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Trail baseball coach earns call to Babe Ruth Hall of Fame

Brian Pipes, longtime baseball-softball coach/administrator, inducted into Babe Ruth Hall of Fame
Brian Pipes stands just below his name on the Home of Champions monument; the longtime baseball coach and administrator is headed to the Babe Ruth League Hall of Fame. Photo: Jim Bailey

A well known Montrose volunteer, baseball coach and administrator has been named to the Babe Ruth Hall of Fame.

Brian Pipes was notified of the honour following the Babe Ruth International Board of Directors meeting last month.

“I sat in my car and looked at the letter for about an hour, before finally opening it,” said Pipes. “It is an honour to say the least, but I feel a little embarrassed about it.”

Pipes began his Babe Ruth career in 1976 serving as a coach for the Trail Babe Ruth League. His knack for the game became apparent when he coached his team to the provincial championship in 1969.

Pipes continued coaching through the 70s, while also promoting the league through local radio and as a columnist at the Trail Times.

“Babe Ruth League, Inc. has more than just top of the line competition,” said a release from the Hall of Fame. “It has a legacy stacked with exceptional individuals who have given unselfishly of their time and resources to provide all young athletes with an enjoyable, healthy, and educational experience.

“Brian Pipes is one of those exceptional individuals.”

As an administrator, in 1974 Pipes was elected League President of the Trail Babe Ruth League and appointed as the BC District Commissioner. In 1980, he became the BC Assistant Provincial Commissioner, and in 2001, was elected the Provincial Commissioner. In 2006, Pipes began a three-year stretch as the Pacific Northwest Assistant Regional Commissioner for Babe Ruth Softball.

“When I look back on it, I’ve done things I never thought I would do or could do, that helped me grow as a person,” said Pipes. “Doing the different administrative jobs, and being the head of an organization and being their spokesperson, it has been an amazing and fulfilling experience.”

Pipes is growing accustomed to personal honours. He has been elected to the Home of Champions Monument, Trail Babe Ruth League and BC District Baseball Roll of Honour, BC Hall of Fame, Baseball BC Roll of Honour, and the BC Softball Hall of Fame.

In 1995, Pipes was instrumental in bringing the Babe Ruth League 16-18 World Series to Trail, the first and only time the World Series has been played outside the United States. The Babe Ruth World Series welcomed hundreds of first-time visitors, bringing exposure and a wealth of economic benefits to the Greater Trail area.

Pipes has dedicated his life to the promotion and development of softball and baseball in Trail and throughout B.C.

In addition to his dedication to the Babe Ruth League, the lives he has touched are as countless and endless as the energy and commitment he has shown along the way.

Pipes says he is humbled by the recognition and shares this honour with his teams, the players, coaches and people he has worked with throughout this incredible journey.

“Coming from someone who had to be coerced from an old friend of mine to even do it (coach), then progress all the way up the line, then to get this, well,” said Pipes. “That completes the circle.”

The Babe Ruth League International Hall of Fame was established in 1968 to honour those persons and organizations who have played a vital role in the development of the baseball and softball programs.

In its history, there have been millions of players and volunteers, yet, there are only approximately 300 members in the Babe Ruth League Hall of Fame. It is a rare and unique honour.

Jim Bailey

About the Author: Jim Bailey

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