In Regina, we love our sports. We are the home of Rider Nation, the Regina Pats are the longest running junior hockey team in North America, the University of Regina has a long and storied athletics program, the Regina Thunder are perennial contender in the PFC, and the Regina Red Sox are a staple in the WMBL. 

The sports scene is great in Regina, but our sports story goes well beyond just what happens within the city limits. For decades, we’ve sent some of our best athletes all over the world to show everyone just how good we can be (and not just at hockey and curling). 

You could probably fill encyclopaedias with information and stories of our hockey players and curlers. The list is basically endless, from the NHL, to minor-pro and beyond; Regina is a hockey player factory. You know the names, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Getzlaf, Mike Sillinger, Doug Wickenheiser, Chris Kunitz, etc., etc. I could go on all day. 

We’re also the heartland of curling developing some of the best to ever play the game including the late Sandra Schmirler (originally from Biggar, Sask), the world’s first Olympic gold medallist in Women’s curling. And, of course Regina is also home to many football greats such as Jon Ryan, Chris Getzalf and Neal Hughes, to name a few.

This post isn’t just about them though. This post is about athletes past and present that call Regina home in sports that aren’t from the region’s big three. 

In the 1940s, Regina was home to some of the best female baseball players in the world.

Of the 57 Canadian women who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) from 1943-1954, 12 of them were from Regina! These players paved the way for many of the women’s professional leagues we see today. In all, over 600 women played in the league over its existence. The league peaked in 1948, when over 900,000 people packed the parks that season. 

Of the 21 players from Regina, the most notable was Mary ‘Bonnie’ Baker, who inspired the movie A League of Their Own. During her career she was named the league’s all-star catcher three times and even appeared in Time Magazine and numerous publicity shots. In 1950, Baker was traded to the Kalamazoo Lassies and became the first, and only, player/manager in league history.

Photo credit: Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

More recently, pitcher Dustin Molleken worked his way up the professional baseball system. In 2011 he played for Team Canada and won gold at the Pan American Games and bronze at the Baseball World Cup. He was called up to the majors in 2016 and pitched for the Detroit Tigers. In 2017 he was released and is currently playing in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) for the Somerset Patriots.

Lately, we’ve seen athletes perform on the ice in sports other than hockey and curling. Most notably, speed skater Lucas Makowsky. Makowsky represented Canada at the Olympics in 2010 and 2014, winning a gold medal in team pursuit at the Vancouver games in 2010. In all, Makowsky took part in 43 different world cup events and world championships between 2008 and 2013. Along with his gold medal, Makowsky won bronze in the 1,500 meters and silver in the men’s pursuit at the world championships. He was also Canada’s top 1000 meter and 5000 meter speed skater during the 2008-09 season. 

Photo credit: Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

Last but certainly not least is without a doubt one of the most popular athletes in the world competing in a sport that most wouldn’t associate with the area. 

Mark McMorris exploded onto the snowboard scene during the 2009-2010 season competing at his first FIS snowboard world cup event placing eighth at the big air event in Quebec City. The rest, as they say, was history. McMorris did nothing but climb the rankings from there, winning Slopestyle at the Calgary stop on the tour.

He officially turned professional in 2010, and has won 16 X-Games medals, including seven gold medals. He’s won two Olympic bronze medals and silver at the 2013 world championships. McMorris was also the first snowboarder ever to land a backside triple cork 1440.  

Visit the Saskatchewan Sport's Hall of Fame for more information.