For many years, Shannon Gaboury has dedicated countless hours to make it possible for Comox Valley children to play baseball.
As president of the Minor Baseball Association, he organizes fields, games, teams and coaches, and purchases gear. He also gets his hands dirty setting up fields, building pitcher mounds, cleaning dugouts and mowing fields.
“I am really honored by the nomination,” Gaboury said. “I have been involved with the Comox Valley Baseball Association for 14 years, the last six or eight as president.”
He credits a “great group of people” who make his job easier by assisting with the operations of the association.
Gaboury has played baseball most of his life, and continues to play with the Komoux Masters league.
“I’m not very good, but it is fun,” he said.
He became a coach when his children were old enough to learn the game — and continued coaching long after his children had grown and moved onto other leagues. He also coaches parents to become coaches.
Gaboury brings a level-headedness and patience, which allows young players to ease into the play of a game and enjoy their time on the ball diamond.
He advocates for families and children who have difficulty finding money to play baseball. He does what’s necessary to ensure every youngster gets to play, even if it means picking them up at a ferry and offering them a place to stay. He stays after games to ensure fields are cleaned and cleared, and to ensure every child has been picked up and accounted for.
He also helped organize a team of boys to come from Cuba.
“What I really like is seeing players that I have coached grow up, become parents and bring those children back to play a game that brought the parents enjoyment,” Gaboury said. “It means you did something right. As well, looking out over a field and seeing 150-plus little ones out there having fun is pretty cool too.”