“I had to tell the little white lie about my age,” said Green, who began his senior baseball career at age 12. “When I turned 17, I became an employee in summer baseball with the town.”
Green was one of the first three students to receive the student summer grants from the town and has been involved in minor baseball in the area ever since.
At Baseball Newfoundland and Labrador’s Annual General Meeting in Gander this past weekend, Green was the recipient of the Les Noseworthy Memorial Award.
The award recognizes an individual’s continuous commitment to baseball in the province. Having participated in some capacity since the age of four, Green was certainly deserving of the honour.
“I was quite excited. We look at it as an achievement award usually given to someone who has dedicated most of their lifetime to minor baseball,” said Green. “I've always had an interest in minor sports and in the youth in the area. I am not only involved in baseball, but I have been involved in Scouts for many years and I was involved with the youth bowling program for 22 years.”
“The award is emblematic of contributions to baseball over the years – longevity,” said Dave Janes, central representative for BNL. “The provincial award one of the most if not the most, prestigious award that we present for dedication to baseball over a period of time – it was a slam dunk. He deserved it. I’m proud of the fact that he got it. There is only a certain amount of people that I believe can win that award, and he is one of them. I'm very proud that his part of our association directly and indirectly in that it worked out the way it did.”
In his many years of service to the association, Green has held many roles in the game. He coached at both the senior and junior levels for a total of seven years, including four provincial championship teams.
He held all three positions on the senior executive – president for four years, vice-president for three years and secretary for two years. He held all three positions on the minor baseball executive as well, serving five years as president, vice-president for three and secretary for two more years.
“I've always had an interest in minor sports and in the youth in the area." - Dale Green
Green has also worked as an umpire, tournament co-ordinator and in various fundraising efforts for both levels of baseball in the area.
His time spent involved in the baseball program is not based solely on the sport itself, but also of his desire to get the youth in the community involved in something more than the technological advances since he was a boy.
“When we were growing up and going through the system we had minor baseball in the summer, and we had hockey in the winter,” Green explained. “As time went on, it became so much harder to get kids involved, because there was Game Boy and TV shows, and we couldn't get them away.”
To receive this award has been another stop on what has been a rollercoaster of emotions for Green in the past 16 months.
This past August he was inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Baseball Hall of Fame in the player category before suffering a heart attack, putting his activities on hold.
“I had to miss the latter part of that summer after the heart attack, but in November I was selected to carry torch for Olympic Games and that was amazing,” he said. “This is the topping on the cake, we’ll call it. I think the heart attack was a reminder to slow down – I’m not getting any younger.”
Even though his years in baseball have continued to accumulate, Green continues to take the same approach to his involvement as he first did when he worked as a summer student.
“People here take baseball seriously and they are putting the time and the effort into it,” he said. “I don’t coach anymore, but I do umpire their provincial tournaments. There are times weekday games where if I’m available I go down and umpire because if I wasn’t there as an umpire I would be there keeping score or watching – I would be there anyway because I enjoy it.”