Friends, family and local dignitaries joined the senior VP from the Babe Ruth International Baseball League in honouring longtime coach, volunteer, and administrator Brian Pipes at a hall of fame induction ceremony Thursday night in the Trail Riverfront Centre.
Pipes learned of his induction to the Babe Ruth Hall of Fame earlier this year, but Robert Faherty, Senior VP Commissioner, flew in to Trail from the eastern United States last week to recognize Pipe’s more than 50 years devoted to the game of baseball and his community.
“There is only a handful of international hall of fame members,” said Faherty. “The list of honours and awards he (Pipes) has received along the way, I can go on all day. But again I think as a Trail resident, and wanting to do what was best for Trail, whether it was his baseball, softball, his family and his community, that’s what came through and that is why he is a Babe Ruth Baseball Hall of Fame member.”
With a picture of Andy Bilesky hanging a few feet away, it was only fitting that Pipes be honoured at the Trail Museum and Archives.
“Yours is a unique volunteer history,” said Trail’s Deputy Mayor Bev Benson. “The local, regional, provincial, and district positions you have held over the years is a testament to the esteem to which the baseball and softball communities hold you.
“Your innate ability to serve without expectation is the most admirable of traits. Brian, we are grateful for your passion and dedication to sport, to our youth and to our community. May you look back at your successes with a sense of pride and purpose. Our city is a better place because of you.”
Wayne Florko nominated Pipes for the induction and he and friend Keith Smyth said a few words in recognizing Pipes’ history and one of his greatest accomplishments in bringing the Babe Ruth World Series to Trail in 1995.
Longtime friend Glenn Wallace spoke on behalf of Pipes, recounting the moment the hall-of-famer received the letter and learned of his induction.
“Afraid to open it, I sat, waited … then opened it,” wrote Pipes. “This became my WOW moment. I sat back and read it again. I was overwhelmed, humbled, honoured, and proud. Nine months later I still feel the same way.”
Pipes 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.
He volunteered countless hours coaching softball and baseball and for decades was a dedicated Kiwanis member, helping out at countless events and fundraisers.
“Thank you, thank you,” added Pipes. “Baseball and softball have been very, very good to me.”