Elmer Franks of Weyburn will be inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 17, in Battleford, Sask.
Elmer was born December 20, 1934, in Maidstone, Sask. At the age of 12, he was the batboy for the Maidstone Senior Baseball Team and started playing when the team found themselves shorthanded.
When Elmer was 16, and until 1954, Elmer played with the Maidstone Legion Juniors who played only against senior teams. Then, in 1955, he played baseball in Alberta but also played with Lashburn in Saskatchewan tournaments.
In 1957, Elmer attended the North Battleford Beavers spring camp. He was then sent to Weyburn by Beavers manager Emile Frances, where he played with the Weyburn Beavers in the Southern League, from 1957 to 1964. From 1964 to 1968 Elmer coached minor baseball in Weyburn. Throughout his baseball career, Elmer’s main position was first base.
Being very interested in sports, Elmer got the position of Sports and Recreation Director in Tisdale, in 1968. There he developed a strong minor ball organization. Throughout these years, Elmer continued to umpire baseball. He was highly respected for his mentoring of young athletes.
In 1975, Elmer moved to Lloydminster where he coached and umpired minor ball from 1975 to 1982.
When Elmer returned to Weyburn in 2001, the Weyburn Beavers were non-existent. He immediately got involved and was instrumental in reviving the team and joined the Western Major Baseball League. He continues to play an important role in this organization in marketing, ticket sales, and working every home game for the past 18 years.
At the induction ceremonies this year, the City of Weyburn will also be inducted in the community category. The special guest speaker will be Fergie Jenkins, the first and only Canadian to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. For tickets to the ceremony in Battleford, call 1-306-446-1983.