The Beck family of Lang will be inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame, in the family category on Saturday, August 17, in Battleford.
Russell Beck was born on the farm west of Lang, in 1914. His parents had moved to Canada from Iowa in 1911. Baseball was a very popular sport in America and little did Russ’s parents know what baseball would mean to Russell as well as the generations of Beck’s offspring to follow.
Russell married Marguerite Wade in 1936, and they had eight children, a family which has now grown to 149 direct descendants.
Russell was a well-known baseball player, capable of handling most positions on the diamond. He started playing senior baseball in 1933. He played his last games in the League Championship against Avonlea in 1972. Russell was appointed coach of the Lang Senior team in 1934, holding this position until the end of 1979. Russell “Rules” William Beck was inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990.
When car trouble caused a load of players to miss a game, coach Russ and co-coach Ed Winkler had to play. Russ’s son Ray pitched, son Gary caught, and son Bill played short stop. Lang won the game 7-2. The team went on to win the Soo Line League Championship at home the following Sunday, giving Lang their first Championship
The Lang Angels baseball team went on to win many Soo Line Championships before they switched to the Qu’Appelle Valley Baseball League, where they won three more, as well as three Provincial Championships.
The Beck children were all involved in baseball or softball in some way. Joan, the oldest, became a scorekeeper, doing a great job for many years. Her two children played minor ball through their school years.
The oldest son, Bill, played minor ball in Lang, then first base and cleanup batter for the senior team for years. His three children played minor ball mostly in Wolseley and his only son, Curt, played with the Lang Angels for many years and was a member of the team when they won the 1989 Provincial Championship.
Next in line was Gary, who played his minor ball in Lang. Gary was part of the Lang Babe Ruth team that reached the Provincial finals in 1955. Then Gary was the starting catcher on the senior team for years. After retiring from playing ball, Gary coached his three children in minor ball. He was the coach for the Milestone peewee team winning Provincial Championships twice, with his son Mark catching for the team. Gary was instrumental in building the minor ball facility in Milestone.
Daughter Marilyn was a great Lang Angels fan, and enjoyed watching the game. One grandson, Kyle Deters, played minor ball in Vibank.
Carol’s youngest daughter, Julie, loved to play softball. Carol has grandchildren and great grandchildren that love to play the game.
Arlene played softball for years in Lang, then her and husband Bernie worked tirelessly in Minor baseball in Milestone where all five of their children played. Their son Jay is a power hitter in competitive slow pitch winning many championships. Three of Arlene’s children are heavily involved in baseball in Regina with several grandchildren playing.
Youngest son, Ray, played minor baseball in Lang, starting to play senior ball in 1967. He was a left-handed power-hitting batter, a pitcher and an infielder, having been on many championship teams, including the 1989 Senior Provincial “C” Champions. Ray was always heavily involved with baseball, as were all his children and wife Judy, who is a top quality scorekeeper and organizer.
In 1980, following his father Russell, who held the position of coach and manager of the Lang Angels from 1934 to1979, Ray was named coach and manager of the team, continuing in that position until he retired in 2007. In 2007, Ray was inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame. All three children are involved in baseball: one in Regina, one in Carnduff and one in Meadow Lake.
Carla played minor ball in Milestone before moving to the city where she coached her children for a short time. Nolan Marsden Beck, a member of two Provincial Champion teams, has now graduated to umpiring. Sons Blair and Regan, both played on two Provincial Champion teams in Lang and the three with the Qu’Appelle Valley Baseball League [QVBL]. Blair was also on both the Carnduff and Carlyle Provincial Champion teams. Regan was on the North Battleford and Meadow Lake Provincial Champion teams. Both played with Lang Angels for many years before moving to their respective towns where they continue to be heavily involved in baseball.
Ray, along with sons Blair and Regan, were involved for years with the Saskatchewan Baseball Association [SBA], in many capacities. Both Ray and Regan have received the SBA Manager of the Year Award. Blair’s oldest son, Carter, was the 2015 recipient of the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame Scholarship Award.
Donna, the youngest of the Beck children, played minor ball all through her school years. Her and husband Glen Winkler, who played senior ball in Lang for several years, live in Meadow Lake where they were instrumental in getting Meadow Lake on the baseball map. Glen coached several powerhouse Meadow Lake teams to Provincial Championships, and was active with Sask Baseball. Donna continues as scorekeeper for the senior baseball team in Meadow Lake. Their children are all involved with sports with Quincy playing college baseball in the USA.
There are now close to 25 Beck offspring that will be playing the game of baseball. The legacy passed down from Russell and Marguerite to their children and grandchildren has baseball bred into them.