Kawuza brothers - Pete, Paul and Bill
Inducted 1999 Baseball
Pete Kawuza (1910 - 2000) was born in Winnipeg and moved to Riceton in 1920 and began playing ball at school. He played second base and catcher. Pete developed a very good arm for the throw to second base, probably all of that practice with brothers Paul and Bill. Pete’s accuracy was never in question as he could actually hit the base with the ball. Occasionally, with George Spry on the mound, his throws were so hard that George would have to duck so as not to get hit.
Pete also played with Lang and Weyburn on occasion. Once while playing with Weyburn in Regina there were runners on first and on third. Coach Gizzy Hart told Pete not to throw to second. Pete asked him what kind of bush league this was and when the runner tried to advance Pete fired the ball to second to put him out. The runner at third had not even moved.
In 1939 Pete was a member of the Weyburn team that won the Southern Senior Baseball Championship but lost out in the provincial final.
In 1940 at a tournament Pete broke both bones in his leg and was in a cast for nine months. It looked as though his baseball days were over. Not so. The next year Pete switched from batting right to batting left to protect his leg and actually became a better hitter.
Pete volunteered to umpire at a sports day in Balgonie when Riceton lost out early. From then on and for many years Pete umpired ball games all over the area.
Paul Kawuza (1912 - ) was born in Winnipeg and moved to Riceton in 1920. He was a great pitcher and was recruited to play with Nick Metz’s team at Wilcox on several occasions. The pay was $25 per win while pitching.
After serving in the Navy, Paul moved and settled in British Columbia.
Bill (Kawuza) Cook (1917 - ) was born in Winnipeg and moved to Riceton in 1920. He attended school at Notre Dame College Wilcox where he excelled in both hockey and baseball. Following school Bill played both sports in Riceton and was regarded as a ‘natural’ athlete in many respects. Bill went on to play hockey with the Regina Vic’s. He served in World War II.
He changed his last name upon the suggestion of one of his coaches that he wouldn’t go far with Kawuza – too hard to pronounce! He moved to Ontario and remained in the east until the early 60’s.