Rob Guenter

Rob Guenter enjoyed a stellar fastball career and has the word "perfect" attached to his name more times than most. The Saskatchewan-born fastball pitcher recorded 23 perfect games between 1973 and 1990 and many no-hitters. These career marks earned him admission to halls of fame for Softball Canada, Saskatoon and Softball B.C. Rob honed his craft on the prairies and he joined the Saskatoon K&K Olson's, later the All-O-Matics, in 1973 and as an 18-year-old rookie threw three no-hitters in his first season. He faced the powerful Victoria Bates at the national championships in 1973 and 1976, when the defending champs needed a late rally to defeat the young ace in the final. He was one of the country's top pitchers with Saskatoon but enjoyed his greatest success with Victoria. After the Budgets won their fourth Canadian championship in 1978, they picked up Rob for the 1979 Pan-Am Games. There he threw a one-hitter and a perfect game before outduelling legendary Ty Stofflet of the USA for a 1 - 0, 14-inning, gold medal game victory. Rob moved to Victoria and led local teams to two more national crowns and Canada to a Pan-Am victory in 1983. Rob's stellar status was solidified in the 1983 Canadians, when he threw five games in 24 hours to carry Payless to another national title. He was named Victoria's male athlete of the year for 1982 and 1983.

The 1979 Budgets Softball team

The Victoria Bates Construction team was formed in 1968 with some juniors and players from several senior leagues around town. They started in the Senior B division and moved up to Senior A in 1969. The team went on to the B.C. Senior A championship and started a softball revolution in the capital city. The Bates, which went through a number of name changes in the next numbers of years, was almost unbeatable. They won 15 B.C. Senior A championships in 17 years. Their wins included the Canadian championship six times in 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1982 and 1983. They also won a share of the world championship in 1976 and the gold medal at the 1979 Pan-American games in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The expert player talent that forged the backbone of the team over the years included Carl Walker, John Green, Dennis Eckert, Reg Underwood and Randy Benn. Successful managers included Herb Bate, John Oster, Jack Bell and Neil Leard.

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Victoria enjoys a stellar sports history and we celebrate the many athletes, teams and builders who have contributed to that history.  Our displays are seen at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre (1925 Blanshard St.)  through Gate Three.


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