At first, Alberni District Secondary School (ADSS) physical education teacher Doug Chase couldn’t believe it when he read about his entry into the World Baseball Softball Confederation Hall of Fame.
Yet there it was, two years ago, in a Facebook post.
“To make that list is unbelievable,” Chase said. “I couldn’t believe I made it, but there you go.”
Three weeks ago, Chase and his family attended a presentation ceremony in Vancouver during Softball Canada’s AGM and congress. As one of the best defensive catchers in the world and a power hitter to boot, his trophy collection was already considerable. This honour is special, though.
“It was awesome,” he said.
Chase was inducted into the Softball Canada Hall of Fame in 2012. The WBSC Hall of Fame recognizes people who have contributed to the sport of softball internationally and cites the Port Alberni teacher for his leadership and athletic achievement.
Chase’s baseball career is rooted in family and community, starting when he was a boy growing up in the Valley. The entire family played ball.
“It was very big here in Port Alberni,” he said. “I grew up out in Beaver Creek and we used to have six teams in my age group.”
Doug followed his older brothers Rick and Vaughan into local league action and soon excelled beyond his age group, leading the Alberni A’s to provincial championships in 1986 and 1987. He represented B.C. at the nationals each of those years and was named to the tournament all-star team in ’87.
Next, he made the Canadian Men’s National Team, the start of a 13-year career with the club. He won three Canadian championships in the 1990s and was named twice more to the all-star team. Then there were the Pan Am Games, where he won gold medals in 1991, 1995 and 1999, plus three WBSC Men’s Softball World Championships in that same decade.
The WSBC hall is located in distant Gaborone, Botswana, Chase noted.
“I don’t think I’ll be going there to see it,” he said.