Introducing the Management Team, and Coaching
Staff of the 2013 Niagara Metros.
|Mark Walters - Metros' General Manager
The "man behind the Metros" is General Manager, Mark Walters. After the 1984 season, when the Metros
were still members of the Niagara District Baseball Association, previous coaches Len Marino and Pat Leahy both retired.
When a replacement coach could not be found, Mark, who was still a regular player at 30 years of age, stepped up and took
over in the dugout. That 1985 season (the Metros first in C.O.B.A.) was full of highs and lows, but the team rallied
around its young player/coach (after losing 7 of their first 9 games in the league) and won the Playoff title, solidifying
their place in the league. Mark has been at the helm, as Field Manager, Coach, or General Manager ever since.
While he did gather a bunch of at bats over the early years of
the Metros (accumulating a .375 career batting average), it was his managerial skills that put him on the map. Under
Walters' leadership, the former St. Catharines club won the C.O.B.A. Playoff title their first 3 seasons in the league, and
also managed a couple of O.B.A. Senior "B" titles in 1990 and 1996. His 16-year
career record as manager of the Metros (over an impressive total of 627 games) was 378 and 249 for a .603 winning
In August of 2000,
Mark was leaning towards scaling back his on-field involvement and turned the coaching duties over to long-time Metros player,
Kerry Hedden. Kerry has been "the man in the dugout" ever since, while Mark has remained an
active part of the team's management staff, acting as the General Manager and Business Manager. By the way, the St.
Catharines / Niagara Metros' all-time record in the 1154 games they've played since Mark became involved in the club's management
is a remarkable 699 and 455 (.606).
Sitting in the General Manager's chair keeps Mark busy, especially in the off-season. His duties include representing
the club in all league and O.B.A. matters, securing park time and working with the City of St. Catharines regarding Senior
baseball matters. In addition, Mark is active with the Metros' scouting and player recruitment and works closely
with Mgr. Kerry Hedden, regarding roster decisions. Finally, he holds an important position on the C.O.B.A. Board
of Directors, and is the League schedule-maker.
Mr. Walters (with the help and patience of wife Debbie), embarks on his 29th season with
the club in 2013...following in his father, Hap's footsteps as an important cog in the Ontario senior baseball community.
And just like his dad was 3 years earlier, Mark is humbled and proud of the fact that he was inducted into the City of St.
Catharines Sports Hall-of-Fame in 2009. "It's been quite ride", says Mark, "but I wouldn't trade
any of it. The rewards vastly outnumber the disappointments, and there is a great deal of satisfaction in knowing
you're making a difference in the lives of 22 young men, every year. That's what it's all about"!
|Kerry Hedden - Metros' Field Manager
Kerry Hedden took over as the Niagara Metros' Field Manager in August of 2000, and hasn't looked back. The St.
Catharines native played with the club from 1986 through the 2000 season, with the exception of 4 years, when his work
took him out of the area, from 1990 to 1993. Early on, Kerry had a superb playing career in the St. Catharines
Minor Baseball system, and eventually graduated from the Merritton Junior Independents in 1978. After a couple of seasons
with the Welland MacDonalds of the Niagara District Senior League, Kerry returned home and joined the newly formed St. Catharines
"Ellis" in 1982. Two excellent years with the Ellis, and another year out of the area for work, brought Kerry
to the Metros in 1986. And the young veteran became a mainstay in the outfield.
While Kerry was never a gifted athlete, he more than made up for it with his intelligence
on the diamond and his incredible work ethic. In fact, he excelled during his playing years (both at the plate and in
the field) retiring with a .325 career batting average and a couple of impressive All-time Metros records.
Among all players with more than 90 AB's in a season, Kerry holds the record for fewest strikeouts with 3...on his way
to a great career walk to strikeout ratio of 142 to 99. He also set a Metros career record (which still stands) by playing
in an incredible 109 straight games in the outfield, without making an error.
When "Hedder" (as his friends call him) took over the coaching
duties in 2000, he brought the same work ethic and intelligence with him...as evidenced by the 321 and 206 (.609)
record he's compiled in his 12+ years at the helm. He can also say that he was the coach of one of the winningest teams
in C.O.B.A. history. Kerry managed the 2001 Metros, to a 26-2 record in league play before winning the Playoff
title and completing the season 40-9 overall. Add to that, six more Johnson Division titles, another C.O.B.A. regular
season pennant (2008), 2 C.O.B.A. Playoff Championships (2005 & '12), two London Lakeside Tourney titles
(2007 & '08), a "Hap" Walters Tourney Championship (2004) and semi-final appearances at the 2003 and '12 Elimination
Tourneys. Last year, Kerry and the Metros completed their best season ever, going 33-17 with a Johnson Divison and overall
league playoff title, and appeared in the semi-finals at the Strathroy, Hap Walters and Eliminations Tourneys. And Kerry
was named Manager of the Year by the Ontario Senior Baseball Website / Blog. All in all, he's got quite a resume.
Kerry, who continues to have the support of his wife
Sandi, says he has enjoyed every minute of his tenure in the Metros dugout. He says, "There's no doubt, the wins
are important. But, to watch our fine young men mature and become responsible adults with beautiful young families (and
to be part of that process) is much more of a reward than any number of wins on the field".
|Claude Boudreau - Metros' First Base Coach
The Niagara Metros are very pleased to add the name "Claude Boudreau" to their management team for 2013.
