Arngrimson, Norman I 2017

            Norman Arngrimson was born November 29, 1926, and raised on a farm northeast of Mozart, Saskatchewan. His brothers were good baseball players so Norm was introduced to a glove and ball at an early age.

            Norm, a left-handed pitcher, played with the Elfros Aces Senior team in 1947 or 1948. Norm had a good fastball, a good curveball, now called a slider and a drop pitch, now called a curveball. Catching for Norm for these years was Walter Reynolds. He said when Norm threw his drop pitch at the belt, he had to be ready to dig the ball out of the dirt because that is how far down it would break. Norm’s wife, Irene, states Norm’s left pitching arm was almost twice the size of his right arm. She also said that Norm was lucky to have such a good catcher as Walter Reynolds who seldom let a pitch get past  him, even a wild pitch that Norm occasionally threw. She feels the speed with which Norm threw was equal to that of the pro pitchers today.

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            The team was in a league with Wadena, Kelvington, Wynyard and possibly Fosston. The team did very well with Norman as the team’s star pitcher, as well as playing with the Quill Lake Monarchs in local baseball tournaments. At the first game at a tournament in Lestock, Saskatchewan, in 1949, when the games were supposed to be 5 innings games, Norm’s team scored a run in the bottom of the 11th and won 1-0. Norman pitched the entire game!

            In 1953 and 1954, Norm played with the Foam Lake Falcons as the Elfros team had disbanded due to a shortage of players.

            A highlight in Norm’s baseball pitching career was a 2-day, 16-team tournament in Foam Lake in 1954. Norm pitched 9 innings, beating Watson 4-1, striking out 15 batters. Preeceville was the next opponent. Foam Lake was leading 5-2. In the 9th inning Preeceville loaded the bases with no outs. Norm was brought in to pitch and he struck out the next three batters. Next playing Springside, down 5-2, but in the bottom of the 7th, Foam Lake scored 5 runs. Norm was then called in to pitch, gave up 1 run in the 8th inning, but shut them out in the 9th, for a final 8-6 victory. In the final game against the Notre Dame Hounds, Norm pitched the entire game, giving up only 2 runs in the 8th inning with a final score of Foam Lake 5 and Notre Dame Hounds 2. That tournament saw Norman Arngrimson pitch a total of 21 innings and giving up only 4 runs.

            Also in the 1950’s, Norm occasionally pitched for Colonsay in the Saskatoon League.

            Irene and Walter figured that Norm played baseball for about 15 years, 60 years ago! Quoting Irene, “Great Memories.”

            Norman Arngrimson died of a heart attack December 7, 2004.

© Kipling Citizen