Manny Primeau – Athlete
Manny Primeau wants everyone to know “I had great teammates all though my life, and all my successes should be shared with them”, as a member of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame and Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame had many successes in a stellar career in baseball, slo-pitch and bowling.
Following 12 years of playing minor baseball in Prince Albert (from 1952-64 for the Cosmos, B’nai Brith, Lions and Elks) early one Sunday morning in 1965 Manny Primeau decided to hitchhike to North Battleford to try out for the North Battleford Beavers of the Northern Saskatchewan Baseball League. He had a good try-out and made the team as their second baseman playing full time in ‘65, ’66 and ’68, and part time in ‘67 and ’70. He was the league All Star 2nd baseman in ’65 and ’66 hitting .340 and .321 respectively during those years. With Primeau at 2nd, the Beavers won the League and Playoff titles in ’68 and were league champs in ’70. Manny Primeau was inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.
In ’69 Primeau played baseball for the Prince Albert Bohs who won the Provincial Senior Men’s ttle and attended the Westerns in Edmonton.
Manny Primeau’s days on the fastball diamond included playing for the Corrigal Seals in the PA Commercial League and with the PA Tribesmen, SMDC Native Sons and PA Building Movers in Native Fastball. The Corrigal Seals won the league and playoff championship in ’76. In ’77 at the Saskatoon Merchants tournament the Seals finished runner-up to the hosts with Primeau being named the Tournament MVP after a .478 batting average. In ’77 Primeau was picked up by the Bruno Merchants for the Senior B Westerns in Kelowna, BC where they finished second to the host team. Twice teams Primeau played on were runners-up at the Senior B Provincials – in ’78 with the Seals and in ’81 with the PA Stealers.
In Native Fastball, Primeau went to the Canadian Championships half-a-dozen times from ’78 to ’85. In ’83 in Invermere, BC as part of the SMDC Native Sons, Primeau was voted Tournament MVP, All-Star Shortstop and Most Sportsmanlike Player. In ’85 the PA Builders hosted the Canadian Tournament in Prince Albert, losing the final 3-2 to the BC Arrows. At the ’76 North American Native Fastball Championships in Gallup, New Mexico, Primeau and the James Smith Redmen finished 5th out of 24 teams. The PA Tribesman would travel to the North American Native Championship 3 times – ’78 in Calgary, ’79 in Albequerque, New Mexico and ’82 in Calgary. In ’83, Primeau and the SDMC Native Sons finished 2nd at the NAMC in Norman, Oklahoma, losing 12-6 to the BC Arrows in the Final.
Manny Primeau also had a presence in the sport of slo-pitch winning the Provincial title 6 times: in ’93 on Frank Dunn Toyota, in 2003, ’04, and ’05 with the PA Old Spikes and as coach of the PA Legends in ’06. At the 1996 Canadian Slo-Pitch Championships in Calgary, Primeau was voted the all-star 2nd baseman. He also appeared at the ’04 and ’05 Canadian Slo-Pitch championships. He also umpired slo-pitch from 1996-2005.
Bowling is another sport in which Manny would have tremendous success. The ’78 Prince Albert Men’s 5 Pin Bowling Team of which Primeau was a member, won the 1978 Provincial and Canadian Championships and were inducted into the PA Sports Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1999. At the ’76 Canadian Bowling Championship in Thunder Bay, the PA team went 12-6 including a 1478-1106 final round robin win over Manitoba to clinch the title.
He was on Provincial Championship men’s teams in 1981 and 1999. The mixed team Primeau was on in 2001 won the Saskatchewan title and finished 3rd at the Canadian Championships in Hamilton, Ontario. At those nationals, Manny was named to the All-Star team with a 273 average over 15 games.
For career highs in bowling, Manny Primeau has rolled a 440. He had 11 games over 1000 with his highest 3-game total 1061.
On March 29, 1989 the Prince Albert Men’s Team set a Provincial Record at the Saskatchewan Championships being held in Regina with a total pinfall of 1616 for their 5 member team including Manny Primeau’s 338.
Manny Primeau’s career included two strong nicknames: “Grey Owl” given to him by Milt Burns as he had grey hair by the time he was 30 and “Gramps” because he was still playing ball when he was 60.