Claude, who has been involved in Niagara baseball either as a player or coach for more than 35 years, will serve as the team's
first base coach for this year and hopefully beyond. Both Walters and Hedden agree that Mr. Boudreau has the knowledge
and experience to provide help in the day-to-day decision-making process (including the "strategic" part of the
game), as well as bringing the skills and expertise to help guide the young Metros players to improvement. In addition,
his laid-back demeanor and "willing to do anything to help" approach will also benefit the players and the management
team alike, in the clubhouse and the dugout.
Boudreau comes by this expertise honestly. After having played in the Merritton Minor Baseball system beginning in the
late-1970's and throughout the '80's, he got involved in coaching in 1992 at the "Rookie-ball" level.
He moved to Thorold and became involved with the T.A.A. program, when in '97 he led the Thorold Major PeeWees to an O.B.A.
Championship. In 1998, Claude moved on to the St. Catharines M.B.A. program, coaching the Cobras Minor Bantams in 1998,
and the Major Bantams in 1999. In fact, it was in 1998 when his "Minor Bantam" club became the first such
club to defeat their "Major Bantam" counterparts to win the Niagara District Championship. That was one of
4 N.D. Championships to appear on Claude's coaching resume (to go with his 2 O.B.A. titles).
After being selected to coach the Niagara Distict All-Stars three times in the late-'90's,
Claude was recruited to coach at the Elite level, when he became the Head Coach of the Welland Renegades under-16 team.
He remained with the Renegades for the duration of the now-defunct program, leading the team to four tournament championships
in the United States and Canada...including high-profile titles in Erie, Pennsylvania and Cleveland, Ohio.
has been on the sidelines for the past few years, his passion for the game remains as strong as ever. When he was
approached about the Metros' vacant 1st base coaching job, he was quick to jump on board...noting that the organization has
a "rich tradition of professionalism and success at the highest level". He was also quick to point out that
the "fantastic bunch of young men that are currently wearing the Niagara uniform make this newest coaching
venture an exciting proposition". Claude's coaching philosophy is pretty basic: To help create an environment that
encourages athletes to learn and develop on and off the playing field. In addition, he'll strive to "help create
a positive learning environment in good times and bad". The Niagara Metros are sure he'll have no problem achieving
|Jim Borysko - Metros' Hitting and Bench Coach
It seems that in baseball (as in life), "everything old becomes new again". That
adage is especially true when you are talking about the 2013 Niagara Metros' coaching staff, as the club welcomes back one
of the best players in it's nearly 30-year history. After 23 years away, Jim Borysko will don the Metros' blue and white
uniform. Jim is a graduate of the St. Catharines Minor system (circa 1984), and was such a talented player that
he was given a full-ride scholarship to Middle Tennessee State University (NCAA Division 1A). Jim earned the starting
3rd base position in his freshman year at MTSU before suffering an arm injury later in the season that kept him sidelined.
While he helped the Blue Raiders capture an Ohio Valley Conf. title that season, the injury forced him to finish his schooling
at Laurentian University the following year.
returned home during the summer months, and brought with him his finely-honed skills to the (then) St. Catharines Metros of
the C.O.B.A. Senior Baseball League. He would proceed to become one of the best players in Metros' history, and
arguably one of the best Senior players in the province in the late-80's. In
1986, Mr. Borysko's first full season with the Metros, he was named the team's Rookie-of-the-Year, as well as their Most Valuable
Player, after compiling a .434 average and a team record 66 hits (a record that stood for 11 years). Along the way,
during that magical '86 season, Jim had remarkably recorded at least one hit in all 36 games that he played that summer.
So when he returned for the 1987 season, all eyes were on him, to see how far he could carry the hitting streak.
May and June came and went, and Jim kept adding to the streak...finally getting the number up to 54 consecutive games.
Before a packed Community Park on July 8th, 1987 the streak finally ended - just two games shy of Joe Dimaggio's all-time
mark of 56 games in 1941.
His Metros' career continued
for 5 seasons, before he "hung 'em up" after the Metros' 1990 season. But in his short career, Jim
managed a bunch of impressive numbers and accolades. He was named to the C.O.B.A. Year-end All-Star team 3 times
at third base, and once at short stop. His career batting average of .378 is 4th on the Metros' All-Time list, and
as mentioned, he has a team Top Rookie award, along with an M.V.P. Jim was named the team's Top Offensive Player
in 1990...the same year that the Metros' won the Ontario Senior "B" Championship. And you guessed it, Mr.
Borysko was named the M.V.P. of the Championship Tournament, batting over .500, playing a flawless tourney at short stop,
and collecting a win and a save on the mound. Finally, in 2009 when the team unveiled it's 25th Anniversary All-Time
team, there was Jim Borysko...the choice as the third baseman on the First All-Star team.
When he’s not at the park, Jim works as an Advisor in Health System Quality and Risk
Management at the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Local Health Integration Network as well as a Part Time Professor at Brock
University in the Community Health Sciences Department. About his return to the dugout in 2013? Jim simply stated
that it was time to give something back. "I miss the chatter and comradery in the dugout and the clubhouse...not
to mention the "crack of the bat" on the field. I believe I have something I can offer these kids, and would
love to, once again, be a part of a successful team". With Jim Borysko's knowledge and experience nearby, the Niagara
Metros can't help but benefit. Welcome home, Jim!