05/16/2022 1:10 PM -
On December 15, 2011 a horrific incident near Claresholm, Alberta saw three young people lose their lives. Lethbridge Bulls players Tanner Craswell and Mitch Maclean, along with their close friend Tabitha Stepple were lost that day.
Every year, the Lethbridge Bulls and Vauxhall Academy Jets play an exhibition game in memory of Tanner and Mitch. Les McTavish is the head coach of the Vauxhall Jets and coached Tanner Craswell during his time in the program. McTavish says Craswell left a major legacy behind at Vauxhall.
“Tanner was a special individual. He was gifted athletically, when I look back and think about Tanner, he was your ultimate dirtbag shortstop who loved to win. He loved to win and he hated to lose even more. When I think about the legacy he left behind, it’s that leave everything you can on the field every day.”
The incident shook not only the Alberta baseball community, but also the Prince Edward Island baseball community. McTavish says the annual game is critical for both the Vauxhall program and the other baseball communities affected.
“It’s critical to our program, it’s critical for the PBA and the Lethbridge Bulls, but it's just important to the southern Alberta and Prince Edward Island baseball community. It’s a small sample of how we can remember everybody who was tragically lost.”
Many former teammates of Tanner and Mitch say even though they were fierce competitors between the foul lines, they were laid back and good friends off the field. Tyson Ford was a teammate with Tanner and Mitch at the Prairie Baseball Academy when the incident occurred. He says they left a major legacy behind.
“Tanner and Mitch really embodied what it means to be a Canadian college baseball player. If you’ve ever played or been involved in baseball in Southern Alberta you’ve come across the abbreviation TCMM and you have an idea of who Tanner and Mitch were.”
The 2022 TCMM Memorial Game will take place on June 1, 2022 at 7:05pm.