The recipient of the 2021 Baseball Alberta, Off Field Manager of the Year award, Shannon Bruns is modest when it comes to the role she plays within the Lacombe and Alberta baseball community.
Bruns, who grew up playing baseball said it’s one of her favourite past times.
“We have such an amazing baseball community in Lacombe and I truly enjoy being a part of it. It is very exciting to watch the love of the game in the next generation. Darcy Warawa was my motivation for getting involved in the association during his time as president. He is such a fantastic coach who really brought his passion to the Rookie program and made it very easy to step into an executive role four years ago,” said Bruns.
The awards were handed out Dec. 10 at Baseball Alberta’s virtual awards meeting.
“This year because of COVID the awards were mailed out to our recipients,” said Ryan Bird, programs coordinator with Baseball Alberta. “We normally run them in person but this year had to run a virtual awards ceremony for our recipients.”
Bruns is humble about the work that goes into being anoff field manager but Bird said its not a small part of the team or league.
“Off field managers (OFM) are the glue that keeps everything together. They are the ones keeping everyone in the loop, while also making sure their team is being heard within the baseball community,” said Bird. “As a coach myself, an OFM who excels at the position, like Shannon allows me to focus on the baseball side knowing I have someone to support me on the admin side.”
Bird said the Baseball Alberta Off Field Manager of the Year award is selected by the Baseball Alberta office staff and presented annually to a volunteer at each of the ‘A’, ‘AA’, and ‘AAA’ levels who is an excellent communicator in connecting their team to other teams in the league and the Baseball Alberta office staff, an outstanding host who works to make sure that all teams have a great baseball experience, a superb administrator to take care of all roster submissions, score sheets, pitch counts, diamond bookings, and umpire payments.
“The OFM is essentially the individual who keeps the team organized and is a main contact for both their team and the Baseball Alberta office regarding their season. This could be team availability, schedule releases/changes, roster updates, hosting provincial championships, team outings, excetera,” said Bird.
“From a Baseball Alberta office perspective, the OFM in most cases becomes the voice we connect with most for each team along with the coaches. We know that the OFM will communicate what updates, deadlines, etc. are coming from the office and will then communicate some of the feedback they are hearing from parents. coaches, players, etc. to us.”
“During the summer, they are basically working another job, most if not all of them on a volunteer basis. Without volunteers like Shannon, who knows what baseball looks like from an organization/communication standpoint.”
“Shannon was a huge part in making sure Lacombe Minor Ball was organized and ready for the 2021 CABL season. She maintained constant communication with her 11U team and the office on roster and schedule changes.
Bird went on to explain that Bruns was instrumental in preparing and hosting the 2021 11U CABL year end house league tournament in Lacombe.
“After the tournament was completed, when called upon by the BA office, Shannon stepped up to the plate again and had Lacombe host the 11U A Tier 1 Provincial Championships in July.”
Like everyone else, baseball was affect by COVID the last few months but Bruns is not letting that stop her or the community.
“There have been many challenges over the past few years, but Lacombe’s baseball community has persevered and is looking to have a very successful season again in 2022. I hope to continue building our association and organizing many more baseball events,” said Bruns.
“The executive is made up of some really awesome people and it has been so rewarding to get to know many of the players and families,” she said. “The Lacombe Minor Baseball Association was able to host many division year end tournaments. We had a lot of successful teams, great volunteers organizing the events and so much support from the community of Lacombe, that we also were able to host the 11UA Tier 1 provincials.”
“Shannon was extremely easy to work with and we can’t thank her enough for her contributions as an OFM during the 2021 Season.”