road that brought Bill Addison into the Hall of Fame as a builder began when he was a 17 year-old catcher. In 1925 the farm boy from Carberry was named player/manager of the Carman baseball team. The end, more or less, came 67 years later when he finally stepped down after 21 years as commissioner of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
Addison made an enormous contribution to sport in Manitoba. In 1956 he was manager of the Canadian PONY League baseball champions, Winnipeg Garry Orioles. He served as provincial director for the Junior Olympics program in the early 70’s and was provincial director for Manitoba PONY League baseball. He was a founding member of the Manitoba Sports Federation and from 1967-1970 he served as president of the Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association. In 1988 he received an award from the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association in recognition of his contribution to the growth of amateur hockey and Sport Minister Jim Ernst presented him with a Manitoba Gold Medal for outstanding community service. In 1985 he was inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame.
Bill Addison’s most memorable achievement was building the Winnipeg Braves team that captured the 1959 Memorial Cup. It had a talented lineup featuring such future professional stars as Ted Green, Gary Bergman, Bobby Leiter, Ernie Wakely, Wayne Larkin and Howie Hughes.
But it is a less obvious achievement that gives him his greatest satisfaction. “In the 10 years I had the Braves,” he says, “I can’t think of one player who turned out badly. We never had one bottle of beer in our dressing room, our team bus or anywhere else. None of them ever caused us any trouble. They all were good kids.”
b. April 13, 1908