Jones, Doug - 2017
Jones, Doug - 2017
Baseball Builder, Oyen
Inducted in 2017
Doug Jones made a major impact on the sport of baseball, both provincially and nationally. He was instrumental in the creation of the Western Baseball League in 2001 and served as its first president. He was President of Baseball Alberta from 1991 to 1996 and was a leader and advocate of youth development. Doug was the General Manager to Team Alberta's baseball team which medalled at the 1997 Canada Games. The team returned to the Canada Games in 2001. He was a strong believer in sport in Alberta Communities - especially rural ones. He established three separate baseball academies: the Prairie Baseball Academy, Vauxhall Academy of Baseball, and the Badlands Baseball Academy.
Doug's development of the baseball academies had a major impact on the players and the communities they were located in. The success of the first two academies led to the formation of a third, the Badlands Baseball Academy. This high school baseball academy was located in East Central Alberta at Oyen. The Badland Badgers practice out of a converted hog barn that later became one of the finest training and practice facilities in Canada. In 2013, the students of the academy made up one third of the graduating class of South Central High, which allowed the community to maintain quality high school programming. Many players continued their education at U.S. colleges and were later drafted by Major League Baseball.
Aaron Lavorato, the former AABC High Performance Coordinator and Operation Manager remarked:
"These programs have created pathways for players and coaches and have created exposure to priceless and instrumental life experiences. These experiences would not have been available without the dedication and tireless commitment of Mr. Jones."
Doug’s influence was felt beyond the provincial borders and in the late 1980s, he was instrumental in setting up a committee through Baseball Alberta which hosted the World Cup of Baseball held in Edmonton. Doug also set up the Medicine Hat Canada Cup Committee and its three year contract which provided the opportunity for the top boys teams of each province to play on a yearly basis, rather than just every four years at the Canada Summer Games.
Doug Jones was honoured with the Alberta Centennial Award medal in 2005 and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012.