BATTLEFORD, Saskatchewan – Ronald McKechney played baseball and hockey at Bemidji State University from 1959-61 and for his efforts was named into the Bemidji State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1988. Now, the former Beaver student-athlete and coach is set to be inducted into the individual category of the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame, as a player, Aug. 17.
McKechney was a captain of the BSU baseball team in 1961 and captained the men’s hockey team in 1959-60. After a two-year stint as a player, he served as an assistant coach for the hockey team in 1961 under Vic Weber. Now, his successful playing career on the diamond in Canada is getting him inducted into a hall of fame in his home province.
McKechney, a Bienfait, Saskatchewan native, played second base, third base and catcher for 15 years on two different clubs in the Southern Saskatchewan Baseball League.
In nine years with the Estevan Maple Leafs, he earned a batting title and helped guide the team to a league championship in 1956. He hit .380 in 1959 to earn the Dave Dryburgh Memorial Trophy, awarded to the league’s batting champion.
During his time with the Swift Current Indians, he helped guide the team to two team championships in both 1963 and 1965. He led the league in batting average in 1965 with a .403 average that again earned him the Dave Dryburgh Memorial Trophy. McKechney also was named the league’s MVP in 1965 when he was honored as a Rogers Memorial Trophy recipient.
During the years of 1954-1968, McKehney’s teams in the Southern League had a record of 200-189.
In 1976-77, McKechney was the playing coach for the Thunder Bay A’s in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The squad was Senior Baseball League Champions in 1976, as McKechney posted a batting average of .312.
McKechney and his wife Margaret have three sons and currently reside in East. St. Paul, Saskatchewan.
* Some information courtesy of the Battlefords News-Optimist (North Battleford, Saskatchewan)
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Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).