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Spirit of Baseball Award to be Presented at Legends of Sport Gala

04/14/2016 12:51 PM -

The Lethbridge Bulls are excited to announce this year’s recipient for the Spirit of Baseball award. This year we are recognizing the 1975 Lethbridge Expos and Reno Lizzi, for the impact that they have had on the sport of baseball in Lethbridge. This award will be presented at our 3rd annual Legends of Sports Gala on April 22nd, at the Lethbridge Lodge.

Kevin Kvame, President & General Manager of the Lethbridge Bulls; “This is a special recipient that represents the history of the great game of baseball in Lethbridge & Southern Alberta. The Bulls are committed to understanding the history and the contributors that preceded us at Henderson Stadium, and Reno’s legacy effortlessly rose to the top. We are very proud to recognize the 1975 Lethbridge Expos, the man who led the charge Reno Lizzi, and Andre Dawson who went on to Baseball’s highest honour, the Baseball Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown, NY. It should be a magical evening for any and all baseball fans and others who want to share some of our history and be entertained at the same time.

The Lethbridge Expos were the first professional baseball team brought to Lethbridge, and all of Western Canada. The creation of the team led to the building of Spitz Stadium’s grandstand, which was originally known as Henderson Stadium.

On Wednesday June 25th, 1975 the Lethbridge Expos played their first game at the stadium against Great Falls. After that the Lethbridge Expos played 72 games in the Pioneer League, ending with a 35-37 record.

“Bubbling over with joy” was used to describe Reno Lizzi, also know as Mr. Baseball, when talking about the Lethbridge Expos becoming a team. After two years of hard work, Reno Lizzi helped make semi- professional baseball a possibility in Lethbridge. As the president of the Lethbridge Expos, baseball was Lizzi’s first love and he shared his love with all of Southern Alberta.

Reno passed away in 2005 but remains forever tied to the sport of baseball. The Reno Lizzi Scholarship was created in nearby Vauxhall, home of the Vauxhall Academy of Baseball (High School Players) when the program began 10 years ago. Many successful athletes have been awarded this top award that is presented in Reno’s memory and his dedication to the sport of baseball.

Les McTavish, Head Coach of the Vauxhall Academy of Baseball, who has been both a player and the Head Coach of the Lethbridge Bulls (2002-2004), commented on Reno. “Barbara and Yukio Kitagawa first brought the idea of staring a scholarship in honour of Reno. Now, some 10 years later, Vauxhall Academy couldn’t be prouder to have so many scholarships in his honour. Reno represented what is right with the great game of baseball. The Vauxhall Academy would like to congratulate Reno, his wife Joyce, and his family for all they have done for baseball in Southern Alberta.”

One of our three celebrity speakers at the Legends of Sports Gala is Andre Dawson, an original member of the 1975 Lethbridge Expos. The Major League Hall of Famer, will be assisting with the presentation of the Spirit of Baseball Award to his first professional baseball club.

Joining Andre Dawson will be Ferguson Jenkins, another Baseball Hall of Famer, and Bill “the Spaceman”  Lee, a member of the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame, and a celebrated character renowned for entertaining sports fans throughout the world!

We still have plenty of tickets available and hope to have many businesses step to the plate by purchasing a table, ½ table, or even a pair of tickets to welcome Andre Dawson back to Lethbridge and share in his Hall of Fame career that began right here. We are also excited to celebrate the 1975 Lethbridge Expos and the contributions made by Reno Lizzi and his Lethbridge Baseball Ltd Board, and support the worthwhile causes at the 3rd annual event.

If you are interested in purchasing tickets to this incredible event please feel free to stop by the Spitz Stadium office located at 2425 Parkside Dr S, Lethbridge, AB. You can also contact us by phone at 403-320-2025, by email at torey@underthelights.ca or check us out online at www.bullsbaseball.com

Thank you for your support of the Lethbridge Bulls.