Dreams Do Come True

Jackrabbits in the Outfield is the title of John’s award-winning book. He brings you along on a journey that takes an inside look at the phenomenal success of the Winnipeg Goldeyes and the Northern League of Professional Baseball.

John was the general manager of the Goldeyes for the first eight years of the clubs existence. During an era when minor league baseball teams were disappearing from the Canadian landscape, the Winnipeg Goldeyes were the exception, as attendance, corporate sponsorship, and community interest in the club grew dramatically. With the building of a gorgeous new stadium in 1999, the Goldeyes soared to new heights. John tells stories to illustrate how the Goldeyes became so successful. These stories illustrate his philosophies on teambuilding, customer service, sales, and tackling the big challenges.

John was also the general manager of the Canaries in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 2004 which gave him a unique perspective of professional sports from both sides of the border. He tells stories about the players, fans, staff and other characters that made the Northern League a very special place. John shares his passion for the job. Personal insights and interesting anecdotes make this great reading for sports fans or anyone who appreciates the rigors of a challenging job – One that John has described as his dream job.”

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
iii
Foreword- Written by Paul Edmonds
iv
A Great Day at the Ball Park- A Goldeyes’ poem
vi
Introduction
viii
Chapter 1: Baseball is in My Soul- Baseball throughout my life
1
Chapter 2: A Rare Opportunity for a Canadian- Starting the new job as GM
14
Chapter 3: Jackrabbits in the Outfield- 1994 season;baseball is back in Winnipeg
22
Chapter 4: My Dream Job- The life of a General Manager
33
Chapter 5: The Northern League- A look at the personalities and history
48
Chapter 6: Cast of Characters- Some interesting people I met on the journey
68
Chapter 7: Don’t Call Me Coach- Doug Simunic,Hal Lanier,Doc Edwards & more
81
Chapter 8: Check the Line-up Card- The players
99
Chapter 9: The Fans- Tribute to and observations about the fans
123
Chapter 10: Only on Game Day- Weird things happen on the day of games
136
Chapter 11: Let’s Have a Little Fun- Promotions; the good and the bad
151
Chapter 12: My Favourite Games- Some intense memories
174
Chapter 13: Against the Odds (CanWest Global Park)- Building of the new park
185
Chapter 14: Rain, Umpires, and Some Strange Stories- A collage of incidents
194
Chapter 15: Hosting the Stars- 2001 Northern League all-star game in Winnipeg
210
Chapter 16: Look Up, Pucker Up, and Kiss it Goodbye- Radio w/Paul Edmonds
223
Chapter 17: In the Community- Team’s exposure in the community
233
Chapter 18: Saying Goodbye- Leaving the Goldeyes
239
Chapter 19: The Sioux Falls Experience- 2004 w/ the Canaries
247
Chapter 20: Houston (Fort Worth) – We Have a Problem-2005 league split
261
Epilogue: Lost in the Black Hills- Bizarre story of losing the manuscript
274

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